THE essential Amsterdam Guide
Are you curious what’s going on in Amsterdam during your stay?? In the ‘What’s On in Amsterdam’ section on flyingpig.nl you will find everything you need! We recently updated everything and all Amsterdam has to offer is there, including some secrets of the Flying Pig staff.
Amsterdam is reasonably small for a city, but there’s always something happening. And although it‘s very easy to get around, some directions are always handy. Choose from the many festivals, museums, exhibitions, shopping areas and of course the best places to meet new people, eat, dance, drink and smoke.
How does it work?
The Flying Pig not only selects what’s on in Amsterdam, the hostels themselves are also famous for organizing the best parties in town. Follow the links below to find out what’s going on while you visit Amsterdam:
The Pig Agenda
In the Pig Agenda you will find everything going on in the famous hostel bars at the Flying Pig hostels.
The Amsterdam Agenda
In Amsterdam are loads of (temporary) parties, exhibitions, festivals and events, especially in summertime. So don't miss a thing and stay up-to-date with our daily updated festivals and event pages.
Things To Do
Here you will find all kinds of information for exploring Amsterdam (and surroundings). Getting around ,where to go, where to eat, where to buy stuff, coffeeshops. All the things you need to know while staying in Amsterdam. If you are missing things there, please let us know. Every feedback is very welcome since it’s an ongoing thing.
Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please meet Maurino Alarcón - from now on he will keep you up to date with everything happening at the Downtown Bar!
"Heya great Piggies around the world! Welcome all to the Downtown barblog; a place where you will get informed about all that goes on and will go on at the Flying Pig Downtownbar! My name is Maurino Alarcón and it’s my job the keep all you crazy piglets around the globe posted!"
You might know the Flying Pig Backpacker hostels are (proud) members of the ‘EFH’ – Europe’s Famous Hostels.
This association is often recognized as ‘the best hostels in the European travel world’. If you book any of these hostels, you will be guaranteed with a memorable stay, while still keeping yourself on a cheap and reasonable budget! Each of Europe’s Famous Hostels is independently & locally owned, assuring a local travel experience. They all must adhere to the highest level of safety, & quality while preserving a local flair.
The hostels are located in Amsterdam, Bad Gastein, Barcelona, Berlin, Bruges, Cardiff, Corfu, Dublin, Edinburgh, Interlaken, Lisbon, Loch Ness, London, Munich, Nice, Prague, Riga, Rome, Salzburg,Valencia, Vienna, and in the future, more hostels more hostels will join.
Now, they have a great new feature: each hostel has made new videos showcasing the best bits about their locations so that you guys can see where you’re heading to. All you have to do is pick out the hostel you’re interested in from famoushostels.com and drop the name & 'famous hostels' into a YouTube search bar!
Check here the one from the Flying Pig Uptown, Amsterdam:
Column: The life of a Piggy
How to survive as a whapper??
How do the 'willing helpers at the Pig' survive??
Whapper Aly shares her 11 life rules with you.
At The Flying Pig everyone starts off as a WHAPPER. To be more specific, a Willing Helper At the Pig. Basically, you work 27 hours a week either cleaning rooms or serving breakfast. In return for your acquired skills, you are covered for your bed, breakfast and some drink tickets. You live with three other willing helpers in the infamous ‘whapper room.’ Work is light and stress free, and even though you become a complete scavenger, living is very Zen-like. Surviving with no money in Amsterdam is a bit difficult, but very possible at The Pig.
My traveling budget had been dragged down with the Canadian dollar, burning in the crash. By the time I arrived at Schipol Airport, I only had €15 in my pocket, and some crumbs of pasta and rice left over from my trip. I only cared that I had made it to Amsterdam, and finished the first leg of my adventure to settle a bit at one of the most legendary hostels in Europe.
At The Pig I lasted ten days with only the change in my pocket. I recorded some tips on how to survive moneyless as a Whapper and still have the time of your life.
- Spend a third of your time around the reception side of the bar. They’ll look to you for making a bed, unclogging a toilet, or cleaning up puke. The bigger the damage, the more drink tickets you receive. The second clean up of the night is always easier.
- Another third should be in the kitchen. Helping anyone make food will usually end up with you eating with them, or at least getting the leftovers. The Pig supplies free bread to hungry travelers. If you save some peanut butter and jam from breakfast, you can have a PB&J every day.
- Ask to do a breakfast shift on a Friday. At the end of the week the fridges are cleared of everything unlabelled so they aren’t crowded with month-old-half-eaten food. You can make a very interesting omelet with the edible bits.
- The remaining third should be divided between miscellaneous places around the hostel, but mainly spent in the smoking room. If you just sit down on a comfy chair, a joint or cigarette will be passed to you within five minutes. Keep an ear for frustrated casual smokers trying to roll. You’ll not only be able to smoke the joint with them, but most likely light it.
- Use your drink tickets wisely. If you did find a two euro coin on the ground, spend it during happy hour. Use your tickets when drinks are at full staff price, and only after you’ve had enough free tea, coffee, juice and pop.
- Attend the lost and found parties. Every three months reception empties the overflowing closet of unclaimed sweaters, pants, t-shirts, jackets, boots, watches, cell phones, cameras and iPods. Feel no guilt when stuffing a garbage bag full of a whole new wardrobe. If the guest hasn’t tracked it down in three months, they’re not going to now.
- Request to be Dust and Bin Pig. Most guests leave in a daze and don’t check under their bed, in the shower or the back of their luggage box. It’s not hard to survive off the digestible things left behind. The amount of weed, ‘shrooms, space cakes and alcohol you find will last any party pig until next shift. Also, food isn’t allowed in rooms so you should “throw it out” in the staff bin in the kitchen.
- Every Thursday The Pig gives money to a willing staff cook, and all the piggies sit down for a nice homemade dinner. This night is crucial for getting your weekly dose of vitamins and protein. Sign yourself up to cook a favourite meal. It will help keep your sanity.
- Hang around really drunk guests at the bar. They will order rounds of Jager bombs and always include the ‘girl who cleaned up my puke this morning.”
- Go to the Club Winston's on Monday nights for free entrance because of your pig status. It has cheap drinks and sweet drum and base live performances.
- Take anything anyone will give you. Even if you don’t like it, you can trade it later for something you do like.
This is the moment...
Everything has its phase. All good things end, you live and learn
For years the mere mentioning of a smug ‘white picket fence’, would send shivers down my spine. Luckily, I discovered drowning the thought and booking a plane ticket were a marvelous remedy. Even more when our mid-twenties went and houses with cars were suddenly owned by two. Horrific picture perfects, painted by happy couples. No. Rather sub-let my illegal apartment, and leave the home front wrapped up in its smothering smugness. Much better to be off to shine in sarong and thongs, petting real tigers, slowly awaking in the back of own van to a glittering sunrise jeweled with a sea of dolphins.
Yup. I was a free spirit, living life to its fullest. I was passionately tough, strong and Pigheaded. For eight years, with the last three as one of the managers. For years my phone rang at unmanly hours for the most bizarre reasons. Or I left at unmanly hours for having an alcoholic sit-in. It was great and it was killing. As I patiently explained at a course “people discover who they are. Their strength and that feared weakness. But” and I had lifted my index finger “the trick is to recognize it is still the big world you discover it for”. I served the group my wise expression “at some point staff need to leave the Pig bubble and move on to grow into that person they are”. I smiled “those who do not realize this we push out gently”. The teacher regarded me in silence before he said. “And you lack a person to give you that push, hey?”
This incredible simple observation opened my eyes. It was not the smug married or smug baby I feared, it was me in it! Within a month I was to leave the Pig and finish my book about it. I moved and became an official Amsterdam citizen. I was about to let go, without fleeing, and surprisingly it all flowed. Today I proudly work in my father’s 9 to 5 business. And I happily share my life with a Frenchman who moved into my heart and soon my house, including garden and white shed. Call it evolution, age, biological clock or pure social pressure. Smug is my new adventure and I relish in it. Well of course I still freak out. But I found that life tends to provide you with phases, each with a lesson in it to be learned. Some you pick up quickly and those you don’t, will be repeated until you get it. Only then are you ready for the new.
Noting my own words I realize I have to let go again. As much as I enjoy sharing my thoughts, it is time to bid you all farewell with humble gratitude and great respect. From my smug house ready for a romantic French dinner for two: I will not forget you and I wish you all the best life phases. And hey, who knows; maybe our personal evolutions will meet again.