The Bulldog Hotel is pretty cool for Amsterdam because it's located right in the red light district on a canal but it has strict security so they keep the sketch factor outside the hostel. Plus there's a coffee shop in the hostel and you can smoke weed in the bar (not cigarettes).
From the train station exit towards the city center and cross the bridge over the canal. From here take the big street Damrak down to Damsquare. Cross the square and go down Damstreet until you reach the first canal. Turn left down the street before crossing the first canal. The Bulldog is on the left at Oudezijds Voorburgwal 220, the second door with a bulldog sign hanging over it, the first is the coffee shop.
It's important to note that this hostel is right in the red light district therefore the people nearby may be seedy, like dealers (don't buy hard drugs from the dealers outside on the street) and stoned tourists looking for paid sex, but otherwise the location is great. Everything in Amsterdam is pretty much within walking distance and this hostel is a stone's throw away from the main market square and it's on a canal. The only downside about the location is that the more popular going out area, Leidseplein, is quite the drunken stumble away.
Rooms and Bathrooms
In order to get into the hostel you have to show the little card they give you at check in and then for the rooms there is a keycard, so the hostel itself is pretty safe. The rooms aren't the most spacious but at least they aren't dirty, just untidy. The beds are seriously the most comfortable hostel beds we've ever slept in, and it's not because we were stoned. There are lockers for valuables and some rooms have ensuite facilities.
The bathrooms are not awful but they leave something to be desired. There is a tiny bathroom with a toilet and teeny tiny sink and another bathroom with a toilet, two sinks, and two showers. There are a few problems with this bathroom. The first is that the showers flooded the bathroom and the drains are up a slight step from the rest of the flooded floor and therefore the bathroom floor is always a wading pool despite there being a squeegee to mop it up. It's hard to mop the water up the step into the drain. The second major problem is that the two showers have no separate changing area, which makes sharing the bathrooms with a stranger quite awkward, and there's almost nowhere dry to leave your stuff except the two hooks across the bathroom on the back of the door.
In the in house bar area aside from the bar there is a space with a big screen TV for playing video games and relaxing. In the lobby there are some tables for guests to enjoy outside food and beverage as none are allowed in the rooms. There is also a joint Bulldog coffee shop one door down the street where guests can enjoy Amsterdam's drug tourism. Breakfast is included in the price of the room and is pretty good in terms of what hostels normally have to offer, the only downside is this is Amsterdam and breakfast ends at 10 a.m. or so. For breakfast there are hot cross buns with the usual jam, butter, chocolate spread, yogurt and muesli, milk, orange juice, tea and coffee.
As much as this hostel has a really chill atmosphere, it's not the most social place. People mostly check in in groups and stick to their little units. It's important to note that the hostel doesn't permit large groups or stag type parties but it still seems as if everyone is there with a large group of friends. This place isn't really tailored to the single traveler. The hostel really isn't very loud -- the only noise problems are usually caused by the other people in your room.
Overall this hostel is pretty cool for a weekend away with a group of friends but it's a little too party in a party city to get much serious sightseeing done. You should also note that they have a strict no guests policy and a list of rules you must abide by or risk getting fined or kicked out.