Germany is a stunning country, full of heritage and superb landscapes. It’s on the bucket list of many a traveler, but you might wonder how to see the country without blowing your budget. Hostels might be the answer.
The German Youth Hostel Association (DJH) isn’t just open to young people. Travelers of all ages are welcome at the 500 hostels across the country, including those with children. The only stipulation is that you must be a member of Hostelling International (HI). Compared to what you could save by staying in hostels around the world, the membership fees are a drop in the ocean.
What are hostels like?
You might have an image in your head of a cramped, dirty space shared with lots of strangers. It’s true that rooms are often shared (though that doesn’t always have to be the case), but German Youth Hostels are far from seedy. They’re comfortable with state-of-the-art facilities and unique features that make each one stand out from the crowd.
What categories of hostel are there in Germany?
German Youth Hostels fall into three categories:
· Classic – Functional buildings designed for simple needs with common bathrooms
· Standard – More modern with recreational opportunities, some rooms have their own showers and toilets
· Top – Optimum conditions for a hostel with communal spaces and modern equipment, majority of rooms with their own showers and toilets
As you can see, there are different options depending on your budget and what facilities you need while you’re away. It’s worth noting that breakfast is included in the overnight rate and that many hostels offer full board options too at very good rates. If you’re looking to explore Germany on a strict budget, this is a great option.
Can you book hostels?
Absolutely – booking is recommended to ensure your bed for the night. Youth Hostels are incredibly popular in Germany, so booking in advance (especially if you’re planning to stay for a few nights) is important. All you have to do to book is visit the Hostelling International website. Incidentally, you can make reservations for any of the 1,400 hostels around the world on that site and not just the 500 in Germany.
If you’re travelling as a family, you can book family rooms in advance subject to availability. Children under the age of two stay for free and there are reduced rates for children over 3. If you want to share a room with a partner, you’ll need to pay a surcharge.
Want more information?
Youth Hostels are a cost-effective way of exploring Germany and traveling, whether alone or as part of a group. You can learn more about DJH on their or visit the HI for more information about hostels globally and to become a member.
One final point – the Youth Hostel brand is so strong in Germany that competitors have sought to hijack it. Unless you see a hostel listed on the official DJH site, it’s not affiliated and so should be avoided. That’ll ensure your safety and enjoyment throughout your German adventures.