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Berlin: The City Hostel Berlin

October 16, 2009
Front of Hostel

The front of the hostel (photo from their website)

Frantically trying to find a hostel – that for once was not me. I had been waiting for my travel companion to get his stuff together and give me a departure date forever it seemed. I had been ready to book our train tickets to Berlin and leave days ago… and days before that… and days before that. You get my point. Everyday I stared at my laptop screen, perusing the waning number of hostels available to us. Out of boredom, I even made a chart of their attributes, prices, availabilities, etc… yes, I was that bored. When I finally was given the green light to book our train tickets and hostel, we had just under 48 hours prior to departure, so our options were significantly lower, but still manageable. We ended up booking two beds in a four person dorm with private bathroom at The City Hostel Berlin for four nights, giving us time to inspect some of the apartments I had found (to sublet/rent) on the Berlin Craig’s List website.

We easily found our way to the hostel thanks to it’s fantastic location and all that time I’d had on my hands. When we arrived we were informed that there weren’t any four person dorms available (which is what we had booked via the Hostel Bookers website). So instead we were put into a 6 person dorm with the guarantee that there would never be more than 4 of us in the room. Which worked out great as we ended up with more space. This is, by no stretch of the imagination, a party hostel, which was part of the reason why we chose it. The age range was between 16 (with chaperone) and 45.

6 person Dorm

photo of 6 person dorm room from their website

Loved: The U Bahn station is ridiculously close, as is a huge two storey supermarket with loads of choice and scarily cheap alcohol. The staff are there 24 hours a day to assist you and the included breakfast is fine – it’s as expected (bread rolls, cold cuts, cheese, boiled egg, cereal, jams, yogurt). There’s an internet/game room (with pool table) and free wifi downstairs (the hostelbooker’s page says otherwise, but apparently the wifi is everywhere EXCEPT the third floor… where we were). The rooms were clean and simple. Linen was included, the room was cleaned daily, but no towels were provided (not much of a shock there… it is a hostel).

When we chose this hostel I didn’t even realise how great a location it is for sightseeing, because I had been so focused on being close to our apartment hunting scene. To mention just a few of these conveniences: around the corner is a U Bahn station (like the metro or tube), large supermarket and Gendarmenmarkt (where you’ll find the French Cathedral, German Cathedral, German Concert Hall and the fabulous Fassbender & Rausch chocolatiers/chocolate restaurant); a few blocks away are Checkpoint Charlie and Unter den Linden (an avenue worthy of seeing on it’s own, but that also offers, for example, the Brandenburg Gate, Pariser Platz/Parisian Square, the State Opera House and Bebel Platz).

We Didn’t Love: There were only two things we didn’t like; one was that there were no lockers in the room (or anywhere), so we ended up leaving our valuables (laptop, passport, etc) with the front desk staff. There is a locked baggage room, but with all guests having access… not so great for valuables. The second issue was that on our third day, about 120 teens showed up. They were loud, obnoxious, etc, etc. Is that the hostel’s fault? No, I guess not… would have been great if they’d not taken them (they were obviously a group), but I suppose thats a lot of business/money to turn away. Ah well.

Verdict: Overall, we were very happy with our stay. We met some cool people and had a good time.

City Hostel Berlin map

CITY HOSTEL BERLIN

Telephonic Numerals +49 (0) 302 3886 6852

Website www.cityhostel-berlin.com (only in German last I checked – 16/11/09)

Location Glinkastrasse 5-7, Mitte, 10117 Berlin

Closest U Bahn Mohrenstrasse (U2) or Stadtmitte (U2 and U6).

Rates a bed in a 4 person dorm with private ensuite/shower, breakfast and sheets included will set you back around €17 per night.

Bar Well… there isn’t a bar per se, but the front desk has a few large fridges of beer and there’s a supermarket around the corner that sells alcohol.

And? If you don’t speak German, have a look on a hostel booker website, such as HostelBookers or HostelWorld. They provide a good amount of information as well as reviews from previous customers.


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