Gutten Abend, dear readers!
I’m sure you have all been eagerly anticipating some Deutschland updates, so my sincere apologies for keeping you waiting for the better part of 2 months.
I have done some pretty substantial research on Oktoberfest, possible day trips to Hamburg and Rothenberg, and each city’s “must-sees”. But I will not be disclosing that information just yet. Today, I want to talk about accommodation.
There are number of ways to go about booking accommodation. Some people have a preferred hotel chain, others book strictly with Airbnb. I am open to any and all options, so I like booking sights like booking.com the most. You can view hotels and hostels on a map, put a cap on how much you’re willing to spend, and read reviews from fellow travelers (although I read those reviews with a grain of salt. People are more likely to leave a review when things have gone wrong rather than well). Even if you don’t end up booking through those sites, they are a nice resource (I normally look on hostelworld.com, booking.com, Airbnb, kayak.com and Trip Advisor).
I have personally stayed in all manor of places during my travels. Budget hotels, hostels, five star accommodation, boutique, apartments, shared dorms – you name it, I’ve slept there. I just kinda like to see what’s out there and decided where to stay based on the experience I want to have.
In Ireland, for example, I wanted something close to attractions, but not in the super touristy places like Temple Bar or Stephen’s Green. I wasn’t looking for anything fancy because I knew I wasn’t going to spend copious amounts of time in my room, but I was traveling solo, so some security measures were required. Thus, I booked a private hostel room just a few blocks from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. PERFECTION.
I approached Germany in a similar fashion. I know we won’t spend too much time at whatever place we end up staying, so again, nothing fancy was required. Oktoberfest is the most expensive time to be in Munich, but I had some stipulations regarding rooms (I want to get as much bang for my buck as humanly possible, but I had to draw the line based purely on the occasion). It had to be close to the Theresienwiese (Oktoberfest grounds) and we had to have our own bathroom. I’m all for shared facilities when it means I can save a buck or two, but there is no way I would chance it with that many foreigners and that much alcohol 😐. We ended up finding a super good deal on an apartment right across the train tracks from the Theresienwiese on booking.com. And I mean a SWEET deal. This bad boy cost less than a mini room made out of a quarter of a shipping container on the official campgrounds and it’s closer. Boom.
Berlin is where things get a bit interesting. Andrew found hostel-style accommodations – nice, clean private room with a shared bathroom… in a refurbished 20th century prison.
No, I’m not kidding.
I did not stutter. A prison. As in, incarcerated folks used to be housed there. (Photo courtesy of stays.io)
I will admit, I have some reservations about staying at SOEHT7. As someone who has a bit of a – shall we say – active imagination that edges towards worse-case scenarios, you can only imagine the kind of thoughts flying through my head when this was booked (I mean, there are bars on the windows. BARS. ON THE WINDOWS). But in all honesty, the rooms are very nice (see below), clean, well maintained, and has a lovely sun deck (Photo courtesy of yelp.com).
If nothing else, this will be a truly unique experience. I’m sure I will come back with quite a few stories to tell, and I get to mark a prison off of my list of “have stayed” places. I just need to remember to bring my get-out-of-jail-free card 😶
Bis zum nächsten mal!