3 of my friends and i are travelling europe for about six weeks this summer... we're going to be in lots of different cities, and wondering whether its an absolute neccessity to book places in hostels before we leave, or if its fairly easy to find a place to stay the night you get into town.
we'll be in the major cities, like amsterdam, berlin, prague, budapest, vienna, rome, madrid, paris, etc...
we worry about booking them all ahead of time, because then it really puts us on a schedule, and we'd like the opportunity to stick around for an extra day or so if we find a city we really like.
what does everyone think?
I've found the method of booking only one stop ahead quite useful.
So I book a hostel in the city I fly into and maybe the city after that, but no further.
Just be aware of major events and special holidays, so that you don't find your self in a city where all acco has already been booked solid for months for the Festival of MooMoo or something.
I always try to think a few days in advance, especially in places like Amsterdam. I've gone out for breakfast there, and there are people wandering about with backpacks on looking for a room for the night before. Bear in mind, a lot of places will tend to put prices up, not down, at the last minute if the city is busy.
Take especially care at MooMoo time, everything will be booked solid.
When you have decided to leave the city you are in, just find an internet café and find the next place you want to go. You can either book it then online or you could call ahead to see if they have rooms.
Or if you don't that, at least you have a good idea of the hostels in the city your going to and aren't wandering around aimlessly.
Yeah just book it online when you decide where you want to go, just one stop in advance is fine. Even if you don't book you wouldn't have any problems as far as I'm concerned, not when it's places like Paris and Berlin.
It will also vary depending on the city and what time of day you reply. When I arrived in Florence, Italy it wa sliterally a foot race to find abed. I ended staying at a hotel and getting up a dawn to find a hostel for the next day.
I have always found hostelworld.com to be a reliable hostel source. You can either book a couple days in advance or refer to it to see what is still available in your next city. If a hostel is booked up, it will not appear anymore.