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European Libraries: Working and Traveling

Travel Forums Europe European Libraries: Working and Traveling

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1. Posted by mxmlln (Budding Member, 11 posts) 4 Dec '11 16:53

I need to work about three hours everyday while I travel. My plan is just to go to the local library and go online with my laptop.

How does that sound? Do most western Europe libraries have internet access?
If not, what are some alternatives?

Montgomery

2. Posted by Peter (Admin, 5355 posts) 4 Dec '11 18:08

I haven't tried a lot of libraries in Western Europe, but at least a few that I've been to did have internet. Using a free unsecured wifi connection has its own risks though, so bear that in mind.

I'd personally look at getting a local sim card with good data allowance and tether your laptop to your phone (assuming you have a phone that will do that). This way you can use it whenever you feel like it.

Aside from libraries, you can get on wifi connections at cafés, internet cafés, hotel lobbies, etc. as well without too much trouble. Depending on the size of the town you're at.

3. Posted by amsel07 (Budding Member, 55 posts) 5 Dec '11 09:49

I'm a member of a couple of libraries in Germany. They all have internet, but its use is restricted to 30 minutes or one hour. It depends on the library if you can simply pay for using the internet or if you need to get a membership card.
Internet cafés will be easier for you.

4. Posted by mxmlln (Budding Member, 11 posts) 5 Dec '11 09:59

So libraries have membership in Germany? What are the benefits? That would help explain the internet cost. In the US, there is a time limit if you are using one of the libraries computers, since it is a shared resource. However, if you are using your own computer, there is no limit to internet access.
This is really going to be a problem. I need to work and cannot spend my earnings paying for internet.

5. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4276 posts) 5 Dec '11 10:24

Where will you be staying? Most accommodation options nowadays (hostels, b&bs, hotels) provide free WiFi. You sometimes have to select for it (big chain hotels and hostels sometimes still think it's a good idea to charge for WiFi, while payment solutions are too much of a bother for independent places, so they tend to offer it for free), but if you know beforehand that you really need it, then you can easily do so.

6. Posted by mxmlln (Budding Member, 11 posts) 5 Dec '11 11:10

Sadly that isn't an option. I will be Couchsurfing my entire trip. It is not really appropriate to hang around the host's residence when they aren't there.

I'll probably have to get breakfast or lunch at a place with internet, then just stay there for 3 hours.

7. Posted by katekendall (Respected Member, 34 posts) 5 Dec '11 20:30

I would look into coworking spaces as you usually get great, unlimited WiFi and can drop-in free when casual.

Check out http://www.deskmag.com for a listing – these guys are based in Berlin.

Also look at http://desksnear.me/ – the tagline is: Where do you want to work today?

I can recommend you places in Berlin and London if you're going there too.

Enjoy the trip!

8. Posted by amsel07 (Budding Member, 55 posts) 5 Dec '11 22:37

The bigger the city, the bigger the library, the more internet spots. If you're staying in big cities, your chances are much better. The smallest library I belong to has only two computers,30 minutes are 1 Euro and there are no chairs, you have to stand the whole time and there is no wifi at all.
Starbucks usually have free wifi.

Membership fee simply helps the library to stay open, they cannot exist on taxes only.

9. Posted by Rundreisende (Budding Member, 4 posts) 6 Dec '11 12:40

Do you already have a list with cities you will be visiting? Maybe you'll then get concrete responses for hot spots.

10. Posted by mxmlln (Budding Member, 11 posts) 6 Dec '11 16:29

Thank you @kateKendall && @amsel07, DesksNear.me could work if the website listed how much each place cost.

@Rundreisende: I have the list of cities below, followed by the duration of stay, but I'm a bit unclear on what should I do to identify places with wireless internet.
¿What did you mean?

Rome Italy 2
Milan Italy 4
Geneva Switzerland 4
Zurich Switzerland 5
Paris France 7
Lille France 3
Kortrijk Belgium 5
Bruges Belgium 7
Norwich England 3
Brighton England 4
Portsmouth England 1
Southampton England 3
Bournemouth England 3
Exeter England 3
Bristol England 4
Cardiff Wales 4
Swansea Wales 3
Birmingham England 5