Traveling to Germany, Austria, or Switzerland

The way you travel is just as important as your destination. Do not you book yourself into an expensive hostel, you will be walled off in a place far from fun and adventure. You need to come out and meet some locals, and, therefore, I would either recommend couchsurfing or a hostel as accommodation during your trip.

Dorm GermanyTo get the best out of your trip, I’ll recommend that you either couchsurf or stay in a hostel. Photo: Katie

Couchsurfing is a global community, where people all around offer accommodation for each other. Check CouchSurfing.org out for more information. In particular make sure you read their safety tips.

I have tried couchsurfing a few times, and I have purely good experiences. On of my couchsurfing trips actually went to Berlin. I arrive late and slightly tired to a flat share in the eastern part of the city. The first thing I got introduced to is their welcome ritual.

Suddenly a guy takes two Petit Danone yoghurts out of their fridge. He throws one of them up in the air and catches it with his mouth, whereupon it’s my turn. An hour later we are at a party held in a blue container. How cool is that?

On your profile, you can also state that you are offering free accommodation in exchange for German lessons.

Does couchsurfing sound a bit too unsafe for you, then I’ll recommend staying in a hostel.

It may sound inconvenient to share a room with a handful of people you don’t know, but something just happens between people when they become roommates. You simply become friends.

Don’t you find anyone to spend time with in your room, well, then bring a beer or soda into the social area of the hostel, find a seat next to someone you think seem funny, and say “Do you mind if I join?”.

It’s simply more fun to explore a city, especially its nightlife,  in the company of others, and according to my experience it’s also easier to meet locals when you are with someone.

More importantly, it’s cheaper, and the money you save could for instance be invested in another trip to Germany.

On sites such as Travelsupermarket.com, Skyscanner.net, and Momondo.com, you can find the cheapest airfare, and on Hostels.com you can find a cheap hostel with a decent rating. Then you are basically ready to go!

Oh wait! If you are not from an EU or Schengen member state, then check the website of the nearest German, Swiss, or Austrian embassy to see if your visit require a visa.

Travel tips: 

To get the best travel tips for your destination, I’ll say these three websites are the best. They are all frequently updated, easy to use, and covers most destinations in the world, including tiny villages, obscure nightclubs, and places only locals know.