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Staying at Hostels with Kids in Germany

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When we told friends that our family was planning to stay in hostels throughout our five-day trip in Germany, it became clear that most people still associate hostels with youthful backpacking adventures, not family vacations. Hostelling isn’t just for college kids, though, as our family of five discovered firsthand while staying at two of Hostelling International‘s hostels in Deutschland.

Our hostel in Munich

Our hostel in Munich

Munchen Park

Our first stay was at the Munchen Park hostel for three nights in Munich. My family felt safe in the friendly, clean hostel and we appreciated the free Wi-Fi, a bistro that carried snacks, beer and pizza; and the convenient cafeteria that offered free breakfast each morning as well as lunch and dinner available for purchase later in the day. Our three young boys loved the game room downstairs with a billiard table and large children’s play area filled with trains and other toys.

Our family suite consisted of a shared entry with toilet and shower leading to the two separate rooms. My husband and I set our twin toddlers up in the travel beds that were brought to us upon request while our 4-year-old slept on the bottom bunk. The parents’ room had a bunk bed, a sink, a table and two chairs along with a locker for storage.

The cost for a private room (with four beds, shower, toilet, and breakfast) was cheaper than staying in a comparable hotel, too.

Hostels with kids in Germany

Children’s room setup with provided cribs.

Nuremberg Hostel

When I read about it online, I did not believe the brand new Nuremberg hostel was really in part of an old castle. I saw the photos on the website, but for some reason it didn’t register that we would be staying INSIDE a castle that dated back to the 1500s.

Hostelling International Nuremberg, Germany

Hostel in Nuremberg, Germany

Rounded brick architecture in doorways gave way to a wood beamed ceiling in the common eating area. My boys noticed other children playing at the end of the hallway and ran down to see a seating area perfect for climbing. Despite its royal-looking interior, the hostel felt friendly, warm, and very up to date.

Nuremberg hostel bar area

Nuremberg hostel bar area

At this hostel our family bedded down in one large room with two comfortable bunk beds, several lockers for storage, and a private bathroom. Two bunk beds wouldn’t work for us, so we requested baby beds from the front desk. When they arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find brand new, white wood cribs on wheels.

Nuremberg hostel room

Nuremberg hostel room

Breakfast was included with our room again. Any parent that travels with their kids knows that feeling when you enter a hotel or restaurant and all eyes are on your brood. But there were no worries here; it soon became clear that this hostel was booked with many families and young kids for the weekend.

Dining area in Nuremberg hostel

Dining area in Nuremberg hostel

Things to note about hostels with kids in Germany

When making your hostel reservation, be sure to ask if bed linens and towels are provided. Our hostels provided sheets, blankets and pillows but had to bring our own towels.

If traveling with babies or toddlers ask if the hostel offers cribs. If they do; be sure to reserve yours before you arrive.

Don’t expect soaps, shampoos or vanity kits. These are budget accommodations and one way to keep costs down is to keep things at a minimum. So, pack your own bath products.

If driving, parking likely costs extra. Inquire about fees before arriving so you can budget accordingly.

Our stay was so enjoyable that both my husband and I agreed that going forward we will check into booking a hostel first wherever we go with our kids. At the moment I am researching which of Hostelling International’s locations might work for us for a summer trip in Paris.

Would you consider staying in a hostel with your kids? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Nomadic Travel Mama: I was a guest of Hostelling International. As always, the views and opinions expressed are honest and my own.

All photos by Farrah Ritter.

About Farrah Ritter, The Nomadic Travel Mama

Farrah Ritter is an adventure-seeking mama to a 4-year-old son and twin 2-year-old boys. Her family of five moved to the Netherlands in October of 2012. Originally from Michigan, she and her husband relocated to the South in 2006 and jumped over the pond with their boys in tow. She blogs at The Three Under when she can and is looking forward to documenting and sharing their European journey with anyone interested in travel with multiple small children. An Instagram and Twitter junkie (@Momofthreeunder), Farrah loves to see perspectives of others and experience the beauty of old towns and historic places.

  1. I had heard about hostels in Germany being fantastic and was able to see it is true through your pictures.

    I guess I will give it a try to hostels on my next European adventure in 2015 (since for the 2013 I went crazy on hotels). My daughter’s dream is to sleep on bunk beds 🙂

    Thanks for sharing

    • Farrah Ritter, The Nomadic Travel Mama says

      Thank you so much Monique! I really can’t say enough how wonderful they were. And my boys were bananas for bunk beds- but of course- they’re ‘not for sleeping!’ just yet for us. Thank you for reading!

  2. Haven’t stayed at a hostel yet but the more that I read about them the more they seem like a viable alternative for families – particularly in Europe.

    • Farrah Ritter, The Nomadic Travel Mama says

      Absolutely. We’re starting to consider them as a first look wherever we go. I think as the boys get older too this will be much more feasible for us to stay together.

  3. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

    One of the things I loved about staying at hostels during my travels in my 20s was the ability to easily meet other travelers. Farrah – did you feel staying at a hostel made it easier for you to connect with other traveling families?

    • Farrah Ritter, The Nomadic Travel Mama says

      For my kids- yes. My husband and I not so much (other than the sympathetic glances at meal time when the boys were acting up). I only got a chance to converse with a mother the morning we were checking out in Nuremberg. We had a great talk when she saw the cribs coming out of our room and wanted to know more about them. What’s so nice about them is that they have the common areas where you can share a drink or a snack. If we weren’t constantly wrangling little people I think it would be much easier to connect!

  4. Frugal Monkey says

    Who ever said hostels were just for hippies and kids on gap years? We love that you’ve shown another side of this budget accommodation option, and have included your post in our recent web wrap:

    • Farrah Ritter, The Nomadic Travel Mama says

      Thank you so much! We are thrilled to have a new option for our family. Going forward, checking out a hostel is first on our list.

  5. BBShrestha says

    Indeed I am much impressed to see and know Hostelling with Kids in Germany.
    Great and I appreciate to who brought this concept.
    I like to wish to work for sake of lovely kids and feel like to creat a happy environment for the kids in the Hostels where they can enjoy,learn,play and share thier feeling.
    Thanks HI Germany

  6. Loving your posts. I’ve got 4 kids under 8 and I am a novice at traveling through Europe. Thanks for all the details!! Quick question on the rooms at the hostels, with six people in our family would we need to get 2 rooms? I have a baby who would sleep in a pack and play and three young kids who can share beds. I would love to all fit in a 4 person room, do you know if that is allowed??

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Hi Megan – I know that some hostels due require guests to depart for a portion of the day so they can clean the rooms. When booking a private/family room, perhaps the rule is different. I would check with the specific hostels you are considering to inquire about their policies.

  7. Did the hostel in Munich have lock out times during the day or can you come and go as you please? We are considering doing this with our kids but I cannot find this information.

    • Hi Kim,

      Looks like it hasn’t changed the rules since we’ve been there, so no lock-out but they do enforce ‘quiet hours’ after 10pm. You can come and go as you please during the day- but be advised they do clean the rooms in the morning. Looks like they’ve added a few things since we’ve been there in 2013- so you might want to check out what’s new (i.e. the disco bar downstairs). This was a popular hostel with groups of tween/teens.


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