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How does the situation with hostels look in Bratislava? Are there a plenty of them, and there should be no problem with finding a place even in middle Summer, or might it be hard to find a free place?

I'm planning a trip there in middle September, combined with visiting Vienna. I don't know if I should try to book a place in advance, or I should generally expect to find something on place without problems?

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1  
Are you after a small room in a hotel which gets good reviews in a nice spot, or just any old bed in a dorm somewhere? (The former tends to get booked out long before the latter is all gone!) –  Gagravarr Jul 29 '13 at 20:31
    
Old bed in old dorm somewhere. If I'd believe in horror movies, I'd be afraid of Freddie Krüger at first ^^ –  Donaudampfschifffreizeitfahrt Jul 29 '13 at 21:02
    
The weather can start to change a bit in September so it can still be busy but your chances are better than in August. –  hippietrail Aug 2 '13 at 4:17

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In my experience hostels pretty much anywhere in Europe can be full in summer if you don't have a booking.

You can start risking arriving without a booking once the weather starts to change. If you are just going to rock up at the hostel unannounced your chances are much better in the morning around check-out time.

Then again I hate booking hostels, even in high season. What I often do is this:

  • Find some Wi-Fi when I arrive in a new city.
  • Look up hostels on both HostelBookers and HostelWorld. Both sites can mark all the hostels in an area on a map.
  • Do a Google Maps search for "hostel OR backpackers" around my current location.

With this method it's possible to see which hostels have space and also weigh up how far they are from you and check the reviews to help pick one. Making an online booking even an hour before you rock up at the door can make a big difference when a city is crazy busy.

Occasionally you can even find an online special price. I got my bed in Sofia for 5 euro this way!

But I still risk it plenty of times because I can handle it OK when hostels are full, but some people can't handle it, especially if you're not alone you don't want to start fighting over this stuff with your travel companions. And getting last-minute beds is always harder the bigger your group is.

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I went two Julys in a row - 2008 and 2009. Both times I just wandered into (different) hostels and got a bed, no problem. Indeed, the second time it was with 2 friends, so we needed three beds.

Of course, you could just keep an eye on bookings on various hostel websites, as they often indicate how many beds are remaining, and use that to help make your decision.

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