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I'm going to visit Amsterdam next week for a couple of days and then I'd like to take a series of bus and/or sea trips ending up in Warsaw, or anywhere on the east shore of the Baltic Sea (from Gdansk to St. Petersburg). I'm yet to decide the details of this trip, whether it will be so distant or not, but I would like to know the following:

When arriving at a reasonably large town in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark or Poland how likely am I to find cheap overnight accommodation without prior booking?

The idea is to arrive to a town, go sightseeing, have my six hours of sleep and then move on to the next town. But the plan isn't going to work if I have to spend most of the time finding a bed and shower instead of enjoying the sights.

So, are such services common in Western Europe?

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    Such services... accommodation ? Yes very common in Western Europe. It really depends where you're going (big city ? rural area ? more touristy country ?), what time of year (are there festivals or special events ? low season ?) amongst other things – blackbird Jul 22 '16 at 15:48
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    @blackbird57 yes, cheap accommodation like hostels. In rural areas of Netherlands and towns/cities like Bremen and Hamburg in Germany. I've looked through booking.com and it tries to convince me that all the beds in Europe are going to be booked in a couple of hours lol. So I wanted to know whether it's true or they just want me to use their website. – Vovanrock2002 Jul 22 '16 at 15:57
  • Poland is in the western part of Europe now? – CMaster Jul 22 '16 at 18:20
  • @CMaster Well I expected this question :P That's just to keep the title short. – Vovanrock2002 Jul 22 '16 at 18:41
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You are planning to travel during the school holidays in the area, many hotels and hostels will be full to the gills.

But if you are willing to spend a few minutes every evening to book accommodation for the next night, you are likely going to be able to stay in or very near to the main cities.

Taking Amsterdam as an example, the city is often booked out, weekends, (school)holiday periods, when there is a big event and so on, but 35 minutes by local train you can almost always get a hostel bed, even on the busiest days in Amsterdam. It is even likely that with a good internet search you will find a few beds left in the city which the tourist information office can not find.

In some countries, the Netherlands among them, the tourist information office can find you a place to stay (if not always in town) but mostly you pay for the service. I do not know for Germany and Poland, but if stuck I would try to use their services.

Booking hostels the night before, or even calling at 10 AM to see if there are beds free after the overnight crowd has left, has worked well for me and all family members who travel that way, even in the summer holidays. It will allow you the flexibility, the ease of mind to always have a place to stay and the freedom to go sight seeing upon arriving in a city.

  • Don't forget services like AirBNB, you can book there in 24 hours if the person renting the room reacts fast enough. – Jan Doggen Aug 11 '16 at 11:31
  • In my view, services like AirBNB are in the same category as hotel and hostel booking sites, each of those might have rooms/beds available at short notice. But in busy times they might lead you to out of the way places as accommodation fills up. – Willeke Aug 11 '16 at 14:44
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For Poland, it depends on the season of course, if you plan to visit Gdansk during the weekend or holidays (anytime in July and August) I doubt you'll find anything cheap anywhere on whole Polish coast. This year, due to well-spread terrorism in Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, etc., most Polish people chose to visit Polish seaside and it was all booked long before holidays. However, weather in Poland is tricky and usually July means rain so some of them resigned, but it's still pretty crowded.

If you decide on smaller towns on Polish coastline, chances for relatively cheap accomodation and ability to quickly find it, rise. As someone suggested, avoiding Gdansk, which is biggest city near Baltic Sea in Poland, and finding something in surrounding small villages, makes it possible to get to Gdansk in reasonably short time. I'd suggest east from Gdansk, because north from it, there is Sopot and Gdynia which are also big and crowded so you would end up farther north. And on the other hand, you can find accomodation in every single smallest village around the coast so don't hesitate to choose them :)

Poland, at all, is much cheaper than Western Europe, so I'm sure you can find decent room for about 20 EUR, maybe bit more in nicer hotels.

Not sure about Warsaw, it's obviously the most expensive in Poland and I guess finding anything cheap during the weekend might be hard, but don't take it for granted, I've never been looking for a room in Warsaw

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