Amsterdam: The Next Stop On Your European Vacation This Spring

amsterdamAmsterdam is a beautiful city, very popular among party-goers and those who love the café culture. Of course there’s much more to explore in Amsterdam and a hop over to Holland during your European vacation is an excellent idea.

Spring is a lovely time to travel because the crowds haven’t “invaded” the cities yet and the prices are relatively low compared to the summer. The bad news is that you should plan for some rainy days no matter what city you plan to visit; weather can be either sunny and warm or gloomy and rainy.

Once you are in Europe, it’s easy and cheap to plan your next stop. The United Kingdom in particular is an excellent start point for your vacation because there are countless cheap flights to large European cities. Flights to Amsterdam are incredibly cheap especially if you like to search for the low-cost airlines’ deals. There’s always something to grab your attention but make sure to keep your eyes open and act fast.

When it comes to accommodation, hostel beds are the cheapest choice but you can always look for cheap hotels in Amsterdam . It’s true that you get what you pay for but sometimes it’s possible to find some great deals offered by 3 or 4-star hotels.

Other expenses to consider while visiting Amsterdam are those linked to the entertainment and food. Happy hours will save you quite a lot of Euros if you like to enjoy a few drinks now and then. And it’s quite easy to find cheap food (especially if you are not into healthy eating).

By the way, you can burn off some of those calories by checking out the many trendy stores. You may never know when you find a good bargain and it’s surely better to come home with a cute new tank top rather than a tacky souvenir.

>>If you are like me and want to find the cheapest possible airfare, accommodation and don’t plan to spend too much on food and sightseeing either, then you’ll surely appreciate reading this cheap Amsterdam guide .

Accommodation Germany Travel Tips

Germany: Next Stop on Your European Tour

Planning a European tour can be very fun but the possibilities are just as numerous as the number of European countries you can visit. So after you have visited Edinburgh, why not head to Germany next?

Cheap flights to Germany are easy to find as there are quite a lot of large cities to head to and all are served by low-cost carriers.

Choosing which city to fly into

Frankfurt is served by Germany’s largest airport, therefore flights to Frankfurt are easier to find and are typically cheaper than into the other German cities.

Munich’s airport is known to be the best airport in Europe. It is a hub for Lufthansa, Germany’s national carrier and flights to Munich from any European large city are easy to find.

Where to stay

Once you’ve decided to visit Germany, you should also plan what cities you want to visit. And when you have a set plan in mind, you should start booking the accommodation. If you happen to travel during the low season (winter, spring, autumn) you can book the hostel or hotel once you arrive in the city (or before you leave the previous city) but during summer you must book in advance. Likewise, if you plan to visit Munich during Oktoberfest, make sure to book your hotel or hostel way in advance.

None of the large German cities are cheap destinations, but with careful planning, you can find places which are affordable. When you look for Berlin hotels you don’t need to look at a particular area. For the past years, the city has been changing rapidly and pretty much all areas offer at least some budget hotels. To save even more, you can look for Berlin hostels .

Likewise, hostels in Munich are an excellent choice, especially if you plan to visit the city for Oktoberfest or during the summer. Actually, regardless of which large city you want to visit, the situation is basically the same. Cheap hotels in Frankfurt are easy to find if you know where to look for them. Research is the key for finding good accommodation at affordable prices.

Accommodation Edinburgh Travel Tips

Edinburgh Hostel Reviews – Trekker’s Hostel Highlights

Greetings and salutations fellow travelers, I hope you are all starting the new year off with plans and dreams of travel. To help you with this task here is a wrap-up of my reviews during my recent trip to Edinburgh. Well I did not stay at every hostel I did spend many hours visiting and touring them and have written a basic review and guide to 7 of the main hostels in Edinburgh.

Click on the links below for the full review of each hostel, including maps and photos for each location.

Castle Rock Backpackers : The 3rd of the Macbackpacker Tour Hostels in Edinburgh is located right at the base of Edinburgh Castle. It has great decorations based off Scottish life and history scattered throughout the hostel and is one of my favorites.

Edinburgh Backpackers : Back in 2000 this was the very first hostel I ever stayed in and it was a great experience then and you won’t be disappointed now. Located between Waverly Station and the Royal Mile, it is easy to get where you need to be going. With many amenities such as TV lounge and pool table, it has something for everyone. Just beware the very steep hill to get to it.

High Street Backpackers : Another of the Macbackpacker Tour locations, located opposite the Royal Mile Hostel, this is a bigger building with a full kitchen and lounge area. It is a great spot for the single traveler or a group.

Prince’s Street East Backpackers : Located not on the main Prince’s Street as you might assume but rather in a little alley that takes some exploring to find, this hostel’s dark and dingy entrance makes many think twice before entering. Well it has character, it’s confusing halls and dark appearance may be intimidating for the single first time traveler or even the veteran traveler for that matter.

Royal Mile Backpackers : Home of Macbackpacker Tours, this small hostel is cozy and laid back. Located right off the Royal Mile it is in a prime tourist area. There isn’t much in the way of a kitchen, but there is enough to equipment to get by. The super friendly staff make it a perfect place to take a load off.

Smart City Hostel : Located down the hill off the Royal Mile, this is one of the newer hostels in Edinburgh and brings all the modern amenities with it. Due to its large size it is more suited to groups of all ages and size. For the single traveler there isn’t much vibe and may seem a little sterile compared to some of the other hostels in the city.

St. Christopher’s / Belushi’s Bar : Just up the stairs from Waverly train station and right where the airport bus drops you off, for location you can’t get much better than this. One of the quirky things with most if not all St. Christopher’s is the lack of any kind of kitchen but the presence of a pub and restaurant on the main floor. So if you are not planning on saving money by cooking yourself and want a place close to the station this is a perfect stop.

Accommodation Edinburgh Planning a Trip

Edinburgh Backpackers – Trekker’s Hostel Highlights

Entrance8 years ago, Edinburgh Backpackers was the very first hostel I ever stayed in and it hasn’t changed much. It was a great place to stay then and it looks like it continues with that trend. One of the oldest hostels in Edinburgh, it has been there for the past 12 years. With 96 beds and 12 privates there is a community environment created. The Southern Cross Café next door provides guests a 15% discount.

Located up a fairly steep hill from Waverly station but only a hop skip and jump from the Royal Mile, it is in a great location. The numerous floors are linked by winding staircase that could give you vertigo when you look down from the top floor. There is a pool table in the common room and a TV lounge to sit and relax. The rooms are brightly painted and most have excellent views of the city. There is a self catering kitchen with everything you need to cook up a feast.


St. Christopher’s & Belushis Bar

EntranceLocated in a prime spot at the top of the stairs from Waverly Train Station and just round the corner from the airport bus drop off, St. Christopher’s has potential to be a great party hostel. St. Christopher’s is a chain hostel located all over the UK and parts of Europe. In most cases the hostel is attached to Belushis Bar. In fact, to check in you have to go to the bartender.

Presently they are busy with major renovations and are planning to completely redo the bathrooms all of which are en-suite, except for the 4th floor. There are around 160 beds divided into 4/8/10 bed dorms, twins and doubles. There is also an entire wing that is female only, and disabled rooms available.

For those of you who don’t want to travel far from your beds, there is not one but TWO bars located on the ground floor of the hostel that also provides food. There is live entertainment 7 nights a week and a back garden for BBQ’s in the summer.

Edinburgh Planning a Trip

Smart City Hostel

Smart City EntranceBarely a year and a half old, Smart City Hostel is located at the bottom of a hill just off the Royal Mile. It is following the way of newer hostels, with the shiny, modern look. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of the vibe that makes a hostel so much fun is lost to glitz and glamour. Catering mostly to large groups with 622 beds in summer, they also offer winter student accommodation. There is a licensed bar and the Smart City Café, a small meeting room and a great outside area for BBQ’s, in summer the chef cooks up a great feast there. All the rooms are en-suite, shower gel and shampoo are provided, on the girl’s floors there is also lotion and conditioner.


Castle Rock Backpackers

Castle Rock entranceLocated at the foot of Edinburgh Castle you are welcomed by exceptionally friendly staff along with stunning wall art, coat of arms and suits of armor. Castle Rock is one of the bigger hostels in Edinburgh with over 230 beds ranging from 4 to 16 bed dorms. The huge kitchen provides plenty of space and storage for you to cook to your heart’s content. There is a pool table in the large common room, a movie room with regular showings at 6pm and 9pm, not to mention the “Posh Lounge” for those who prefer a bit of quiet and an outside area that is great for BBQ’s. In the morning there is a decent continental breakfast for a mere £1.90 or you can head down to the Grassmarket and go to Biddy Mulligans for a 2 for 1 full Scottish fry-up, makes a great hangover breakfast and all you need is to show your little orange ticket from the hostel. On Thursday nights be sure to join the hostel for the local Pub Crawl, a great experience, visiting 4 pubs, or was that 3, might have been 5, it’s all a little hazy.


High Street Backpackers

entranceJust off the Royal Mile you will find High Street Backpackers, one of three hostels where you can buy your Macbackpacker Tours of Scotland. A good vibe is felt the minute you walk into the door, with friendly staff and a relaxed common room right by reception. The larger common room in the basement has a pool table and a stuffed Loch Ness Monster. Every other week there is a party of some kind, Thursday night you join Royal Mile and Castle Rock hostels on a pub crawl and Sunday nights there is a pool contest. On Fridays and Sundays the staff make burger and chips for £3.

With 152 beds set up in 4 to 18 bed dorms, be aware that there are no safety bars on the top bunks. High street also has a few private rooms with names like “Monica and Bill”, so there is something for everyone.


Royal Mile Backpackers

entranceHome of the Macbackpacker Tours and in partnership with the Castle Rock and High Street Backpackers, Royal Mile offers a small homey feel with great staff. Located in a prime location on the Royal Mile just down the way from Edinburgh Castle and surrounded by lots of pubs and restaurants, the door is a little inconspicuous so keep your eyes open. With only 46 beds you are sure to get to know everyone especially if you join the Thursday night pub crawls.

The dorm beds have just been raised to give guests more room for their bags, be aware that the top bunk has no safety bar, (they are in process of adding them), the shared bathrooms are a bit tight and the kitchen is almost non-existent. But it has everything you need at a good price, including just £1.90 for a continental breakfast. One of the novelties here is that the rooms are all named with things such as “Addictions”, “Star Wars” etc… so instead of having a number to remember you have a theme and your bed has a quirky label, I approved of the “chocolate addictions”.


Prince’s Street East Backpackers

entranceOne might normally assume that a hostel named after one of the main streets in Edinburgh would be located on it. However, this is not so, Prince’s Street East is located on a side alley behind the main drag and takes a little bit of exploring to find. Add to that the slightly scary looking alley that it is in and the dark, dingy entrance with a long twisty staircase and it almost made me want to run in the opposite direction. There is also the City Center Tourist Hostel located at about stair number 55, that adds to the confusion.

Climbing the 77 stairs to the top floor, the walls are brightly painted with amusing cartoons and you almost feel comfortable. The hostel itself is a maze of interconnecting rooms and amazing wall art, there are 100 beds and a strict age limit of 18-35 years. Free tea and coffee, book swap and a lost and found clothes bin are a few of the perks. On Sundays a guest is encouraged to cook up a feast in exchange for 4 free nights (the hostel pays for the food).