I stayed five days at Copenhagen Danhostel while I drank in the sights, sounds, and tastes of Denmark’s capital city--a beautiful place which any solo backpacker in Europe would be crazy not to experience.
My arrival coincided with the start of Distortion, which is basically Europe’s biggest and longest-running block party. I hoped that the crowd at Danhostel would be jammed with people here for the weeklong gauntlet of drinking, music, and dancing–or at least, eager to hit the streets and explore. What I found instead was massive tour groups, predominantly teenage schoolchildren, with a few travelers like myself caught in the whitewash.
Danhostel is incredibly tourist-friendly and it does a superb job of catering to that demographic: there are free walking tours organized in the lobby, a generous breakfast buffet (which cost 74 dkk, or about $13.50), a bar for people to congregate around in the afternoons and evening, and comfortable, clean and modern dormitories. It’s within easy walking distance of Tivoli Gardens, Strøget, the train station, and Christiana.
The problem for people who are not part of a 30-strong group of 16 year-olds out on their first Eurotrip, or a family of four with two young children, is that the same elements which are so enticing to your average tourist don’t necessarily appeal to solo backpackers. In 10 months around Europe I’ve been on one free walking tour and it was pretty lackluster (and of course it wasn’t actually free). Breakfast buffets and bars are great but the cost was almost as much as my daily budget for food. Which leads me to the most underwhelming aspect of Danhostel: the kitchen.
Many of my best memories from staying in hostels involve eating meals and sharing drinks with strangers that I just met–I cook usually cook my own meals to save money but also to find new friends. Compared to the rest of the hostel, which is tastefully designed and pleasantly atmospheric, the kitchen is in desperate need of a makeover. Despite having the capacity for over a thousand guests, the hostel kitchen is more or less an afterthought–it’s location in the basement, next to the laundry, says enough. This would be a problem in a hostel catering to budget backpackers, but it’s not such a big deal when the clientele come in huge groups and are unlikely to cook a meal themselves. There were no more than 3 or 4 people in the kitchen whenever I was down there, and it was pretty quiet.
Luckily, it’s an easy problem to solve. The breakfast buffet is held upstairs next to the lobby, and there’s an industrial-level kitchen right next to it. At night the kitchen is closed off; why not open it up so people can cook there? It would afford the chance to socialize with people hanging around the lobby–nothing attracts strangers like the smell of cooking food–and would give Danhostel less of a “tour groups only” vibe and make it more welcoming to budget backpackers like myself.
Thanks to Danhostel for giving me a place to stay in Copenhagen–when the kitchen situation has been resolved I’ll be back. Interested in some of the other hostels I’ve stayed at in Europe? Check out Sunset Destination in Lisbon, Sant Jordi in Barcelona, and Cocomama in Amsterdam. If this is your first time visiting my blog, thanks for stopping by! You can follow my blog for free and get updates every time I go somewhere amazing in Europe.
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3 thoughts on “Danhostel Copenhagen: Great For Groups, But What About Solo Travelers?”
hey there! i’m loving your recent posts!
I also blogged about my recent stay in Malaysia at Container Hotel! What do you think of budget hotels/ B&B?
here’s what my recent post is all about…
would be so nice to hear from you! 🙂
deanna ( http://www.talkaboutbeauty.wordpress.com )
Thanks for stopping by–glad you like what you’ve been reading here. I checked out your post on the container hotel–it was nice of you to do a full review for free but since it looks like that was the first time I guess you have to start somewhere 🙂 It sounds like you genuinely liked the place and weren’t just bullshitting. An honest review–like mine of Danhostel–is worth so much more than a fake one.
So my thoughts on budget hotels/B&Bs? As a soloist it depends on how much time I’ve been spending with other people. Usually I Couchsurf but if I’m too lazy to write requests to people and feel like having a little more “alone time” (believe it or not, traveling on my own means I’m always meeting new people and making new friends) then I’ll look into a hostel. Coming up in the next few days I’ll be staying at a B&B and doing a compensated review for them so we’ll see what the atmosphere is like.
i really find container hotel so amazing, so i hope i have fairly reviewed it. well, i cant wait for your next post! appreciate if you’ll give some tips and advice.
all the best! 🙂