How empty are hostels in the winter?

Old Nov 9th, 2014, 02:11 PM
  #1  
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How empty are hostels in the winter?

Hello,

I am a 24 year old male planning a 4 week trip on my own starting in December and ending in January, probably spending most of my time in Spain and France. I travelled through Europe a few summers ago and it was nice being able to meet friendly people at the hostel and spend the day with them. I am wondering if there is a much smaller chance of that happening this time around, since I will be travelling in the off season?

There are lots of threads with tips on traveling through Europe in my winter, which almost seems to answer my question, but for those of you who have been during the winter, are the hostels totally empty? Are there no/very few fellow travellers around?
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 02:24 PM
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At hostels in the major towns and cities I bet you'll find enough people to meet and socialize with but it might be hit or miss in smaller towns. A lot of students have winter break around the time you're traveling (at least part of the time) so I bet you'll find enough people to meet. Ski resorts in the Pyrénées might be worth checking out since it will be ski season.
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 02:27 PM
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>>How empty are hostels in the winter? . . . are the hostels totally empty? Are there no/very few fellow travellers around?
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 02:27 PM
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we were posting at the same time . . .
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Old Nov 9th, 2014, 04:03 PM
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And often closed, and only open seasonally. So check before you set off that a particular hostel will be open. Big cities and popular tourist centres always have people, though it should be easier to book a bed at short notice in January. December can be a mixed bag. Christmas to New Year is quite busy as students are on vacation and families take their holidays, and you should book well in advance (i.e. now).
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 06:56 AM
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Yes, beware of student holiday periods, but you might also find yourself with chaperoned school groups when school is in session.
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 08:14 AM
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IME kerouac is right - during school year young students on tour can be a plague of hostels - like going back to junior high but this is main HI or Hostelling International hostels not so much the older oriented youth hotels which have proliferated in recent decades and have bars, etc on premises - ones say in Amsterdam or Paris are always fairly full - Amsterdam especially draws young folk from all over Europe at all times of years (for obvious reasons!)

London youth hotels in say Earls Court are also well occupided always with the New Zealanders and Aussies working in or visiting London.
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 11:39 AM
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http://www.letsgo.com/#lets-go

Let's Go Europe has IMO the best rundown of hostels and what kinds of folks will be there - screaming youth groups or independent young adults plus a ton of other valuable info!
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Old Nov 10th, 2014, 05:48 PM
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Thank you for your help guys! We'll see what happens
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