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23 replies
showering in hostels
RE
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this is gonna sound silly, but my current worry is the shower situation in hostels. do they have stalls or what? you’re not having to shower out in the open with everyone else are you? eeeeeeeee if that’s the case, i will not be showering!

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different hostels have different setups.  I think the majority of well-established western europe hostels have individual shower stalls.  I’ve stayed in several places that don’t provide 100% privacy, but I don’t recall any&nbsprison-style shower rooms.   

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Yes, there is a wide variety of privacy depending on the hostel. I stayed at one campsite that had individual stalls but the doors were glass (and not frosted). I would recommend shower shoes – flip flops or sport sandles that can go in the shower with you. Some places are, well, icky.

RE
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oh man, i don’t think hostels are for me!! [:’(] i don’t know why i didn’t think of all this before..
 
oh well, it’s still worth it to get to see europe cheaply, and i suppose it will be a good thing if i’m forced to get over all these little weirdnesses i have…

RE
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are most people in these situations, like the shower stalls with the glass doors, okay with that, or do they wear swim suits or something in the shower? i wasn’t planning on taking one, but maybe i should. though not if it’s gonna make me look like a paranoid weirdo []

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I don’t think people wear swimsuits in the shower, but if you want to, go ahead. It’s your body, and you should do what makes you comfortable.

You can also read hostel reviews and descriptions ahead of time to see what the shower situation is.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but there’s a hostel in San Francisco that has single-sex showers, but fairly communal (open stalls and you have to step out to get dressed). One NZ girl started chatting with me just as I stepped out, and I was completely nude. It was disconcerting, but I just chatted as if this were normal.

Also consider showers at non-peak times – if you avoid the morning rush, then you will likely have a fair bit of privacy anyway.

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A few years ago I showered in a large gym-like shower stall maybe 12’x 12’ with two women who were mighty cute when all lathered up.  The Luxembourg hostel had just a single co-ed bath facility, at least for the floor I was on.  None of us died or even fainted.  It was sort of educational.

But that’s the only time I’ve seen that.  In private hostels, it’s common to have private shower stalls within a co-ed bathroom. This might unnerve you a bit.  I’ve occasionally seen large single-sex stalls with no dividers.  The hostel in Mannheim Germany is one I remember.  But 9 times out of 10 you’ll have at least a private shower stall. 

In some hostels – and this is pretty common in the German HI hostels – you can request a single room with bath.  Costs a little more usually, but I’ve done this on occasion when I was traveling alone and just wanted to keep to myself for a night.  The German hostels often accommodate school groups, and teacher-leaders don’t like to sleep with their little brats; when these are available, they’re quite the bargain compared with a hotel room.

In Germany, it’s often just as cheap to stay in private B&B’s as hostels – and sometimes a LOT more comfortable and private.  Check out www.bensbauernhof.co… – this site describes these places in detail and includes places in Austria as well.  Here’s an example of one near one of Europ’s great castles, Burg Eltz, at 18 Euros/night single, with breakfast:

http://www.bensbauer…

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i have never seen a glass shower door at a hostel

i remember my paris hostel, BVJ quartier latin had no covering at all to the shower (which was in my room) but that wasn’t a problem as i had a private room….which i had to pay an extra 7 euros for the privacy


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Quote:
 I stayed at one campsite that had individual stalls but the doors were glass (and not frosted).


I did mention it was a campsite. I didn’t mean to freak you out, I just thought it was funny. What’s the point of having stalls if you are going to install glass doors?

Communal showers were few and far between in my hosteling days. If you are really that concerned about it, as someone else mentioned, check the facilities of the places you are going to first (either online or in your guidebook).

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haha thanks for all the replies, everyone. i think if a private room is only going to be about 7 euros then i will probably just go for that. on the other hand i might get there and find it’s no big deal.
 
thanks for that link, Russ. i would love to stay at some of those farms in austria but i think i would have no idea how to get there as they seem to be located out of town and i’m not going to be driving. do you by chance know if there will be buses that go out of town like that?
oh also do you know if you have to make reservations to stay at those places or can you just show up and ask if they have a room? (sorry, i know nothing! i plan to learn when i’m there by trial and error )
 
 
 

RE
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: Keleti

Quote:
 I stayed at one campsite that had individual stalls but the doors were glass (and not frosted).


I did mention it was a campsite. I didn’t mean to freak you out, I just thought it was funny. What’s the point of having stalls if you are going to install glass doors?

 
no that is funny, i can see the humour in that!
 
i’m not freaked out, i’m just preparing to be uncomfortable.[] but even then, so what? what’s a bit of discomfort ultimately?
 
thanks for the reply!

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oops

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Quote:
thanks for that link, Russ. i would love to stay at some of those farms in austria but i think i would have no idea how to get there as they seem to be located out of town and i’m not going to be driving. do you by chance know if there will be buses that go out of town like that?
oh also do you know if you have to make reservations to stay at those places or can you just show up and ask if they have a room? (sorry, i know nothing! i plan to learn when i’m there by trial and error )


Private B&B’s are very common IN TOWN – often no need for a rural bus.   But yes, if you’re heading out to a remote farm somehwere, there are sometimes rural buses that connect the “sticks” to the nearest train station.  A better option is to have the B&B / farm B&B owners pick you up.  Many advertise this service, in fact.  I once stayed at a private B&B in the little German town of Moos, near the Swiss border.  It’s about 3 km from the Radolfzell train station, and I could easily have walked, but the owner insisted on knowing my itinerary so he could pick me up in his station wagon.  I think owners want to make sure their scheduled guests actually arrive since they usually rent out only a couple of rooms, and a no-show really cuts into their business.  In Germany, you normally pay nothing to make the reservation; they rely on your word that you’ll show up.  Anyway, you can check with the farm owner to see how far out of town they are, if they’ll pick you up, if they have bikes available so you can get around on your own, that sort of thing.  Many have bikes free for your use.  The town’s tourist office usually lists farm and private B&B’s and know the most about such places.  You can call or e-mail them to get their advice on which one to book based on your needs.  IF you have a car, you may not need a reservation since you’ll probably find a place somewhere, even if inconveniently located; but if your choices are limited because of your reliance on public transport, you should probably book in advance. 

This place is 1 km from the station or will pick you up and rent you a bike: http://www.tiscover….
This place will pick you up too – will rent you a bike as well: http://www.tiscover….

Page is in German but you can click on links to above and other farms in Austria: http://www.urlaubsqu…

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A few years ago I showered in a large gym-like shower stall maybe 12’x 12’ with two women who were mighty cute when all lathered up.   It was sort of educational.


 
 
LOL!!!!

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Almost every hostel i’ve stayed at in Europe has private showers.  Many places have a door into the shower room that you can lock, and have privacy.  Other places where all stalls, with doors.  There was only 1 hostel where it was a big open room, it was in Prague.  My friend that I was traveling with didn’t shower, but I did.  Just don’t shower and peak times, and chances are you won’t meet up with anyone anyway.  I just went anyway, even though I probably wouldn’t at home.  And if you end up in there with another person, what are the chances you’ll ever run into them again in your life????[]

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hostels have shower stalls that lead into the bathroom that is coed??? how long can you usually shower for is ther a limit

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ORIGINAL: gqstatus718c

hostels have shower stalls that lead into the bathroom that is coed??? how long can you usually shower for is ther a limit


It depends on the place. Some places time is not regulated, other places have pay showers (about 1 euro for 5 min).

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Most of them have individual showers but in most hostels in Luxembourg showers are communal. Communal showers also occur now and then in Germany an Scandinavia. Please take in mind that Germans are a little bit more relaxed about nudity among people of the same sex, I was in a swimming pool in Berlin with a large locker room , there were also cubicles but most men (young and old) changed in the large room and even didn’t mind too much to hide there private parts for others. So the best advice could be : try to overcome your shyness.

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Quote:
ORIGINAL: rob_co2

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Russ

A few years ago I showered in a large gym-like shower stall maybe 12’x 12’ with two women who were mighty cute when all lathered up.   It was sort of educational.




[=“4”]LOL!!!![/]


I was wondering what he learned.

Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, and end up getting charged double.

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Communal showers(as in open plan type showers) are very few and far between in hostels.  Unisex communal showers will of course be even rarer, but there may be some about, and you’ll have to do a bit of intense research to find where those are.
 
The All In Hostel in Berlin, and A Plus hostel in Prague have communal showers to name just two, according to some hostel review websites.  Though whether these are unisex communal showers I don’t know.  It doesn’t say in the reviews.
 
The Stranger Hostel in Krakow is reported to hav unisex bathrooms featuring two shower stalls which allthough do have glass doors, the glass isn’t all that smoked/frosted, so leaves little to the imagination for those people who are waiting just outside the stalls waiting to shower.  So if you’re shy about getting naked in front of both sexes, it may be best to avoid that hostel!
 
Slightly surprised Germany hostels doesn’t have unisex communal showers, as their sauna complexes and most gyms/fitness centres have that sort of set up.   And the country has a very relaxed outlook on nudity.
 
 
 

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i will bear that in mind when i go to krakow!
 
thanks for the info

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hey there. no u dont have anything to worry bout. i backpacked for 6 weeks and retrurned 3 weeks ago and there was only one hostel that had prison style showers. it was in a town called salerno along the amalfi coast. the hostel was really nice and only 10 euros a night and the town was unbelievable. its was prolly my favorite city during the whole trip. if u have extra time and are in italy then def check it out. email me if u want the hostel name cuz im not sure of it off hand i have to look thru my stuff

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I would gladly take having to shower with 10 other people at the same time over the water saving showers that everywhere I stayed in Germany this time had!! Seriously, how do they expect anyone to get clean when you have to push the friggen faucet every 2 seconds!? Answer: maybe they dont [:-]
 
 

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Yes me too.  I have no problems and am not shy about using communal showers.   Though without sounding sexist, unisex communal showers are a little more easier on the eye!   Anyway, with using open plan communal showers you haven’t got to make do with the very cramped space you get in these tiny shower cabins which most hostels have.   And yes, when you have to keep pressing the button every few seconds, that’s annoying too.

I’ve been to sauna complexes in Germany a few times recently.   In the saunas, steam rooms, and spa, it is compulsary nude only.   The showers are communal too.  And it’s all unisex.   Most people even just walk around the complex nude with their towels draped over their shoulders.  It’s no big deal really and is all very natural, especially to the Germans.   Everyone’s in the same boat.   No one will point at you and make fun!

As mentioned though, unisex communal showers in hostels are very rare nowadays.  I understand they were a bit more common 20+ years ago.     There’s probably not more than about 7 or 8 worlwide at a guess.   One hostel that I have read about which does have this setup for their showering facilities is the City Public Hostel in Copenhagen.   According to some reviews, it’s like one big massive military style shower room which is shared by both guys and girls.   Though it’s not a very pleasant hostel either according to the reviews, with many people complaining about bed bugs and very unfriendly staff, with one reviewer saying “it’s a shame that the bedrooms are UNINHABITABLE because the rest of the hostel is quite cool.”.  So whether you’re comfortable with communal showers or not, best off avoiding that hostel either way!