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Hostels Ain’t Our Thing… Could Plus Berlin Change That?

by Tony · 15 comments

Plus Hostel in Berlin

Traveling couples have to travel differently than all you single folks.

Don’t believe me? Think about this: Hostels usually aren’t the best accommodation for a couple. Especially on a financial basis.

As a single traveler, hostels are a great way to access cheap accommodations while visiting a city. The tradeoff typically is the lack of amenities. But who cares? You’re going out to see the sights anyway!

For a traveling couple though, hostels don’t have the same value. You pay per person and this often causes the price to become very close to that of a hotel. In many cases, renting an apartment in a city can be cheaper than paying for two beds at a hostel.

After giving up on hostels when we reached Europe, we finally dipped our toes back in the water in Berlin. There was a snafu with our apartment booking in the city and we had a few nights open. Enter Plus Berlin, which generously offered to host us so that we could see the true potential of a hostel.

They have a few different locations in Europe that we had already heard great things about, so we were intrigued to see what the experience would be like…

So were we persuaded that maybe hostels can be worth it for couples?

Plus Berlin

Grafiti Art on Berlin Wall

Located right next to a U-bahn stop (Berlin’s subway system) and near an iconic stretch of one of the remaining pieces of the Berlin Wall, Plus Berlin immediately felt inviting.

Expecting the standard hostel reception, we were surprised to see a large welcome area with 20 foot ceilings and two people at the check-in desk. The lobby was busy, but not loud, and actually smelled nice!

Lobby of Plus Berlin

As you can tell, we’re a fan of the little things, but a hostel that smells nice hints that they take care in keeping things clean. Much better than that old musty smell some hostels have!

Behind reception is a large courtyard with sculptures and places to sit and work. At the opposite end of the courtyard is a large restaurant that also serves as a decent bar.

Restaurant and bar at Plus Berlin

Despite all of the amazing food in Berlin, having a decent bar and restaurant on site is definitely a nice bonus as sometimes you just feel like laying low. We can vouch for the food, too. It is way better than you should expect from a hostel and we would definitely snack there again!

Our room was a private 2-bed, which typically costs $25 per person or for you math majors out there… $50 for a couple.

Plus Berlin's Private Twin Room

Despite the enormous size of the hostel (or maybe because of it), there was very little noise coming from other parts of the building. What we prize most, a peaceful nights sleep, was easy to attain – this is a rarity in most hostels!

Oh and for the amenities? How about a pool table…. check. Even better? How about a pool!

Pool at Plus Berlin

We are not the biggest hostel fans after staying in them for 3 months straight in South America, but Plus Berlin really proved that not all hostels are created equal.

The Final Verdict

So have we changed our mind about hostels?

Well… I don’t know about all hostels, but we definitely recommend Plus Berlin if you’re looking for a great place to stay in the city.

Did I mention they had a pool!?!?!?!

As mentioned in the article, Plus Berlin hosted us for our stay at the hostel. All opinions in this review are definitely ours.

About Tony
Quit his job to try actually following his dreams for once... and is currently loving it. He is working hard to to make this life-style permanent by writing about his adventures and brainstorming money making opportunities with his partner-in-crime, Meg.

photo by: Gianni Dominici
Megan August 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm

im definitely not a huge hostel fan either, but i would totally stay in this place and enjoy every minute of it (ok…or the pool). when i was recently in malaysia i stayed at a pretty kickass hostel that restored my faith in hostels for a while. i used to hate them all, until i stayed at the one in KL haha :) hope yall enjoyed berlin!

Tony August 14, 2012 at 12:44 am

This place was amazing! They also had not just a separate dorm room for girls, but entire floor for women. Meg wanted me to highlight this here because they had bathrooms stocked for women plus it was a much more comfortable vibe. She approved.

Where did you stay in Malaysia? We will be there in October and would love to check out another cool hostel!

P.S. We LOVED Berlin!

Josh | Traveling 9 to 5 August 13, 2012 at 9:15 pm

A hostel with a private room (even if it has bunk beds) like Lub d in Bangkok is what we like. We were unprepared in Rio and had to spend a night in a hostel that only had two dorm room beds left…and they were in different rooms. Not even on the same floor. Caroline ended up in a room full of guys and I in a room full of girls. And we paid $50 a night for the privilege. As much as I enjoy backpacking, it’s definitely a different experience as a married couple!

Tony August 14, 2012 at 12:49 am

Wow… that is always our biggest fear when signing up for the dorms… but couldn’t you switch rooms so that you were in the guys? Although I imagine the girls bunk was probably a little quieter and cleaner… maybe you didn’t want to switch? hahaha

Private rooms are awesome and not always that much more expensive. Especially in South America, we found private rooms were often barely more than the cost of two single dorm beds.


Michael August 13, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Stephanie and I usually go for private room hostels because of the amount of security we need. It’s true that sometimes apartments are cheaper but if we’re moving fast, we don’t have much of a choice.

Hostels are definitely great for meeting people though. I think we’d go insane if Stephie and I didn’t talk to other people once in awhile. It’s healthy to talk to other people.

Berlin Plus looks amazing by the way. That lobby looks super spacious. And a hostel with a pool!!! I’m bookmarking this place.

Tony August 14, 2012 at 12:52 am

Security from all of the travel groupies and paparazzi?

hahaha I know what you mean. Whenever we stayed in a dorm style we either used lockers or would carry all of our electronics around with us all day. Still didn’t feel that safe walking around with electronics either… so we usually used lockers and prayed that nobody broke in. Private rooms definitely give you a better peace of mind.

So true about hostels and meeting people. I think when you’re traveling solo you automatically make the effort to go out and meet people, but traveling as a couple sometimes makes you forget. Staying at hostels is a great and easy way to make some new friends.

Plus Berlin was amazing. The company actually has a few different locations that are all supposed to be amazing. Florence and Rome have Plus Hostels too.

Lindsay August 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm

That place would certainly pass our standards, especially considering we sleep in the back of a musty old van half the time during our Euro road trips. Honestly though, I would rather sleep in the back of a van than most hostels. This one looks like quite a treasure, and in such an awesome city too!

Tony August 17, 2012 at 5:42 am

Totally agree on the van! If you have one, I bet it beats a lot of the hostels we’ve stayed in. We’re really looking hard at renting a campervan when we hit Australia… seems like a blast to travel and sleep out of a vehicle.

Thanks for the great comment and we’ll let you know how our campervan attempt turns out!

Michael @ Changes In Longitude September 1, 2012 at 4:14 am

Looks like we just missed you in Berlin. We were there a few weeks later. Larissa just wrote a story for Meet, Plan, Go that talks about how for couples a flat is often cheaper than a hotel. Thought you might like it: http://b2b.meetplango.com/2012/08/not-just-backpackers/


Tony September 1, 2012 at 4:24 am

How did you like Berlin and how long were you there for? Would have been a blast to reconnect!

Loved the article… we totally agree that apartment rentals are sometimes the best option. Especially for couples!


Curt June 8, 2013 at 1:35 am

Just booked three nights there based on your review – thanks for the great tip! Do you have any other advice on traveling as a couple? It’ll be a first for my girlfriend and I. :)

Tony June 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Biggest tip that we have for couples is not let yourself get caught only hanging out with each other. Force yourself to socialize a bit with other people in your hostel, or at restaurants, or on tours.

It can be a bit easy as a couple to ignore everyone else, but we have made some great friends by trying to meet as many people as we can while traveling. Use twitter, facebook groups, and other social media to see who else might be around.

And Berlin is AWESOME! We loved the Kreuzberg area. Big turkish influence with great, cheap food and fun bars and nightlife.

Have a blast, Curt!

Curt June 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Thanks again Tony, I appreciate it! I’ll continue following your website – great work!

Jasmin May 12, 2014 at 9:55 am

Hi guys thanks for your blog posts. I really enjoy to read about your travels! I know that this post is already a little older but I just found it and I stayed at the PLUS Berlin in March 2014.
I was traveling by myself and was sooo positively surprised about this place! Unfortunately, I didn’t know about the women’s floor. I was placed in a co-ed bunk room with 6 guys but the room was huge and even had 1,5 bathrooms! I wasn’t able to use the pool but thought that it was very neat to have a pool in the hostel. It is also very conveniently located at the U-Bahn Warschauer Platz. Since I spend my other two nights in a different hostel (was booked in advance with a voucher my bf and I had) I was of course bummed that the second place couldn’t compare to PLUS.

Tony July 11, 2014 at 8:20 am

So glad to hear that you loved PLUS Berlin. We thought it was a fantastic hostel. Too bad you missed the all girls side, but sounds like you had a nice experience.

Thanks for checking in and updating us on the hostel, Jasmin!

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