Europe's Largest Hostel Wins on all Sides

    Kåre Welinder

    It is a giant, which rises up by Langebro (the bridge from Copenhagen to Amager), and gives the hostel guests the best views and a bed in the centre of the action.

    Even though Danhostel Copenhagen City appeared still new and beautiful in 2012, there is a lot of history within the towering walls.  The hostel has won many design and hostel prizes, and has a 360 degree view of areas of Islands Brygge, Tivoli Amusement Park, Øresundsbroen (the bridge from Denmark to Sweden), Copenhagen’s labyrinth of houses, streets, courtyards, and bridges. When the building was erected in the 1950s, there should have been two towers that together would have formed a gateway into the centre of Copenhagen.  However, only one was built, and for 30 years, the building was known as Hotel Europa until the Union, HK, moved in. They handed over the keys to the Hilton chain and a real estate company, and later on May 15, 2005, Danhostel occupied the premises.

    “Danhostel Copenhagen City is very central.  It is easy to get to everything, and this is what our guests stress when they stay with us.”

    The staff at Danhostel Copenhagen City have worked hard to show the world that even though they have so many guests staying in this five star location, they have not been relaxed in developing the hostel.  The custom-designed furniture from Gubi has been an important factor in the upscale design awards.  The 192 rooms are a bargain for budget travellers from all over the world.  The view from the windows at Danhostel Copenhagen City can be enjoyed from all floors and all 1020 beds.

     “Although we have raised the bar since we got new owners, we will probably never be finished furnishing and improving as it takes a lot to maintain a building as large as this.  We cannot limit ourselves to just one particular group; we welcome all types of customers…you can come alone or with a group of up to 500.  While it is more work, it gives us a much larger customer base and shows our strengths,” says Morten Birkum Juul.  He explains that the guests are a mix from all over the world, and that they have on many occasions, booked the hostel out to single guests.  During the Copenhagen Climate Summit, there were 1000 NGO members from all over the world, and on another occasion, one Youth Organisation in Skåne sent 1020 scouts to Danhostel Copenhagen City for three days.

    Read more about Danhostel Copenhagen City here:

    Close to 225,000 guests stay at the hostel each year.  It is because of the well functioning staff that everything runs so smoothly, since there are only two washing machines and a dryer for 1020 beds.  Even though it is a large hostel, there is only one small common kitchen, yet everything functions comparatively well for the many guests.

    “The city of Copenhagen is just outside the door so there are not so many who miss a place to cook,” says Morten Birkuum Juul, and adds that he and the staff would like to have the guests take advantage of the cosy café and bar in the hostel’s lobby.  At the same time they know they cannot compete with the city’s vibrant atmosphere which unfolds just outside the hostel’s walls.  Instead we do our best to guide the guests on their way.  We have arranged that the Canal Ferry stop just down from the hostel, and swimming facilities near Islands Brygge are just on the other side of the canal.  The city’s free tour guides gather guests in our lobby and we organise pub crawls, rent bikes and invite our guests on free bike tours.   All in all, we try to provide our guests with a good deal because most of the time our guests are on a budget,” says Morten Birkum Juul, and he reveals what is number 1 on the guests’ must see list.

    “It is not Tivoli even though it is next door to us.  People always ask about Christiania first. We send many guests out there followed by visits to Tivoli, the Opera House and The Little Mermaid.  Many see Denmark as a little fairytale land and therefore want to see Amalienborg Castle hoping to catch a glimpse of the Queen,” says Morten Birkum Juul, and adds that visitors are surprised how expensive everything is in Denmark. “It is hard to do anything about this, so we try to keep our prices low and give our guests a good deal and a good experience when they stay with us.”



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