Bavaria’s youth hostels are located in large cities and places worth seeing, at bathing lakes, in the great outdoors or near the mountains. This time we took a look around Burghausen and Lindau at Lake Constance. A story by Anja Keul with photos by Angelika Jakob
Not boring at all!
With modern conference and practice rooms, many of the more than 40 Bavarian youth hostels are just as well equipped for seminars and corporate events as they are for meetings of music, theatre or sports groups. This also fits in with the idea of community that has guided the German Youth Hostel Association for more than 110 years.
“The youth hostels stand for community spirit, inclusion, openness to the world, tolerance and sustainability,” says press spokesman Marko Junghänel. He is particularly pleased with the high proportion of regional and organic products at breakfast, which is in no way inferior to a hotel buffet, from the selection of muesli to mix yourself, to the freshly cut fruit and vegetables. Packaged goods are hardly ever on the table any more, says Junghänel.
Ambitious building projects
Due to the Corona rules, some hostels had to temporarily reduce or change the breakfast offer. The pandemic also hit the hostels, which traditionally generate a good part of their turnover with school groups, extremely hard.
Ambitious building projects can nevertheless be realised: “München-City” in Neuhausen will take into account Munich’s importance as a city of music with its own recording studio and stage since June 2021. In eastern Bavaria, the Youth Hostel Furth im Wald has reopened in autumn 2021 with a complete makeover and a focus on ecological themes.
Lindau Youth Hostel: Close to the water
The lighthouse, lion and seagull symbolise Lindau, this light, almost Mediterranean city at Lake Constance. Since the facelift in 2016, they also characterise the youth hostel in playful murals, for example at the fountain for (free) drinking water.
The third largest Bavarian youth hostel after Munich and Nuremberg is spread over three buildings with the listed “Rosenhof” as the central area. In the elegant “Raum Meersburg”, whose delicate pastel shades are reminiscent of the facades of Lindau’s Fischergasse, you can sit and play without any compulsion to buy. Or you can get a glass of Lake Constance wine in the evening at the bistro around the corner.
Furniture in fruit crate style
Seating in “fresh apple green”, “Lake Constance blue” and “sunshine yellow” awaits in the spacious entrance area. The design of some of the cosy tilting chairs is based on the fruit crates that are ubiquitous in the Lake Constance region.
Simple, beautiful wooden elements can also be found in some rooms and the bright conference rooms. The highlight, however, is the roof studio, which is criss-crossed by exposed beams: “The great acoustics here are ideal for choirs, music groups and orchestras,” enthuses director Dirk Umann.
In-house bicycle rental
“Exercise, relaxation, healthy nutrition and social, sustainable learning” is Umann’s motto. Working at the hostel since 1997, he develops creative and sporty travel programmes with a lot of experience. But you can also let off steam spontaneously, whether on the playground, in the multi-purpose room or along the Lake Constance cycle path – a bicycle rental service is part of the Youth Hostel. And of course, you should also go out on the water in Lindau to get up close to the lighthouse, lion and seagull.
Burghausen Youth Hostel: There’s music in it
In the “B.B. King Saal” the beats are booming: The Munich student group “Fusian” rehearses their hip hop choreography. The ambience seems to fit, as the youth hostel in the jazz town of Burghausen is especially designed for choirs, musicians and dance groups. On the walls hang oversized black and white pictures of jazz greats who have been guests at the renowned Spring Festival in the small town of 18,000 inhabitants.
Folding beds mean more space
The Youth Hostel sits at the foot of the world’s longest castle complex, measuring 1,051 metres. Lake Wöhrsee and the River Salzach are just a hop, skip and a jump away. Their rounded pebbles can be found as a print on the shower curtains.
Tree stems from the local forests create interesting partitions. “We bring nature into the house,” says hostel manager Ulrike Abeln, who has been running one of Bavaria’s most modern youth hostels since the refurbishment in 2018. The spacious family rooms are particularly well-designed: hidden behind light wood on the wall, four additional beds can be folded out in addition to the parents’ beds.
The 7,000 square metres of garden boasts plenty of recreational space, with hammocks, slacklines, barbecue sites and relaxing corners. The “Fusian” crew also spent a cosy campfire evening here toasting bread.
The students left the next morning. Before leaving, the students enjoyed a hotel-style breakfast, with lovingly decorated platters of cheese and cold meats and even a freshly baked “Gugelhupf” cake made by the chef. However, at half past nine, breakfast is over – as it is in all Bavarian youth hostels.
Other youth hostels worth experiencing
Oberammergau: In the heart of nature
The hostel with 30 rooms is ideal for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Among other things, climbing courses are offered on the 14-metre-high indoor wall, archery and team training on the mountain pasture.
Füssen: At the foot of the Royal Castle
The classically simple youth hostel on the western outskirts of Füssen is the ideal starting point for hikes with a view of the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein and rambles through the charming town.
Augsburg: Lots of culture
Jim Knopf, the Urmel, the Fuggers, Brecht and Mozart – there are plenty of stories and history to experience in one of the oldest German cities. The hostel is located just three minutes from the historic centre.
Donauwörth: Tip for cyclists
The yellow-green paint may be a matter of taste, but the location is not: about one kilometre from the city centre, the friendly and bright hostel is a great starting point for cycling tours.
Munich: Plenty of choice
With the soon to be completely renovated and expanded hostel “München-City” as well as “München Park” in Thalkirchen and the hostel in Castle Schwaneck in Pullach, there are three convenient and communicative centres available.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen: So cool!
“Moun10”, pronounced “Mountain”, is the name of the new, stylish hostel for mountain and climbing fans at the foot of the summit “Zugspitze”. It even offers a sauna and relaxation room with tiled stove.
Bad Tölz: Sporting centre
Bavaria’s first sports youth hostel scores with a speed-soccer facility and active course on the premises, as well as an ice arena and climbing center in the immediate vicinity. Of course, skiers are also in the right place here.