VAT CUT

As more and more governments announce their support for the hospitality sector, we will continue to pass these savings on to you. A list of the current participating countries is below and we will continue to update this as announcements are made.

 

Germany VAT was 20% now 5%

United Kingdom VAT was 20% now 5%

Austria VAT was 20% now 5%

Czech Republic VAT was 20% now 15%

 

WHERE CAN I STAY?

London – Edinburgh – York – Glasgow – Prague – Vienna – Berlin

 

HOW DO I REDEEM THIS DISCOUNT?

To claim the VAT DISCOUNT, you don’t need to do anything!

We automatically apply it for you! Simply lookout for this next to the rate!

 

ALSO! YOU CAN SAVE AN EXTRA 25% WITH OUR MEMBERS RATE?

Simply sign up to our Members Rate and enjoy an extra 25% OFF any booking!

 

Save big on your next adventure!

Whilst it’s difficult to travel right now, take advantage of our vouchers at a discounted price. Use them for a future booking, when you’re ready to travel

 

WHAT GIFT CARDS CAN I BUY?

We have 2 amazing vouchers available for you to purchase!

£75 voucher

 

WHERE CAN I STAY?

Available to book at any of our locations!

London – Edinburgh – York – Glasgow – Madrid – Barcelona – Lisbon – Prague – Brussels – Vienna – Athens – Pisa – Berlin – Warsaw – Bratislava

 

HOW TO BUY & REDEEM

1. Purchase any amount of vouchers. You only pay the discounted rate of the Gift Card!

2. Make a booking on our website & enter your voucher number into the Special Requests Section on the checkout page.

3. Do enter your card details to secure the booking, if the Gift Cards(s) fully cover the cost, no payment will be taken.

4. The reception team will redeem your voucher to pay for the booking, if further payment is required they will contact you to arrange this.

 

BUY A GIFT CARD!


 

TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • EXTENDED – 50% offer ends 30th November 2020
  • Standard booking terms & conditions apply when making your booking 
  • Credit can only be used towards one booking
  • Multiple vouchers can be used for any bookings made
  • Gift Cards (vouchers) are non-refundable
  • Applies to the flexible rate (Pay at Check-In) or standard non-refundable rate (Pay now & save).
  • Cannot be used with the member’s promo code or any other promo codes or offers.
  • Applies to new bookings only, existing booking cannot be amended
  • Cannot be used for bookings made via the Group Bookings Team 
  • Online bookings only 
  • Does not apply for bookings on new years eve
  • Subject to availability at time of booking 
  • For Gift Cards purchased in GBP and redeemed in EUR, we apply a 1:1 exchange rate and vice versa 
  • Safestay reserves the right to withdraw this offer

Our travel plans have been cancelled, so here’s 7 days of inspiration…

Stuck at home? Fear not, because there’s so much we can still do from the comfort of our home. Now is the opportunity to have some alone time and do the things that you can’t do with others constantly around.

Take this time to fully relax, tick off a few things that you need to get done and entertain yourself.

It’s important to remember that things will get better, so why not use this time to pick up a hobby/skill to have along with you on your future travels.

So what is there to do while stuck indoors? We’ve come up with a list of 7 different inspirational things you could do to make your time at home interesting and to keep you healthy mentally.

 

#1 GET OUT THE OLD TRAVEL PHOTOS AND SHARE THE GREAT MEMORIES

When was the last time you got out your old travel photos and had a good giggle looking back at the memories you made? Time to blow the dust away! Get them out wherever they are, on your phone, in an album, in a box at the bottom of your cupboard. Let’s remind ourselves of the experiences we’ve had and the stories we’ve created along the way.

holiday photos

#2 START YOUR OWN TRAVEL BLOG USING THE EXPERIENCES YOU’VE ALREADY HAD

During your adventures, there must’ve been a time where you thought – “I should start my own travel blog”. 💻 Take this time as a precious moment to reflect on those amazing adventures. You can get up and running very quickly with a microblog using Twitter or Instagram or if you’re feeling adventurous try your hand at a wordpress template.

And when you’re ready, reach out to us & we’ll feature 5 of the best blog posts on our own [E]xplorer blog!

girl on laptop at home

#3 PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR MENTAL HEALTH BY TAKING UP YOGA OR SIMPLY ADOPTING MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

All of this no travel stuff is stressing us out. Is there that one happy place you love to travel to but can’t right now? Yeah, we feel the same.
For us, it’s our yearly team meetings in Barcelona. The team always take a walk on the beach which is right outside our Safestay Barcelona Sea hostel.

Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat and relax. Meditation is about bringing the mind home. So sit back, take a deep breath, close your eyes and try visualising that happy place.

meditating at home

#4 CATCH UP WITH THE TRAVEL FRIENDS YOU MADE DURING THAT AMAZING BAGPACKING TRIP BUT LOST CONTACT WITH ALONG THE WAY

Do you remember that one backpacking trip you took and had such an amazing time exploring, with people you’d only just met! It was so great that you added them on Facebook thinking it would be awesome to do it again, but life took over and you ended up losing touch.

Now is the time to catch up with those travel friends you made along the way. Facebook is so great because it allows us to keep contact without the need to talk every day. Why don’t you start today by messaging 3 travel friends on Facebook you lost contact with. Check-in and see how they’re doing today or give them a DM and get the conversation going!

working on laptop

#5 GET INSPIRED THROUGH A TRAVEL DOCUMENTARY OR WATCH DAVID ATTENBOROUGH’S SERIES EXPLORING STUNNING PLACES ON EARTH

Feeling uninspired and unmotivated? 10 minutes of any David Attenborough travel documentary will have you feeling inspired to visit the whole world! Or follow Gordan Ramsey’s culinary journey to see the most remote places on Earth. Panoramic shots and feats of human bravery, you won’t be able to help yourself – you’ll have to start planning for the next adventure.

watching tv

tv at safestay

#6 LEARN THAT NEW LANGUAGE YOU’VE BEEN PUTTING OFF AND DIDN’T HAVE TIME FOR

We’ve all wished we could speak another language and have always promised that one day you will but in the end never got round to it. Learn a new language with Duolingo for free and prepare yourself for the next adventure. Even learning basic words will take you a long way. Here’s a tip: Make your language lessons fun by humming songs in a foreign language!

How many languages can you speak?

language board at safestay hostel

#7 USE YOUR TIME AT HOME TO READ, LEARN AND IMPROVE YOURSELF WHILST THE WORLD IS IN HIBERNATION

As much as we would like to sit around all day and binge on Netflix. Why not read a travel book that will inspire you to go out there after the storm is over. While these are great and informative, it’s the stories that make you want to travel and relive the pictures they paint in your mind.

girl reading

 

Whilst the points above may not change the state of play around at the moment, it may change our perspective on how we value this experience. To stay up to date and for more information, visit www.safestay.com/covid-19-update.

What is a Hostel?

You probably know that hostels are a type of affordable accommodation shared among travellers, helping your budget go further. But, what you don’t know is the unique, energetic and social atmosphere amongst these travellers which will change your trip forever.

Never stayed in a hostel? Let us debunk those crazy myths and take you on a journey through the Safestay hostel experience. This blog will cover everything about hostel life and hostelling. So sit tight, buckle up and get ready to learn everything about hostelling there is to know.

 

What is a hostel?

In a nutshell, a hostel is an affordable accommodation which revolves around the shared guest experience. Hostels tend to lead to more interactions and cost a lot less than a hotel. A cheap night with a memorable experience with like-minded travellers. How could you say no to that?

To give you a better idea, here’s a list of the most common phrases used to describe a hostel from our guests…

  • Fun
  • Lively
  • Adventure
  • Price
  • Friends

 

Why should you stay in a hostel?

Here are three reasons…

#Because it saves you money! Let’s face it, travel is expensive, flights, food and activities. Add it all up! We all don’t like to spend so much, especially for an ordinary room at a boring hotel. A dorm at Safestay is only a little over £10 for a night, so why not? You could save little money for accommodation and splash your money on night outs and souvenirs.

#Hostels are in the best locations. Safestay hostels are concentrated in tourist-friendly areas. This means that you’ll have access to the best bars, restaurants and attractions around the city. Also, the best thing is that our hostels are in walking distance from places to dine and explore!

#Hostels feel like a community. People were strangers and close friends who you travel with throughout the city. The receptionist will know the best bus routes, budget-friendly tours and free events in the city. Gain travel tips, info for tourist sites, meals and hidden quirky locations.
Get to know the staff, the locals, your friends and the area, you feel like you’re part of something special.

What facilities to expect in a hostel?

At Safestay, the tangible benefits are special. The communal areas, bars and spacious shared rooms allow travellers to meet and create a special bond that may last a lifetime. Today, having the right connections can also be key to setting your future goals at a young age. Here’s a list of the Safestay facilities for you to network whilst relaxed in travel mode.

1. Food and Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You can not start your day of travelling and exploring before fuelling up which is why we offer a selection of different treats for you to enjoy.

Food on table
London Elephant and Castle – Food & Breakfast

2. Bars

Take a seat and relax at our bars such as Bar 60 located in Safestay London Elephant & Castle. We’ve got delicious food that you can enjoy in our comfy and cosy bar. We serve an eclectic mix of spirits, beers and cocktails along with New York Bagels and Ooozy Cheese Toasties to Castle Burgers and Pizzas.

Bar
London Elephant and Castle – Bar 60

3. Rooftop Terraces

Our Terrace has the right mix of hipster cool mixed with a dash of relaxation. Just like our drinks! It’s the perfect place for after-work drinks, pre-night out cocktails, having a lazy afternoon or just catching up on some sun.

Safestay Madrid – Sagasta 22 Rooftop Terrace

4. Common Areas

Chill out in our common areas where you can meet like-minded travellers to share your travel stories with. Some of our hostels even have board games or table football, so now you can invite your friends to a game or two.

Safestay Edinburgh – Common Area

5. Computer Areas

Take a seat in our computer area to catch up with your work emails or even chat with family and friends who are half-way across the world and share your travel experience with Safestay.

Safestay Elephant and Castle – Computer Room

6. Events

Join us at Safestay Elephant and Castle for our Rock Nights where you can meet new people while enjoying great music and drinks! Trust us, this is a perfect hideout for music lovers.

Safestay Elephant and Castle – Rock Nights

To kick start your hostel experience with Safestay, get the best rate when you sign up for our membership to continue your savings journey. Get your membership discount code here
https://www.safestay.com/membership/

NEED A PLACE TO STAY?

 

WHERE CAN I STAY?

Available to book at any of our locations!

London – Edinburgh – York – Glasgow – Madrid – Barcelona – Lisbon – Prague – Pisa

 

WHEN CAN I STAY?

Search dates between 17th March 2020 to 30th April 2020

 

WHEN CAN I BOOK?

This offer is valid for any booking until the 30th of April 2020

 

HOW DO I GET THIS OFFER?

USE CODE: FLAT20

and

 

TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • Offer ends 30th April 2020
  • Standard terms & conditions apply 
  • Bookings available for any day of the week
  • Bookings are non-refundable
  • Applies to new bookings only, existing booking cannot be amended
  • Does not apply for bookings on new years eve
  • Subject to availability at time of booking and not applicable in combination with other promotional offers
  • Safestay reserves the right to withdraw this offer
  • Offer does not apply to bookings made via the Groups reservations team

6 Different Types of People You Meet In a Hostel

One of the best things about staying in a hostel is that you’ll never know who you’ll run into. Bursting with an electric mix of backpacking buddy travellers from across the globe, get ready to meet the 6 different types of people you’ll meet in a hostel…

#1 Party Animal

 

Girl at party taking a picture
Image from – https://www.pexels.com/photo/women-taking-photo-2240763/

They have only one thing on their minds and that’s PARTYING. If you’re traveling solo or want a night out to socialise, they’re the best people to hit up! This person knows every hostel event and the best party spots. Why? Because they’ve been there and done that already! Here’s a tip: a buzzing bar is the party animals’ most natural habitat.

#2 The Solo Traveller

 

Bagpacker on mountain looking at view
Image from – https://unsplash.com/photos/48nerZQCHgo

The solo traveler is super friendly and enthusiastic. They’re always looking for a chat and to swap their best travel stories. The best thing about this traveller is their flexibility and openness, so they’ll always be up for doing a last-minute tour with you. No matter where you are in the world, there will always be one around in a hostel prepared to embark on a journey of authentic travel experiences.

#3 The Blogger

 

Girl blogging in room
Image from – https://unsplash.com/photos/ute2XAFQU2I

These people are always taking pictures posing next to things. Whether it be a gimbal or a selfie stick, they’ll make sure to capture every moment of their travel experience. They’re ALWAYS on their phone or laptop, typing away on their hostel bed. You’ll think they’re normal people just like you, only until you search them up and find out they have over 10k insta followers!

#4 The Friend for Life

 

Girls sitting on the wall admiring view
Image from – https://unsplash.com/photos/vRAYwESFc-U

The smallest connection can spark a friendship of a lifetime. You might bond over a travel story, the same taste in music and books. In every hostel, you always have that person that you’ll stick together through thick and thin! Maybe it’s the excitement of travel within the air or the fact that you’re sleeping metres away from each other. But these are the moments you will treasure forever.

#5 The Gap Traveller

 

Traveller walking through street
Image from – https://unsplash.com/photos/_dH-oQF9w-Y

They’ve just started out and they look like they might just explode with excitement. They’ve become jaded travellers whose minds are blown away from all the awesome stuff in the city! Gap year travellers can be quite reinvigorating, so feed off their energy!

#6 The Guitarist

 

Man playing guitar
Image from – https://unsplash.com/photos/hUHzaiAHuUc

Usually found in the common rooms strumming away at his strings on his sticker adorned guitar. Remember this traveler, has held his guitar on his lap throughout the long bus drive, carried and dragged across the airport and all the way to the hostel, just to please the rest of the group and provide melodious tunes. You can request a song, only if its Wonderwall by Oasis.

19 of the best holiday apps you need right now!

Whilst many smartphones have great cameras allowing you to take photos of your travels, the use of phones is now much broader. Your phones application store is home to many of the best holiday apps out there that can help in all of your adventures.

These apps can impact your whole travel experience. We’ve created a list of all the best holiday apps that you need on your phones. They range from ones that help you at the airport, during a flight and also when you explore your destination!

Holiday Planning Apps

#1 Hopper

Hopper is great! It allows travellers to find the cheapest flights possible. This is great if your dates are flexible and are looking to save some cash. Once you put in your home city and destination, Hooper shows you a calendar of the coming year with dates colour-coded to reflect historical price averages.

#2 Service

Service will help you save money for your travels – automatically! For example, if your flight is delayed the app will recognise this, inform you about the delay and also file for compensation! Think of it as your own personal travel butler that takes care of everything. Also, it will update you in case there are any price changes that can save you money. An example? Say the price of your accommodation had reduced, it would go about rebooking it for you at the cheaper rate. Now that’s handy!

#3 FlightAware

The FlightAware app allows you to track flights online to check on delays, cancellations and gate changes. This app is especially helpful if you have a tight connection or when picking friends and family up at the airport. You can track their flight and see updated landing times or delays.

flighaware app on phone and tablet
FlightAware app on phone and tablet Image From – https://flightaware.com/mobile/

#4 Roadtrippers

Perfect for organizing that epic road trip you’ve always dreamed of! Roadtrippers will be able to plan out the best driving route and also shows you the best activities along the way. You can find some really cool off-the-beaten-path roadside attractions as well as cool restaurants and can’t-miss landmarks you can bookmark.

#5 PackPoint

Imagine all the stress of packing gone. Well introducing PackPoint, the app shows you what to bring based on the length of your trip, the weather in your destination and the activities you’re planning along the way. It even allows you to account for washing your clothes and wearing them multiple times. We’ve also created a blog on How to travel with only a backpack!

Holiday Apps for the Airport

#6 Loungebuddy

Loungebuddy is a great app that helps you find & pay for airport lounges around the world. Also, if you find a lower price for the lounge, the app will refund you the difference.

#7 Grab

Searching an airport for food isn’t fun. With Grab, you can easily see restaurants at the airport. You can simply search for the item and order it from the app and walk right up to grab it and go. No waiting in a queue, no trying to weave in and out of people to get your food. It’s all done.

Information on the Grab App
Information on the Grab App Image from – https://www.thefork.com/

In Flight Holiday Apps

#8 Timeshifter

Want to cure your jetlag? Timeshifter is perfect actually starts helping you to avoid jet lag long before your flight takes off. It also suggestions on what to do during the flight and post-flight. The app uses a heavy dose of science to provide personalized recommendations for each traveller whilst considering your age, gender and normal sleep patterns — as well as specifics about your trip and travel plans. Timeshifter maps out when you should avoid or seek light, take a nap or stay awake. It even tells you if you should consider supplementing with melatonin or caffeine.

#9 Netflix

OK, so Netflix isn’t really a travel app, but it can be a lifesaver during a long flight on an aircraft without seatback inflight entertainment, or at the airport during an unexpected flight delay or boring layover. If you have a Netflix account, the app allows you to download your favourite shows onto your device to watch offline. Just make sure to download your shows while connected to Wi-Fi before flying and check them again pre-flight to make sure they haven’t expired (you can usually renew any expired downloads but you must be connected to Wi-Fi or data to do so).

#10 Sky Guru

SkyGuru is an app actually designed by pilots to help people who are not comfortable with flying. It provides weather and turbulence forecasts for the route you’re flying. And whilst there is nothing really you can do it does eliminate the element of shock and allows you to be mentally prepared.

Holiday Apps to help you get around

#11 TripLingo

This app will help you sound like a local and help you adapt to a new culture. You can learn essential phrases, instantly translate your voice or connect to a live translator, get a crash course on the local culture and so much more. Perfect to avoid accidentally offending someone. Speaking about mistakes, have you seen our blog on the WORST mistakes to make when planning a holiday?

#12 GlobeTips

In some countries, if you get this wrong it not only can look bad but can sometimes get you in trouble. The app will detect the country you are in automatically, and help you split the bill with your companions, rounds up calculation results, excludes sales tax, and provides complete tipping guidance based on the local culture and traditions.

#13 Tricount

Travelling in a group can be fun but can also be quite hard to organise, especially when it comes to finances. At the end of the trip, you’re spending a few days working out who owes who. Tricount calculates shared costs and splits bills so you don’t have to think twice about who owes what. Enter your trip and currency and invite your travel mates to join your trip. Each time someone pays for something, you enter the amount in Tricount and the app splits everything evenly.

 Tricount App Display
Tricount App Display
Image from – https://www.tricount.com/en/

 

#14 Google Translate

The Google Translate app is amazing. You can translate anything into 103 languages by typing and access nearly 60 languages offline. You can also use the camera translation function where you simply take a picture of a sign in a different language and the app will translate it!

Holiday Apps to meet people

#15 Meetup

Meetup is an app designed for interacting with locals and other travellers who you share mutual interests with. Whether you’re travelling or at home, take what you love and do more of it with Meetup. The app shows you groups that are formed around particular interests in the city you are in and you can join these groups to get updates on particular events you may want to participate in.

#16 TheFork

TheFork is one of the most useful apps for making restaurant reservations in Europe. Browse different restaurants by category and make reservations. It is available in over 4,000 cities within 11 countries. The added benefit is that with this app you can get great discounts. In some instances, you can get 50% off!

Holiday Safety Apps

#17 TripWhistle

This is a great app to keep you safe in another country. The app maps your location and easily allows you to text and call emergency services without remembering the number.

#18 Sitata

Sitata monitors the world for safety threats, disease outbreaks, violent protests and anything else that might be dangerous for your trip. It ranks locations based on safety ratings and highlights regions with increased levels of risk. If something dangerous occurs while you’re travelling, the app will send an alert to your phone to keep you updated.

#19 NordVPN

NordVPN a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when travelling abroad is necessary if you want to stay safe when using the internet, especially if you’re using an overseas public Wi-Fi spot. A VPN takes your internet traffic and reroutes it through an independent server so whatever you do online stays hidden from anyone trying to access your browsing data via your I.P. address.

 

 

Explore Central Europe with Safestay

That is why we are growing to give you more affordable accommodation across Europe. That is why we now have over 20 hostels & hotels across Europe with 5 of them in Central Europe! So we think it’s time to show you how to explore Central Europe.

When to visit?

The strange thing about visiting Central Europe is that there are many different advantages to visiting anytime throughout the year! However, no surprise but it is usually very busy during the Summer months as this is when everyone tends to travel.

So to beat the crowds we recommend visiting Central Europe during the spring and fall shoulder seasons, particularly late May and September. During both of these months, temperatures are warm and rainfall is relatively low.

Surprisingly, another pleasant time to visit is in November and December. Central Europe is truly magical at this time of year, especially as snow begins to lightly dust the ground and rooftops. And of course, the Christmas Markets are also out in full force, showcasing the European holiday spirit at its finest.

Why visit Central Europe?

#1 Food glorious food

Central Europe is rich with amazing cuisine which will make any foodie drool—and also home to some of the best beers, wines and liquors in the world. Generally, these smaller countries don’t produce enough to export so they keep the best for themselves. Another reason why you have to visit!

#2 Great value for money

Accommodation and transport are significantly less than those in Western Europe. A private walking tour, for example, might cost $100 or less; a nice meal for two with wine might cost $40.

#3 A variety of cultures

Within a small area, you can experience so many unique and different cultures. Everything is reachable by train so grab an interrail pass and live the travel life.

#4 Strong traditions and authentic experiences

While catching up with modern times, cities like Prague and Warsaw still are steeped in tradition, and their people still celebrate local customs and festivals throughout the year. Narrow alleyways are fun and easy to navigate, with hidden gems in every corner.

#5 Landscapes and vistas abound

The region provides so many different settings, from breathtaking nature with a range of national parks, mountains & lakes to countryside villages and cosmopolitan cities.

How to travel between Central Europe?

Interrail! What better way is there to travel than by train as you get to explore the beauty of the whole city and its countrysides as you travel from one country into another. You can get an interrail global pass starting from €150. We recommend getting the 15-day pass which is €307. This would be the perfect amount of days to explore the 5 cities.

There are also youth discounts for anyone 27 or under where you can get 23% off.

So, we’ll help you make the plan.

We’ve done our research and mapped out the best way to visit the major cities of Central Europe, Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Bratislava & Warsaw, all by train! And the best part! We have hotels/hostels in all of these cities! That’s 2 things, travel & accommodation, you don’t have to worry about now!

For this trip, we are going to be starting this journey in Berlin!

Safestay Berlin → Safestay Prague

The best way to get to Prague would be to take the Eurocity from BERLIN SUEDKREUZ (Germany) train station directly to PRAGUE HLAVNI NADRAZI (Czech Republic) station. The journey usually takes 4 and a half hours. You can purchase tickets here

Safestay Prague → Safestay Vienna

The best way to get to Vienna would be to take the Rail Jet from PRAGUE HLAVNI NADRAZI (Czech Republic) train station directly to WIEN HBF (Austria) station. The journey usually takes 4 hours. You can purchase tickets here

Safestay Vienna → Safestay Bratislava

The best way to get to Bratislava would be to take the Regional Train from WIEN HBF (Austria) train station directly to BRATISLAVA-PETRZALKA (Slovakia) station. The journey usually takes 1 hour. You can purchase tickets here

Safestay Bratislava → Safestay Warsaw

The best way to get to Warsaw would be to take the EURO CITY from BRATISLAVA HLAVNA STANICA (Slovakia) train station directly to WARSZAWA CENTRALNA (Poland) station. The journey is the longest and takes approximately 8 hours. You can purchase tickets here

Safestay Warsaw → Safestay Berlin

The best way to get back to Berlin would be to take the FAST AND COMFORTABLE INTERREGIONAL TRAINS from WARSZAWA CENTRALNA (Poland) train station directly to BERLIN OSTBAHNHOF (Germany) station. The journey is the longest and takes approximately 5 and a half hours. You can purchase tickets here

The Best Christmas markets in Europe

The best Christmas markets bring tourists and locals together to celebrate the festive season. If the cold gets too much, a sip of Bailey’s hot chocolate or hot mulled wine will fight off the cold whilst you browse through the stalls on offer. 

Europe is home to the world’s best Christmas markets. They are a great place to immerse yourself in the country’s culture whilst enjoying local food, drinks and festive activities on offer.

Our guide to the best Christmas markets in Europe will show you the best things to do in each market. There is also handy information on opening times and what to do when you’re there.

 

#1 London – Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Location: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London, W2
Dates: 4pm 21 Nov 2019 then 10am – 10pm every day until 5 Jan 2020

 

About:

During the festive season, the famous Hyde Park is transformed into a winter paradise. On the 21st November, the doors open to show the ever so popular Winter Wonderland.

There are over 100 rides and attractions, thrilling shows, London’s biggest Christmas market and also Santa Land. It also has the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink perfect for everyone to enjoy.

With restaurants, cafes and themed bars you’ll be spoilt for choice but never far from a full stomach. At nights, Hyde Park is transformed by thousands of sparkling lights, so enjoy a mulled wine or Bavarian beer and join in the festive atmosphere.

Attractions:
Skate on the UK’s largest outdoor Ice Rink
Take a journey into the Magical Ice Kingdom
Experience even taller spectacular views from the Giant Observation Wheel
Drink festive cocktails at Bar Ice
Bring out your inner artist at the Ice Sculpting Workshops
& much more!

 

Check out the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland video!

 

Getting here:
The easiest way to get to Winter Wonderland is to use public transport. Many tubes stations are closely located to Hyde Park including Victoria, Bond Street, Knightsbridge, Green Park, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner.

Tickets:
Free to enter
Attractions cost

Looking for somewhere to stay?
We’ve got 2 great hostels in the centre of London. One in Elephant & Castle and one in Kensington Holland Park. Prices from £9 per night in November and includes our -35% OFF which you can get for free here!

 

#2 Old Town Square Christmas Market, Prague, Czech Republic

Location: Old Town Square, Prague
Dates: December 1, 2019 – January 6, 2020

 

About:

Where else would you go than the largest Christmas market in Prague! This Christmas market is located right in the centre of Old Town Square in front of the Astronomical Clock. As you’d expect, this also tends to be the most crowded market.

This market is where you’ll be able to see the Prague Christmas Tree. The huge tree is the centrepiece of the market and stands in front of the Church of Tyn so you can get some great photos. The tree is beautifully decorated with lights and ornaments. Be sure to visit at night as this is when it looks beautiful! The first tree lighting takes place on the 1st of December at 16:30 and is animated to music.

There are many stalls with delicious local food to sample. Be sure to try Pražská Šunka which is a large ham roasted on a spit, langoš which is a Hungarian flatbread topped with garlic, cheese and ketchup; and a variety of sweets and cakes, such as trdelník which is a famous hot sugar-coated pastry.

Check out this Old Town Square Christmas Market video to see what it’s like!

 

 

Looking for somewhere to stay?
We’ve got a great hostel in Prague! Prices from €6 per night in November and includes our -35% OFF which you can get for free here!

#3 Plaza Mayor Christmas Market

Location: Plaza Mayor, Madrid
Dates: From November to December (Dates to be confirmed)

 

About:

With the advent of Christmas, Madrid’s Plaza Mayor becomes a huge market where citizens and tourists can find all types of festive traditions such as stalls selling Christmas musical instruments & toys.

The Plaza Mayor Market is back to celebrate the festive season with all those who come and visit its 104 stands. The Traditional Christmas Fair of Plaza Mayor Association brings together all the vendors from this venue to offer their traditional products like Christmas decorations and joke items.

Check out Plaza Mayor Christmas Market video!

 

 

Looking for somewhere to stay?
We’ve got a great hostel in the centre of Madrid! Prices from €14 per night in November and includes our -35% OFF which you can get for free here!

#4 Edinburgh’s Christmas

Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Dates: 16th November – 4th January 2020

 

About:
Edinburgh’s Christmas Market will return to East Princes St Gardens for another year of festive fun and will offer a range of activities perfect for everyone! It will also feature the classic Santa Land & the famous Johnnie Walker Bothy Bar

Santa Land

Santa Land is a great pop area that features many great festive attractions. Get lost in a Christmas Tree Maze, reach the stars with Candy Cane Bungees, or slide down the big Helter Skelter. There is also a rollercoaster that will get your adrenaline running.

Johnnie Walker Bothy Bar

The Johnnie Walker Bothy Bar will open its doors to the world of whisky this winter. Situated across a two-floor bar on the Mound, it will serve a variety of whisky cocktails and hot toddies to surprise and delight, showcasing the unique flavours of the traditional Scottish whisky

Check out Edinburgh’s Christmas Market 2018

 

Looking for somewhere to stay?
We’ve got a great hostel in the centre of Edinburgh! Prices from £9.00 per night in November and includes our -35% OFF which you can get for free here!

#5 York Christmas Festival

Location: York, United Kingdom
Dates: 14 November – 22 December 2019

 

About:

York adds a special medieval charm to its Christmas Festival. It was voted the UK’s Most Festive City in 2017 and it’s easy to see why. You get scents of spiced mulled wine and delicious food fill the air making it a fun place to be.

Make sure you are in the city centre for the first night of the York Christmas Festival so see the official lights come on for the first time. It will without a doubt get you in the festive spirit!

FOOD & DRINK
You won’t be disappointed with the selection of food and drink available at this Christmas festival.

THOR’s Tipi is a wonderful place to be to grab a great drink. Set up in a large Viking type tent you can grab a drink and cosy up around a log fire to get you in the Viking spirit. It is FREE to enter and NO bookings are required

For some delicious grub, you can check our the Shambles Food Court inside the historically famous Shambles Market. It offers delicious street food every day of the week and makes for the perfect spot for a lunchtime treat. It also hosts evening events.

Check out the York Christmas Festival

 

Looking for somewhere to stay?
We’ve got a great hostel in the centre of York! Prices from £6.50 per night in November and includes our -35% OFF which you can get for free here!

#6 Fira de Santa Llúcia, Barcelona

Location: Barcelona, Spain
Dates: TBC

 

About:
If you’re looking for something different this winter then Barcelona is the city for you! You’ll be able to feel the festive spirit without having to face the cold. The whole city is decorated including the streets and the towering fir trees at in Plaça de Sant Jaume and Portal de l’Angel.

In terms of markets, the one you should visit is the main fair which began over 225 years ago – Fira de Santa Llúcia. It is camped right underneath the Gothic Cathedral and you can find many stalls there selling handmade goods and seasonal items.

If you do want to feel a little cold during the festive season in Barcelona you can visit the Ice Bar. It is open throughout December and has a sub-zero chamber full of amazing frozen sculptures. Even the glasses are made of ice! The bar is right by the beach.

Getting here:
By Metro you can take the Juame I (line 4) and the Liceu (line 3)
By Bus you can take lines 14, 45, 59, 120, V15,V17 and touristic buses.

Tickets: FREE

Looking for somewhere to stay? We’ve got 3 great hostels in Barcelona! Prices from €6 per night in November and includes our -35% OFF which you can get for free here!

#7 Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt, Vienna

Location: Rathausplatz, Vienna
Dates: Nov 15 to Dec 26, 2019

 

About:
The most famous Christmas market in Vienna is the Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt. Right in the centre of the market, you’ll find the enormous Rathaus Christmas tree.

In terms of festive foods, you’ll find traditional roast chestnut stalls, a host of stands selling everything from cream-filled pastries and a dozen varieties of pretzels, giant doughnuts and Victorian-style lollipops. These will certainly get you in the festive spirit.

Whilst the Christkindlmarkt is open all day, the best time to visit is at night as this is when the lights and smells combine to give the true Christmas market experience.

Check out this cool video on Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt

 

Getting here:
The market is easily reached by public transport. The trams 1, 71 and D stop right outside (the stop called Rathausplatz / Burgtheater).

 

Looking for somewhere to stay?
We’ve got a great hotel in the centre of Vienna! Prices from €48 per night in November and includes our -35% OFF which you can get for free here!!

#8 Winter Wonders Festival, Brussels

Location: Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium
Dates: From 29 November 2019 till 5 January 2020

 

About:
Like many cities, Brussels hosts a variety of Christmas markets. For example, you have the one:

at the Grand-Place, the Marché aux Poissons, around la Bourse de Bruxelles, the Place Sainte-Catherine & the Place de la Monnaie

The main one that we suggest you should visit is the one at the Grand-Place! It’s the heart of the Winter Wonders Festival where the gigantic Christmas tree is set up. The best part of the market is their sound and light show that takes place every half hour. During the show, the buildings all lit up to give you a spectacular show. There is also a gigantic Ferris wheel where you can get the best views of the city.

You can find all types of local treats in the market stalls. Out of all them, we recommend trying the waffles! This is what the city is known for so you have to try one. There are two versions – Brussels waffle and Liège waffle. You can also add any toppings you want.

Check out last year’s Christmas Market in Brussels video!

 

Getting here:
By train
The Central train station is less than a 5min walk from the main market at Grand Place. However, if you’re arriving at the Brussels Midi train station, it’s about 2km to the city centre.

Looking for somewhere to stay?
We’ve got a great hotel in the centre of Brussels! Prices from €61 per night in November and includes our -35% OFF which you can get for free here!

#9 Wonderland Parque Eduardo VII, Lisbon

Location: Parque Eduardo VII, Lisbon
Dates: 1 December to 1 January

 

About:

Several Christmas markets take place across Lisbon but the main and biggest market is the Wonderland Parque Eduardo VII. This is one of the biggest markets in the city. Here you will find stalls selling unique handcrafted goods, an ice-skating rink and a Ferris Wheel! The main tree is located at Praça do Comércio and it’s worth a visit during December as this is where there is a light show and a movie is projected onto the buildings.

Also if you head north of Lisbon (an hour’s drive) you’ll find a small town called Obidos. Every year the town transforms itself into a Christmas village! There is everything there, an ice skating rink, an ice slide, Santa’s house and a fairground.

Looking for somewhere to stay?
We’ve got a great hostel in the centre of Lisbon! Prices from €7 per night in November and includes our -35% OFF which you can get for free here!

#10 Advent Feast at the Basilica in Budapest

Location: Budapest, Hungary
Dates: From 23rd November 2019 to 6th January 2020.

 

About:
The festive spirit is set right in front of Budapest’s grandest cathedral. The open-air market will have everything you can imagine. From delightful stalls selling amazing festive items to delicious Hungaris festive food. The most popular tret is ‘flódni,’ which is a Hungaricum chimney cake.

Be sure to go to the 3D light show which will give you a new dimension of the façade of St. Stephen’s Basilica.

Check out this video on Christmas in Budapest

 

Do you think another Christmas Market should make this list? Let us know!

How To Travel With Only a Backpack

Many travellers have learnt how to pack efficinetly so that they can travel with only carry on luggage. This blog will show you how you can travel with only a backpack.

Let’s first consider the benefits of only travelling with a backpack

  • Save time at airports – Get ready to avoid check-in queues and problems with ‘overweight’ luggage’ and head straight through security.
  • Save money – Sometimes airlines charge you check-in luggage so by not taking any you’re actually saving money!
  • Reduce stress – You don’t have to worry about your suitcase when you don’t have one! And also you don’t want to be lugging it around a busy city as well.
  • More freedom – You have one less thing to worry about when choosing what activities you go as you don’t have to consider where you will keep your suitcase and can also be more spontaneous for activities.

Now we’ll consider how you can travel with only a backpack. The following list will be tips on how you can save space and pack smart.

#1 Wear your bulky items

This is probably the best tip in our list. Bulky items can take up a lot of space in your bags so the best thing to do would be to wear them. Things like thick jackets and trousers are the best examples of what we mean.

#2 Pack your backpack it right

 

The way you fold your clothes is important to save space. You can either roll them up as this helps to minimise space and avoids creases in your clothes. Or, you could either group them together as daily packs.

Be sure to check out Travel Dave’s tips on how to pack clothes in a backpack 

 

#3 Consider the weather

We understand that when you choose your clothes you have to consider the weather, and normally when its cold ou expect to be carrying thicker items but that doesn’t always have to be the case if you want to travel with only a backpack.

You can still layer multiple thin layers to stay warm rather than pack a thick coat. Also, you can get jackets that fold and fit into a small pocket-sized bag.

 

Just to let you know, check out our ultimate travel tips for backpackers blog for more great advice!

#4 Pack items that you can wear multiple occasions

It’s not about being a fashion icon but rather seeing whether you can wear multiple items for different occasions.

The best clothes are the ones that can be mixed and matched with other colours. Opt for plain T-shirts and thing shirts as these can pass off for formal events and casual events.

 

 

#5 Choose accommodation with a washing machine

Opt for accommodation where you can wash your clothes as that way you can pack less knowing that you will be able to wash them.

Here at Safestay, our hostels and hotels have washing facilities as well as ironing facilities for you! Next time you are planning a trip to anywhere in Europe be sure to check us out!

#6 Use Packing Organisers

This is a great tip to make sure you separate your items and also make all your items square in shape. This will allow for easier arrangements in your bag rather than packing obscure items together.

We recommend your items as the following;
Clothing, Underwear & Socks, Laundry, Medical kit with ziplock bags & Chargers / Tech.

#7 Toiletries

As you’ll be taking your bag on the flight you will be restricted to travel-sized luggage. But that’s okay as firstly it’s easier to fit them into a small backpack and it’s a lot easier to buy them locally saving space in your luggage and is also one less thing for you to worry about

#8 Search for compact items

If you need to take a specific item that is normally quite bulky you can bet that there is a smaller and more compact version on the market. For example, instead of taking a big towel, you can opt for the thin microfibre towels! We’ve got exactly those towels at Safestay which you can buy and use for your whole travels!

The WORST mistakes to make when planning a holiday!

Are you in the throes of planning your holiday? Struggling to decide whether you’ve planned for everything so that it can all run smoothly? Don’t worry we are all the same! We all want to make sure we’ve got the best flight prices, the best accommodation prices and the correct budget. BUT. There are some things we tend to forget to consider when planning a holiday! Not sure what they are? Luckily for you, we have written a blog on the worst mistakes to make when planning a holiday!

#1 Packing too late

We all know someone who leaves everything to the last minute but this shouldn’t apply to this case.

Some might think that ‘oh if I pack last minute I will only take what I need’

Well… The truth is, it’s actually one of the worst mistakes to make when planning a holiday and the opposite actually happens!

When you’re in a panic you’ll naturally want to take everything you can and convince yourself by saying ‘just in case’

Be wise and pack at least a week before to ensure you don’t overpack! Check out our blog on backpacking tips for some nifty tricks when it comes to travelling!

#2 Not booking your accommodation direct!

When you book via an online travel agency you are paying more than it would cost to book directly with the accommodation’s website!

You can also get a lot of benefits when you book direct. If you want something for a special occasion or any extras to your booking, you can arrange this easier when you book direct!

Speaking of which, we’ve got great accommodation across Europe. Check them out!

#3 Checking your passport too late!

A classic! If this hasn’t happened to you, you surely know someone it’s happened to!

Because passports last so long we tend to forget about when they expire. So before you even start planning for a holiday, check your passport to make sure it will still be valid!

#4 Not doing enough research!

This goes without saying if you don’t do your research on your holiday you will find it difficult!

Wherever you want to travel to it is important to know what to expect and have some local knowledge for when you arrive.

We live in the 21st century. The internet is filled with billions upon billions of links on google that will give you tonnes of information.

You can read travel blogs to get an account for personal experience or read some trip advisor reviews to see what there is to do in the location. There are also Youtube videos that will be able to show you visually what you can do!

Be sure to research any rules or important information you need to know before you go. You don’t want to end up on the wrong side of the law by mistake!

#5 Planning too many activities!

Whilst there can be too little planning there can also be too much planning!

We know what it’s like, you’re only on holiday for a few days and want to do as many things as possible.

Whilst that might seem exciting at first it can be very very draining and end up as a mistake on your holiday plans.

Also, unplanned events like delayed flights or cancelled tours can dramatically affect your next plans if you’ve planned something for every hour of every day.

Remember it is far better to do a few things with a relaxed mind rather than a lot of things in a rush.

#6 Spending all your time in transit

Whilst it might be a good idea to visit a lot of places at once again this can be exhausting.

You’ll find yourself on the move and in transit for most of your trip rather than relaxing and taking in the city that you are in!

You might be saying oh it’s only a couple hours here and there. Well, add all those couple hours and you actually end up with a full day of travelling! That’s a whole day of holiday wasted.

#7 Setting expectations too high

It’s natural to expect the best but is probably one of the biggest mistakes to make when planning a holiday.

We are all human and all think that our holiday is going to be amazing. But the biggest mistake is to set your expectations too high!

This will only lead to disappointment when something doesn’t go your way. Notice we said when and not if.

Something will always not go your way and that will probably ruin your holiday if you set high expectations.

#8 Not reading reviews!

You can’t get any better information than from other travellers! Read reviews on everything even the activities you want to do in the destination!

The reason we say this is that you can gain a better understanding of the experience before going and prepare for anything that you might not have known!

#9 Booking flights last minute!

Doing this is a risky game and sometimes it might not pay off.

Sometimes while it might actually be cheaper, the prices usually increase as the departure date draws near.

We recommend booking at least 3 weeks before you want to travel to get the best deals!

 

 

 

Think we’ve missed something out?

Send us a DM to out Instagram @SafestayHostels and we’ll add it in!

Winter Holiday Sale

-40 % OFF ANY BOOKING

 

WHEN CAN I BOOK?

This offer starts on the 23rd of December 2019 and ends on the 6th of January 2020

 

WHERE CAN I STAY?

Available to book at any of our locations!

Brussels – Vienna – London – Edinburgh – York – Glasgow – Madrid – Barcelona – Lisbon – Prague – Berlin – Pisa

 

WHEN CAN I STAY?

Search dates between 23rd December 2019 to 29th February 2020

For stay dates from 1st March 2020 onwards, you will receive the generic -35% MEMBERS Discount

 

HOW DO I GET THE CODE?

  1. Simply sign up to our membership!
  2. After signing up you’ll get a code sent to your email!
  3. Head over to our Book Now Page
  4. Select your dates between 23rd December 2019 to 29th February 2020
  5. Enter the unique code and click apply
  6. YOU CAN USE THIS CODE MORE THAN ONCE!

 

TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • Offer ends 6th January
  • Standard terms & conditions apply 
  • Bookings available for any day of the week
  • Bookings are non-refundable
  • Applies to new bookings only, existing booking cannot be amended
  • Does not apply for bookings on new years eve
  • Subject to availability at time of booking and not applicable in combination with other promotional offers
  • Safestay reserves the right to withdraw this offer
  • Offer does not apply to bookings made via the Groups reservations team

Safestay Members always get the best rate. Guaranteed.

Join with just your email address and instantly get a code sent to your inbox! Use the code for multiple bookings throughout the year.

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