The Independent Hostels of Germany are the association of independent, privately-run hostels in Germany. We currently have 61 members in 34 locations. We represent our network hostels´ interests in the political arena, support each other in marketing and know-how, and offer guests a central point for information about hostels in Germany. 

Hostels are becoming more professionalized, from increasingly larger properties to the large market share already claimed by hostel chains. But you are not alone. We have brought together a broad range of properties, offering greater variety, with more know-how and ideas. 

To further enhance what we offer our guests and to strengthen our network, we are looking for more members. Together, we can achieve more.

A strong network needs strong partners - maybe even you?

What we offer:

Joint Presentation and Marketing:

  • Listing on our website with all contact details. Access to booking requests for network members, totalling approximately € 500,000 (average value per hostel about 7,000 €). Possibility of confirmed bookings in real-time, using various payment options (including direct debit and PayPal) and a mobile version. 
  • Listing in our Hostel Network Guide, latest edition 60,000 units, shipped to other hostels located throughout Europe and distribution on the information board in our network members´ hostels
  • Info panel with removable frame for up-to-date posters and the Hostel Guide
  • Bimonthly newsletter for guests in German and Englisch
  • Hostel labels so guests can choose a property to best suit their needs and to communicate the strengths of the individual hostels
  • Our logo, as an established mark of quality and name brand
  • 10% discount promotion for customer loyalty and as a further means of mutual advertising
  • Joint marketing on Facebook:
  • Blog about cheap travel in Germany:
  • Participation in contests (e.g. hostel beds are made available as prizes for give-aways or private raffles) 
  • and much more... listing on a special page with Hostelsclub, exchange ads with other networks, exchange of Facebook posts, ...

Information exchange: 

  • Bi-monthly newsletter with news from the scene, current developments in the market and among our individual members and the Network itself
  • Timely assistance and exchange of practical know-how and ideas through an internal mailing list
  • Our head office provides a single point of contact for other market participants and the press concerning hostels in Germany
  • Single point of contact for information, comparisons and statistics, or assistance, for example, the use of reservation systems or channel managers
  • Information exchange and collaboration with other national hostel organizations

Cooperation and Networking:

  • Hostel networking through meetings and/or by personal contact
  • Annual hostel meetings, staff meetings and a leisure-oriented summer meeting
  • A simple tool linking the hostel websites with each other
  • Free or affordable accommodation made available to each other, even for employees


  • Various group deals (Panoramofotos, Natural Power, DZT brochure "Small Prices for the Trip", credit card payment solutions ...) 

Advocacy and Joint Action: 

  • Radio licensing fees
  • Consistent criticism of market participation by charitable organizations
  • Fairness and opportunity: a level playing field for all
  • Joint action, e.g. to oppose travel site commissions or a “Best Price Guarantee” and development of a best price logo for international use
  • Contacts with other associations and organizations and cooperation in appropriate subjects

and more:

  • Business start-up advice and coaching

Terms of Agreement: 
  • Hostels must offer more beds in shared rooms than private rooms
  • Hostel must have typical social areas/structures, such as a common area/lobby, guest kitchen, guest activities, bar or similar 
  • Each hostel must perform their own marketing, such as maintaining a website or flyer. The hostel must not be exclusively bookable through booking engines. 
  • Public charities cannot become members. Exceptions for non charitable associations may be possible, subject to a Network members´ vote
  • Each hostel should offer additional guest services, which are mainly provided to backpackers and individual travelers. Examples: hair dryer rental, computer(s) for guest use, board games, lockers in shared rooms, tea and coffee, fixed and welcoming reception operating times, WiFi, safe, luggage storage, laundry or laundry service, city info and maps, breakfast service, bicycle rental, billiard table, book exchange ... these services should primarily be catered to individual travelers. 
  • At least 50% of a member hostel´s yearly guests must be individual travelers
  • Accommodation must also be made available to guests without a reservation (walk-ins) – based on availability
  • Hostel chains cannot become members. A hostel chain is defined as a company operating several hostels under the same name and with the same concept (brand recognition, branding). Exceptions for hostels with a maximum of 2 properties within Germany can be obtained through a vote by Network members and the Board.
  • The maximum number of beds a property may have is 300. For larger properties, exceptions can be obtained through a vote by Network members and the Board
  • If there is a lack in quality standards, as perceived by external sources (guest reviews, press, etc.), the Board may seek clarification from the property and could possibly deny or revoke a hostel´s membership into the Network

Membership requirements: 

In order to achieve a common existence, we expect our members to perform certain measures. As other properties advertise for you, you are expected to do the same. 
  • Information board and badge displayed in the hostel or next to the front door entrance
  • Network logo, with a link to Network, to be displayed on individual website
  • Integration of the logo on flyers and other printed materials and stationery 
  • Link to all other members on the homepage; the Network provides a tool that keeps these links up-to-date 
  • Notation of membership in e-mail signatures

Membership Dues:

The association is funded, almost exclusively, by the contributions of its members. The funds will be primarily used for the office, (further) development and operation of the website, media relations, hostel meetings, and production of various materials, such as the Network Hostel Guide, posters etc.. We can send a current medium-reference upon request.

The annual contribution is comprised of
  • 300 € annual fee (a reduced fee of 200 € available for very small hostels), plus
  • 3 € per bed
  • at the moment, no admission fee will be charged

Want to become a member? How it works: 

1. Read the statute (in German)
2. Read members duties & membership fee regulations (in German)
3. Complete the application form (in German)
4. Email the completed form, as well as any questions you may have, to:


Name: Independent Hostels of Germany e.V.
Legal Entity: a registered association in the Hamburg Registry VR 18390
Date of Establishment: 2002 
Association´s Objective: The mutual support of independent hostels in Germany
Registered office: c / o Five Elements Hostel, Mosel Strasse 40, 60329 Frankfurt
Office: c / o Mario Sonntag, Central Globetrotter Hostel Leipzig/Kurt Schumacher Straße 41 in 04105 Leipzig
Board of Directors: Michael Lottes - Lollis Homestay Hostel Dresden; Alexander Grothe - Central Globetrotter Hostel Leipzig; Jörg Schöpfel - EastSeven Hostel Berlin
Number of members (current): 61
Number of cities (current): 34
Number of beds (current): 5393
Slogan: Stay different!