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World on a Shoestring A beginnger's guide to traveling around the world...as written by beginners...

Going Dutch with Mother Nature

SPAIN | Thursday, 9 August 2007 | Views [3342] | Comments [2]

When it comes to travelling around the world, whether backpacker or tourist, rich or poor, everyone needs a place to crash at night. While your options are limitless, for the sake of brevity and the audience, we´ll limit this discussion to just one of those options. If you´re on a budget like us, there´s really only one option...the cheapest option. For 30 € a night or more, you can hire a bed for a night at any hostel in any city and share a room (and a bathroom) with 20 other travellers. Or, you can foot more than three-quarters of the bill to mother nature, let her provide the housing and all you have to bring is your tent, and a sleeping bag!

The biggest problem with camping is that most people think it is not available in big cities. Sucks for them, good for you, ´cuz this guarantees you a nice spot on the ground regardless of reservations. Every major city we´ve visited has not only had more than one public campsite, but has also provided full access through public transportation. Keep reading to get a taste of some of our favorite flavors...

1. Camping Zeeburg - Amsterdam, Holland - Great place to camp, no reservations necessary. This is a great place to go to escape the non-stop party crowds of one of Europe´s biggest party cities, as well as the 150€ price tags of the center city hotels. For a little more than ten euro per night you get a view of the river, a laid back atmosphere, helpful service, and a market that sells Heinekens for 1 €! A short ride on tram 26 to Ijburg, get off at Zuiderseewerg, and follow the signs.

2. Munchen Thalkirchen Campingplatz - Munich, Germany - 20 minutes gets you outside the city limits and the high prices of hostels and hotels. A nice gated campground located just across from a public park and down the street from a supermarket has everything you need. Just a short ride on the U Bahn direction Furstendried West to Thalkirchen (Tierpark) and then transfer to bus #57 to the last stop or follow the signs by foot.

3. Camping Eichholtz - Bern, Switzerland - One of our favorites, a quite campground right along a glacial river and adjacent to a local park, this campground is perfect for a short break from the hectic life of a traveller. It has a restaurant, cooking facilities and a great footpath along the river. Take tram 9 from the main bahnhof, get off at the endstation Wabern and walk down Eichholtz Strasse and you can´t miss it!

4. Camping Serenissima - Venice, Italy - Once you´ve figured out that bus number 53 never actually comes and you have to take the bus labelled PADOVA to the front of the site, you´ll see that you´ve selected a great campsite just outside the city of canals. With every tent site surrounded by flowers and shaded by trees, this campingplatz is buzzing with families.

5. Camping Parc Bellevue - Cannes, France - Try and check into a hotel in Cannes and you´re sure to find that you´ve maxed your credit card. The cheaper alternative is just about 15 minutes outside the city on the #2 bus to Les Bastides. Cheap accommodation with a free pool and entertainment for the kids every night! Swell!

6. Camping Asprovalta - Thessaloniki, Greece - Actually located two hours south of Thessaloniki, this is where you go to get away from everything...and we mean everything. Beyond the camp site and the market across the street, there is little else in the area. But, the campsite does boast its own beach front with some of the best sunrises and sunsets in the world. The only hard part about getting here is finding the bus station in Thessaloniki that runs right to the campsite, but on the plus side, the bus ticket´s only 6€! To find the bus station, make a left out of the main train station and keep walking until you see the McDonald´s, hang a louie and go straight up.

7. Camping Haller - Budapest, Hungary - A small, gated campsite within walking distance of the city center, this campsite is perfect. There aren´t any cooking facilities, but if you stay three days you get the fourth free...not a bad deal. If you don´t want to walk, just take tram 24 to BalazsBela and look for the sign. Oh, and when you get to the main train station, tell Zeb Jake and Genny said what´s up.

8. Sighisoara, Transylvania, Romania - This place has no name, and if you don´t know its there, you´ll never find it. Once you get off the train, just walk to the center of town. This shouldn´t take you more than ten minutes. Once at the main road, stay to the left side and you´ll come to an archway with ¨CAMPING¨ painted on the wall. Follow the sign, say hey to the guard in any language he speaks, which seems to be all of them, and then check in. The office is in the school building, and its not marked, so don´t hesitate to walk right in and shout...4 € a night...unbeatable.

9. Camping Del Mar - Barcelona, Spain - After a late arrival and a night at the wrong camp site (Camping Vilanova, 38€ a night!) we found the right place and that´s where we are now. A few blocks from the beach, two swimming pools, and the softest ground we´ve slept on yet. Just take the L94 or 95 bus from Placa Espanya and ask the driver to stop there for you.

10. Camping Berlin - where do you think? - Not the best scenery, but easily the most convenient as its located a few city blocks from the main sightseeing district. But its low price reflects its quality. The ground is hard, and the bar on the premises rocks til the wee hours of the mourning. We were also unlucky enough to be there during the worst lightning storm we´ve ever seen...for six hours! But, you can literally throw a rock from the site and hit the main bahnhof. Just exit out of the train station, turn left on Invalidenstrasse, walk 100 meters, turn right to Lehrter Strasse, left on Srydittzstrasse and there you are.

So those are our top ten. Of course there´s plenty more, but these are the ones worth mentioning. Beyond those listed above, we´ve also camped in Vienna, and Perugia, Italy. Each of the places we listed offers sites for no more than 22€ a night for two people. Beat that. So, if you´re tight on dough and feeling particularly spiteful of your chiropractor, sleeping on the ground across Europe is a sure way to light a fire under his ass.

Tags: Budgets & money



Love your blog by the way :)
My b/friend and I are heading across europe in April and wanting to camp the whole way. But were wanting to know if most camp grounds are safe to leave your tent pitched and if theres a chance things will get stolen if we leave the site for the day?? Our main countries being Germany, Austria, Italy and Greece. thanx

  Sarah Feb 4, 2008 12:33 AM


Hi there! My travel companion, Alys and I have also been camping across Europe and it sure makes such a difference with how you see a place. Thanks for all the campground info. I am sure it will come in handy! Happy travels,
Jess and Alys

  alysandjess Aug 12, 2008 1:59 AM

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