General Terms and Conditions for Youth Hostels

Youth hostels (YH) are establishments of the regional associations of the Deutsches Jugendherbergswerk (German Youth Hostel Association) (DJH) or establishments of other responsible bodies affiliated with the DJH.

Membership of the Deutsches Jugendherbergswerk or of a disparate association affiliated with the International Youth Hostel Federation (IYHF) is a pre-requisite for YH acceptance. This may be acquired on site within the youth hostels.

Youth hostel accommodation is primarily offered to young people and to families.

Children’s groups and youth groups must be accompanied by at least one person responsible for their supervision.

1. Booking

1.1 Guests may book accommodation in person, on the telephone, by fax, by post, by e-mail or also online.

1.2 The booking request should provide the following information: name, address, dates of arrival and departure, number of people (specifying the number of male and female guests), date of birth, membership number (if available). Family bookings should specify the age of the child or children and any special requests.

1.3 The reservation shall become binding upon both parties upon written or verbal confirmation thereof and/or upon conclusion of a written confirmation of occupancy.

1.4 A written Agreement of Occupancy shall be concluded with families and groups, and specific to extended occupancy.

1.5 Unannounced guests may be provided accommodation solely if the occupancy status permits this.

2. Payment

Payment for accommodation in youth hostels shall be due no later than at the time of departure. Pre-payment may be requested. Further details shall be provided in the Agreement of Occupancy concluded.

3. Cancellations

3.1 Guests who do not have a written Agreement of Occupancy may cancel their booking telephonically. Cancellation must be received by the youth hostel by 6.00 P.M. on the day prior to the scheduled date of arrival.

3.2 Guests in possession of a written Agreement of Occupancy must effect cancellation in writing. Notification of cancellation must be received by the youth hostel no later than eight weeks prior to the scheduled date of arrival, unless otherwise covenanted in the Agreement of Occupancy. Notification of the number of participants must also be submitted in writing no later than eight weeks prior to the scheduled date of arrival.

3.3 Notifications received within the eight week period prior to arrival – and thereafter – shall unequivocally be governed by the provisions cited under “Cancellation charges” detailed in the next section.

3.4 The youth hostels shall be entitled to rescind approval of the booking and/or the written Agreement of Occupancy vis-à-vis registered guests in the event of non-availability of the agreed or covenanted services up to four weeks prior to the date of arrival. In such a case, they shall be obligated to inform registered guests immediately of such non-availability and to refund any pre-payments already remitted to them. Guests thus affected shall be provided support in their identification of alternative accommodation.

4. Cancellation charges

4.1 In the event that cancellation periods shall fail to be observed, or should there be a discrepancy of at least ten per cent between the number of guests who shall have registered and those who shall have actually arrived, or should the guests fail to arrive at all, the youth hostel shall levy compensation charges of fifty per cent per person and per day specific to all covenanted services unless the guest shall demonstrate that damages of an appreciably lower extent, or no damages at all, shall have been incurred.

4.2 In the event that the costs incurred by the youth hostel in consequence of cancellation shall be demonstrably higher than the fixed amount, the guest shall be liable for remittance of this amount.

4.3 Compensation shall not be due if the covenanted services shall be utilised by other guests.

5. Membership

Submission of a valid membership card is a pre-requisite for utilisation of the youth hostels.

6. Individual membership

6.1 All persons permanently resident in the Federal Republic of Germany may obtain a membership card from all DJH membership card issuing offices (including youth hostels and offices of DJH Landesverbände).

6.2 Individual guests aged up to 26 years old shall receive junior cards. Individual guests aged 27 years and above, married couples and those in a relationship akin to marriage residing at the same address, families or single parents with minor children (aged up to 26 years) shall receive a Family/27 PLUS (FAM/27 PLUS) card even in the event that addresses shall differ. One membership card may be issued per family member.

6.3 Family membership cards (FAM/27 PLUS) shall entitle adult card holders to bring along their own minor children and those of friends.

6.4 Guests from abroad who are not members of an association affiliated with the IYHF may obtain an “International Guest Card” (Welcome Stamps) on site.

7. Organisational membership

7.1 Schools, youth groups, unions, associations, foundations, companies, corporate enterprises and other organisations shall obtain corporate membership and shall, accordingly, be issued group membership cards. Their acceptance and inclusion shall be subject to statutory provisions of the primary DJH association and of the regional associations of the DJH.

7.2 The group membership card shall entitle the leader and that leader’s group to accommodation in the youth hostel. The group membership card shall not replace individual membership. It shall not be transferable to other institutions or persons.

7.3 A group shall consist of not less than four participants, including the group leader. Group leaders shall be required to be of no less than 16 years of age.

7.4 Group membership cards shall not be issued to travel agencies or other businesses that organise travel on a commercial basis. Even when making a booking through an intermediary, the group proposing travel shall be required to be in possession of membership.

8. Prices

Prices shall be based upon the current price list of the respective regional association, or Landesverband, and/or the youth hostel at the time of receipt of the booking request, provided differing prices shall not have been covenanted in the Agreement of Occupancy. Price lists may be obtained from the DJH Landesverbänden and the youth hostels.

9. Liability

9.1 Guests who shall have culpably inflicted damage to buildings and fixtures shall be statutorily required to provide compensation thereof (those with parental responsibility and operators included).

9.2 Liability specific to loss, theft or damage of articles of value may be assumed solely if such articles shall have been surrendered to the youth hostel management, or the representatives thereof, expressly for their safekeeping unless the DJH, its organs or vicarious agents shall have caused such loss or damage either wilfully or in consequence of gross negligence. In such an instance, too, statutory provisions shall apply.

9.3 Liability shall not extend to damage to motor vehicles (including their contents) and bicycles sited on the YH premises, provided such damage shall not have been inflicted wilfully or in consequence of gross negligence by the DJH or its organs or vicarious agents.


These Terms and Conditions of Use / General Terms and Conditions for Youth Hostels were adopted following a resolution of the members’ assembly passed on 19th November 2005 in Hanover.


We would like to refer to the EU platform on online out-of-court dispute resolution, which can be found under the following link: Our DJH Service Center will be happy to assist you with initial questions on dispute resolution. Beyond this we do not participate in voluntary dispute resolution procedures before a consumer arbitration board.


Youth Hostel Rules

Welcome to our world: The German Youth Hostel Association wishes you and all our guests a pleasant stay at our Youth Hostel, filled with great experiences!

Youth Hostels offer great opportunities to meet new people of every age group and from different cultural backgrounds. This also means that our guests have different habits, behaviours and needs. Keeping an open mind and being mutually respectful and tolerant are important values that have a special place in our hostels. We want all our guests to feel safe and relaxed – regardless of their sex or gender, their ethnicity, their religion or beliefs.

That is why Youth Hostels have house rules aimed at making sure all these different needs are met and everyone has an enjoyable stay. We kindly ask all our guests to observe these basic rules. Group leaders and teachers are responsible for their groups and their behaviour, and for making sure that everyone follows the Hostel Rules.


Guests with reservations can arrange their arrival time individually with the hostel management. Promised beds will be reserved until 6 p.m. Should they not have been claimed by then, they may be given to other guests.

If you have not made a reservation in advance, you can inquire about available beds by telephone, e-mail or directly at the Youth Hostel.

To stay at or make use of any other services offered by a Youth Hostel, you need to be a member of the German Youth Hostel Association (DJH) or the national youth hostel association of another country. Non-members who are German residents can sign up for membership directly at the Youth Hostel; foreign guests without membership are required to obtain an 'International Guest Card', which serves as a 12-month personal membership.

For more information on membership, to go:

Staying at a Youth Hostel

In the spirit of community, we kindly ask you to be considerate of your fellow guests at all times.

Our guests are accommodated in single, double or shared bedrooms, depending on availability at each Youth Hostel. Shared bedrooms are usually separated by gender. Guests travelling together can be accommodated together upon request, subject to availability of rooms.

We kindly ask you for a helping hand during your stay. This means, for example, keeping the facilities, rooms and equipment that you use in good order or clearing away your own dishes after a meal.

The Youth Hostels are committed to environmental protection and nature conservation. We therefore kindly request that guests collect waste in accordance with local regulations or avoid waste all together, and be economical with their energy and water consumption.

Preparing food is prohibited in the bedrooms. For insurance, health and fire protection reasons, the use of electrical devices for the preparation of hot meals or beverages is not allowed in Youth Hostels.

Rechargeable batteries for electric devices or electric bicycles may only be charged using the designated outlets.

The interior of Youth Hostels is a non-smoking area.

Alcoholic beverages are not allowed in Youth Hostels and may neither be brought onto or consumed on the premises. Heavily intoxicated guests may be expelled.

Animals are generally not allowed in Youth Hostels. In some Youth Hostels, however, dogs may be allowed if agreed with the management. Service dogs are allowed to stay in any Youth Hostel by arrangement with the hostel management.

Youth Hostels are generally open until at least 10 p.m. Please inquire locally for the opening hours and access modalities (front door key, access code) at your Youth Hostel.

Quiet time begins at 10 p.m. and ends at 7 a.m. Please be considerate of fellow guests so as not to disturb their sleep.


As a rule, bedrooms must be vacated before 10 a.m.

Exceptions may be made by arrangement with the hostel management.

Management rights

The hostel management or its authorised agent represent the organisation that operates the Youth Hostel, and may exercise management rights on its behalf. This includes banning individuals from the property for the violation of Youth Hostel rules.

Items of clothing, symbols and marks, propaganda materials or speech that clearly represent extremist, discriminating or dehumanising views are not condoned in Youth Hostels. Such an occurrence is not a matter of discretion for the management; it will instruct offenders to cease the violating behaviour and exercise its management rights. We expressly reserve the right to further prosecution under criminal law.

A ban from Youth Hostel premises and its reasons are stated verbally.


These Youth Hostel Rules were adopted by the General Assembly on 12th November 2022 in Berlin.