I have been a member of couchsurfing.org since 2007. Before Berlin, I had hosted many couch surfers but I had never surfed. Couchsurfing.org is a web page for people who like to travel and make friends all over the world. You put up a profile and tell people all about yourself, and then you offer your couch to other members. They review your profile and make requests to stay on your couch or a spare bedroom for a few days. You read their profile (which includes comments made by other couch surfers), and then you decide for yourself whether or not you want them staying on your couch or spare bedroom.
You can also make requests to stay at other couch surfer’s homes when you travel. I made 5 requests to surf couches in Berlin and 3 people agreed to host me. I spent 2 days at each of the three hosts, and I spent two days at a hotel room in Berlin.
All three hosts were very gracious and took the time to share their city with me. It provides a much more rich experience than staying in hotels. Ideally, you pick hosts that enjoy doing the same things as
you so they can show you around. That is why you read their profile carefully. If they sound like someone you would like to be friends with, then they would probably make a good host or surfer.
The comments made by other surfers about each other, also make you feel comfortable about being a surfer or a host. I made great choices with all three of my hosts.
Berlin reminded me of a mix between Buenos Aires and Budapest. It has great public transportation, food, nightlife, parks, art exhibits, and music. It also had the edginess of these two great cities.
Eight days of Berlin was not enough. It is formally on my list of cities that I plan to live in, for at least 3 months.
Now I head to London for a day on my way back to the USA. Happy Couch Surfing!!
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