I recently visited Copenhagen in Denmark and spent 3 nights in the Globalhagen Hostel. Although I wasn’t aware when I booked my bunk in their dorm room, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was a non-profit, volunteer-run hostel with a focus on sustainability and giving back to communities world-wide! If you’re looking for someplace that will support you in traveling sustainably and responsibly (while also fitting inside a backpacker’s budget) I highly recommend the Globalhagen Hostel.
The Globalhagen Concept
Run by the NGO ActionAid in Denmark, the Globalhagen Hostel has been around since 2015 and operates thanks to a team of young volunteers. They strive to be as sustainable as possible, achieved through a variety of tactics. There are recycling bins throughout the hostel, they’re transitioning to fabric towels instead of disposable paper versions, and water is available for free in the café out of a carafe rather than selling plastic water bottles! As a non-profit hostel operating thanks to volunteers, they are also able to keep the costs of housing and food/drinks in the café quite low.
Globalhagen Hostel is a 3-story hostel with 20 rooms varying from 1-bed singles to 7-bed dorm rooms. Each room is named after a country where ActionAid Denmark has an influence. These countries include Denmark, Mozambique, Bangladesh, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, Palestine, Nepal, Tanzania, Myanmar, Syria, Zambia, El Salvador, Ghana, Australia, South Africa, Nigeria, USA, and Jordan. (Every continent but Antarctica!)
If you want to prepare a meal, there is a kitchen on the top floor of the hostel next to a nice dining area with lots of open seating. With only 20 rooms and 61 beds, there aren’t a huge number of guests. I never had issues with the kitchen area or bathrooms being full for more than a few minutes. There’s also a TV room with lots of movies to choose from, and a clothing exchange area in the dining room to swap out your clothes for something different.
There are bathrooms on each floor, with several individual toilet rooms that have their own sinks, shower stalls, and sinks available for brushing your teeth or applying makeup. I loved that I could use the bathroom and wash my hands all in one stall, and that the showers were also in their own individual stalls (complete with curtains to keep your clothes and towels dry while you get clean!)
After a few experiences in other hostels and hotels where there was no divider between the shower and toilet area, I appreciated the ability to keep water out of the places I didn’t want it. There’s nothing worse than leaving a shower area feeling dirtier than when you entered.
Here’s a short video from their site about the property:
Each room was constructed using recyclable, donated materials and decorated with inspirational quotes from activists around the world. In our USA room, there were four bunk beds and a double bed raised off the ground above a table in the center of the room. On one wall was a quote from Rosa Parks, and on the other a quote about the importance of education from Malcolm X. Both quotes were accompanied by paintings of the speaker.
If you don’t bring your own sheets, you must rent them from the hostel for about $5 USD – but you can guarantee they will be clean and fit perfectly. The rooms were very tidy, and the bathrooms were also very clean despite having no paid cleaning staff! Other murals throughout the halls give the hostel an artsy, welcoming vibe that I really appreciated.
Because the focus is on sustainability, there is no air conditioning or fans in the rooms. This isn’t that uncommon in most of Denmark. It does mean it can get a bit warm during the hottest summer days, but fortunately the windows open all the way and let in a good breeze at night. With the windows open, you can hear a lot of chatter from the restaurants and bars across the street, but there are earplugs offered for free in the stairwell. I recommend taking advantage of them if you didn’t bring your own.
The Café Mellemrummet
The café is open at 9 am each morning until varying hours at night (the earliest close time being 10pm on Sundays, with the latest being 2 am on Friday and Saturday). They serve all manners of coffee and tea, a few little snacks, and wine, beer, and cocktails. A coffee or latte will cost you between $2-3.50 USD and a glass of wine was around $5. In comparison to the rest of Scandinavia this is quite reasonable, and you probably won’t find much cheaper prices outside of the café in Copenhagen either.
All proceeds from Café Mellemrummet (and the rest of the Globahagen hostel) go toward a set cause chosen by Action Aid Denmark. In 2016, these proceeds were focused on projects in Zambia and Denmark.
For three nights in a room with 4 double-bunk beds (8 bunks total) and a double bed on top, I paid $118 USD, sheets included. At an average of just under $40 per night, I felt like this was really reasonable for all the amenities of the Globalhagen Hostel. With the wifi being pretty reliable, I found I saved a bit of money too by not having to frequent a separate café and make regular coffee purchases to get their wifi password. (This might be a nicer feature if you’re working while you’re traveling).
From the main train station, it was about a 30 to 40-minute walk to the hostel. We were a 15-minute walk from several parks and botanical gardens, and there were restaurants and cafes on our street and in every direction from us. Similarly, it was about a 30 to 40-minute walk to the docks (where you can see the classic colorful buildings of Copenhagen), to Christiania, the major shopping districts, and just about all the other biggest sites in Copenhagen. Public transportation is pretty easily available for a low cost. I loved walking through the city to explore though, and found the Globalhagen Hostel to be a great location for a home-base.
I’ve never been to a hostel that was non-profit and focused on sustainability, so I immediately fell in love with the Globalhagen Hostel. I found all the volunteers to be super friendly and helpful (and also well skilled at making café lattes and other lovely coffee drinks). With a great location, comfortable amenities, and a price tag that doesn’t make you immediately cringe, I’d quickly recommend it to anyone looking for a place to stay in Copenhagen.
Let me know if you’ve been to Globalhagen Hostel or know of any other non-profit or eco-friendly hostels around the world! I’d love to add them to my accommodations bucket list.
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THANKS FOR READING GLOBALHAGEN HOSTEL!
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