FAQ - Frequently asked questions

We are happy to explain all details concerning your stay at a&o!

If you still have any questions that you feel we have not fully answered yet, feel free to contact us!


a&o offers its own free app for guests in German and English. With the app you can book accommodation, check in online and it is even possible to use your mobile phone as your room key - just turn on Bluetooth, hold your smartphone to the lock, click and that's it!

Available for free here: Google Play Store; Apple App Store.

Arrival after 6 p.m.

Guests with a FIX booking (cheaper rate; paid in advance) can arrive at any time without hesitation.

Guests with a FLEX booking (payable on site; can be cancelled free of charge by 6 pm) should call us on +49 30 80 947 5110 and have their booking guaranteed by submitting their credit card details with CS Service Agent to be on the safe side. Then you can arrive later without any problems. The credit card is for security purposes only – you can still pay on arrival. The card will only be charged if you do not arrive. Without a credit card, we cannot guarantee that your room will be available after 6 pm.

Bus parking

There are bus parking spaces free of charge in close vicinity. Some a&o's offer bus parking spaces.

Car parking

Almost every a&o location has its own parking lot or underground parking. Street-level spaces cost from 5,-€ per day.


You can expect a rich breakfast buffet for only 8,90 €. Please note that prices may differ in countries where the euro is not accepted as a means of payment. You can book the breakfast online for 8,65 €. Children 6 and under get breakfast for free, ages 7 and up are just 4.50 €, and young adults 18 and older pay full price.
Breakfast hours are Mon-Fri 7.00-11.00 am and Sat-Sun 7.00-11.00 am. For groups of 10 or more we also offer dinner (by arrangement). On request we prepare packed lunches for 6 € (groups of 10 or more get a 50ct discount). This includes a sandwich, fruit, a sweet and a drink. For detailed information click here.
We ask for your understanding, as lunch and/or dinner cannot be added for individual guests. However, you are welcome to book packed lunches in advance online or on site (one day before required).

Check-in/ Check-out times

Check-in is possible at any time. Your room is ready for you at 3pm.  

Check-out workdays is until 10am. Weekends and also holidays until 11am.

Community rooms

Yes, these offer ample space for smaller and medium-sized groups. Should the room still be too small we can make the dining area available (non-eating times only). For teachers and accompanying persons there is also a teacher and guide lounge, called a&o Lounge.

Early Check-in / Late Check-out

With our Early Check-in for 12,50€ you can enter your room at 11 a.m. On Weekends at 12 a.m. - You can book this service for single, double or family rooms at aohostels.com.

The Late Check-out until 2 p.m. for 12,50 Euro allows you a nice and long sleep-in. Available also online.

Forgot something at the a&o / Lost & Found

Forgot something? We would love to help you out! Just use our contact form for a personal inquiry directly to the desired a&o house. If we have found what you lost, we will send you a short manual for the pick-up request via DHL.

Guests under the age of 18

From the age of 14 you can stay in our a&o's all by yourself.  All you need is a signed declaration of consent from your parents and a copy of the personal identification from the parent who signed the form.

Getting to a&o

A precise description of the directions can be found on each location's website.

Info bed tax ("Kulturtaxe")

Important downloads for your stay
In some a&o cities a so-called ‘culture tax’ (accommodation tax) is charged on visitors.

The tax is either based on the net sum paid by each person per night or is simply a sum added to your overnight stay. For your comfort, the tax is never included in your accommodation because it might be possible that you are excluded from it.

The following cities charge a city tax:
Amsterdam, Berlin, Bremen, Cologne, Dortmund, Dresden, Frankfurt, Graz, Hamburg, Prague, Salzburg, Venice, Vienna, Weimar

Attention – special cases:

All guests pay 7% on the net overnight price plus an additional 3EUR per night for persons over 16 years of age. Read more about the “Toeristenbelasting” regulation here.

All guests older than 18 years pay a tourist tax of € 2,00 per day (including 7% value added tax) to the city of Bremen. Exempted are freelancers and employees who are staying for business purposes. The exemption forms can be found below.

Guests staying longer than 7 nights in a row are also tax-free from the 8th day on.

Overnight guests in Budapest pay a tourism development tax in the amount of 4% at the net overnight price since 2020.

All guests pay 1.50 € local tax per day. Groups of students up to the age of 15 and people staying for more than two weeks due to a business purpose are freed. Please indicate the reason that applies in a respective form.

In Venice tourists pay the "tassa soggiorno", a residence tax for tourists who stay overnight, depending on the high or low season and the type and location of the accommodation.

a&o Venice Mestre is a "Foresterie per Turisti" accommodation on the mainland. This means, that in the main season (1 February - 31 December) you pay only 1.40 € per person and night (all 16 years and older). In the low season (month of January) it is 1 € per person and night.

Children up to 10 years of age are excluded. For 11 to 15 year olds there is a 50% discount. So, young people pay 0.70 € per person and night (except in January: only 0.50 €). From the 6th night onwards the tax is omitted.

People with disabilities or impairments are tax-free. Important for group travel: Per 25 travellers one bus driver or teacher will not be charged with the tax.
There are some more exceptions that allow you to refuse the tax payment. Please read if one of the following things is applicable and fill out this form, if so.

• Exemptions (without or with proof *)

- inhabitants of the city of Venice (including suburbs like Mestre etc.)
- Children up to 9 years of age
- guests who stay in Venice for rehabilitation *
- Accompanying persons of people who are patient in one of the hospitals of Venice (up to 1 companion per patient) *
- Accompanying parents of hospital patients *
- bus driver and travel guide (from travel agency) from a tour group of at least 25 persons - all bus drivers and 1 travel guide per 25 Pax.
- Volunteers in the social service during events (organized by the city / province) or emergency situation
- Venetian Policemen / firemen or armed forces in service 
- People with disabilities

* Only with proof from the hospital with personal data from the patient and duration of the hospital delivery

#1 General information on each city tax (in country’s original language only):

Berlin Bremen Dortmund DresdenFrankfurt Graz Hamburg Cologne LeipzigSalzburg Venice Weimar

#2 Documents for groups (school trips) with educational purpose/ advanced training:

Berlin Dortmund Dresden Hamburg Cologne Salzburg (students up to 15y.) Weimar

#3 Business guests (employer's certificate):

Berlin Bremen DresdenDortmund Hamburg Cologne Weimar

Special rules for Salzburg: For a stay of more than 2 weeks you won’t have to pay the tax. Please bring along a confirmation of the longer period of stay.

Dortmund: Your employer’s document stating your business event will guarantee your exemption from the city tax (name of the guest, period of the officially arranged trip with arrival and departure date, business reason).

#4 Business guests (self-employed):

Berlin Bremen Dortmund Dresden Hamburg Cologne Weimar

Special rules for Salzburg: For a stay of more than 2 weeks you won’t have to pay the tax. Please bring along a confirmation of the longer period of stay.

Luggage storage

You can store your luggage in our lockers. For groups there is also a free luggage room.


Dogs are always welcome at all a&o locations! You can bring a maximum of 2 dogs in your room for a fee of 10€ per night and dog.
Unfortunately it is not possible to bring dogs into the multi-bed rooms, as it is possible that it would make other guests uncomfortable. For the same reason we ask you not to bring dogs to the breakfast room. We appreciate your understanding.

Room categories / Book Blue – Book Orange

In almost all of our a&o establishments, you can find single, double and family rooms, however you can also book a bed in a dorm for four to eight people.

*Exceptions to this rule are the a&o Hostels Köln Dom / München Hauptbahnhof / Hamburg Hammer Kirche, as these hostels only have private rooms, and are therefore unable to offer bookings for a bed in a dorm.*

Therefore, you have two options for booking with a&o:

• The First option means…
You are booking a private room i.e. a single, double, or family room. The price includes bed linen, hand towels, 2-in-1 shampoo, a hairdryer, and you can enjoy the convenience of your own bathroom.

• The Second option means…
You are booking a bed in a dorm room. This option offers you affordable accommodation in an uncomplicated atmosphere. With this option, each room has its own bathroom with 2-in-1 shampoo and a hairdryer. You can also add bed linen and hand towels to your booking.

*Exceptions to this are our “firstling” hostel, the a&o Berlin Friedrichshain, which still has a few shared bathrooms on each floor, and the a&o Hamburg Reeperbahn.*

Rules of the house

You can view and download the house rules here.


You can of course also bring your own food when staying with us. Our tip: It is best to check in advance whether the a&o you have booked offers a guest kitchen where you can prepare your meals.

You can find out either by reading the e-mail sent to you 48 hours prior to your arrival or by checking our website here.

Ticket bookings

If you are already on-site, please ask at the reception for selected tickets. Our friendly staff will be happy to help you.

Of course, you can already book selected tickets on our website upon your arrival. Simply choose an a&o city and get some inspiration. For example we offer WelcomeCards which already include a ticket valid for public transportation and huge benefits for several leisure and culutural activities.


Every a&o offers free Wi-Fi in all public areas, such as the lobby or the bars, and in every room as well.


Wheelchair-accessible rooms are available in almost all a&o HOTELS and HOSTELS. Feel free to call us at +49 30 80947 5110 to get more information.

Guest kitchens

We offer community kitchens with full kitchen equipment in some cities for city dwellers, for example for solo travellers, for couples, families and friends as well as for smaller groups. More information is available here.

Kids’ Corner & child care

Families find a Kids’ Corner in every a&o with toys, a painting board, coloring pencils and children's books. In some a&o's, the small children's playgrounds even have slides or playhouses. Your children can have a good time while you enjoy a cup of coffee in the lobby or in the breakfast room.

Find more information about our family benefits here.

We’re sorry to say that we do not offer hotel child care services. However, we can provide you with a good babysitter network for some cities that you can contact independently.

Room cleaning

At a&o we carry out daily room checks which consist of:
i) refilling hygience products and emptying bins
ii) no daily cleaning with chemicals in respect to our natural resources
iii) basic cleaning after check out.

We are always striving to help the environment that's why we don't change the towels daily. Please hang them on the towel rail and do not leave them on the floor. Fresh towels can be purchased at the reception for a small fee.


Since January 1, 2008 all of our locations are smoke-free.

Towels / Bed linen

All single, double and family rooms come with bed linen and towels. Only guests in multi-bed rooms need bed linen and towels, if they didn't bring their own. You get bed linen for 3.50€ and a towel for 1.50€ either at the reception or as an online feature when booking your stay.
In family rooms (grand)parents sleep a double bed (bed linen included) and their (grand)kids in one or two bunk beds. Families put fresh linen on their children's bunk beds themselves.

Women's rooms

Of course, we offer dorm rooms just for women. You can simply book them online – a pink banner shows the correct room category.

Automobile Association discount (e.g. AA UK)

All ARC Europe members (such as AA UK or AAA USA) get 12% off the daily-updated overnight rate at all a&o HOTELS und HOSTELS and a free, non-alcoholic soft drink (kids under the age of 12 get a free ice-cream).

Young drivers with an ADAC membership ('Junges Portal') get 12% off and free Wi-Fi instead.

All information with this reduced booking rate here.

Booking cancellation

It depends on the rate you booked. If you booked using our Flex-Rate, then you can cancel at any time. Otherwise the room will be kept available for you until 6 pm on the day of your arrival. Please let us know if you will arrive later. The Fix-Rate is, as the name says, "fixed" and cannot be cancelled. The price cannot be reimbursed even if you do not stay here. That's why this rate is especially low. For groups of 10 or more there are special cancellation rules that you can find in our Terms and Conditions.

Children's discount

Children under 7 years of age stay free of charge in their parents' room. The room price is based on the number of travelling parents (guardians). Little ones are always welcome! We can provide you with free children's beds (recommend up to the age of 2 years) and high chairs, when available.

Facebook discount

Social media are great communication networks that we really like! This way we can interact with our (potential) guests. That's why fans of our Facebook page also get 5% off the daily-updated price.
If you go to our Facebook page now and become a fan, you can then enter the following code when booking online: imafan

Frequent guests

As a frequent a&o guest you get - similar to bigger airlines - a special treatment. For 69€ you can order your personal Traveller Card at each reception desk or via telephone / E-Mail. The card will be send by post (on-site you will get a temporary card). You find all advantages for you as our guest here.

Group deposit

We don't request a deposit, but we request that groups behave themselves properly.

Long-term guests

If you stay at one of our a&o HOTELS and HOSTELS for a longer period of time, we recommend purchasing a Traveller Card. It offers exclusive prices for frequenters and other great advantages. Find more information here.

When travelling with lots of people or at regular intervals, we're happy to advise individually. Our competent sales team deals with your requests at: [email protected].

Payment options

You can choose from a range of payment options. You can pay by instant bank transfer, credit card (VISA or MasterCard), PayPal, Amazon Payments or direct debit. Paypal payments are charged with a 2.45 € processing fee when your amount is lower than 200 €. You should only use the direct debit option if your arrival is not in the next 5 days.

Press discount

Journalists get a 20% discount on overnight stays. MICE Travel Card holders also get to use this special price. Please contact [email protected] to make a reservation and show your valid press pass at the check-in counter.

Pricing at a&o

Our prices are determined by availability – completely fair, completely transparent! That means that if beds of one room category are in short supply at a specific date, then the prices go up. And if the desired occupancy rate has not been reached, then the prices also fall automatically. What does that mean for you? Basically, the earlier you book, the lower the price. Those who make decisions on the spur of the moment also benefit from exclusive last-minute deals – of course, only as long as the respective category is not fully booked.

Rail pass discount

Guests with a valid InterRail, Eurail or GermanRail pass receive a 10% discount on the daily rate of accommodation in all a&o's. Find all information including our online discount link here

Student discount

Each student with a valid ISIC- oder ITIC-ID card gets 10% off the daily-updated rate at all a&o HOTELS und HOSTELS including a free, non-alcoholic soft drink. Simply type in the discount code "isic" into the appropiate field when booking online.

Surcharge for single occupancy

We don't have a surcharge for single occupancy. You can find our current prices on each location's website.


You can purchase our "a&o TO GO blue" gift box for 119,-€ for yourself or a special occasion. The box includes 2 nights in a double room for 2 people with breakfast buffet included. Kids younger than 7 years stay overnight for free in their parents' room. A great tip for backpackers is our "a&o TO GO orange" gift box for 29,-€ that lets you sleep in dorm for 2 nights with bed linen and free Wi-Fi. Find out more here.

Our Online Shop has got plenty of other useful and interesting products.