Most of my beloved readers and followers might be interested to know this, or maybe not. But, during the course of my 2-weeks in Europe, we experienced the best and worst (sort of) of both worlds. Maybe I’m still not the expert on such matters, anyhow, I would like to share my 2 cents worth, just for discussion sake.
1) Location, location, location
Throughout my stay, the number one question before I book a hotel or staying via couch-surfing is — location. This is a must especially if you are planning to leave early for a flight or that you’re planning to get around easily without lugging your suitcases along the cobblestone pathways.
My preference is to stay near the departure point, especially if the departure time is awkward, e.g. 7am Eurostar to Amsterdam from Paris. If that can’t be done, usually if you’re traveling by plane, no one wants to stay near the airport, you can choose to stay near the train station. But those places might be a little seedy for your safety, although I need to stress here that I never felt so when I was around Europe. Another choice would be at the interchange point for the Metro (underground) or tram stops. An example would be the République Metro stop in Paris, it interchanges with no less than FIVE different underground routes.
For those that prefer to call themselves travelers (instead of tourists), couch-surfing locations might be suitable. These are usually in the suburbs, and you get to mingle with the locals, waking up to the sounds of the neighbourhood. Although, like us, you might even find such locations right in the middle of the city. Nearer than the hotels!