11 Replies to “Albergue Etiquette”

  1. cannot say it yet, cause I’m starting my treck only in May 07 this year. But it could be very usefull for me too if someone’s posting his experiences 🙂

  2. Welcome to the Camino! I wish you the very best Camino. I’m sure you will experience marvelous things and have an amazing journey. The fact that you have asked the question about albergue etiquette shows me that you are already going to be a good guest at an albergue!

    Albergue etiquette is pretty simple, in my opinion. It’s common sense, “be aware of other people” etiquette.

    Some common etiquette that I observed while on the Camino last summer:

    When you arrive at an albergue and have signed in, you reserve your bed by laying your sleeping bag out on the bed. Not all albergues wash their sheets on a regular basis, so be careful to not put your boots or backpack on the bed. 🙂

    If you’re young, take a top bunk and leave the bottom bunks for our older pilgrims. Be aware of pilgrims who may need a siesta or who are laying down to rest. Most of your time when you arrive at an albergue will be spent outside of the dormitorios, so this shouldn’t be a big issue for you. 🙂

    Arrange the things you need for the morning before you go to sleep. That way, you can just grab what you need when you wake up and not rustle around in your backpack and potentially wake others up. And, it makes for a quick, easy morning routine for you! 🙂

    I think the “etiquette” at albergues boils down to: act as if you are a guest in a person’s home, what would you do? You ARE a guest, and of course you would be extremely respectful when visiting a friend, right? 🙂

    You will have a fantastic Camino, I can already feel it!

    Buen Camino,

    1. It’s a pity not all the ‘pilgrim’s’ stick to some form of etiquette…. I had some very noisy and inconsiderate ‘humans’ on the Portuguese route. Did not understand to do things quietly in the mornings…. say no more. Besides this… it was wonderful!!

  3. The biggest issues I saw came from prolonged rustling and stage whispering at 5am for those who wanted an early start.

    Its easy to avoid… prepare your things before you go to bed or take your bag out into the corridor in the morning when you get up

    Noone likes a head torch pointed in their face or a dozen plastic bags in their ear first thing in the morning.

    In terms of food, it is always appreciated if you share your food with others and keep your boots out of the sleeping area… they can really start to stink as you get further along the way.

    Buen camino….. enjoy!! 

  4. Buen Camino! Albergue ettiquette is straightforward. Respect the community space, keep lights and noise down if people are sleeping, leave a donation at donativo albergues, don’t take all the power outlets. You can go above and beyond making friends by offering to pool resources for dinner, or having a power splitter for the wall sockets (there is NEVER enough of these, anywhere). Do your own dishes. If someone (hospitaleros or fellow peregrinos) offers a meal, offer a contribution to it- wine, a dish, dessert, fruit. They don’t have to take it, but its polite to offer. Eh, that’s all I can think of.

  5. Do get there early to get a bed. Don’t wake everybody up when you come home late. Don’t shine lights in there eyes. My Husband and I did the walk in 2007 in September but we started at the border of France. We met some lovely people and had a great time. There are a few grumpy people but only a few. You are well looked after because you a Pilgrim. You will be fine just go with the flow. Just enjoy the sights and the atmosphere it is great.

    I am sure you will be alright.

    Make sure you have a really good backpack and do not take much as you have to carry it everywhere you go.

    I hope this helps you.

    There are plenty of sights on the Internet that we help you.

  6. All you need to know is to enjoy your stay there and don’t let anybody spoil it for you. Sometimes you have to walk fast to get to albergue on time to get a bed.. this is the bad part especially from Tui onwards. Get good ear plugs and eye ‘mask’ – like those you get on the plane. Helps a lot!!I
    ps.I walked from Porto in September this year and enjoyed it very much… spend lots of time in Porto, it’s a beautiful city.

  7. It’s been mentioned, but whispering is annoying at 5 am. Don’t have any conversations in the dormers, and as mentioned, pack up your entire bag the night before so you can walk out the dorm room (and into the hall or toilet) to get dressed and such. If you snore like a lumberjack, consider going to bed after everyone is deep sleep or opt for a private room in the albergue from time to time. Don’t use all the hot water in the showers, and if the bathrooms are less-than-private, try and give pilgrims using the toilet some private time, rather than lingering at the sinks. 😉

  8. agree with all the above – you know, most people I met were amazing and great fun. They were kind, considerate and wonderful company. The only time I experienced any unpleasantness were in Saria – where someone came to pick over my bag at night – my yell brought the immediate attention/help of fellow peregrinos – you really are looked after by your fellow walkers (Saria was also where I picked up the bugs – silk liner is an excellent barrier – won’t go without it).

    The other time was in Logrono – 2 nasty elements. Please, please please – if you wish to get amorous – then literally ‘get a room’.. The most unpleasant was a young girly who had been out after curfew – on the party – well her pleas and cries to get in at 2 in the morning were not welcome. Simply scary for no one knew who she was and we had been warned not to let in strangers.

    So – in the course of 2 periods of 2 weeks, I only had 2 uncomfortable nights – otherwise, I was graced by the company of very wonderful people. Go and enjoy – and treat others as you would like to be treated and then nothing can go amiss.


  9. We just walked the camino in April 2013.

    Here is my list of don’ts:

    1. Do not use a headlamp on your head (you can use it as a flashlight) before other pilgrims are awake. One guy I walked with called the headlamps disco lights and that’s what they were like!

    2. Do not set alarms. You will wake up when everybody starts to rustle. Its not a race. If you have to be the first out set a vibrating alarm. If you want to get out early consider getting your stuff ready the night before so you can whisk it out to a common area to finish packing and minimize the noise in the sleeping room.

    3. Don’t wash you dirty clothes in the bathroom — use the washing area even if its crude. Washing laundry in the bathroom sink takes up space, gets it dirtier than it already is and spreads water all over the bathroom which is already an issue in most albergues.


  10. I agree with most do and donts but disagree on using headlamps. Mine has both white and red light. Inside I always use red light. This is not irritating and usefull when going to the toilet at night without bumping into something.

    Hide your money well. A girl was robbed of all here cash while going to the bathroom. Take your money with you and dont leave it inside your sleeping bag.
    Know if you snore. It is the #1 irritating factor. Take precautions and solve the problem before leaving. Learn how to sleep on your side.

Comments are closed.