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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about activities Cicerone guides cover?

What is it like staying in a mountain hut?

Staying in Europe’s network of mountain huts, whether for walking or climbing, is a wonderful experience. Often sited in fine locations with great views, the huts provide food and a good night’s sleep, and make possible the long treks through the Alps and other mountains.

But if 5 star is the only way for you, its probably not something you will go for.


  • If it is new to you, there’s no need to worry, you’ll get the hang of it in an hour or so.
  • Book ahead to be sure of a spot. The previous night’s hut can normally make the call.
  • If you change your plans, call the hut to let them know lest you start a rescue search.
  • Change your boots at the door, either into your trainers or the hut’s own indoor footwear.
  • Check in with the Guardian, then get sorted in your room or dorm. Let them know when you want to be up and off in the morning. Register with your Club membership card as club huts (most of them) have reciprocal discount schemes.
  • The bed and meals are good value. Sometimes beer and snacks may be pricey, but remember they have either been carried or helicoptered there, just for you.
  • Don’t miss dinner, it only comes once a night!
  • Start by taking a small sleeping bag or liner. You may well quickly discover they are luxuries, but they will be reassuring at first.
  • Settle down for the night in good time. Some hut users will be aiming for an early start.
  • Pay in the evening to avoid loosing time in the morning. Normally it’s cash only as credit cards aren’t taken.
  • Don’t be fazed if you are a bit close to the person next door. The huts need to fit in a lot of people in a small space so your resting place for the night may be anything from a bed, bunk bed or you may be side by side on a sleeping rack. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but not a problem either.
  • Fold your blankets and leave everything tidy in the morning. Fold especially carefully in some Swiss huts (see the instructions in the room).
  • Check you have everything when you leave. It might be a long walk back.

Next: I am going abroad with a trekking company. Do I need the guidebook?

Previous: I would like to go to the Pyrenees. Should I go for a day-walking holiday or on one of the treks?

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