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A view of the City Hostel Berlin, on the grounds of the North Korean embassy, in the city center.   © Reuters
Tea Leaves

Hospitality, North Korean style, highlights German dilemma

 Legal norms hamper efforts to close controversial facility

JENS KASTNER | North Korea

Cityhostel Berlin is a drab-looking building in the heart of Berlin, near such tourist attractions as the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and the Reichstag. With dormitory beds available from just 13 euros ($14) a night, it is mainly used by backpackers and school groups.

The young European clientele, who can often be seen taking selfies on the premises are apparently unaware that the sprawling hostel, with about 450 beds in 100 rooms, is located in the North Korean embassy compound in the German capital. But that may explain why the guests complain about the hostel’s dubious hygiene standards, with comments on TripAdvisor about dirty floors and unwashed sheets. A young Danish visitor said she was so miserable that she “cried herself to sleep” every night.

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