Polish open up their homes to Irish fans
BIG-HEARTED Polish families are throwing open their doors to the thousands of Irish soccer fans looking for accommodation during Euro 2012, the Herald can reveal.
Hotel prices have been rocketing in the country during the run-up to the championships -- but now a new website called BedandFans.net is offering at least 1,000 places in Poznan -- where Ireland will meet Croatia and Italy -- and in Gdansk where we will compete against Spain.
Lukasz Palucha, of the mayor's office in Gdansk, told the Herald that the city had decided to back the project as they realised that the number of people travelling to Poland in June for the matches was far exceeding expectations.
Mr Palucha said: "Originally we had been preparing for 30,000 visitors but now we're expecting at least 40,000.
"Unfortunately, because of this demand, prices in hotels have become crazy so we're looking at offering hospitality in Polish families.
"A lot of families are prepared to offer everything from space in their garden for a tent, to a room or even the entire flat. While some people are asking to be paid, others just want to know that if they ever come to Ireland, then they will have a place to stay for the same length of time.
"Some are even offering accommodation for free because they want to meet fans -- it's a bit like couchsurfing." Mr Palucha added: "We would recommend anyone deciding to go for this option to get and to give as many details as possible so that there are no surprises."
Accommodation varies from €10 to €45 per person per night, for flats rented out by agencies. To find accommodation, check www.bedandfans.net