It all started in 1968 – the year of the big hippie revolution. In Copenhagen, USE-IT started as an answer to the fact that all people coming to the city were hanging and sleeping outside.
In 1971 the concept of a sleep-in system (cheaper and less formal hostel, a mix of barracks and tents) was exported to Copenhagen from Amsterdam. Huset, a cultural center for young people with several floors was started the same year.
The first USE-IT info point was organized in “Huset”. It was a very social thing. Not about print. It’s only in 1974 that the first USE-IT publication was made in Copenhagen. It was very basic, telling young people where to sleep, where to eat, where to relax.
In 1973 there was a USE-IT publication in London. They were the first to publish something. The same happened in Amsterdam at the same time. This all happened very informally, with people using the name because they liked the concept in Copenhagen (but there was no network). After this first hippie rush everything cooled down for a long time.
In 1985, a new USE-IT publication popped up in Brussels. The chatter-bus or “meet the locals” concept was introduced back then. USE-IT Oslo was the first to follow in the late 1980’s / early 1990’s. In 1997, USE-IT Rotterdam joined and in 2002, USE-IT Ghent started as the first USE-IT in Belgium. In the beginning it was a very alternative, cultural organization, for local people. Not so much for tourists.
2006: Maribor and Ljubljana joined in with a city map.
Very often people come to the Brussels desk and tell they want to start their own USE-IT. More and more people seem to be interested: Warsaw, Dresden, Torino, Porto, Cork… (you can check the actual number of updated maps on www.use-it.travel) – this is really a turning point…
USE-IT Czech Republic
Prague joined the network with the first map in 2011 and the same year spread the idea and founded local iniciatives in various Czech cities. The information centre was opened in February 2012 in Trojanova Street in Prague. The second edition of Prague was published in 2012 together with the first edition of map of Ostrava. In 2013 Prague team published the third edition, Ostrava their second edition and Brno joined the network with their first edition so as Ceske Budejovice and Cesky Krumlov. In 2014 Prague published 4th map, Ostrava their 3rd map and also Pilsen joined the network.
2010: This non-formal group USE-IT Prague was established in September 2010, under a patronage of International Student Club at Czech Technical University in Prague. Our first movements were spontaneous. We had one common ground: we wanted to issue a map.
2011: Our dream came true – we published the first USE-IT map of Prague in June 2011. Through the holidays we ran the summer info tent at the bottom of the Prague’s Petřín Hill (with the support of the Travelers Hostel). In August, we set up our own organization called Jůzit. In the autumn, we incited the emergence of new Czech USE-IT cities and we launched the new website, USE-IT Czech Republic.
2012: In February 2012 we were done with the reconstruction of our new infocentre in Trojanova 3, Prague 2 (in between the Palackého náměstí and the Dancing House). In July 2012 the map of Ostrava was published and the second edition of map of Prague also. We started to organize “travellers evenings” in the infocentre presenting pictures from journeys and documentary films from all over the world.
2013: We continued with the second and third serie of “travellers evenings”. With the beginning of summer we celebrated the first edition of map of Brno, second edition of map of Ostrava and third edition of map of Prague. In November we published the first double-city edition of Ceske Budejovice and Cesky Krumlov.
2014: We continued with “travellers evenings”. In summer we celebrated the 4th edition of map of Prague and 3rd map of Ostrava. In November was published the first and long expected map of Pilsen.
Create your own map
Is your city missing? Start your own map! Contact your national coordinator or the Brussels central!