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Is 6 months out too early to be booking a hotel in Germany

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We are planning our first trip staying entirely in Germany 2012. We have visited Germany as daytrips from France several times. I usually start my hotel search with booking.com and then do more research after that.

For our arrival date, May 9, I was looking at a one night stay in Cologne near the train station. When I put in those dates out of 243 hotels listed in Cologne only 100 were available and few were located within .4 km of the train station. Am I starting my search too soon and is it likely the hotels don't book so far in advance or is this one of those dates I've read warnings about that book early and fully in some cities in Germany? Even the Ibis I would select doesn't have a single room available on Wed, May 9th.

I know sometimes hotels don't open their schedule until after Jan 1st for that year but I didn't know if this could be the reason so many of the hotels I would like don't show availability.

I'm wondering if I should hold off until after the start 2012 or book a less than preferable hotel--one that I can cancel if a better one becomes available but in which I may have to settle on for our first night in Germany

Thanks for any insight you can provide. Deborah

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