Whether budget and spare, or luxurious and opulent, you'll find top-quality accommodations throughout Germany to rest your travel-weary bones at the end of the day. And more often than not, you can count on sinking into a featherbed since Germans prize down-filled duvets over blankets. Whatever your pleasure, from a cozy Gasthof to life on the Bauernhof, there's a broad spectrum of choices wherever your journey takes you.
German hotels adhere to a high standard, and you'll find that even the most basic offerings are scrupulously clean and comfortable. Of course as the number of stars goes up, so do the amenities, and you can count on the largest and best city hotels to offer concierge services and fine dining. If you prefer something more intimate, Gasthöfe (country inns that also serve food) offer a great value. You can also opt to stay at a winery's Winzerhof or at an historic castle (Schloss). Families can consider a Familienhotel, which cater to children with special menus, activities, pools, and play areas. Depending on the hotel, rates are calculated by room or by person. Prices are generally higher in summer, so consider visiting during the off-season. Most resorts offer between-season (Zwischensaison) and edge-of-season (Nebensaison) rates, and tourist offices can provide lists of hotels that offer low-price weekly packages (Pauschal-angebote). It's wise to avoid cities during major trade fairs as rates skyrocket. Consider staying in nearby towns and commuting in.
If you're looking for a more personal—and less expensive—alternative to a hotel, B&Bs are a good choice. Often called Pensions, they offer simple rooms and friendly, helpful staff. Keep in mind that not all rooms will have a private bathroom, but your stay will, of course, include breakfast. Another option is a Fremdenzimmer, meaning simply "rooms," normally in private houses. These are found most often in resort towns. And although it's not nearly as private as staying in a hotel or inn, it will give you a peek at how the locals live. For a taste of rural life, try an Urlaub auf dem Bauernhof, a farm that rents rooms.
Apartment and House Rentals
To really get a sense of how the natives live, rent a house or apartment. Known as Ferienwohnung or Ferien-Appartements, it's a popular option in Germany. In a city, you'll feel the pulse of a neighborhood, or in the country you might step out onto your balcony to take in a mountain view. When traveling with family or a group, a private home may be a better deal than booking multiple hotel rooms. Not to mention that you're likely to end up with more space.
The country's hundreds of Jugendherbergen (youth hostels) are among the most efficient and up-to-date in Europe. In fact, the first youth hostel opened in Germany a hundred years ago. Hostels now cater to budget travelers of all ages, and it's not just dorm living; these days, many hostels offer rooms for families and couples.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe