B&B's in Europe

Old Sep 8th, 2008, 02:40 PM
  #21  
 
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Hi BeBe,

I'm going to try to be helpful [as all the other fodorites have been] because we clearly aren't speaking your language.

a B&B can range from the most basic bed with a shared loo and shower with no breakfast to places that would rival a 4 star hotel. from what you say, you're aiming more at the lower end of the market and nothing wrong with that - many fodorites have the same priorities. therefore i suggest that you have a look at guide books aimed more at younger travellers, like the rough guide or lonely planet. they give lists of recommended establishments for all the destinations covered which shoudl give you an idea of what costs will be. they wil also help you decide where you might like to spend more time than 1-2 days.

a rough guide though is that prices in cities tend to be higher than in the countryside or smaller towns.
so if you are heading for major tourist centres, it'll be mroe expensive.

the other major cost is going to be transport - you could save a lot by not moving around so much, and if you are staying somewhere for 3 days or more, you could probably get an apartment which may well be cheaper even than a cheap hotel or B & B AND you can prepare some of your own food and save more money.

there are loads of threads on this forum giving ideas for how to spend 4-5 days in Paris, Munich, Rome, Salzburg, Vienna, etc. in between cities, i would try to timetable some "down-time" in the countryside, walking or just relaxing, or you will very quickly be burnt out and needing another holiday to recover. April would be great time to be in Provence or Tuscany, for example.

good luck,

regards, ann
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Old Sep 8th, 2008, 03:00 PM
  #22  
JP
 
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Ever notice how users of this board usually have just 1 accepted idea of how to travel, and anyone who suggests otherwise is flogged with a wet noodle until they agree? I'm surprised that nobody has said anything about spending some time sitting in sidewalk cafes getting to know a place better (what I'd call being bored out of my mind).

The itinerary that BeBeRose listed looks quite a bit like our EurailPass trips, except that there are more multi-day stops than we ever did.
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Old Sep 8th, 2008, 03:15 PM
  #23  
 
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BeBe -- do you know about Tripadvisor.com? The site ranks b&b accommodations (and hotels and restaurants too, for that matter) according to reviews received by other travelers. It's an important resource.
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Old Sep 8th, 2008, 03:18 PM
  #24  
 
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You can get some reviews of b&bs for the cities you will be in at www.tripadvisor.com

We will be staying at a very inexpensive b&b in Venice which may be a bit out of the way.
http://www.bbvenezia.com/pages/transpEng.htm

For Assisi we are staying at Hotel Berti. Not really a b&b but not so expensive.

http://www.hotelberti.it/HotelING.html

There are probably other places that people can recommend. Many will not you for one night. But being it is in April they may.

In Rome we like Villa del Parco but it is not in the city center.
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Old Sep 8th, 2008, 03:25 PM
  #25  
 
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<b>BeBeRose:</b> You have gone from 23 stops to 4 - it seems you are going from one extreme to the other. I thought you were landing/departing at Frankfurt? Have you booked your flights already?

What is you budget per night?

<b>JP:</b> &quot;<i>The itinerary that BeBeRose listed looks quite a bit like our EurailPass trips, except that there are more multi-day stops than we ever did.</i>&quot;

I guess it depends on whether one wants to check a city off a list (&quot;before I die musts&quot or actually see anything.

I'm not saying one needs to stay a week in a city - but to arrive one afternoon, check in, see a bit of town that afternoon, check out the next morning, and go back to the station to head out again doesn't let you learn ANYTHING about a city.

If one has &quot;been there, done that&quot; - but it was only a 18-24 hour stop over -- just how much &quot;done that&quot; can you possibly claim??

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Old Sep 8th, 2008, 03:34 PM
  #26  
 
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As mentioned earlier the National Gallery (www.nationalgallery.ie) and National Museum (www.museum.ie) are free. Note that there are 3 branches of the National Museum open at present,including one in County Mayo.The National Gallery in Dublin has some world class paintings including one by Vermeer and there are free tours of the gallery from time to time too. There is a municipal gallery in Parnell Square (free) where one of the exhibits is that of the untidy studio where Francis Bacon, an Irish-born painter,worked for many years.After his death in London it was recreated here.One of his paintings recently sold for 75 million dollars making him the most expensive modern painter.Dublin has produced some of the world`s best writers (James Joyce),poets(W.B.Yeats- there is a free exhibition of his work at present in the National Library-see www.nli.ie), playwrights ( George Bernard Shaw) and wits -Oscar Wilde.You can visit free most,but not all, of Trinity College (founded 1592) and meet the students in some of the restaurnats on campus which are open to the public. You could have a most interesting time for the price of a cup of coffee.
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Old Sep 8th, 2008, 03:50 PM
  #27  
 
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Sandylan: I think you posted to the wrong thread. The OP hasn't mentioned <i>anything</i> about visiting Ireland.
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Old Sep 8th, 2008, 04:12 PM
  #28  
ncchic
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BeBeRose- In the Marais section of Paris ( a lovely area close to the Ile St. Louis) are 3 hostels housed in old aristocratic buildings (mije.com). I stayed there with some friends (including my sister who is in her 60's and she enjoyed it and we are very picky)- and it is as nice or better than many hotels- very quiet historic location. (we were in the Falconnier) It was very much like a B &amp; B- a light breakfast served in a lovely lobby area and you can get dinner at the other affiliated hostel if you care to @10.50 euros. There are rooms to accomodate two people with a shower and sink- bathroom down the hall. It is very reasonable and very clean and the courtyard in the back is great for wine and cheese or a takeaway meal. Check out the website..
 
Old Sep 8th, 2008, 04:59 PM
  #29  
 
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BeBe,

Just a quick reply to your question. I don't have a specific B&amp;B to recommend, but I can tell you that you will find many to pick from during your travels. We travel this way all the time and it is the best way to travel for us. I would say you will find what you need at any of the train station room location service. It will be more difficult in the larger cities, but not impossible. Just ask for a B&amp;B or Pension and tell them how much you want to pay and they will find something to fit your needs. Depending on then you are traveling will depend on the number of rooms available. The only itinary suggestion I would have is to not stay in Pisa. Stop by to see the tower and stay in the Cinque Terra.

Have fun.

greg
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Old Sep 8th, 2008, 07:31 PM
  #30  
 
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BeBeRose,

Try Karen Brown's website or books. She does have some dedicated just to B&amp;Bs. Some are more expensive than others, but she's never steered us wrong!
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Old Sep 9th, 2008, 01:38 AM
  #31  
 
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Hi,

I'm a budget traveler so I understand that you would rather not spend much money on a place to sleep. But B&amp;Bs are not necessarily the least expensive option so I wouldn't limit yourself to this type of accommodation.

Get copies of &quot;Let's Go&quot; travel books from your library for each country/city you're visiting and look at their recommendation. This is a budget travel series I've used for over 30 years. In addition to good info on budget accommodations they have great sightseeing information.

If you're staying several nights or a week in a major city consider renting an apartment which is usually less expensive than a hotel. You'll have a kitchen to cook or keep light meals/snacks which will save money. There's lots of threads on this forum about apartment rentals.

In Rome you might consider staying in a convent. Here's a site for convent stays maintained by the American Catholic Church in Rome, Santa Susanna. You do not have to be Catholic to stay in convents.

http://www.santasusanna.org/

Paris has quite a few budget hotels. Hotel St-Andre-des-Arts is one of those that is very close to Notre Dame so a great location. A double room with breakfast is 89 Euro per night. The lobby is worn. The one room I saw was small but the bathroom was brand new and the room was very clean.




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Old Sep 9th, 2008, 04:40 PM
  #32  
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Hello Everyone:

Thank you so very much for all your help. Especially to those like adrienne, mom23rugrats, gregPCM, ncchic, bratsandbeer, azzure, JP, annhig, and dgassa who were most helpful. I went to the store today and purchased the Karen Brown books on Italy and France B&amp;B's, I also have Rick Steves' book on Europe and Europe by Rail (Frommer's).

I know it has been 30 years since I did this trip, but I know I will have a great time, I have all the time in the world now and I do not plan to rush. I may be gone longer then 30 days.

It is so great to finally be retired, every night is Friday night and every day is Saturday and Monday's never come anymore.

Thanks again to all you helpful souls.

BeBe
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Old Sep 9th, 2008, 07:57 PM
  #33  
 
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I recall seeing a website for hostels, I think it's called Hostel 35 for hostels and hotels at 35 Euro. And they seem to have them all over Europe .
You might try googling it.
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Old Sep 9th, 2008, 08:49 PM
  #34  
 
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DO check out the www.bensbauernhof.com website. It is full of wonderful info on traveling in Germany and Austria as well as accommodation recommendations.
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Old Sep 10th, 2008, 03:12 PM
  #35  
 
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Karen Brown's guide books to European B &amp; B's is a good resource.

Her guide books are done by individual countries. Supposedly, someone who works for her company stays in each of the B&amp;B they recommend. They also do itineraries.

Her books are very helpful and I have never been disappointed in her recommendations.

I would check out her books in your local library (check the publication dates).
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Old Sep 10th, 2008, 06:11 PM
  #36  
 
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BeBeRose: Just a suggestion; When I travelled Europe for five weeks and covered six countries, I did a combination of train and car. Train on a Europlan for long distances between countries and then rented a car while staying in one place for four nights and saw as much in that area as I had energy for. It worked out well for me and I never felt overwhelmed. Since I booked all my accomodation and transportation before I left I did not have to spend valuable time looking while there. For instance, I stayed at Chateau Roussan near St. Remy in Provence for four nights but visited all the small towns like Roussalin, Gourdes etc, Nimes, Avignon,Aix de Provence. As well, in Italy I stayed in Siena and visited, Pisa, San G, Florence, Tuscany, Cartona,Umbria etc. I did that in each general area and it worked for me. I started in The Netherlands (where I have family who all thought I was crazy)and did a large circle that included Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland and a corner of Germany ending in Paris. I spent four days in Venice. I would do it again in a minute and I remember every minute of my trip. To each his/her own. When I get old and can't travel like that anymore I will at least know where I may want to go and spend a longer time

ncchic: I hope to travel to Paris again next year. I checked out your suggestion for MIJE. It sounds fantastic but seems to be only for younger people. Do they check age ID? or ask your age when booking? I'd hate to book there and find out there's an age restriction when I get there.
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Old Sep 11th, 2008, 07:45 AM
  #37  
ncchic
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MsLizzy- I saw your post last night and wanted to be sure of my answer so I emailed MIJE and they just responded and said there are no age restrictions for adults. When I went in 2004, not only was I there with my sister but also my teenage son and friend so I wasn't sure if that is why there wasn't an age issue.
Anyway- when I go back to Paris with my husband I wouldn't hesitate staying there again. You can't beat the price for the clean accommodations as long as you don't mind having a bathroom down the hall. Have a great trip!!
 
Old Sep 13th, 2008, 09:45 PM
  #38  
 
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Just a word in support of using the Rick Steve Guide Books. He has recommendations at various price levels. No matter what references he makes, I have always found them to be dependable. The main point of his books: His recs. are the BEST VALUE in each price category, from Pricy to very budget! And, they are always in good, close LOCATIONS - a very important point when you are lugging bags

Check his recs. on trip advisor.com.
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 03:15 PM
  #39  
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Thanks for the heads up. I have purchased several tour books and am getting a good idea about B&amp;B's. I have checked out the Hoslels 35, that Website was really helpful.
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