Finding zimmer frei in bars?

Apr 28th, 2006, 07:56 AM
  #1  
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Finding zimmer frei in bars?

I am planning for a trip in July with my son (age 14) to Germany. We will be arriving and departing in/from Stuttgart. I am renting a car and we are off for two weeks of exploring roughly the southern half of the country. My neighbor is from a town about an hour north of Frankfurt. I was telling him that the lodging is going to put a huge hurting on my wallet and I asked if there was a better/cheaper way to go. I said I like the idea of getting a room while on the road by watching for the green bed signs. He told me not to count on finding a room that way and, instead, told me to go into any bar and ask about a room - they know who is renting out rooms and I could get a good deal plus, we'd be staying with locals and the whole experience would be richer. Okay, I don't mind traveling on the fly to a certain degree but, this may be a little too much. I have read countless posts here (thank you to all who give such helpful suggestions and advice) on places to see, things to do etc. etc. etc. and nowhere, however, have I seen a recommendation about getting a room in the manner my friend suggests. Any locals care to comment?

Thanks so much
Kim
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Apr 28th, 2006, 08:18 AM
  #2  
ira
 
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Hi Kim,

I would not recommend that a woman go into a bar in a stange country and ask about renting a room.

It could be seriously misconstrued.

ira is offline  
Apr 28th, 2006, 08:25 AM
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Try doing a search for guesthouses now.
The German Tourist board is very helpful in sending phamplets about where to stay. They sent me a nice little booklet listing many rooms.
try www.stuggart.de
Many times you will see signs for "zimmer frei". When are you going? It could make a difference.
There is also a nice little website by Bavarian Ben - he posts here. I don't know the addy right off hand.
L84SKY is offline  
Apr 28th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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BTW- many of the little towns in Germany have a website so look on a map around the areas you're going and plug in the name of the town .de
I now see you're going in July, for the world cup?
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Apr 28th, 2006, 08:47 AM
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Any small town in Germany has a - usually very well-informed - tourist information office. They are usually open on times like Mo-Fr 10-18 or so, and if you arrive in the town within this time they will be able to help with accomodation better than asking around in bars.
altamiro is offline  
Apr 28th, 2006, 08:49 AM
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Ira - <laughing> totally agree about my request being misconstrued.

L84SKY - thanks for the tourist board info; I don't recall seeing the suggestion before...then again, I may have just missed it. I've been reading ALOT lately. No, we aren't going to be in Germany for the WC. We'll be there from the 10-25th; I think the WC ends right before we get there but, am not sure. I'm going to check out the Bavarian websites you suggested too. Thanks so much.
beelady is offline  
Apr 28th, 2006, 08:52 AM
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Having used the tourist info offices several times in several countries, I strongly suggest you heed the advice of "Altimiro" , and disregard that of your neighbor. All you have to do is drive into a town, head for the town square (follow the Centrum or Zentrum signs), and look for (or inquire about) the INFO signs, which often are a big green letter I (maybe a foot hi).
tomboy is offline  
Apr 29th, 2006, 03:57 AM
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Admittedly I am not an attractive younger lady travelling with my son, but I don't think you will be set upon because you have dared to enter a bar to ask for help with local accommodation. In fact I find that one of the best ways to find a room, especially in those cute little towns that don't have a visible tourist facility.

Not only is the price going to be reasonable but you get to meet people who can help you make the most of your stay in their patch

Harzer
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Apr 29th, 2006, 06:13 AM
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Maybe a cafe would be a better alternative. The idea of asking in a bar reminds me of the time my friend aind I were lost in Seville and couldn't find her hotel. She was showing people the hotel key and asking "donde?". She wasn't having much luck in finding anyone with an answer, it wasn't until I saw a woman pull her husband away, quite forcably and scold him that I realized what that lady may have thought my friend's intentions were.
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May 2nd, 2006, 07:52 AM
  #10  
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Harzer,
You sound just like my friend, Jens. If the tourist office doesn't turn up anything, maybe I'll go for the bar deal but, I'm not holding my breath. And who said anything about being an attractive young lady < laughing again>. I will keep your and Jens' advice in the back of my mind though.
Kim
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May 2nd, 2006, 05:16 PM
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Well, it doesn't have to be a bar. You could try anywhere where people are sitting about and relaxing a bit. So in a Waschsalon (laundry), in an open air cafe, in a park, in a bowling alley and so on.

If you are really interested I could get my travelling companion to look up her diary and tell me some addresses where we stayed in the Black Forest years ago, using just this sort of hunt-and-find technique.

Harzer
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May 3rd, 2006, 06:46 AM
  #12  
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Harzer,
Yes, I'm interested. No hurry. In the meantime, I'm looking at the websites of prospective towns we may find ourselves traveling through. Thanks very much.
Kim
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May 3rd, 2006, 07:51 AM
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We were in the Black Forest last September and were given many choices at the Tourist Offices found everywhere. You should have no problems and we found the rates to be better than expected - most much under $100. including breakfast for 2. Lucky you.
Micheline is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 07:39 PM
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I don't think a "bar" in Germany is going to equate with a bar in the States. The bar would usually be a Gasthaus and would be quite respectable. I wouldn't hesitate to ask advice from a proprietor or indeed the guests in a Gasthaus.
Pegontheroad is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 09:32 PM
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Plan way ahead this summer for lodging. World Cup is happening all over Germany. Pensions and Hotel Garni are the less expensive....but still pricey because of the weak dollar.
fisches is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 11:51 AM
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Don't expect to find "bars". Although I have seen plenty of Germans drinking beer in Gasthöfe, I don't think I have ever seen anything that would qualify as a "bar" by our definition. Your best bet is to find the tourist information office and ask there. In almost every German town I have ever been in, the TI office has been in the train station or nearby. My only comment, if you are obviously American, and don't speak German, you will find that they will tend to direct you to an English speaking hotel, not a "Privat Zimmer". I speak German, with an obvious American accent, and I still have that problem.

Figure out where you want to go, and find the website for those towns. Look for "Unterküfte", "Übernachten", or "hotels". If they have a "Unterkünfteverzeichnis" (list of accommodations), click on that. Look for "Zimmer", or "Privat Zimmer" - you probably won't find them called "Zimmer frei"; that means vacancy.

Some accommodations will have email addresses, maybe even websites. Make a list of the phone numbers, so you can contact them when you get into town. It might even be a good idea to send them an email in advance, so they know who you are, and you might know if they have a vacancy.

Of the Privat Zimmer I have stayed in, no one ever spoke English to me (maybe my German is just too good, ha, ha). If you can't speak any German, staying in Privat Zimmer will be a challenge.
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May 5th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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We visited Germany last year, and had no problem finding a room, just by wandering round til we found one we liked the look of. WE had to do that, as the tourist office was shut! It was in Titisee which is a real place with lots of tourists, so it was quite easy, but any large village or small town will have a number of "zimmer frei", which are invariably very clean and well run. or a small Gasthof probably won't cost much more. Even if you don't book ahead, you could use the tourist board lists beforehand to see which places have sufficient places with accommodation to allow you to turn up on spec. Good Luck.
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May 5th, 2006, 12:25 PM
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Larry, your German is good! The onlay mistake you made is "Gasthöfe" and "Gasthöfen"
logos999 is offline  
May 5th, 2006, 12:26 PM
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onlay ;-)
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May 5th, 2006, 02:31 PM
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Are you kidding logos?

He should have written "Privatzimmer" and "Unterkünfte", but "Gasthöfe" was OK.

Harzer
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