How many people is it appropriate to stay in a single room? We dont' need much space we are both small and we want to do Europe on a budget without having seperate beds for hostals.
As I found in my extensive research, most single rooms are one TWIN bed. I can't imagine 2 people sleeping comfortably in that (and a lot of hotels I looked at explicitly stated on their site that single rooms were for one adult and sometimes one child with a baby cot, etc.). But you'd have to find out from the actual places you want to stay. Usually, a double (one double bed) or twin (2 single beds) is not much more expensive anyway, sometimes the prices are even almost the same. In a few of my hotels, I didn't even bother and I'm paying the 5-10 extra euros for a double for single use. It's probably not worth your discomfort to save a little bit of money. But just do some research and find things that will work for you. I did all my hotel research at www.tripadvisor.com - have fun!
As mentioned - while you are charged for the room, not by the number of occupants, two people are generally expected to pay the Double / Twin rate. The single rate is for single occupants (though that single occupant may get something more than a lone twin bed, but rarely.) Twin rooms are often terribly small and barely large enough for one person and a single small piece of luggage, let alone two travelers.
As previously mentioned, a double room has one double (maybe queen) bed, whereas a twin room has 2 twin beds. When requesting a twin room via email, I always specify "one twin room (2 separate beds)". Hence, if you don't want to share a bed with your travel partner, make sure to ask for a twin room.
Since in almost all cases breakfast is included in the room charge the hotel will charge you per person rather than per room.
I wouldn't rule out hostels if you are on a budget. My husband and I almost exclusively stay in hostels when we travel and we stay in "double private" rooms (a room with just one double bed in it). These rooms can either be "ensuite" (with its own bathroom) or "shared bathroom." They usually fill up early so you are wise to make your reservations in advance.
Actually, in Europe a twin room may often have ONE twin bed. Just as a double will be either one double bed (normally the size of a US double, not a queen etc) or two twins. It's not like the US where you get big beds and often two doubles in a 'double room'/
Generally, if you pay for one person, you get one single bed and a room that may often not be much larger than the bed. So for two people you need to request a room for two people. In anycase, if they see or see evidence of two people, you would most likely be charged for two people.
I would agree with the hostel solution - can be much cheaper than hotels even with en-suite.