We enjoy trying a variety of local restaurants and holes in the wall when we travel, but it seems like breakfast at hotels is a thing in Germany. Should we try to stay someplace that includes breakfast (even as an add-on cost) or take our chances with local places?
To be honest, after you have had a half dozen breakfasts of bread, cheese, meat, and other buffet items, your not missing much. I do not pay extra for a breakfast, if the place I want to stay offers it in the price, then fine, but it is hardly the highlight of the stay. Some religiously seek out places with breakfast, need something first thing, then skip or eat a light lunch. I would rather go get a coffee and maybe a pastry or some fruit, then eat a better lunch. My exception though is in Munich, there, I head down to the Schneider-Weisse Brauhaus and have the breakfast of champions for Munich: Weisswurst, Pretzels, and hefeweizen beer, all with a good side of mustard and maybe some onions.
I sometimes east breakfast sometimes not. Germans tend to have a 1/2 decent breakfast in that they do a lot of cold meats, cheese and nice breads, so if its in the price that's fine. But I can also skip breakfast and just do a bigger lunch. If I have breakfast I skip lunch.
Look at the hotel breakfast as mostly a convenience, to get you on your way. Besides cafes serving pastries, rolls and coffee, I don't recall ever seeing any restaurants that were serving sit-down breakfasts in the American way. So either get your coffee & and rolls at the hotel, or at a cafe. Hotel saves time. And if you're craving American, there's McDonalds (not saying that facetiously).
I am not ashamed to admit that I love a German hotel breakfast. Some are just serviceable, but others are positively luxurious. I am hypoglycemic, so the days of breakfast being a coffee and a croissant are long over for me. If a hotel has some cold cuts, boiled eggs and sliced cucumber and coffee, that's good enough for me.
Five or six years ago my husband, my son and I spent two nights in the Hotel Torbraeu in Munich, which was a bit of a splurge for us serious budget travelers. It was there we had our first experience with German hotel breakfast, and we loved it. Their breakfast was much more than boiled eggs, cold cuts and Muesli - breads and pastries and five different kinds of muesli and yogurt and honey, soft boiled eggs, a big variety of sausages and ham, herring, delicious coffee with hot milk, hot chocolate, fresh juices, you name it. Two years ago we stayed in a hotel in Freiburg im Breisgau that also had a really fantastic breakfast with some of the best Brotchen I've ever had. All that said, if we're staying more than two nights somewhere, we stay in an Air BnB, and make our own breakfasts. To echo a poster up thread, I don't recall seeing breakfast restaurants in Germany, like we have here in the US. You can grab a Schinken-Kase croissant and a coffee from a kiosk, but i don't know that breakfast restaurants per se are a thing.
If it's a nice hotel and you like a big breakfast, it's probably worth paying extra for. If it's just a basic hotel with included breakfast, you can just grab a coffee and a roll and be on your way.
I've been to Germany twice and stayed at perhaps 10 hotels between the 2 trips and breakfast was included at most of them. Usually quite a nice breakfast too. We usually won't pay extra for a hotel breakfast but find it convenient when it's included and we don't have to find somewhere to eat.
Thank you for the wonderful feedback! We're not really breakfast people so we were just trying to gauge what would be best. We're staying in the Cocoon Stachus near the train station. Hoping it will work well. Getting the right bed configuration has proven tricky!
The breakfast at our hotel in Fussen had a chocolate fountain! I don't remember if it was included or we paid extra for it.
We like a hotel breakfast for a few reasons. 1, the caffeine of course. 2, we like to eat a big breakfast and skip lunch. 3, if we don't have tickets for someplace, we like to discuss and finalize our plans for the day after we see the weather, 4, I can finish my journal/emails if I was too tired the night before, 5, the hotel breakfasts usually are served early like 7 am, 6, we can freshen up after our meal before heading out, 7, if we are travelling with others, we can meet up and finalize our plans for the day, and 8, if it is a small B&B like in Weinheim Germany, we sit at shared tables and talk to other tourists or the staff. One B&B we stayed at would put a small flag by you so others knew where you were from, it was fun. Just as other posters have mentioned, in some countries it's hard to find a restaurant for breakfast. I need to eat protein at each meal so a danish isn't enough.
We stayed across from the main Bahnhof in Munich a few years ago. The station has plenty of places with coffee and pastries or cold sandwiches which we had each of the three days we were there. If it's not included in the room rate, skip breakfast and head over to the Bahnhof.
We prefer a hotel with breakfast. They can be hit or miss, but it saves time and are convenient. While in Germany we found the breakfast good, but rarely had hot food. After one trip I did not wish to see a Kaiser roll for a long time.
Having said we enjoyed the convenience of a hotel breakfast we enjoyed eating a cafes while in Rome and Seville.
Do not sweat breakfast, do what you want.
In the end I prefer the convenience of having a breakfast at the hotel.
If breakfast is included, we eat it heavily. It allows us to snack mid afternoon and only pay for a dinner. We have been known to take out a hard roll sandwich for lunch too.
A little off topic, but the most amazing hotel breakfast I have ever had was at the Munich Hilton. I've never seen anything like it. Tables and Tables of choices that represented the typical breakfast choices for travelers from all over the world.
For us, Germany had the best coffee of all the countries we’ve visited so breakfast was quite a treat. We’re those who eat a big breakfast and then skip lunch or have a gelato or small something. Most all hotels we stayed at in Europe have included breakfast in the price.
To be honest, after you have had a half dozen breakfasts of bread, cheese, meat, and other buffet items, your not missing much. I do not pay extra for a breakfast, if the place I want to stay offers it in the price, then fine, but it is hardly the highlight of the stay.
I copied this from Paul because I would have written the exact same thing. I have not and will never pay for a hotel breakfast in Europe. Prices are usually too high and not worth the spread. I never look for a hotel based on breakfast, it is usually a bonus. Having said that, you probably won't find a "breakfast restaurant" in practically all of Europe let alone Germany. Bakeries will be your option.
Out of respect for my travel companions, yes, breakfast at the hotel is essential. I'm not very nice until I've had my morning dose of caffeine. Searching for a nearby cafe with melancholy morning eyes is not ideal. Pay extra, get breakfast.
Different strokes for different folks.
We go on holiday to break the home routine, to let somebody else make the bed, somebody else to prepare the food, somebody else to do the dishes (all pre-covid, of course; we haven't been to a restaurant or gone anywhere for just about 2 years now) and we love the different presentations of breakfast, especially in Germany.
My wife often mentions the chef at a Marriott near Englischer Garten in Munich who by the second morning started making my favourite omelette as we walked in the door. The family hotel east of Munich (the Bauer in Feldkirchen) which does weisswurst and pretzels on the buffet along with traditional hard rolls and homemade jams (they give regulars and book-directs a jar or 3 of the jam at checkout) and Caprese salad - one of our fav hotels.
Then the family hotel above Trier run by two elderly brothers, one of whom makes a special dumpling soup fresh every morning to enjoy with the special scrambled eggs. Yum.
We have occasionally gone hunting for a bakery but now that is very infrequent.
As I say, different strokes for different folks...
I usually love hotel breakfasts, but I found the prices for breakfast at our Munich hotel exorbitant. So, that's one place where we didn't have the hotel breakfast. It's blasphemy on these forums, I'm sure, but we ate at the Mickey D's right by the nearest subway stop.
The breakfast at Hotel Metropol is fantastic if you decide to go with breakfast. I don’t typically, mainly because I don’t like the American breakfast of eggs, sausage, pancakes. But the hotel’s breakfast is so extensive: cold cuts, cheese, many kinds of bread, jams, honeycomb, cereals, pastries, various juices, it just goes on and on. Probably the best hotel breakfast I’ve ever had. And the rooms are great and in a great location on a quiet street across from the train station.
We often stay in apartments. There are great bakeries everywhere so you can always stop and get a coffee and bread if that’s more your style.
@ Barbara from Brooklyn: That's an impressive list! And just for a small meal!
I happen to agree with all 8 of your points, by the way. Love the (northern) European breakfasts!