We often do short-term rentals in the US, and it suddenly occurred to me that we could easily do the same in Germany and save $. We're staying in Munich and Freiburg for four nights each, so thought it might be a good option... Saw a very cute apartment in the old part of Freiburg for less than the cost of a hotel room, and it has a kitchen and washer/drier... I'm guessing we could find the same in Munich. Has anyone else done this? Is it a good option in general (assuming we pick a rental with great reviews, of course!)?
We have rented apartments in Europe (London, Rome, Vienna, etc.) a number of times. We have always had a good experience but you do have to be careful. We have encountered bait and switch - pictured apartment not available but I have another one "just like it" but, of course, no pictures available. Dropped that one immediately.
We have found that most legitimate properties are listed on multiple sites - airbnb, VRBO, local rental agencies. Careful googling will provide more info/reviews and sometimes better prices. Read reviews carefully, of course. Some are not legitimate and the web sites policing is inconsistent. Get the address before booking and use google street view to check it out. If they won't give the address that's a big caution. The pictures on the web sites and the descriptions are often very selective. Read and view carefully looking for what is not stated or shown.
Caution and research pays off. As I said we have not had a bad experience but we have several friends who are less careful and have been burned.
Enjoy your trip!
We stay in Air BnBs much more often than hotels (that said, we stayed in a hotel in Freiburg, pre pandemic, that we really liked - Park Hotel Post - cute hotel w/great location and breakfast). I like having a kitchen too. and usually more room to spread out, especially compared to hotels in Europe. Wherever I rent an Air BnB anywhere, I read reviews very thoroughly. I look to see if the host has other properties and I read those reviews too. I try to get a sense of where the property is and have a look around the area on Google Maps & Stree View. I haven't had a bad Air BnB experience yet out of dozens.
You could also look for Ferienwohnungs (vacation apartments) that are rented by locals, and usually for a much better price than you will find on other venues. You can look up the city website you are visiting and there should be listings in the tourist section. For example, here are some listings for Freiburg. https://visit.freiburg.de/en/freiburg/ukv/result?tt=omjrvelemsqrrg0gmrqgs1h72q
I stayed at a very nice 3-bedroom apartment with a kitchen, balcony and washer that was close to the center of town for only €55 a night. This was in a town outside Münster so it will be more expensive in Munich (maybe not so much in Freiburg) but it's a nice option. And it beats paying the Airbnb fees, which annoy me to no end.
If you stay outside of Freiburg, you will get the free KONUS card for train(not IC/EC/ICE)/bus travel in the Black Forest. I usually book fewos or small inns/privat zimmers direct
My wife and I tend to gravitate to B&Bs that are usually located near city or town center.
I always compare with small hotels and AirBnB. Yes, we have found AirBnBs for about the same price, but we are only two persons and don't care about having a kitchen and more room. We like being close to downtown were we can walk, rather than take public transport or taxi.
Check you location before you book. I like TripAdvisor's map feature. Booking.com has a similar feature.