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Where To Base On The Rhine

I’m leaving in just over two weeks to go to Germany, where I will be spending 5 nights with my cousins who live in Cologne. I was told they were going to find a nice place for us all to stay together, but I just found out the search hasn’t even been started. Sigh. My aunt asked me to look around and see if I could fine a suitable 4 bedroom and at least 2 bathroom place in a nice location, not more than 30-45 minutes from Cologne, with train access. Easy right? Anyway, I would appreciate any suggestions for towns to look in. Thanks so much!

Posted by
1017 posts

As an dyed in the wool curmudgeon, I would write off the cousins and have a more pleasant visit with the folks you are traveling with. Assuming that you had made it clear that the cousins would do the heavy lifting, and that you were depending on their help, why waste time hanging with them? Are the cousins doing anything to make the trip come together?

Posted by
196 posts

It's worth a trying using something like VRBO for starters. You can easily start with Cologne and move around on the map to search different properties. Often, descriptions will provide access information (close to bus, train, etc.) on the listing.

Posted by
3110 posts
Posted by
8768 posts

Mona, that first one is to die for! Sadly it’s too far from Cologne. Bonn is too big and the place very close to Cologne is a bit pricey. The last one you linked is perfect and I would love to stay there…again. We stayed there in 2019 when I took my uncle to see his kids and grandkids. I will definitely suggest it, as my aunt mentioned finding something “like” Unkel.

My cousins have known for many months when we are arriving and I was told that they would come up with something. I offered to help look, since they both work and one has 4 year old twins. I know they don’t necessarily plan too far ahead, but this is ridiculous. I would consider spending the 6 nights we put aside somewhere else, but I really want to see their mother who is not in good health. I’m not sure when we would get back to Germany.

Posted by
27723 posts

That's too bad. I would thought a return to Unkel which fitted you perfectly.

I'm sorry you've been let down. Maybe they didn't think the trip would actually happen...

I'm sure you'll pull it together. I hear your frustration...

Posted by
8768 posts

Thanks Nigel. I sent them an email yesterday suggesting the place in Unkel and the place that Mona linked to a little bit north of Cologne. I also asked if they could suggest different rental options besides Vrbo and Airbnb. I checked Booking.com but didn’t find anything. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to hear back from anyone. I wonder if this is fate’s way of telling us that considering what is happening in Europe it might not be a good time to travel after all.

Posted by
8113 posts

Andrea, look under Ferien Wohnungen for whatever city or town you want.

Posted by
8768 posts

Thanks Ms. Jo. I checked the website. There’s no English option and I don’t speak German, but I think it was saying there wasn’t anything available in the Köln area for the dates I put in, March 23-27.

Posted by
27723 posts

I dunno Andrea - things are very much in flux

Posted by
960 posts

I know this is a touchy subject with some, but have you checked Airbnb?

Or you could just show up on their doorstep with your bags, saying "We're here! Where do we sleep?" 😉

Posted by
8768 posts

Lol! I’m not a glutton for punishment. One cousin lives in a tiny apartment with her very rambunctious 4 year old twin boys. Their mom would end up staying there because she lives in Hannover. The other cousin lives on the 5th, or possibly 6th floor of a walk up apartment. She has a fabulous view of the cathedral, but I’ve already seen it. 😁

I’ve checked Airbnb (U.S. version) and Vrbo, plus Booking.com. I sent them an email over 24 hours ago telling them that a house we all stayed in when I took their dad for a visit in 2019 is available. The house is really perfect, in a small town on the Rhine. I found another place much closer to Cologne that would be more convenient for them. One cousin has to work one day and her boyfriend has to work every day, but will try to come in the evenings. I sent that link as well. I’ve heard nothing back. I’ll give them over the weekend to let me know what they think. If I don’t hear from them I’m tempted to change our plans and just spend 3 nights in Cologne staying in a hotel. It won’t be the same as staying together, but if that what it takes. I would then take the 3 nights we would save and add one night to Frankfurt, our arrival city, and 2 nights in Strasbourg, giving us 3 nights. I had planned just a one night stopover there before we go to Colmar for 4 nights.

I’m trying hard to be patient, but I’ll admit I’m not being very successful. This is not a surprise visit. I told them about a year ago that we were coming and gave them the dates in November.

Posted by
92 posts

Maybe there’s an embarrassing money issue that no one wants to admit? You are wise to have a plan B that allows for a visit without trying to stay all together. Sounds like no one is quite up to hosting. Somehow, I have instinctive, but probably misplaced, sympathy for the mother of small twins. Good luck with your trip, I hope you find other ways to fill out your visit time if you choose to go.

Posted by
8768 posts

Thanks for your comments jmhettenh. We will definitely be going on this trip. We start in Germany for 8 nights, then head for France. This is a 6 week trip. I also have sympathy for the cousin with twins. We FaceTime on occasion and it’s a zoo there. Lol! No one has a large enough space for everyone to gather, which is why they want to find a rental. The one closest to Cologne would be the most convenient for those who have work to do and is less expensive than the place we stayed in before. We had already planned to spend our last night (a Monday) at a hotel near the train station because we have an early train the next day. I suggested we could spend the Sunday night there as well, and just get a rental for 4 nights. That would save us all money. After emailing them almost 48 hours ago I haven’t heard a word from any of them. After the weekend if I haven’t heard back I may just let them know we are coming for 3 nights and will stay at the hotel. It’s not ideal, but we leave two weeks from tomorrow and I’m just not willingly to wait until the absolute last minute.

Posted by
8768 posts

Things are looking up. I just heard from one of my cousins. The place I sent them near Cologne has been rejected because they don’t like the area. That’s fair. She sent a link for a large house in Belgium, about a 1 1/2 hour drive from Cologne. I told her we are fine with that. The ball is in their court now.

Posted by
8768 posts

Thanks for letting me vent. The house in Belgium has been rented and we don’t need to rent a car so I’m happy and looking forward to spending some time with my cousins and their mom.

Posted by
3110 posts

I’m glad they found something finally. You will have a different area to explore. Have fun!