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Germany more expensive than Venice !?!

So far on our 45 day trip I have all my lodging booked except for Germany. All under 140E a night. And 140E is Venice. Germany :( Salzburg 2 nights Munich 3 nights Fussen or Reutte 2 nights Rothenburg 2 nights Bacharach 3 nights Mosel 3 nights Koln 1 night Nothing! Tons of email replies at 160-200E a night! Help! Please! We may be sleeping in the car or heading to Poland at these rates. Everyone says Germany and Austria are the two most affordable countries but I'm not getting it. There are 5 of us. 1 Adult (me), and 4 kids (10, 11, 13, 17). Most of the youth hostels are already full (Salzburg and Fussen) for the summer. At 25E pp that's still 125E per night. That is more than I'm paying in Paris. :( Are there 2 locations (Bavaria and Rhine/Mosel) that I can do 1 week rentals that are central to do day trips to these locations from?
Munich and Koblenz? Little villages right outside of these two cities? Should we just wing it like the Rick Steve's book say? Try for space A lodging on Military Posts the day of? Buy camping gear in Germany when we rent a car?

Posted by
1525 posts

The hostel (in the castle) in Bacharach is full for the summer? We stayed there in 2010 and it was a tremendous value. For a little extra we had all-you-can-eat dinner there, too. That saved a bundle. Near Füssen there are many places that rent apartments for as little as three nights. I no longer have the link to the place we used, but here is a link for a google map search in nearby Schwangau (the "suburb" of Füssen where we stayed, and closer to the castles); https://maps.google.com/maps?client=safari&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&q=apartment+schwangau&fb=1&gl=us&hq=apartment&hnear=0x479c5870dfc7ce7b:0x41e48add78c01e0,Schwangau,+Germany&ei=vzm1UM2mJImfyAHQ5oCIBA&ved=0CM4BELYD&iwloc=cids:317687378518649401 Here is the hotel we used in Munich. They have a top floor room that will sleep 5 with a cot. It should be around 140 euro. http://www.hotel-muenchner-kindl.de/Hotel_Munchner_Kindl/RATES.html We used the hostel in Rothenburg. Not sure why you list Mosel and Bacharach separately. They are very close together, so you only need one lodging and a car. Congratulations on keeping things to 140 and under so far. That's an accomplishment for a family.

Posted by
199 posts

Hi Randy-
I have an email in to Bacharach castle hostel. Still waiting on them. My kids actually want to stay there. I will get right on your other recommendations. Thanks! I think we will try for the tents in Munich when their reservations open in February, also.

Posted by
18227 posts

Look for a Ferienhohnung (vacation apartment). They have a living room, bedrooms, and a kitchen. Here is a 1300 SF, 3 BR Ferienwohnung in Bacharach for 95€/nt from 4 nights plus a 36€ final cleaning charge. Here is another for 76€/nt and no cleaning charge for 3 nights. I found these on the Bacharach website.

Posted by
12913 posts

If you are a military family you can stay in a rustic cabin at Edelweiss in Garmisch-Partenkirchen for $65 a night ($455 per week). http://www.edelweisslodgeandresort.com/vacationvillage.html
That could be your base for a week in Bavaria, visiting Munich, Fussen, castles, etc. from there. Then move to one of the Bacharach apartments Lee suggests for the second week.

Posted by
199 posts

I have 6 nights booked at 75.25E a night at the youth Hostels around the Rhine/Mosel. No clue what I was doing as the site was in German but I think I did it right. :) I didn't get the half board Randy as I didn't want to have to return during set hours. If I want to add it when I get there, can I? Did you like the food. I have journals full of entries about bad youth hostel food through out Germany. Granted I was 10-14 years at the time but I have more written about bad food than anything else. :) 11 more nights to go!
Thanks for the links Lee, they seemed awesome. I just wanted more human interaction as our entire first half of the trip is in apartments. Awesome Lola! I'm gonna check it out!

Posted by
199 posts

So I checked out Edelweiss Cabins and they seem perfect. I'm just wondering how doable day trips from there are. Salzburg 2.5 hours Berchtesgaden 2.5 hours (Too far to go back and forth multiple days) Fussen 1.25 hours Innsbruck 1 hour
Munich 1.25 hours Would I be spending more in Gas than I would getting a room in those areas?

Posted by
12750 posts

Hi, But Germany and Austria are indeed affordable as regards to accomodatioms. As a general rule, the further south you go the more expensive it is, Stuttgart and Munich are going be (generally) more pricey than Hamburg or Frankfurt. I wouldn't be surprised if you are running into full hostels for the days you want in the summer, say at Füssen. One reason: all the Americans go there. Did you try the independent hostels across from the Munich train station? Three of them on the same block. Numerous Pensionen and small hotels are on Schillerstrasse near the Munich Hbf. That's the area where I stay. For Köln I'd rather stay near the station in Düsseldorf. The HI hostel, though remodeled, still too far away, and is across the river in the Düsseldorf-Oberkassel district.

Posted by
1525 posts

As I recall, the hostel food was pretty basic and non-threatening. It's your standard meat and potatoes (or pasta), some sort of sauce/gravy, and a veggie all hot on your plate, then a modest salad bar with some bread and jams. Getting a couple of pizzas or some sandwiches elsewhere would cost about the same. But a service restaurant would cost quite a bit more. Just FYI; From our experience, the hostels in Germany are more likely than hostels elsewhere to be hosting some school groups. This can either be charming or annoying, depending on your expectations. We chose to find it charming.

Posted by
2816 posts

Munich and Fussen/castles are easy daytrips from Garmisch. You might prefer to take the train to Munich. People here can tell you how to get a cheap ticket for all of you. That leaves longer days for Salzburg and Berchesgaden. Skip Innsbruck and spend some time around Garmisch and Mittenwald instead.

Posted by
199 posts

Hi Fred- Yeah, I checked all 3 Hostels and they all come up at around 160E for the 5 of us. This trip would be so cheap if I had just did 2 weeks with the entire family and the rest of the time with my 17 year old as a graduation present. :) Yesterday I booked 8 nights! 6 in the Rhine region and 2 in Rothenburg. 9 to go! 7 nights in Bavaria. I can't do the cabin as you have to arrive on a Saturday or Sunday. We arrive on a Monday. Apparently there is some major event going on in Salzburg as the pensions outside the city are charging more for this week. I'm thinking 3 nights in the tents in Munich (they go on sale in Feb), 2 somewhere around Berchtesgaden, and 2 in Reutte. 2 nights in the Netherlands close to Germany. Kids want to see Anne Franks Attic and I want to find a cheese market on a Wednesday, flying out of Dusseldorf the next day. So we just added this. If it becomes to complicated we may just do 2 more nights in Germany. Thanks for all the help and ideas! They keep me motivated.

Posted by
11798 posts

Germany and Austria are middle of the road countries. Austria used to be cheap - before the Euro. Spain and Poland are the deals today. I always make a list of potential places, then book as I go - but I'm not picky. You don't say when you're going. If it's high season, it's more likely to be booked up (especially the ones that can be booked by email by Americans). Traveling sans reservations is still possible but likely to be a little more adventurous. Two ideas: Try booking through Tripadvisor.com. They generally will take you directly to hotel options that have available rooms. Try calling. Since way too many Americans only try booking online, many perfectly nice small places are completely ignored. You can find phone numbers in a more robust guide (Michelin Green Guide, Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, etc.) and call directly to book.

Posted by
813 posts

Check out the Novotel at the Munich Messe. We've stayed there very cheaply and it's a quick train ride in to town, plus there's a mall right there with restaurants. We skipped their spendy breakfast and got milk and cereal at the grocery store next to the hotel.

Posted by
12750 posts

Hi, I take it that you came up empty with the three hostels on Senefelderstrasse. There is the HI Hostel on Wendl-Dietrich Strasse. Other than the numerous small hotels and Pensionen near the Munich train station, I can suggest if you want a hostel, maybe try out of town, such as the HI hostel in Augsburg, much less of a chance that one would be full. The one and only time I visited Amsterdam, instead staying there, I stayed in Haarlem, which is very close to Amsterdam. There might be a better accomodations for you in Haarlem.

Posted by
2966 posts

You didn't say how you're trying to book hotels. I've never paid more than 130/night in Germany, and that was a splurge (admittedly we're talking doubles, not for 5) but I can't believe you can't find better deals than what you're reporting. Have you tried booking.com? Airbnb for apartments? If this is for the summer there should still be plenty of affordable rooms and apartments left. With a family of 5, a large hotel room or apartment might be cheaper than a hostel. I don't know if I'd really want to base in Garmisch to see all of Bavaria, that's a lot of driving. (Hopefully you can get an Esso card which would really help).

Posted by
199 posts

From what I read I can't get a gas card unless I'm there on orders. So that's out. Trip Advisor works for reviews but only let's you input 4 adults into it's search. So it isn't showing me rooms available to me. I am using all of the search engines that let you select up to 5 people. I have emailed all of the budget lodging in Rick's book. I'm going to wake up early tomorrow and start calling. I need to hook up a vonage line as I only have a cell phone.

Posted by
2966 posts

Don't use Rick's books for budget lodgings. He tends to pick pricier places. Seriously, try booking.com (pay attention to fine print before you book a place), they can show you larger rooms for up to 5 people or you could book 2 rooms for your group. Booking.com works great for European hotels, I use it for almost all of my travels, I get great deals, I'm usually very happy (the reviews tend to be accurate and fair on the whole).

Posted by
199 posts

Hi Sarah, I use booking.com so much that it's on my opening chrome page. The cheapest room they have in Munich for the days I need is $178 a night at the Siddiqi Pension. The cheapest place I would feel comfortable booking is $197.50 a night at MEININGER Hotel München City Center. I just can't pay these rates. :( I'm paying $149.50 (115E) a night in Rome for 6 people. $182 (140E) a night in Venice for 6 people. And $156 (120E) a night for 5 people in Paris. Praying the dollar gets stronger and the prices are lower by summer :) Why is Munich so much more? I already decided against staying in Salzburg as it's the Salzburg Festival and all the rooms are already sold out. I tried calling places today and was actually hung up on. :( My friend just called and told me to forget Bavaria and go to Polland for a week. Free lodging. I just need to rent a car and pay for food. I just really want to see all of the sights in Bavaria. I want my kids to swim in the Olympic pool in Munich. Where I competed as a kid. I'm torn.

Posted by
12913 posts

Why go to Poland just because it is cheap,when what you really really want to see is Bavaria? And to have your kids swim in the Olympicpool where you competed. That would be special. Munich may look expensive but you can balance it with a cheaper stay elsewhere. Two or three nights in Munich, then a few nights at a place like Camping Isarhorn, near Mittenwald. They have a six person cabin that is inexpensive, and you do not have to stay a week. I imagine there are similar camping places,,with cabins, in other locations. We are not on that tight a budget for our travel, but I don't like average much over 140 a night. If I have to pay more to stay in a particular place, as we did for example in Seville last May, I balance that with a much less expensive choice elsewhere ( like a lovely 90- euro apartment in Toledo. It all averages out OK. And I don't think you will find the best deals for five on Booking.com. Look under Specialty Lodging on Tripadvisor, or cruise the web for apartments. We have often found one's for two-night stays, very affordable for a family. Did you try Hotel Uhland in Munich? They have 4-person rooms and could add a Zustatzbett for the fifth person. They offer deals for 2 or 3 night stays, especially on weekends. You might email and see what they can offer, be flexible and rearrange your dates if that makes it work.

Posted by
199 posts

Did you try Hotel Uhland in Munich? Lola, They were the first ones I tried. 162E per night. I have emailed a few apartments so I'm hoping something good comes up.
Thank you!

Posted by
5486 posts

Stay outside Munich for better deals. Prien is ideally located between Munich and Salzburg on Chiemsee Lake - home of King Ludwig's palace "Herrenchiemsee." You could stay in one place for a week for a good bit less $. Direct train service into Munich's center or Salzburg takes about an hour or less; a Bayern ticket (train daypass) for 5 to either city and back would cost you 26€/day for the family (own kids under 15 are free w/ parent) and would allow use of public transport within Munich as well: http://www.munich-touristinfo.de/Bavaria-Ticket.htm English language search page (click "apartment/holiday house") http://tportal.toubiz.de/prien/ukv Sample apartment options: http://tportal.toubiz.de/prien/ukv/house/DEU00000060064384580 http://www.specklin.net/FeWoPrien/indexE.html Prien's entire accommodations brochure (German): http://www.tourismus.prien.de/files/tourismus_brochure/Gastgeber_Prien_2013_komplett_web.pdf

Posted by
12913 posts

Did you try Laimer Hof? I came up with 130 per night for a multi-bed room plus one extra bed. That was in July; I do not recall what your dates are but August should be no different.

Posted by
199 posts

Thank you for all the help! I made reservations at Edelweiss in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. They do day trips everywhere from there and the train is affordable for day trips. I also thought it would be nice to have everything in English after 30 days in Europe. 2 nights in Netherlands and I am done! Woohoo! Then I can read travel guides for the fun stuff!

Posted by
12913 posts

I think that is a good choice, Stacey. The town is very friendly and welcoming. There is an Olympic pool there as well (different Olympics than the Munich pool, of course). And even if you don't get to everything on your list (Berchesgarten, Salzburg, etc.), you can easily get in to Munich (take your swim stuff) and to the castles from there, and you will also discover lots to do right at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. We like it there a lot, and will be back for a fourth time next September (haven't stayed at Edelweiss, though). My husband is looking forward to a swim in that 50-meter pool (the outdoor one). Have you seen this website for swimmers? http://www.swimmersguide.com/query/Detail.cfm?PoolID=8773

Posted by
199 posts

My kids have to swim at least 3 days a week or they are going to be in for a shock when they get in the pool again in August. :) I have read about some great pools in Rome and Paris. In Lisbon there is a NATO swim team my kids are going to visit. This will be another great pool! I'm sure they would rather be in the wave pool than swimming laps. :) I think it will be a nice break. I'm actually excited about staying there.

Posted by
5373 posts

Stacey, I trust that you know the Anne Frank house is the #1 attraction in a perennially busy city. You cannot book this ( date and time assigned, with no flexibility ) too far in advance!

Posted by
12750 posts

Hi, Good that it worked out for you. Staying in Garmisch means you can get to Munich and Salzburg too.

Posted by
2966 posts

Glad you found a solution, but for future reference, part of the problem is that I think you were only looking for 1 room that fits 5 people. Those aren't easy to come by. Using booking.com for random dates in July, I found a few options that were under 130 euro/night for 2 rooms, one with 2 people and one with 3 people (not even accounting that they were kids). They were all decent-looking accommodations with ratings of 7.5 or higher. There were also options in hostel for quad rooms for 109 and the eldest could have taken a dorm bed for less than 25. So there were options out there. And it didn't seem you were really exploring the apartment angle via airbnb or tripadvisor, which probably would have been your cheapest option although requires a little more internet legwork to book. But I think the Garmish resort will be a great fit for you and your kids. Just throwing this out there for people who are reading other people's threads and taking notes.