In Europe, there is accommodation for every wish, price range, and desired experience. Whether it’s a tent suspended between two trees, a five-star hotel with a view of a turquoise sea, or a wallet-friendly hostel, it’s all here. The question is, what specific options do you have and how do you go about choosing? That’s what we will address in this article.
The different accommodation experiences in Europe
The best way to approach accommodation on your trip to Europe is like this: it’s an essential part of the travel experience. Imagine the emotions you will feel staying in an ancient castle or an old farmhouse. Picture yourself sleeping among centuries of history in a converted monastery or historic townhouse. In these places, you can live among Europe’s past, which is an experience in and of itself. And there’s so much more! Here are some ideas to consider when booking:
- Spa resorts in historic thermal towns
- Luxurious hotels, both boutique and more well-known
- More affordable hotels
- Guesthouses or bed and breakfasts
- Homestays or Farm-stays
- Outdoor experiences like camping and glamping
Unsure of the best approach? Here are some tips that might help:
- Privilege the experience of your lodging.
- Look for stays in off-the-beaten-path locations like small villages or rural towns. These places will often offer the most authentic experience, with local traditions at the core of the stay. These could be culinary or cultural, such as festivals or the charm of a unique local dish. Another great benefit? Fresh air, rural hospitality, and true immersion in the place you’re visiting.
When it comes to booking, you have a few choices. Most hotels, motels, and guesthouses have robust online systems. You can easily book through various booking websites. Another option is to call ahead and speak to the managers by phone. This is a great way to make a connection and ask for advice about the local reality in advance.
Tip: some countries have dedicated networks of guesthouses that often offer rustic, authentic experiences that don’t break the bank. For example, explore France’s Gîtes de France network.
There are a few other things you should keep in mind when planning your stay.
If you’re traveling by train:
- Make sure to look ahead of time how far the train station is to your lodging. You may need to find a taxi if your lodgings are in a rural part of Europe, where buses aren’t frequent.
If you’re staying in a guesthouse or bed and breakfast:
- You might have access to a kitchen. This is a great opportunity to cook with local ingredients and reduce your meal costs. But be aware that some rural lodgings don’t have restaurants or shops nearby, so make sure you arrange your food in advance.
- Markets in small towns are a great way to experience local culture and cuisine. See what’s for sale, speak with the vendors, and learn about what makes that specific place unique.
- It’s always good to keep some cash on hand. Hotels and larger guesthouses almost always take cards, but small restaurants or market vendors might only accept cash.
- Chances are good that your electronic devices need a power adapter or even a converter.
- Always make sure you are well-equipped before you touch down.
- If you use lots of devices, you might want to bring several adaptors.
- If your devices use a different voltage than the one in Europe, make sure you bring a power converter. These items can be widely purchased at hardware stores, department stores, airports, or local electrical shops.