If you are traveling to Europe for the first time and staying in a hotel, you may be in for a surprise. Typically, European hotels are small compared to American standards. One room I stayed in had about enough room to walk from the door to the bed, and that was about it. It makes sense if you think about it. Space is limited, and they want to get the most out of every nook.
Some hotels still share bathrooms. I don’t see a problem with this, but if you are a very private person, you may pay more for a bathroom in your hotel room.
There is a wide variety of hotels, but my favorites are the locally owned, boutique style hotels. They feel like a cozy home away from home. Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years.
Stay in the City Center
There are budget options available. Hopefully you will take advantage of public transportation if you are staying in a large city. You might be able to find American-like hotels outside of the center, but why would you want to stay there? Experience the comforts and quirks of smaller hotels.
I have been searching all over for an available deal for an upcoming night in Paris. It happened last minute, so I find myself looking in all crevices to find the right hotel. If you know you will be staying somewhere ahead of time, make a reservation soon.
Think About Street Noise
I personally enjoy hearing the bustle of the city while traveling. If you need silence to sleep, try to find a room facing a courtyard rather than the street.
Really investigate the neighborhood. Are there things to do nearby? Can you find public transportation easily?
Check out the Amenities
Do you need internet? Is air conditioning necessary? I typically look for a hotel with minimal amenities, but I do love one that offers a breakfast. I’ve stocked up on some filling food to help fuel the day. Breakfasts will vary depending on your location. Some will include sausages and eggs while others might have a pastry with a cappuccino. My favorites are the ones with homemade jams and deli meats.
A positive to European style hotels is the greater selection of the types of beds. A single is a twin bed. A double can be a very small double to almost a queen-sized bed. If you are staying with a family member or friend and don’t really want to sleep in the same bed, opt for the two twins.
Here are a few places I’ve stayed at in the past. Sometimes you have to sacrifice luxury so that you can afford a hotel with an amazing view and location. The Haarlem hotel was the largest I have ever been in. Perhaps you can hear the excitement in my voice.