European Holidays Guide

Beautiful European Holidays

europe accommodation guide

European hotels generally fall into four categories:

Luxury hotels in Europe are generally found in big cities, and some country resorts. They often have restaurants with excellent chefs and their own swimming pools, and will do anything they can to make your stay easy and pleasant. Luxury hotels are a fantastic way to see Europe in style. Hotels and resorts in this category, some of which allow you to accrue loyalty points, but all strive to reflect the best of their city or region. There are luxury hotels suitable for everyone, and some specialist in particular activities like golf, fishing or spa activities.

Boutique hotels are independently owned and generally small, and are often stylish, quirky or have other features that you just wouldn’t get in a chain hotel. ‘Boutique’ doesn’t always mean luxury, although some hotels in this category are at the higher end of the market. These hotels tend to be aimed very firmly at couples.

Guesthouses, pensions and B&Bs vary widely in size, and are generally in a large-ish house that have been converted to be used by guests. They are mainly locally owned and provide accommodation and breakfast; some provide evening meals on request. Usually, you will have your own bathroom, although arrangements depend on the region and your budget. Some accommodation in this category can be very plush and rival that of hotels, although guesthouses and pensions are almost always smaller and more personal.

Budget hotels in Europe are found everywhere and are aimed at young people and stag and hen parties – they provide a basic place to sleep. Budget chain hotels are generally very samey and will charge extra for breakfast. Independent budget hotels often include elements of staying in hostels, like having a dormitory or a shared bathroom or kitchen.

In between these categories, the vast majority of hotels in Europe are middle of the road establishments that have some level of chain ownership, but are independently managed. These generally attract couples, families and corporate visitors. Hotels have often been trading in the same place for a long time – historic doesn’t always mean expensive.

Self Catering Holidays Guide

Self-catering accommodation in Europe generally falls into three categories:

Luxury self-catering options are brilliant for a special holiday, perhaps to celebrate an event like a wedding or birthday. Northern and Central Europe has castles and large houses, while in Southern Europe you’ll be able to find large villas, usually with their own swimming pool.

Self-catering apartment in resorts area are very popular, and can be a good way of visiting popular beach destinations on a budget. The resort shops are easy to negotiate, but are more expensive than shopping in local towns. These self-catering apartments are generally in purpose-built blocks.

Independent self-catering options exist in many European tourist spots – the agent generally handles the booking, while you meet up with the local owner or representative when you arrive to get the keys. This type of accommodation can be a great way to get a feel for the local community without actually doing a homestay and is often a bargain, although you’ll usually need a little bit of the local language to negotiate the shops. There are a wide variety of independent self-catering options, including farm cottages, city apartments, country cottages and townhouses.

Europe on a Shoe-string

If you want to see Europe but are short on cash, then there are two main ways to stay:

Hostels are found in cities and tourist spots across Europe. A bed for a night in a dormitory can be had for a few euros. Hostels also often have double, triple and other larger rooms, that can be booked out for a group or family. Sometimes you’ll share a bathroom, sometimes you’ll have an en-suite. Hostels tend to have a self-catering kitchen available to residents, which allows you to keep costs down.

Camping holidays can be a great way of seeing Europe on a budget. If you don’t have your own kit, then many campsites rent out chalets, static caravans or bungalows (in fact, some don’t allow tents or touring caravans). Bigger campsites may have an on-site pub, restaurant or shop. Some are accessible on public transport, although you’ll generally get the best out of a camping holiday if you have your own car. Self-catering units at campsites are particularly popular with families who want to see Europe on a budget.

A final option is to arrange a homestay. This means that you get a bedroom in a family home, where at least one member of the family will speak some English. You will have meals provided. Homestays are an excellent way to learn a foreign language, and these sorts of holidays are generally aimed at young people or couples.

European Accomodation Tips