Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What are Gasthaus's and Pensions like and Why Stay in Them

My husband and I like to travel a lot; we have been to Germany three times. We only stay in a Gasthaus (Inn) or a Pension which are similar to a bed and breakfasts here, but quite different. The only differences between these two are that a Gasthaus 
 will have a restaurant for guests and non-guests and a common area such as a lounge where a pension does not have to have a restaurant or common areas for non-residents. If you drive into the village and see a
sign that’s says “Zimmer Frei” that means they have a vacant room for rent. Usually this sign is associated with a private home but can be located on any category of accommodation. They are more like an elegant small hotel, the staff is always very friendly, and usually they are decorated with antiques. Breakfast is served and included with the room; it’s a little different from what we usually consider breakfast here. It is       
cold meats, cheese, fruits, hard bread and rolls, and usually boiled eggs.
We like to stay in these because they are in small towns, where you can get a real feel for the culture and food; we always ask where the locals eat. We want to experience their food, in their surroundings, and enjoy being part of something different.
We also like staying in them because they are normally on a rail line which makes getting into the larger cities much easier. Most of the cities have these S-Bahns extending out to the adjacent districts. You don’t want to drive and have to find a place to park, and then enjoy the BEER, (which I drink over there, but do not drink at home). (Wheat BEER is the BEST.)
You can easily get back to the station after enjoying the city, Oktoberfest, or the local restaurants. It is very inexpensive, clean, safe, and you can just relax on your way back to your room.
We usually book one for our first night there, they can be pre-booked just like hotels. On our last trip, we booked one for the night before we were going into Munich for Oktoberfest, to make sure we had a place on the rail line. Normally we rent a car and take off to an area we think we would like, if we want to stay longer, we rent a room, if it wasn’t what we thought , we continue to another destination, and find one there to stay. We have never been disappointed and find them to be a perfect addition to the experience. Almost every town has these places to stay and they are all clean and just as nice as a big hotel in the larger towns.

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