Next to the usual hotel aggregators like booking.com, expedia, etc I am using Google Maps to search for accommodation. It really works well if you search for accommodation in the local language. For French I am using the following key words: Gites, chambre/maison/table d'hôte, gite rural,
and I always find some nice places especially in bucolic regions in France.

So far I have only have identified Ferienhaus in German, having less options being returned by Google Maps. What are the synonyms in German known for the different types of accommodation available in rural areas?

  • 2
    I believe Google uses concepts instead of words, i.e. it will not only search for Ferienhause but for accommodation in general. I am not totally sure though, and it might be restricted to specific domains (google.com and not google.de)
    – Vince
    Oct 29, 2012 at 16:49
  • you can also try with "Ferienwohnung"
    – Dirty-flow
    Oct 29, 2012 at 17:49
  • @Vince: Sadly it's not quite that good. This same problem Andra mentions is much worse here in Korea for instance. Then again the fact that two local map sites are much more popular may also be a factor. Oct 30, 2012 at 4:42
  • @Vince: Very true, and unfortunate: When looking for "Restaurant", Google Maps will regularly list McD, and even some petrol stations. Oct 2, 2016 at 14:10

2 Answers 2

  • Unterkunft - the most general word that includes everything else (just like accomodation)
  • Hotel
  • Gasthof, Gasthaus - translates best as "inn", may or may not offer rooms as well as food
  • Pension - similar to bed&breakfast, the most common in rurual areas
  • Berghütte, Hütte - shelter for hikers and mountaineers in alpine areas, generally offers only shared rooms
  • Ferienwohnung, Ferienappartment - apartment for short-term rental, will have bathroom and cooking facilities. May be part of a larger complex or the owner's house.
  • Ferienhaus, Ferienbungalow - same, but implies a separate building
  • Jugendherberge - Youth hostel
  • 2
    let me add that FeWo is colloquial for FerienWohnung, and that when there is no German (or Swedish, or...) keyboard available, you can type ue instead of ü in search engines - more in general: ae = ä, oe = ö, ue = ü, ss = ß Apr 14, 2013 at 11:44

One type of German accommodation for informal, budget, bucolic accommodation is a Naturfreundehaus, which literally means "friends of nature-house". Those are youth-hostel style places in often quite stunning settings in the German speaking countries.

Naturfreunde-Hais Kolm Saigurn. Naturfreunde-Haus Kolm Saigurn, Austria. Photo ⓒ unknown.

There exist similar accommodation in a handful of other countries, but those sections have nowhere near the density of the German speaking countries.

An international search-engine in German and English is available at www.naturfreunde-hauser.net.

  • Amazing - I've never heard of those, even though it seems quite a big organization Oct 29, 2012 at 22:50

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