Staying in a Hotel vs. Renting a Flat When Visiting Europe

Map of Europe

If you are planning a ski trip to Europe this winter or just want to visit the Old Continent at some point, you should know your lodging options. Even though a hotel might be your first choice, you should think about renting an apartment, for example. Rentals have become very popular during vacations in Europe, and tourists seem satisfied with this type of accommodation. However, both a rental and a hotel might have advantages and disadvantages. As a result, this article is here to help you decide which one is the best between staying in a hotel vs. renting a flat when visiting Europe.

Booking

If you are used to staying at a hotel during vacations, you already know how things work. You do some research, find the hotel that meets your needs, make a call, and you have a room reserved. Or, if you already know the hotel you want to stay at, you can make a reservation online. When it comes to renting a flat, though, the research might take a little longer. Many rentals are not verified, even on booking sites, and some of them might not have reviews. That can make it a bit harder for you to determine whether or not that flat is good for you. However, if you are lucky, you might be able to find a suitable rental pretty quickly. Simply look for those with the most reviews and a detailed description. Examine the photos, the location, and the amenities, and then compare them to the reviews. If they check out, you have a winner.

Payment

When renting an apartment in Europe, you should know that booking websites charge a booking fee. The fee is part of the price, and it will be handed over to the owner, but only after you check in. Even if it might seem strange, this procedure is there to protect the owner from fraud. Furthermore, some websites will need identification to make the owner and their guests feel more secure.

On the other hand, when it comes to hotels and payment, you have more options. For instance, you don’t need to pay in advance if you don’t want to. Most of the time, hotels will charge you either at check-in or check-out. Some hotels might encourage you to pay in advance, offering discounts for prepaid rooms. However, you can still choose to pay for the room at check-in or out.

Person holding money.
If you plan to rent a flat in Europe, make sure you have Euros or money in the local currency with you.

Prices

The price makes a big difference when deciding between staying in a hotel vs. renting a flat when visiting Europe. If you pay between $100 and $150 per night for a hotel room, a rental will cost around $40. But, of course, it can depend on the destination you choose. However, unlike with hotel rooms, you might be asked to pay a safety deposit for the rental. This deposit can vary based on the apartment, so make sure to check before you book it. Also, you will have to pay the deposit upon arrival in cash. Most rental owners don’t accept credit cards, so you will need to have some money with you when you check in, ideally in local currency.

Check-ins

When it comes to check-ins, hotels might have a plus. They have a reception, so someone will be there to check you in 24/7. You will receive the key to your room, and then you are free to come and go as you wish. In a rental, on the other hand, you need to set an exact time when you will be checking in. As a result, when you agree on the hour with your host, make sure that you will be able to arrive on time. Research the exact location of the flat and how to get there. It is the same as a hotel room once you have checked in. You can come and go as you please because you will have the key to the flat. However, if you share the apartment with someone else, you may have to share the key.

The advantage of hotels vs. rented flats is the reception that is open 24/7.

Safety

If you are concerned about the safety of your valuables while traveling in Europe, both a hotel and a rental can be considered safe. Most hotels have CCTV coverage, making it difficult for your items to be unsafe while in the room. Furthermore, hotel security knows who entered the hotel, when they did so, and where they went. It’s pretty hard to get past them without being noticed. In rental flats, you can also have cameras at the entrance, and you and the owner are the only ones who have the key. But, if you are skeptical and need to find a way not to worry about your possessions while traveling, you can leave them in safe hands in a rented storage space back home. Your precious belongings will be safe during your travel, and you can enjoy your vacation stress-free.

Amenities

When it comes to staying in a hotel vs. renting a flat when visiting Europe, a hotel room will win if you prefer comfort. Hotels can offer breakfasts, housekeeping, laundry services, or room service. In addition, the employees will help you with anything you need. For example, you can ask about the location of the nearest pharmacy or where to buy the most original souvenirs. At the same time, internet services may be poor, or you may be required to pay for them. Then again, in a rental, even if you have to make your breakfast and do the laundry, you might have a much better internet connection. In addition, you can look for a flat that has all the things that will make you feel at home. Air conditioning, a balcony, a separate bathroom, a TV, or a parking space are just some examples.

If you rent a flat while visiting Europe, you will have all the comfort and amenities that you need.

Final words

Choosing the best accommodation for your trip to Europe is totally up to you. If you are willing to pay more but have an easy check-in, no deposits, comfort, and more security, you should choose to stay at a hotel. But if you want to pay less, live like a local, have all the amenities you want, and all the space you need, you should go with a rental. Your preferences will dictate whether you will go with staying in a hotel vs. renting a flat when visiting Europe.

Best European Destinations for Singles

person traveling single to a European destination.

Europe is an excellent destination for a solo traveler. You can meet friendly people, enjoy some great meals and learn a lot about art and history. Also, Europe is relatively safe for travelers and, because of the European Union, many countries have the euro as a common currency. But, if you don’t know where to start your journey, we made a list of the best European destinations for singles. Pack your bags and prepare for a great adventure. You will be booking a flight to one of these destinations in no time.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and one of the Europes’ top financial centers. This beautiful city is a great destination for a single traveler, and especially for solo female travelers. It is regarded as a safe city with a laid-back attitude that will make you feel at home. You can rent a bike and ride around the city’s famed canal networks, or you can visit one of the city’s many museums. You will discover artworks by famous painters like Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Gogh. Also, Amsterdam’s numerous cafes can keep you busy for hours. Rest assured that one day is not enough to discover all of Amsterdam’s beauties. Therefore, make sure you have at least a week to spend in this beautiful European capital.

Madrid, Spain

An inside of a building
If you want to see something spectacular in Madrid, visit the Cristal Palace.

Another one of the best European cities for singles is the capital of Spain, Madrid. It is also a secure city with an outstanding metro system that allows easy exploration. Best of all, you can do it on a budget. Furthermore, it is an excellent destination for singles that are looking for great nightlife. You can book a guided tour at night and explore the city alone by day. You will find amazing secret gardens, tons of museums, and exceptional restaurants. Mediterranean cuisine is at its finest in Madrid, and you can even learn how to make paella by taking cooking classes.

Munich, Germany

This amazing Bavarian city has a friendly small-town feel to it that will make you fall in love with it immediately. If you plan a trip during autumn, make sure to visit the famous Oktoberfest. You will have the chance to taste many different types of beer and eat the famous German wurst. If you don’t like beer, don’t worry, Munchen has a lot more to offer. You can choose to visit one of its 42 museums or join the locals in riding a bicycle through the beautiful parks. Also, if you decide to travel during summer, make sure to pack your swimsuit. You can go for a swim in the Isar river and have a picnic on the riverside.

Belgrade, Serbia

View of a bridge in one of the best European destinations for singles.
Belgrade offers impressive views during the night.

Belgrade is another capital that is one of the best European destinations for singles. The White City has a special charm to it that will keep drawing you back time and again. Also, this Slavic city has become notorious among tourists because of its incredible nightlife. It’s not only great to visit at night, but it also has amazing places to see during the day. For example, the Kalamegdan fortress is the jewel of the city that you can’t miss if you travel to Belgrade. Although this capital has had its undisputed rough moments, it somehow managed to rebuild itself every time. Even if it’s not your ordinary beautiful city to visit, the fantastic cuisine, the welcoming locals, and their famous rakija will make your journey there more than worth it.

Florence, Italy

Florence is one of Europe’s most beautiful towns, and it is ideal for solo visitors. In fact, it is better to visit Florence alone, so that you don’t need to compromise. While you are here, you can take the chance to see the famous Galeria Degli Ufizzi, where you can admire the artwork of Raphael, Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci. Also, the Duomo cathedral is one of the most iconic sights, visited by thousands of tourists each month. If you prefer to take a walk around the city, you won’t be disappointed. There are a lot of cafes and gelato shops to explore. Moreover, Florence is a great city to find original souvenirs that you can take back home.

Paris, France

Even if it is considered the capital of love, Paris is also an excellent destination for single travelers. Even more, if you don’t like to share your croissants. Besides the fact that multiculturality is the word that can describe Paris the best, here is where the word cuisine is at home. You must visit local restaurants and sample famous French cheeses as well as excellent wines. After that, you can see the Eiffel Tower and do some shopping on Champs Elise. Also, make sure to visit the Louvre museum to catch a glimpse of the Mona Lisa painting. You can rest assured that you won’t be bored while visiting Paris by yourself.

Budapest, Hungary

If you’re searching for a beautiful European destination for singles on a budget, look no further. Budapest is the best place to find stunning architecture, a rich history, and superb cuisine without breaking the bank. Here you can taste a great drink and learn about history while being in the same place. The ruin bars in Budapest are world-famous for being built from the ruins of buildings left after World War II. Also, you can relax in a Turkish bath from the 16th century or take a cruise on the Danube river. Wherever you turn, there is something to see or do in Budapest. No wonder it has become a must-visit city on any European itinerary.

A statue in Budapest, one of the best European destinations for singles.
In Budapest, you will see outstanding architecture all around.

Traveling alone through Europe

All of the cities we have mentioned are great destinations for a single traveler. They are safe, full of life, and inhabited by friendly people. Best of all, in all these cities, there are large communities of foreigners who can help you get around easily. Who knows, you may decide to move to one of these cities, and you will need help to become familiar with a new country. So, it’s nice to know that there are people in Europe ready to welcome you and help you settle quickly.

Prepare for a great adventure.

If you choose to visit any of our suggestions for the best European destinations for singles, rest assured that you will have a great adventure. Pack all the things you never travel without and book a flight as soon as possible. You might like it so much that you will want to visit all the cities we suggested. Bon voyage!

Best Museums in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Museums

If you are day dreaming about a visit to Amsterdam, you may also be dreaming about visiting the best museums in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is home in fact to more than 50 thought provoking and interesting museums. Here is a partial list of some of the very best museums in Amsterdam:


BEST MUSEUMS IN AMSTERDAM

Het Grachtenhuis Museum
This museum is located on the beautiful and upmarket Herengracht canal. The canal district itself is a UNESCO world heritage site, and its history is told with 3D animation, models, projections and an interactive multimedia exhibition. It’s a very modern look at Amsterdam’s history and a great way to start to your visit.

Tulip Museum
The tulip is synomous with the Netherlands, so this museum is quite popular with both Dutch people and tourists alike. If you love tulips, botany, or history in general, this is the museum for you.

Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House is one of the world’s most thought provoking and popular museums. The main building of the museum is the actual hiding place where Anne Frank wrote her diary during World War II. As you walk through the rooms of the house, you’ll easily imagine how hard it was to live there during World War 2. The original diary is on display at this location. This is a must visit (I’ve been twice) but get there early because the lines can be long. Here’s my post on the Anne Frank House.

Amsterdam Museums - The Anne Frank House

NEMO Science Museum
NEMO is a hands on museum and is very popular among children. It’s a must visit if you’re on vacation with kids or adults who are interested in science and technology. The “I Amsterdam” City Card or Museumkaart will get you free admission.

Torture Museum
This place brings out the macabre in everyone. View a bizarre collection and learn about some of the oldest and cruellest torture methods in history. Thankfully most of these methods are no longer in use. Most of the artifacts on display were actually used which makes this museum just a little more disturbing.

National Maritime Museum
The museum contains many artifacts associated with shipping and sailing and is dedicated to maritime history. The collection here contains world maps, models, paintings and weapons. A replica of the 18th-century ship Amsterdam (which sailed between the Netherlands and the East Indies), is located in the waters just outside the museum.

Van Gogh Museum
The world’s largest collection of Van Gogh work is located here and needless to say is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Amsterdam. In addition to seeing many of his works, you’ll learn about the man himself and his life story. You won’t be disappointed!

The Rijksmuseum
Dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam, this is the Dutch national museum. Over 800 years of Dutch history is showcased with national treasurers and artifacts. The museum is located in the Amsterdam South borough at the Museum Square, and is very close to the Van Gogh Museum. Again, a must visit!

These are just a few of the best museums in Amsterdam, but there’s many more. There’s also the Museum of The Canals, the Costume Museum, the Heineken Experience, and the Houseboat Museum among others. Amsterdam’s museums make for an interesting day and a way to quickly immerse yourself in Dutch culture and history.

Can you think of any other interesting or strange museums that are in Amsterdam?