Classification of German hotels

In Germany, the choice of hotels, hotels, boarding houses and other offers of temporary accommodation for travelers is huge. The German hotel business has tens of thousands of offers. It is not so easy for a tourist to immediately understand all this diversity. In this article, I will analyze the main types of German hotels, which will make it possible to understand what level of service they can expect.


This is a budget hotel option that any tourist can afford. Here you can get a bed in a multi-bed room for 10-20 €, and sometimes they can offer private rooms. Dorm rooms are usually not divided into women and men, which you have to put up with. But here it is easier to get to know traveling like-minded people and exchange information about the place of stay. The hostels have an open and relaxed atmosphere and are a kind of “upgrade” of the Jugendherberge.


This is the cheapest way to spend the night in Germany, but it is not suitable for everyone. This option will be optimal for young people, if the issue of comfort does not matter, and most importantly – a low price. In fact, this is a “hostel” where there are no separate rooms. Only beds in shared rooms can be booked. Unlike hostels, in order to spend the night in Jugendherberge, you must be a member of the Deutschen Jugendherbergswerk (DJH) club and pay an annual fee (I want to note that it is very modest, about 25-35 € per year). This opportunity to spend the night at a low cost is readily used by schoolchildren with teachers on trips to the whole class, but there are also older guests, for example, single parents with children. The reason for this is not only the low price compared to a conventional hotel.


A private building in which the owner usually lives himself and rents out several rooms with standard amenities. The reception desk (Reception) is not constantly busy. The lack of a private kitchen makes it possible to offer guests only breakfast. All service here comes down to ordinary cleaning of the room. Pensions are very popular in tourist regions and are usually rented for a long period (one week or more). The price per night ranges between 30 € and 50 €.

Gästehaus (Guest house)

Basically, this is the same guesthouse, just in some parts of Germany it has a different name. Sometimes such unpretentious hotels are built by large German firms for their employees from other regions or for clients. Guest houses also offer limited-service accommodations and are also a cheap alternative to hotels. Simple standard room furnishings, the ability to order breakfast and cleaning your temporary home – that’s all Gästehaus has to offer.

Pensions, guest houses or guest houses (Gasthof) have their own four-star G-classification (die G-Klassifizierung), which is valid for all hotel-type establishments with more than 8 beds and no more than 20 rooms. To distinguish their classification from the classification of hotels, the number of stars is always preceded by a “G”.

“G-classification” for boarding houses, guest houses and guest houses in Germany:

  • G1 Stern: simple accommodation.
  • G2: housing for moderate needs.
  • G3: Accommodation for discerning guests.
  • G4: Accommodation for demanding guests.

Bauernhof (peasant yard)

This is a farm where the owner himself lives and works and additionally offers accommodation to its guests. Germans often spend their holidays on the farm with whole families with children. But this type of accommodation is also suitable for winter sports enthusiasts and simply for those who prefer fresh air and nature.

Ferienwohnung (vacation apartment)

Furnished apartment where guests can spend their holidays by renting it for a certain period. These apartments have a separate room with shower or bath and toilet, a simple or fully equipped kitchen and one or more bedrooms. In addition, many apartments have a private terrace or balcony. Mostly “ferienwong” are rented weekly and the day of arrival is Saturday. Such an apartment can be rented through a travel agency or directly from the owner.

Apartments and farms also have their own classification (DTV-Klassifizierung) in Germany, before the number of stars they put “F”.


In Russian – a hotel. There are different standards and classifications, which also differ from country to country. There is a set of minimum requirements that are the same for all categories of hotels in Germany. Any room in the hotel should have at least a bed, wardrobe, table and shower. In addition, there should be a front desk for customer acceptance and support. From a gastronomic point of view, breakfast should be served as a minimum.

Large hotels of upscale categories offer their guests the widest range of comfort and services. They have not only a reception (Reception), which is busy from 18 hours or around the clock, but also a waiting area (Lobby), at least one restaurant and bar. Depending on the category of the establishment, there may be a gym for fitness classes, a private pool, garage or parking. The decor in the rooms here will also be more demanding and the guest will try to provide maximum attention to make his stay as pleasant as possible.

Hotel classification in Germany

As I already mentioned, in Germany, as in the rest of the world, there are hotels of various categories of comfort and prices. The classification of hotels in Germany is voluntary (it is paid by the establishment itself), five-star and is valid for three years.

Previously, there was no single global classification and assessment standards varied from country to country. From 01.01.2010 there is a unified classification system for hotels “Hotelstars Union” which is followed not only by Germany, but also by other European countries.

To reach a certain level and earn its own stars, the hotel must meet the requirements, points for which are determined by a special table. If the hotel scores more points than is required for five stars, then it is given an additional “Superior” mark. These are the leading hotels that not only meet the standard requirements, but also score significantly more points in their category.

Hotel classification:

  • 1 star – Tourist (simple accommodation)
  • 2 – Standard (accommodation for moderate needs)
  • 3 – Comfort (accommodation for demanding guests)
  • 4 – First class (for discerning customers)
  • 5 – Suite (rooms for the most discerning guests)

Domestic tourism in Germany

The federal statistical office Statistische Bundesamt has shared information on the state of the tourism business in Germany. In 2017, German hotels sold 83.9 million “overnight stays” to foreign tourists, which is 4% more than in 2016. The number of nights spent in hotels by residents of Germany increased by 3% – 375.7 million. In 2017, the Germans sold 460 million hotel days.

80% of travelers are individuals. The remaining 20% ​​rent a room in connection with work. The purpose of staying at a hotel for the latter is often a business trip, a trip to a conference or an exhibition.

The foreign tourism market is also gradually gaining momentum. Germany is emerging as a strong competitor for other European countries in the international travel market.

Tourism provides the country with an economic benefit of 3.9% of gross domestic product – more than mechanical engineering or retail. Foreign guests paid 37 billion euros for overnight stays in German hotels – a third of the money they spent in Germany.

The rest of the travel expenses are shopping, flights, gasoline, food, entertainment and cultural programs.

Hamburg, Dresden, Munich, Heidelberg attract the greatest number of tourists from German cities.

The tourism business employs 7% of the German population.

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Igor Smith/ author of the article
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