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European Vacation Rentals:
A Home Away From Home

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ABOVE: In Venice, our family of five rented a three-bedroom garden apartment behind this doorway for less than US $1,000 a week.


Save money (and feel like a local) with a holiday apartment or cottage in Europe.

Hotels, B&Bs, and pensions are likely to be your accommodations of choice when you're traveling alone or spending only a few days at your destination. But for longer stays, or when traveling a family, there's an even better option: renting a furnished apartment, villa, chalet, or cottage by the week.

Over the years, my family has enjoyed this "self-catering" approach in destinations such as:

  • Copenhagen: A spacious two-bedroom, two-bath apartment with Danish modern furnishings and patio in a suburban holiday center on the beach.
  • Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany: Two studio apartments in a modern townhouse near the city center, one with a terrace overlooking a garden and the spire of the nearby cathedral.
  • Sondervig, Denmark:  A modern three-bedroom brick cottage with thatched roof and sauna amid the dunes of Jutland's North Sea coast.
  • Radstadt, Austria: A vacation cottage with its own garden, close to a dairy farm where we bought fresh milk from the cowherd.
  • Bornholm, Denmark: A two-bedroom vacation apartment on an island in the Baltic Sea, with horse-riding lessons for our children at no extra cost.
  • Thun, Switzerland: A lakeside apartment in a medieval town between the Swiss capital of Bern and the Bernese Oberland resort of Interlaken.

More space for less money

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Self-catering holiday and vacation rentals in Europe:
Introduction Finding holiday rentals
Cost savings What's included in the rate?
Other benefits Rental agencies in Europe

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Tourist car leases (21+ days)

If you live outside the EU, a tax-free Renault or Peugeot tourist car lease can be cheaper than renting for visits of three weeks or longer. Minimum driver age is 18, there' s no upper age limit, and rates include insurance.

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