Online portals such as Airbnb, Fewo-Direkt or 9Flats do not always enjoy the best reputation. Sure, they are practical for travellers: in many cases cheaper than a hotel, they offer a unique experience - and in the best case you can also get tips from the locals. But the alternatives for holiday accommodation have their downsides: Many providers are accused of ensuring that the living space for their residents in some European cities is becoming increasingly scarce as a result of their offer.
Some municipalities therefore threaten draconian penalties if the holiday home is not registered. So far, however, this has not really harmed the popularity of the online portals. After all, the holiday accommodations that can be booked there serve a large number of current travel trends. For example, a Unesco report in the spring of this year found that cultural tourism, accounting for around 40 percent of the total, is one of the fastest growing areas of global tourism.
Interested parties can now book a very special place to sleep for their next trip on the website or in the app in the "Historical" category. There you will find historic accommodation, all dating from the 19th century or earlier. These can be old castles, mansions or manor houses, but also old churches - and as is well known, there are many of these in Germany. There are currently 1,500 on Airbnb, to be precise.
The offer is not entirely new: Castles, chalets or other venerable houses could already be booked as accommodation on the website. However, it was more complicated to fish out the treasures from the abundance of offers. However, the booking data and searches from the platforms show that this type of accommodation is quite popular. In comparison to 2019, historical accommodations were booked around 65 percent more frequently in Germany in 2021. Time-honored castles, villas and the like are booming, especially for holidays at home: 81 percent of overnight stays in historical accommodation were booked for stays in Germany in 2021.
A total of around 20,000 historical accommodations can be found on Airbnb so far. According to the online platform, the hosts earned more than 4,000 euros with their historical accommodations in Germany in 2021. For comparison: Providers of normal holiday apartments earn an average of 3,000 euros a year.
Incidentally, the most popular regions for such a centuries-old night quarters in Germany are Lower Bavaria, the Franconian Lake District and the Spreewald. If you should now also feel like becoming lord or lady of a castle, an old church or a manor house for a few nights, we have found seven particularly beautiful specimens here.
The former evangelical church was designed by star architect Olaf Andreas Gulbransson in the 1960s and was a house of God until 2016. Today, up to 16 guests can spend the night here for 537 euros. That makes a price of just over 33.50 euros per night. The simple altar inside has been preserved, as have the stained glass windows.
"Idyllic farmhouse with a breathtaking view of the mountains" is the description on the online platform - and in fact the little house could immediately become the scene of a new edition of "Love doesn't need a holiday". The Hatterrall farmhouse dates back to the 17th century and has retained much of its old world charm. For 507 euros per night you could sleep there with seven other guests and enjoy nature.
At 149 euros per night for up to four guests, everyone at Gutshaus Thurow Cecilie can feel a little like a protagonist of the Netflix series "Bridgerton" - even if the accommodation is in a small town about 36 kilometers away from Schwerin. The 70 square meter apartment is furnished in a historical style. The entrance hall, the hunting room, the garden room and the library as well as the south terrace of the manor house can be used by the guests and are still largely in their original condition.
The "Sol del Chiantiin" near the town of Tavarnelle Val di Pesa offers space for 16 guests for 1,500 euros per night. The property, an old Tuscan estate, has been luxuriously restored and modernised. There are eleven bedrooms and a huge pool. Everyone should be able to relax here.
Anyone who has actually had enough of the Berlin urban jungle, but still wants to visit the capital, may find the perfect shelter here. The small Lanke Castle is about 35 kilometers from Berlin and offers space for two guests in one bedroom. At 93 euros per night, it is slightly more expensive than the other historical accommodations in Germany presented. The small castle is located in the middle of Lanke's historic Lenné Park. Hellsee, Obersee, Liepnitzsee and the Krumme Lanke can be reached on foot in ten to 15 minutes.
In the traditional finca "Torre Bes" near the town of Sant Antoni de Portmany in Ibiza you can stay in an estate that still has a defensive tower of rural architecture from around the 17th century. Eight guests can be accommodated here for 320 euros per night.
Not enough inspiration yet? Here's a refill: