Bed and Breakfast in Other Languages

By February 21, 2013European Travel

Bed and Breakfast, or B&B, has actually become an international term. If you’re in a non-English speaking country you can wander into a tourist office, ask for a Bed and Breakfast, and probably find just what you’re looking for. But if you are so rural there are no tourist centers, or you simply refuse to ask them, Travel Showcase can help you know what to look for. The trick is to find out what Bed and Breakfasts are called in other languages.

In Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, keep an eye out for signs that use the word “zimmer.” Don’t be fooled by signs that read “zimmer frei,” they do not mean free rooms! The term “zimmer frei” means “rooms available.” A sign that says “besetzt” means there are no vacancies. In German speaking countries, you can find lodging with the words “gastzimmer” and “gastezimmer.”

If you’re looking for a Bed and Breakfast in France, you are probably looking for a “chamber d’hote.” Another lodging  word to know while travelling through France is “gite,” pronounced “jeet.” This type of accommodation is typically a rural, converted farmhouse that is close in proximity to the owner’s home. People like to rent gites by the week, however you can always ask to rent a room for a night or two. You would recognize this style of Bed and Breakfasts by the words “gites du passant” and “gites d’hote.”

Scandinavian B&Bs are wonderful and relatively inexpensive. In order to find such Bed and Breakfasts in Sweden and Norway, as for a “rom” or “hus rum.” In Denmark, the term to look for is “vaerelse.” In Spain, Bed and Breakfasts are known as “casa rural.” They are generally situated in the countryside and small towns rather than in cities.

Looking for the word “room” in the local language is a good idea. We’ll give you some phrases to know what words are used where:


  • Cuarto
  • Habitacion
  • Camera presso l’abitante


  • Camere
  • Affittacamere (in the Cinque Terre)
  • Camere in case private
  • Agriturismos


  • Pensao
  • Dormidas (in the towns along the coast)
  • Quarto


  • Soba


  • Pension
  • Hebergement chez l’habitant


  • Gastenkamer
  • Kamers met ontbijt
  • Logies met ontbijt


  • Casa particular

If you have an idea of what the words on a sign mean, you will have no problem finding a Bed and Breakfast abroad. Contact us for more information and to get started on your next Bed and Breakfast vacation.