All hotels, hostels, and guesthouses in western Europe must post their star rating on the outside of their establishment. The star rating has everything to do with amenities and price and nothing to do with how nice it actually is. Also, at the front desk, a list of room prices must be displayed for all guests to see. This is very helpful when trying to stay on a budget. Also, it is very common to ask to see the room and tell the front desk you are looking at a few hotels and will be back if you choose their hotel or guesthouse. This is a great way to see how far your money can go. Sometimes when I travel and am staying in one town for more than a few nights, I will book a hotel for the first night and then take an hour or so to walk around to other hotels and see if I can find a better deal. This works best in the off season.