Driving in Germany? This is the Ultimate Germany Road Trip Guide

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Germany is an easy country to get around and it is no wonder why you are searching for a way to make driving in Germany, on the ultimate German road trip a reality.

Renting a car in Germany is a great way to see the countryside and it will allow you to get off the beaten tourist path and really discover what Germany has to offer. Renting a car allowed us to discover a piece of Germany most tourists just see from a window of a tour bus.

This guide is stuffed full of useful information that I wish I had found before road-tripping through Germany. From top road-tripping routes in Germany to the rules of the road and even basic information about what side of the road they drive on in Germany.

If you want the ultimate German road trip experience and are looking to discover Germany off the beaten path as we did, look no further. Everything you need to know about taking a Germany road trip.

Need to book a car for your road trip adventure? We use Discover Car Hire for comparing car prices to find the best deal. They search both local & international rental companies.

Romantic Road Germany Road Trip - Lina Stock

Top Germany Road Trip Routes

Germany’s Romantic Road (this is what we did) is 261 miles long and drives you through the heart of Bavaria. Highlights include Munich, Nordlingen, Dinkelsbuhl, Rothenburg, Nuremberg, Bamburg and Fussen where you can visit the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. This is one of the most popular routes to take in Germany.

The German Castle Road is 625 miles long with more than 70 castles and palaces. The Castle Road is a theme route in southern Germany and a small portion in the Czech Republic, between Mannheim and Prague.

The German Fairy Tale Road starts in the town of Hanau, Germany and is one of the top road trip routes around Christmas for the large Christmas markets.

The German Wine Road is 50 miles long throughout southwest Germany. The wine route stretches through the middle of the Palatinate (Pfalz, former Rheinpfalz), the biggest coherent wine-growing area in Germany.

It is really up to your personal preference as to which route you should take, but we can tell you from experience that the Romantic Road is absolutely stunning and a classic way to get into the rich traditions of this beautiful country.

Get the best guide book on Germany for your Ultimate Germany Road Trip

Romantic Road Germany Road Trip
Driving on back roads for better views of Neuschwanstein Castle

Our Route

As mentioned above, we primarily drove the Romantic Road, however, we did have some deviations in it and ultimately planned a route that took us from Munich to Berlin in 5 days.

We started in Munich, visited Dachau and then drove south to overnight in Fussen where we visited the Alps and Neuschwanstein Castle. We then drove North to Rothenburg, stopping off in small villages along the way when the weather was clear.

We encountered a lot of rain on our road trip, so this affected where and for how long we stopped in between overnights. We spent 1 night in Rothenburg before heading over to Nuremburg for 2 nights.

Leaving Nuremberg, we had planned to stop in Bamburg but rain so heavy it was causing people to pull over on the AutoBahn deterred us and we pushed all the way to Berlin without another stop.

We will be back to drive more of Germany, including more stops on the classic route of the Romantic Road and then head over to the Black Forest and Stuttgart. There is so much to see.

Despite the bad weather, we loved our trip and uncovered so many gems. Having a car gave us a chance to stay in small towns, like Rothenburg and experience it after all the tour buses left. This was magical and something special.

Read about our first-hand account of time well spent with our 4 Days in Munich Itinerary- Things to Do in Munich.

Dachau Germany Road Trip
Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial

What Kind of Car Should I Rent?

Most rental cars in Germany are manuals. Very few are automatics and the automatics they do have are only midsize and large automobiles. If you’re a beginner or novice manual driver you should stick to an automatic. Germany is not a good place for a traveler to learn how to drive a manual.

Does size matter for renting a car in Germany? Small is better for getting around the little back streets and for fitting into narrow parking spaces around Germany. We wanted that classic European rental car where we could barely fit our luggage and that was what we rented.

However, since we wanted an automatic they only had midsize cars and large SUVs. They did not tell us this until we picked up our rental. All the small compact cars were manual. So do not be surprised if you do not get what you reserved.

Need to book a car for your road trip adventure? We use Discover Car Hire for comparing car prices to find the best deal. They search both local & international rental companies.

Fussen Germany Road Trip

Dealing with Parking in Germany

We had no issues finding parking during our road trip to Germany. This was one of my first worries about renting a car in Germany, however, it was quickly erased with available parking lots and perhaps some luck in finding street parking.

Most hotels and hostels will offer parking along your route but some do charge you depending on the location; we made sure to book hotels that offered free on-site parking.

The off-site parking can cost 9-12 euros per day, so it pays to look into that information before you make a booking. Public parking is metered unless the sign allows the use of a parking disc.

For metered parking lots be sure to check the signs for the parking rules in each spot. All public parking lots offer free parking between 8 PM to 6 AM.

Get the best guide book on Germany for your Ultimate Germany Road Trip

Parking Germany Road Trip
Germany parking wheel

How to Use a Parking Disc in Germany

Just a few minutes into our Germany road trip I started to dig in the glove box. I found this dial card that looked like something out of a first-grade classroom but what I found was a parking disc.

It is required to use a parking disc while parking in signed areas throughout Germany. Parking disc is in every rental car glove box and they are simple to use.

The parking disc allows you to park free for a certain time in certain public parking lots. All parking spots in Germany are well marked with signs allowing free parking from 1 to 4 hours depending on the sign.

This is when you must use a parking disc and if you park in a spot that requires a parking disc and you do not display a parking disc, you will be fined.

Fines vary from 10 to 20 euros. Just use the dial and round up to the nearest time on the dial. For example, if you arrive at 10:40, set the dial to 11. 

After you set the time you must display this in your window for parking attendants. We did see a few checking and handing out fines. If you do not have a German parking disc you can easily buy one at petrol stations or DYI stores.

Nuremberg Germany Road Trip
Nuremberg Castle without the crowds

Keeping Your Rental Car Safe

Even though Germany is one of the safest countries in the world, it is recommended to lock your car doors. We locked ours everywhere since we had our drone and other valuable items inside the car. Our trunk was covered and hid those items out of sight to deter break-ins.

We always made sure even if something was in the back seat it was hidden by a jacket or sweatshirt. We did not see or experience any issues with vandals but we were smart about parking. We made sure to park in well-lit areas with lots of room for other cars to operate around us.

Finding room to park your car where you won’t get a ding is a challenge, but something you should be aware of doing.

It is not uncommon for the car rental companies to chart every single ding on their rental cars and it won’t take you long to see that your car is likely really marked up when you pick it up. the tight parking makes it difficult to keep the car dent free, but it is possible.

Germany Road Trip

Renting a GPS Unit

You can rent a GPS system with your rental car and the GPS units can cost $45-$60 dollars depending on your rental. They also recommend insurance in case the unit stops working or gets stolen, this is an extra fee. Renting a GPS in worth every penny unless you can use your phone.

We used Google maps on our phone throughout our whole road trip and as a result, didn’t rent a GPS unit. If you do not have phone service, Google Maps will still work without service but you will have to connect to WiFi load your location and stops.

After it’s loaded, your good to go without any service or WiFi. You will not be able to make adjustments but it works just like you have service so you can pinpoint where you are. We used T-Mobile throughout all of Germany on our unlocked iPhone and it worked well for us.

Maybe you are not nuts about not having a GPS system. I understand and phones are great but sometimes you will have a service and sometimes you will not. We recommend the Garmin Nuvi 57LM GPS Navigator System or TomTom VIA 1535TM 5-Inch Bluetooth GPS Navigator you to get if you are looking at buying a GPS system.

Note: You want to select a GPS that has international maps.

Rothenburg Germany Road Trip
Rothenburg, the most iconic city in Bavaria, visited without the crowd’s thanks to our car rental

Germany Road Conditions-What to Expect

The roads in Germany are well built and well maintained with proficient road signage. However, there was a lot of construction throughout our drive making some of our drives slow.

The construction areas were well marked. Germany is well known for its AutoBahn and the traffic on these moves fast with no speed limits for normal traffic.

On major highways, the traffic moves fast and be sure you pass only on the left and once clear move over to the right. Dotted yellow lines mean you can switch lanes were solid yellow lines mean to stay in your lane even if you can pass.

We ran into this a lot in construction zones; it was typical for the two-lane highway to split off into a construction zone into two different directions but then connect back together once we were through the construction zone.

City and village roads vary from cobblestones to concrete and asphalt roads. There are many one way streets with concrete dividers in-between the lanes, so if your arrival location is on the left you’re going to have to pass it and make a u-turn when you can.

You will also need to watch out for trams and metro’s throughout Germany as they use the same roads that the cars use. Speeds are marked though every city varying from area to area. The two default speed limits are 50 Km/H (31 MPH) inside built-up areas and 100 KM/H (62 MPH) outside built-up areas.

Need to book a car for your road trip adventure? We use Discover Car Hire for comparing car prices to find the best deal. They search both local & international rental companies.

Munich Road Trip in Germany
Central Munich

The country roads twist and wind throughout the German countryside. Most country roads are large two-lane highways but you will have to look out for farmers on tractors along with the occasional biker. Most of the country roads cut right through the towns so there is no need to exit if you want to check out a random city.

Welcome to the Autobahn where some parts of the highway have no speed limits. Drive to your comfort and keep right allowing faster traffic to be able to pass you on your left. There is a minimum speed to maintain and you can get a fine for driving too slow since you are considered a hazard.

While parts of the autobahns and many other freeway-style highways have posted limits up to 130 KM/H (81 MPH) based on accident experience, congestion, and other factors, many rural sections have no general speed limit. Any person driving a vehicle may only drive so fast that the car is under control.

Speeds must be adapted to the road, traffic, visibility and weather conditions along with personal skills and characteristics of the vehicle and load.

In our personal experience, village signs, speed limits, and exits are not well marked. They are often placed right at the exit leaving you no time to prepare for the exit you want to take. So exits come up quickly and most of the time involves a sharp turn so be prepared when exiting off the highway.

Get the best guide book on Germany for your Ultimate Germany Road Trip

Road Trip in Germany
South Germany landscapes near Fussen

Be Aware of Bikers-They Are Everywhere

Watch out for Bikers! Germany is popular for bikers. So most towns have bike lanes on the streets or sidewalks. At times, the bikers seemed to own the road and had no problems making sure the cars knew that.

This can get a little hectic in cities. Most country roads have a special biking path along the highway for biking but we did run into a few bikers riding on the highway with traffic. Just give them room and once you can pass, pass by giving them lots of room to the bike.

It’s typical for drivers to give the right way to pedestrians and bikers. This was surprising to us as there were many times while we were walking cars would stop to let us cross the road at intersections, even if we didn’t have a green light.

They would even stop and hold up traffic. It’s the law for pedestrians to cross on a green but if it’s not marked the pedestrians have the right of way.

Road Trip in Germany
Beautiful Harburg on the Romantic Road- never would have seen it without a rental car

Rental Car Facts, Extra Fees & Useful Information

Your own driver license from your home country, state or province is valid in Germany as long as it is valid in your home country. Some places suggest that you get an international driver’s license to accompany your valid license, but we don’t think this is necessary for Germany unless your license is not in English.

  • The minimum age to drive in Germany is 18.
  • Seat belts must be worn in Germany by all passengers, even on tour buses.
  • A deposit of 800 euro is required to rent a car in Germany and will be held against your credit card until the rental is returned undamaged.
  • It cost an extra 20 euro to add a second driver.
  • Cars are not allowed to travel to Africa; sorry your Germany to Africa road trip is not permitted. I guess people try to smuggle rental cars into Africa.
  • Germany has no toll highways.
Neuschwanstein Castle Germany Road Trip
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  • The use of mobile phones is prohibited while your vehicle is in operation. The only time you are permitted to use a mobile phone is if you’re parked and the engine is turned off. You may use a hands-free device while driving only if it does not impede your hearing.
  • Do not run your engine while you are parked. There is a 3-minute rule to running your engine. Even on the hottest and coolest of days, you can only pre-start your car 3 minutes before driving and a person must be in the driver seat.
  • Motorists are prohibited from unnecessarily revving their motors and slamming of car doors can result in a fine.
  • It is also illegal to cruise in Germany. You can not drive back and forth unnecessarily through towns.
  • Traffic drives on the right and passes on the left.
  • Drivers must have insurance and must carry proof of the insurance as well as proof of ownership or registration and rental papers at all times.
  • Vehicles must carry a warning triangle and a super-duper highway first aid kit.
  • You are required to place the warning triangle 100 meters behind your vehicle if it is disabled.
  • Always lock your vehicle and take the keys whenever you leave it.
  • It is illegal to drive with your parking lights only; you must use your headlights at night and during inclement weather.

Need to book a car for your road trip adventure? We use Discover Car Hire for comparing car prices to find the best deal. They search both local & international rental companies.

Nuremberg Road Trip in Germany
Nuremberg, Germany
  • You cannot turn right on red in Germany unless there is a green arrow on the traffic signal. When a right on red is permitted you must come to a complete stop before making the turn.
  • Germany has zero-tolerance for alcohol. If you’ve had a sip, don’t drive. Be responsible and do not drink and drive.
  • The shops are closed on Sundays in Germany. Do not save your shopping for Sunday. It was surprising how whole towns shut down, even in tourist sections. Only some tourist restaurants and bars would be open.
  • You can find grocery stores throughout Germany. Stores like Lidl, Netto, Penny, and Aldi are popular among locals and have a great selection of goods. They are well stocked with anything you could want for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We easily cut our food bills in thirds by shopping at local grocery stores. Large beers are no more than 1 euro for 0.5 liters where at the local bars they were 3 to 4 euro.
  • Having lunch packed we could easily pull off anywhere, we found local parks, rest area’s and lookouts were our favorite places to enjoy lunch.
  • Gas Stations are found throughout all of Germany and usually had large convenience stores attached, just like in the United States. They have all of your needs from Petrol fuel, snacks, sodas to sit-down restaurants. Pumps are marked with the type of fuel in German and English, making it easy to fill up. There was no need to pre-pay before fueling, just pick your fuel type and start pumping.

IMPORTANT: Many German cars use diesel, not petrol. The rental car company should have the gas door marked, but if they do not, make sure you check the fuel type in the manual before filling up.

Munich Germany
Enjoying Bavarian Beer

Rest Stop Bathrooms

You will have to pay for the use of most bathrooms in Germany. This is even the case at gas stations, even if you’re buying gas or basic goods so be prepared to shell out some coins.

We found free bathrooms at free-standing rest areas, ones that did not have a gas station. They are found along the major highways and are marked well with signs. All bathrooms had toilet paper and hand soap for use.

Get the best guide book on Germany for your Ultimate Germany Road Trip

Germany Road Trip

Information on Traffic Fines

Police can be found throughout all of Germany. Just like the USA they use marked and unmarked police cars. Some areas are controlled by automatic speed cameras. We never receive a ticket, however, we did have a worming light flash at us when we were speeding.

Police are allowed to collect fines for minor traffic offenses on the sport. If you don’t have enough cash on hand, you can usually pay with a credit/debit card. If you refuse to pay on the spot you may be assessed a high fine when you go to court, and some fines are based on your income. German police are very professional and corruption in very rare. You will always be given a receipt for payment.

German Road Trip
Rothenburg from above

Most moving-violation enforcement in Germany is done via enforcement cameras. Germany probably uses such cameras more than anyone else (except possibly Britain). Permanent and temporary cameras– both automated and manually-operated– are used to catch speeders, red-light violators, and tailgaters.

Sometimes an obscure sign will warn you of the existence of such a camera, but it’s usually too late by the time you see it.

Citations are mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle within a few weeks. If you’re driving a rental car, the ticket will go to the rental agency. They, in turn, will report you to the police as the driver of the vehicle and the ticket will be forwarded to you.

Some rental car shops will pay the ticket then charge you a larger fee on top of the ticket.

Road Trip in Germany

Don’t Forget These Items for Your Germany Road Trip

We can’t wait to explore Germany again, next time we will rent a camper and explore this amazing country.

Road Trip in Germany

Using Discover Car Hire in Germany

If you are looking for the best place to book a car rental in Europe, then look no further. Discover Car Hire offers some of the best car rental deals in Europe. When you search, you get all the available rates and results in one place. Not only does it save you time, but it saves you money since they contract with companies for better rates.

Our experience using Discover Car Hire was seamless and one we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend or use again ourselves. If you are planning a road trip in Germany or anywhere else in Europe, be sure to check them out.

Need to book a car for your road trip adventure? We use Discover Car Hire for comparing car prices to find the best deal. They search both local & international rental companies.

Where Did We Stay During Our Germany Road Trip?

Munich

Our road trip started in Munich at the Hotel Jedermann. This hotel is located very close to the train station and numerous public transport options. Read reviews for Hotel Jedermann at TripAdvisor.

Fussen

This was probably our favorite night during our European travels. Schlossrestaurant Neuschwanstein is at the foot of Neuschwanstein Castle- literally we could see the castle from our room window. Read reviews for Schlossrestaurant Neuschwanstein at TripAdvisor.

Rothenburg

Hotel Gaston Post is located just outside the city walls of medieval Rothenburg making it a quieter option for your stay. They also have onsite FREE parking which is a huge bonus! Read reviews for Hotel Gaston Post at TripAdvisor.

Nuremberg

The Hotel Elch is located in an amazing part of the city and we were able to access all the best sites on foot. Plus the breakfast buffet was well rounded and tasty. Read reviews for Hotel Elch at TripAdvisor.

Berlin

After some really bad weather, we pushed through our last day to end our road trip in Berlin at the Three Little Pigs Hostel. We also stayed at Hilton Berlin, Circus Hotel and Huettenpalast while visiting Berlin multiple times this summer. All are fabulous options depending on your budget.

Read reviews and check prices with our Hotel Search Engine, that gives you the best hotel deals found across the web. Our search engine pulls results from all of the major booking places, including Expedia, Hotels, Booking and more. All the options, all the deals, all in one place and just for you.

Top tours you cannot miss on your Germany Road Trip

Munich

  • Private Munich Bike Tour: Pedal through Munich’s scenic streets with a private guide on this 3-hour bike tour, and see firsthand why this Bavarian metropolis ranks as one of the world’s most livable cities. Cycle at your own pace along the bike-friendly streets, winding your way through the timeworn lanes of Munich Old Town and the verdant expanse of the English Garden. Stop as often as you like to take photos, learn more about the sights, or enjoy a well-earned stein in a beer garden.
  • Munich by Night and Dinner at Hofbrauhaus: The guide and traditional entertainment give you marvelous insights into the Bavarian culture. Plus the food at Hofbrauhaus is outstanding!
  • Munich Old Town Walking Tour: First time in Munich? Take in the best bits of the Bavarian capital on this 2-hour walking tour of Munich’s Old Town. Admire architectural wonders like the Old Town Hall, St Peter’s Church, and the Munich Residenz; stroll through the lively Viktualienmarkt, and see the world-famous Hofbräuhaus beer hall. Accompanied by an expert guide, you’ll have ample opportunities to learn more about Munich’s history, cultural heritage, and beer-brewing legacy
  • Third Reich Bike Tour in Munich: Uncover Munich’s role in the rise and fall of the Nazi Party on this half-day bike tour. Trace the history of the Third Reich as you follow a guide on a 5-mile (8-km) route through the city. Pass by sites such as the Hofbrauhaus, where Hitler and the National Socialists held their first meeting in 1920, and Odeonsplatz, the site of a fatal gunfight that broke out between the Nazis and Bavarian police.
  • Hitler and the Third Reich Munich Walking Tour: Delve into Munich’s dark past and the birth of the Nazi ideology on a revealing 2.5-hour city walking tour. Led by a knowledgeable guide, discover the sites that provided backdrops to Adolf Hitler and his followers as they set about founding the Third Reich, giving Munich its title as the ‘Capital of the Nazi Movement.’ See beer-halls where Nazi brown shirts first gathered, buildings from where Hitler delivered speeches, and memorials to opposers

Fussen

  • Full-Day Bavarian Castles Tour from Fussen: Step into the fairy-tale world of Bavaria and visit majestic castles, alpine lakes and medieval towns on this full-day tour from Fussen. Enjoy skip-the-line entrance to the dreamy Neuschwanstein Castle, famously the inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle. Then, visit Linderhof Castle, another of King Ludwig II’s magnificent castles, and Hohenschwangau Castle, the ‘Mad King’s’ childhood home.
  • Skip-the-Line: Neuschwanstein Castle Tour from Fuessen Including Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride: Visit the popular Neuschwanstein Castle on this guided, 4-hour tour from Füssen. This “skip-the-line” ticket allows for quick access to the inside of the medieval masterpiece for a guided walking tour. Neuschwanstein Castle was one of three palaces built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and would eventually become the inspiration for the castle in Disney’s movie Sleeping Beauty. After the tour, enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride down to the village of Hohenschwangau.

Rothenburg

  • Full-Day Tour to Rothenburg: Visit the city of Rothenburg, the Jewel of the Middle Ages, on this guided, full-day sightseeing adventure from Frankfurt. Enjoy free time to explore the sights and sounds of this picturesque town, widely considered to be the most well-preserved medieval old town in all of Germany. Then join a guided city tour through the town’s winding, cobbled lanes.

Nuremberg

Berlin

  • Berlin Segway Tour: Experience Berlin like never before on this guided, educational and entertaining, 3-hour small-group Segway tour. Berlin is Germany’s capital and cultural centerpiece. Cruise to all its main sites — like the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Cathedral and Museum Island, Reichstag, Gendarmenmarkt and many more — stopping frequently to hear fascinating stories, take pictures and discuss Berlin’s history.
  • Berlin Bike Tour: Get to know the best of Berlin on this guided, 4.5-hour bike tour. Learn the history of the city, from its beginnings to its role as the capital of the Nazi Third Reich, to the divided city of the Cold War, to the modern-day capital of a unified Germany. This tour includes a trip to the Berlin Wall Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburg Gate and more. Ride along the Spree River, through Tiergarten Park and stop at a beer garden for lunch (own expense).
  • Dresden Day Trip from Berlin: Absorb the wealth of culture and elegant architecture found in Dresden, longstanding hub of German arts, during this 10-hour day trip from Berlin. Begin with a guided tour of the city center on foot, learning about its history as you explore the Zwinger palace, Semperoper (Semper Opera) and Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady).
  • Private Berlin 3.5-Hour Walking Tour: Cold War In Berlin. Enjoy a 3.5-hour walking tour in Berlin and learn about the cold war sites of Berlin, including all major sites in the center of the huge world clash between America and Russia. See the East Side Gallery, the wall Memorial, the Stasi headquarters, Checkpoint Charlie, the main memorial for the Russian soldiers, Oberbaumbrücke and Bornholmer straße checkpoint.
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Road Trip in Germany
Berlin Cathedral on Museum Island

Useful Terms to Know

  • Abbiegen – turn
  • Abstand- distance (to the vehicle in front of you)
  • Ausfahrt – exit
  • Alkohol – alcohol
  • Ampel – traffic light
  • Bahnübergängen – railroad crossing
  • Beschädigung – damages
  • Bußgeld – fine, penalty
  • Drogen – (illegal) drugs
  • Fahrverbot – loss of driving privileges
  • Fehlverhalten – incorrect driving in specified situations; (literally: inappropriate behavior)
  • Fehlverhalten – incorrect driving in specified situations; (literally: inappropriate behavior)
  • Fristüberschreitung – inspection or emission control violations (expired inspection stickers)
  • Fußgängerüberweg – crosswalk
  • Geldstrafe – fine, penalty
  • Geschwindigkeit – speed; unangepasste Geschwindigkeit = uncontrolled speed (over the speed limit)
  • gefährliche Überholvorgänge – illegal, unsafe passing
  • Handyverbot – cell phone use prohibited while driving
  • Punkte – points
  • Rechtsfahrgebot – failure to use the right-hand lane
  • Rückwärtsfahren – backing
  • Sicherheitsgurt – seat belt
  • Übertretung – Violation (often used with Geschwindigkeit to indicate km above the posted speed limit)
  • Unfall – accident
  • Verkehr – traffic
  • Verkehrsübertretung – traffic violation
  • Verstöße – violations
  • Vorfahrt – right-of-way
  • Wenden – turning

More on Germany:

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the Ultimate Germany Road Trip Guide


TRAVEL PLANNING RESOURCES

Looking to get started on your trip planning process? Let us help!


Travel Gear & Packing: Check out our packing lists and travel gear guide to ensure you're bringing the right items on your trip.

Book Your Flight: Ready to fly? We use Skyscanner to compare prices and book flights. You should also check out our tips for finding cheap flights.

Find A Car Rental:We use Discover Cars to compare car prices, find deals and book rentals.

Book Your Hotel: Compare prices and book with our custom-built hotel search engine. You should also check out our tips for finding cheap accommodation.

Find Vacation Rentals: Search vacation rentals & apartments on VRBO for the best prices and options.

Protect Your Trip:Don’t forget your travel insurance! Protect your investment and yourself. Read Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

If you need more help planning your trip, be sure to check out our Step by Step Trip Planning Guide where we break down our process for getting the trip planning process right every single time.


About David Stock

I have always been an outdoorsman so becoming an adventure traveler was just the next natural step. I love nature, I love to get off the beaten path and I like to explore. I enjoy scuba diving and cars. And yes, Lina and I have a naked dog.



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30 thoughts on “Driving in Germany? This is the Ultimate Germany Road Trip Guide”

    • Glad you like the post and found it helpful! Costs for rental are going to vary widely depending on the time of year, length of trip, and type of vehicle that you rent, so it’s best to check with the rental office for accurate pricing. Cheers!

      Reply
  1. Just so you know, it is forbidden to set the parking disc for a time after you arrive!
    Also you dont immediately go to court if you dont pay a fine on the spot bit you have to pay for the work to send it to you (which can be alot more than you would think).

    Reply
  2. My family and I are considering doing this in the fall. We are trying to figure out what a good gas budget is. Can you give an advice on that?

    Reply
    • Hi Janet! Gas prices are ever changing, but this is what I typically do to budget for fuel when road tripping. I will plan my route out and then use Google Maps to determine the approximate number of miles that I am going to drive on the trip. Then I search online to see what the current gas prices are (it is per liter in Europe). I then lookup the class of car I am planning to rent and it’s estimated mpg rating. I take the total miles I am going to drive, divide that by the mpg then multiply by the cost per liter/gallon. This will give you a rough estimate of your fuel costs. Of course, be sure to add some fluff in there in case you end up changing your route (get lost, lol). Enjoy Germany!

      Reply
    • Hi Lydia! Absolutely, Christmas time is a fantastic time to be in Germany because of all the Christmas Markets! We are actually headed to Europe at the beginning of December this year for two weeks for this very reason. 🙂 Thanks for the love, we’re happy to have you here! – Lina

      Reply
  3. Thanks for the very helpful information! I am planning a trip into southern Germany in July of 2018. Is there any advice you could give me on using my drone in Germany?

    Reply
    • Hi Kendall, the laws surrounding drone usage in Germany are quite complicated, so it’s best to check with the official Federal Aviation Office’s regulations before you start your trip. There are plenty of places to fly but some definite no-no’s! Just follow the laws and you’ll be fine. Cheers!

      Reply
  4. I spent about 12 years in Germany, both in the Military and as a Civilian. Most of that time was spent South of Munich, in Bad Aibling and Bad Tölz.I guess the main thing you omitted was the HORREDOUS traffic jams (Verkher Stau) during the summer vacation periods for other countries and Construction Sites (Baustelle). Also you should mention that Germany has a magnificent traffic alert system that will “break into” your radio with emergency information. Additionally, the cost of fuel is very high and is sold by the Liter (3.78 liters=1 gallon).

    Reply
    • Hi Mike, we never had any issues with traffic jams during our trip in June…. that is why we didn’t have a mention of them. Construction on the Auto Bahn was very minimal also. Our vehicle was pretty fuel efficient so we didn’t notice too much of a gouge on fuel expenses but yes, fuel in Europe, and most other parts of the world, is higher than in the states. Thanks for stopping by, cheers!

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  5. Thank you for your warm words about Germany. 🙂
    I’m sorry that you had such bad weather.

    I´m a hardcore cabrio- (convertible) driver living in Germany and have driven most of our great road trip routes.
    It’s a good decision to visit the Black Forrest! Don’t forget the lovely road called “Schwarzwaldhochstrasse”. You*ll love it! 😉
    I also would highly recommend you my favourite road called “Deutsche Alpenstraße”

    Best wishes from Germany, Dirk

    Btw: You`re right with your statement, that cruising in Germany is not allowed. But it is so little pursued that no one knows. 😀
    So don´t panic our Police is very cool about that! 😉

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  6. I believe that your rental was exactly the same model Opel that we rented at Frankfurt in June. We spent more than we wished but was well pleased with the automatic and air equipped vehicle. Buick has now introduced the same model here. We traveled to the Bitburg area, Trier and then to Wurzburg and Giebelstadt where we stayed for three days enjoying the area where we were stationed as an Army Air Traffic Controller. The Diesel engine was an unexpected benefit with great mileage and easily obtained fuel points and pricing. Those traveling to Europe must know that fuel is priced per liter (about 0.9 qt), not per gallon.

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  7. Great article! Helpful but … as a german I had to laugh on some parts. May I suggest some corrections? (Just imagine my german accent.)

    Cruising ist NOT forbidden. Just do it.

    I don’t think anybody was ever fined for slamming the doors or revving. May happen, but you would really have to try hard to get fined … maybe right in front of the police or something …

    LifeStraw for water in Germany?!? First of all, bottled water is VERY cheap, but if you like to, you can drink tap water (in 99% of all cases).
    Water quality in Germany is exceptionally high, in some areas even better (!) than bottled water.

    I really liked your article! 🙂

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    • Thanks for your comment! No worries, our article is based on the information that is available to foreigners. Regarding the Lifestraw, you are right, you do not need to filter the water. That is the brand of water bottle we happen to carry to reduce plastic use when we travel! Glad to have you stop by. 🙂

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    • It was on the itinerary but the morning we left Nuremburg it was raining so hard we opted to not stop, as it would have been miserable! Can’t control the weather, unfortunately.

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  8. Hi!
    It was such a lovely article to read! I spent a month in Bavaria when I was younger, and now I’m hoping to take my husband. I never even thought about a road trip until I came across your article! Thanks 🙂

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  9. Hi!
    My husband and I have just started looking into planning a road trip in Germany and this blog looks like it will be extremely helpful. Where did you spend the nights? And did you book hotels ahead of time?

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    • Hi Courtney, Glad to hear you found us! Road tripping through Germany is fabulous! We started in Munich and ended in Berlin. We stayed near Neuschwanstein, Rothenburg and Nuremburg. I will add hotel locations to the post! Yes, we did book ahead of time because it was high season. You could wing it but know that might mean staying a ways from the center area and parking is not easy.

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  10. What a helpful article for driving in Germany! I wish I had seen this before the trip I took along the lovely Fairy Tale Road.

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    • Exactly! That is why we wrote this, we couldn’t find all the information in one place before our trip. Glad you think it is helpful. Cheers!

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