A road trip in Germany offers you the opportunity to discover the country in a more relaxed way. From the beautiful beaches in the north to the Alps in southern Germany, the following routes are ideal. Either as a single tour or combined if you have more than 1-2 weeks’ time.
Do you have a motorhome, car, or van?
There are so many travel destinations in Germany that you just have to choose. The best news for 2020/21 is that there is no safer way to travel during Corona than driving your own motorhome. Because in the van you have everything with you: kitchen, toilet, and shower.
Be sure to check local regulations before heading out.
Who in Germany is not looking for a spectacular road trip? But if you want to make a round trip to Germany, you are spoiled for choice from more than 150 great dream roads. Some opt for a short trip across Germany to take in the highlights in one go. Neuschwanstein Castle, Cologne Cathedral, Brandenburg Gate, and chalk cliffs on Rugen, to name just a few places to visit.
I recommend you: Decide on a region and enjoy the trip! Don’t rush from place to place, relax sometimes. After all, it’s vacation!
Road Trip Planning Tips
Before you can start, you need to pay attention to a few details. Did you rent an RV? Then check if everything is ok. There are now providers for every taste and budget.
Which Travel Companion?
Do you own your own camper van?
Then you can jump to the next point. Don’t you know which vehicle to use for your round trip? Then consider whether you want to travel by car, VW Bulli, the larger version of the panel van (with toilet, kitchen, and shower), or the larger mobile home.
Check out Travel Diaries for travel blogs, news, and much more!
Definitely test drive, because not everyone wants to steer a large vehicle through narrow streets and alleys. Along the Allee Strasse on Rugen, there are some narrow streets lined with trees. There are tight switchbacks in the Alps that not everyone wants to travel with a large motorhome.
Use the CamperDays search engine for this. Here you will find the most well-known rental companies for mobile homes and camper vans.
Climate protection and road trip, is that possible?
Please always keep in mind that a road trip releases a lot of CO-2. That’s why I’ve been doing a CO2 offset for every kilometer driven by car in the year via atmosfair since 2020. You can calculate your emissions on the website and neutralize them by purchasing a vignette.
There is no question that traveling by train or bicycle would be more environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, without a car, I’m not that flexible, because I like to leave very early in the morning to avoid many people.
Counter question: How much time do you have? My suggestions are based on routes that you can “ride” on a weekend (or just for a day), or travel more comfortably. Then you can experience more, relax and don’t have to rush from place to place.
I wouldn’t want to do a round trip through the whole of Germany in two weeks. After all, I also want to explore the places and not just take a photo.
I recommend a whole day just for the chalk cliffs in the Jasmund National Park on Rugen. I also recommend a longer stay at Neuschwanstein Castle. Because all around there are great hikes, lakes and other castles to explore. In Berchtesgaden, the influx of tourists is exploding. Here, too, you have to plan longer waiting times at gondolas.
If you still only have a long weekend to a week, you can travel on the trips in sections. That too is worthwhile.
Navigation: Route Planner Without a Motorway
I use Google Maps for navigation. In the app you can easily set what you want to avoid on motorways:
- Enter your route. The route will be shown to you.
- Below the origin and destination field is an options field. Click on this to be able to make precise settings for your route.
- Now tick that you want to avoid motorways. Google immediately calculates alternatives.
Other alternatives are navigation devices, especially for mobile homes. These are really cool and I would like to try them out. The Garmin 890 Navi is ideal for campers. You can enter the dimensions of your car here. The navigation system only shows you the routes that you can drive with it. Brilliant! You can also display parking spaces and sights (“worthwhile stops”).
Great Motorhome Travel Guide for Germany
Since I’ve owned my own camper, The women’s travel guides have been stacked with road trip suggestions. Here are my favorites:
- The big camper book Germany: The most beautiful routes between Sylt and the Alps (with tips for camper sites)
- Road trips Germany – 80 tours
- The 20 best motorhome tours (volumes 1 – 4 are really cool, I don’t know volume 5 yet)
- Ideal for short trips: weekend and motorhome – Germany. Travel ideas with the mobile home (3-5 days)
- CURVES: Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg
- Motorhome Guide Germany: City trips with the motorhome: rediscover charming cities in Germany. Incl. pitch guide and information about campsites
- Black Forest High Road from Freuden Stadt to Baden-Baden
- Along the Moselle from Trier to Cochem
- Baltic Sea: At Fischland-Darss-Zingst
- Allgau : Around Fussen and Oberstdorf
- Southern Germany‘s highest panorama road: Rossfeld panorama road from Berchtesgaden over the Obersalzberg
- A short trip through the Tauber Valley
- Day trip along the Neckar from Stuttgart via Heilbronn to Heidelberg (from Heilbronn on Castle Road )
Campsites and Alternatives
For road trips, I happily recommend staying overnight at RV sites. Even if many “advertise” for wild camping, I have to emphasize: It is forbidden. Point. Ignore Instagram and Co., where you are “advertised” to be free. If you stay longer in one place, a campsite can also be worthwhile. There are nature campsites in forests with lots of space all over Germany.
Alternatively, I recommend the Landvergnugen parking space guide. You buy the book, get a vignette, and then you can stay overnight on farms, wineries, or breweries for a year.
Are you now ready to discover Germany by motorhome?
Itinerary Suggestions to Help you Plan your Trip
Here you will find a selection of the most beautiful routes for a road trip to get closer to Germany’s beautiful landscape and nature. It doesn’t matter whether you want to go for a long weekend or a 2-week holiday.
German Alpine Road
- Best for Nature lovers, active travelers, or those interested in culture. The ideal mix of everything.
- Places to visit: Neuschwanstein Castle, Allgau and Bavarian Alps, great mountain lakes
- Start: Lindau to Schönau
- Stops: Lindau – Oberstaufen – Breitachklamm – Fussen – Neuschwanstein Castle – Hohenschwangau – Oberammergau – Garmisch-Partenkirchen – Bad Tölz – Rottach Egern – Oberaudorf – Chiemgau – Konigsee – Berchtesgaden
- Distance: 500 km
- How long: 1-2 weeks
- Best travel time: May – June or September – October. Crowded and very popular in summer.
- Insider tip: Winter camping, travel spontaneously from place to place outside of Christmas and New Year’s Eve
The road leads from Lindau on Lake Constance over numerous curves to the Barchetsgardener Land. The panoramic road is anything but an insider tip. Because the fantastically beautiful route is of course popular. For me, therefore, the most beautiful of all the routes presented.
The landscape is very varied. You are spoiled for choice between mountain lakes, panoramas on hikes to the peaks, or the more than 25 palaces, castles, and monasteries. Of course, Neuschwanstein Castle is the highlight that every German should have seen at least once.
Around the Zugspitze in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, you will find numerous hiking trails for every level of difficulty. In winter you will find great ski areas and cross-country ski runs. Snowshoe hikes are also possible almost everywhere (depending on snow conditions).
My favorite areas: Are the fellhorn – Kanzelwand ski area, Bolsterlang, and Balderschwang.
- View the complete route with all tips here on the official website of the German Alpine Road
Campgrounds and RV sites are available throughout the route. I recommend avoiding peak travel times. If you have school-age children, you’ll need to plan well in advance.
- Book a night in an igloo on the Zugspitze in winter.
- In Fussen, there is a large Salomon outlet with other outdoor brands.
- Best for History buffs, castle lovers (more than 60 along the themed route)
- Highlights: Heidelberg Castle, Bad Wimpfen, Heilbronn, Schwabisch Hall, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Nuremberg Imperial Castle, Bamberg ( see alternatives)
- Start: Mannheim to Bayreuth
- Stops: Heidelberg – Neckar Valley via Bad Wimpfen to Heilbronn – (Breitenauer See) – Rothenburg od Tauber – Nuremberg – Bamberg – Coburg – Bayreuth
- Distance: 780 km
- How long: 7 – 10 days
- Best travel time: Due to the route along wine regions September – October.
One of the most beautiful streets around my hometown of Heilbronn is the Burgenstrabe. From Mannheim, the route leads via Heidelberg, then along the Neckar, with many castles along the river.
In Heidelberg, apart from the castle, you should explore the old town and walk along the Schlangen Weg and Philosophenweg for the most beautiful views.
I can probably not write neutrally about the further route via Hornberg Castle, Guttenberg Castle, and Bad Wimpfen to Heilbronn. I grew up in this region and still live in Heilbronn. and love my home on the Neckar with the castles and vineyards very much.
Via Weibert Reu Castle (Weinsberg) we continue to the half-timbered town of Schwabisch Hall. A special highlight is Rothenburg ob der Tauber. For me one of the most beautiful small towns in Germany. The small alleys with half-timbered houses and turrets – so beautiful!
Nuremberg with the Imperial Castle that towers over the city and Franconian Switzerland between Bamberg, Nuremberg, and Bayreuth will also inspire you. Be sure to plan more time here. Ideal for hiking and a stop in a brewery cellar with a smoked beer.
Then it goes shortly after Thuringia to the Veste Held burg, which was built like in a fairy tale on a 403-meter-high rock. You will end your road trip in Bayreuth with its historic center and the Richard Wagner Museum.
You can stay overnight in many castles along the route. Hornberg Castle, Steinsberg Castle, Colmberg Castle, Abenberg Castle and Rabenstein Castle are also hotels.
You will find numerous campsites and parking spaces along the route. You are also well advised here with the Landvergnügen parking space guide. In Heilbronn, you can stand for free at the wine cooperative with a wonderful view over the vineyards. Alternatively, you get the night for free if you buy wine for more than 50 euros in the shared apartment.
Tip for Rothenburg ob der Tauber: The mobile home parking space P2 in Rothenburg of der Tauber is located directly in the old town. It costs (2021) 12 euros per night, and electricity and water supply/waste disposal are available. There are 50 spots, although I recommend you don’t choose one that’s close to the street. The local “posers” like to do their rounds loudly at night along the street or in the car park opposite.
After the stop in Heilbronn, make a detour to the Breitenauer See on the way toward Ohringen. Our local recreation area in the Lowenstein mountains has a campsite right on the lake.
If you have time, hike a stage on the Neckar Steig. The 1st stage near Heidelberg is one of the most beautiful.
Stay at least one day in my hometown of Heilbronn. Visit Experimenta, Germany’s largest science center. Enjoy the old town of Bad Wimpfen, take a factory tour at Audi in Neckarsulm, and visit the griffin tower of Guttenberg Castle (Hassmersheim).
Black Forest, Lake Constance & Swabian Jura
- Best for nature, water, and food
- Highlights: Triberg waterfalls, Gutachtal, Titisee, Schluchsee, Konstanz, and Meersburg on Lake Constance, Hohenzollern Castle
- Start: Round trip from/to Stuttgart
- Stops: Stuttgart – Triberg – Hornberg – Titi see – Schluchsee – Wutachschlucht – Konstanz – Meersburg – Pfahl Bau Unteruhldingen – Schwäbische Alb – Oberes Donautal – Beuron Monastery – Hohenzollern Castle – Stuttgart
- How long: 7 to 10 days (also longer as there are many places to visit along the route)
- Best time to travel: All year round, possibly with snow in winter.
Start your round trip in Stuttgart. The Porsche Museum is a must for car fans. Alternatively, or afterward, the Mercedes-Benz Museum is worth its entrance fee.
Then you leave the city and a spectacular section follows. The trip to the famous Black Forest with its winding Black Forest High Road is waiting for you! The tall trees, serpentines in between, and viewpoints, again and again, give you that road trip feeling.
This section is about 60 km long and runs from Baden-Baden to the Buhler Hohe. I love the views that go as far as the Vosges Mountains in France in some places! Further stops are the Mummelsee, and Hornisgrinde and a possible place to stay the night is Freuden Stadt.
We continue to one of the most beautiful holiday regions in Germany: Lake Constance. Explore the region with Konstanz, Friedrichshafen, the Unteruhldingen, and Meersburg stilt houses. Back to Stuttgart, you take the route via the Swabian Alb and the Upper Danube Valley. If you feel like it, you can visit the Beuron monastery, the view from the button maker rock over the Beuron valley basin, and at the end Hohenzollern Castle. What a trip!
You can find a detailed travel report here: Road trip from Stuttgart in the Black Forest to Lake Constance
More articles with tips for the mentioned regions:
- Lake Constance: Sights with the most beautiful places & activities
- Konstanz: places worth seeing & highlights
- Meersburg on Lake Constance
- Insider tips for Stuttgart
On this camper tour, you will find many options, because this region is extremely popular for camping with a tent, camper, or caravan. At Lake Constance, I would like to recommend the parking space in Fischbach. Small natural campsites in the Black Forest.
I’ll give you my tip: Decide on the way where you want to stay overnight. Alternatively, you still have enough Farms to participate in Country Fun.
German Avenue Street
- Best for: Anyone who wants to take a road trip through Germany and experience the diversity up close.
- Places to visit: Rugen, Stralsund, Dessau, Fulda, Dortmund, Freudenstadt, Reichenau
- Start: Island of Rügen (Putgarden), end: Reichenau (Lake Constance)
- Route: There are 3 routes: the main route, the NRW route (Dortmund), and the Saxony-Thuringia loop (Dresden and Plauen). I recommend: Rugen – Stralsund – Grimmen – ( Greiswald ) – Waren (Müritz) – Neuruppin – Brandenburg ad Havel – Lutherstadt Wittenberg – Dresden – Dessau – Goslar – Duderstadt – Plauen – Fulda – Koblenz – Bad Kreuznach – Bad Dürkheim – Freudenstadt – Tübingen – Ravensburg – Meersburg – Konstanz – Reichenau.
- Length of the route: 2,900 km (depending on route choice)
- How long: At least 2 weeks, better 3 weeks.
- Best travel time: autumn
The avenue road is the longest holiday road in Germany. Here you can get to know your homeland from north to south. It takes you around 2,900 kilometers from the Baltic Sea island of Rugen across Germany to Lake Constance. You pass 10 federal states, sounds great, doesn’t it?
The route begins on the most beautiful Baltic Sea island of Rugen in the far north (Putgarden). Some sections are really narrow, especially with a motorhome. The trees line the avenues, it’s a dream.
German half-timbered road
- Best for: Anyone who wants to take a road trip through Germany and also want to discover lesser-known places with beautiful half-timbered houses.
- Places to visit: Schwabisch Hall, Besigheim, Bad Wimpfen, Castle in Wertheim
- Start: No matter where, since the round trip.
- Route: Wertheim – Tauberbischofsheim – Schwabisch Hall – Schorndorf – Esslingen am Neckar – Waiblingen – Backnang – Marbach am Neckar – Bietigheim-Bissingen – Mark Groningen – Leonberg – Vaihingen an der Enz – Maulbronn – Besigheim – Bad Wimpfen – Mosbach – Wertheim
- Length of the route: 369 km
- How long: At least 3 – 5 days, if you want to explore everything, plan a week
- Best travel time: autumn (numerous vineyards, like in the “Indian Summer”, only in Germany)
The German half-timbered road under the motto “Half-timbered connects” takes you all over Germany to 3,500 km from the Elbe to Lake Constance. There are officially seven regional routes that take you through the federal states of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Hesse, Thuringia, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.
However, I made my own route. Around my home region I know where the beautiful half-timbered towns are.
I like the small towns with narrow streets and beautifully crooked half-timbered houses. That’s why I will definitely explore other routes of the German Half-Timbered Road.
Along this route you will also find RV parks everywhere, which are often even free (for example in Tauberbischofsheim, quiet but not nice). For Weerheim I recommend the parking space in Kreuz Wertheim on the other side of the Main with a great view of the castle. Attention: In summer it could get hot here, as the pitches do not offer any shade.
German Fairy Tale Route
- Best for: Tracing the fairytale world of the Brothers Grimm. Fans of myths, legends, castles and palaces.
- Highlights: Birthplace of the Brothers Grimm: Hanau, Marburg, Hamelin, Bremen
- Start: Hanau or Bremen
- Route: Hanau – Steinau ad Strafe – Marburg – Kassel – Göttingen – Hameln – Bremen
- Length: 1,035 km. There are two alternative routes: Alternative 1: 1,030 km and Alternative 2: 540 km
- How long: At least 1 week, because theoretically 50 stops are waiting for you
- Best time to travel: All year round
Do you fancy mystical forests and picturesque landscapes? Would you like to discover the fairytale world of childhood along this exciting route? The route from Hanau to Bremen offers numerous opportunities to do so. Stories from the well-known fairy tales Frau Holle, Sleeping Beauty, the Bremen Town Musicians and Snow White make the road trip a real event!
Route and accommodation to follow
German Wine Route
- Best for: Wine lovers – many fine wines are available along the route. Castles, palaces and half-timbered houses.
- Places to visit: Reichenburg Trifels, Hambach Castle, Hardenburg, Palatinate Forest Nature Park, Bad Durkheim and Neustadt an der Weinstrasse
- Start: Frankfurt or Strasbourg (Alsace, France)
- Route: Frankfurt – Bockenheim – Deidesheim – St. Martin – Siebeldingen – Bad Bergzabern – Schweigen-Rechtenbach – Strasbourg
- Length of the route: 263.9 km
- How long: At least 3 days, a week is better
- Best travel time: March to October. Check where and when wine festivals are held.
The German Wine Route is the oldest route of this kind, as it has been around since 1935. The road trip leads through the heart of the largest continuous wine -growing region in Germany: the Palatinate .
Another superlative is Germany’s largest contiguous forest area: the Palatinate Forest . You also drive through this. The route is also suitable for beginners with a camper van.
Along the route from the start in Schweigen-Rechtenbach at the German Wine Gate on the border with France (I advise you to also visit Strasbourg) to Bockenheim , you will pass not only vineyards but also huge orchards, forests and palaces and castles.
Thanks to 1800 hours of sunshine a year, good weather is almost guaranteed on the road trip.
- Best For: Volcanism, geology, nature and hiking
- Places to visit: Maria Laach Monastery, Lava Dome in Mendig, Volcano Museum in Daun, Ulmener Maar, mineral springs near Gerolstein
- Start: Laacher See
- Route: Maria Laach Abbey, Glees – Eppelsberg – Roman mine Meurin – Mendig – Wingertsbergwand – Mayener Gruben – Gerolstein – Maarmuseum, Manderscheid (various other stops available)
- Length of the route: 280 km
- How long: 3-4 days, ideal for a short trip
- Best time to travel: All year round
There are no more active volcanoes in Germany. But the traces of it still shape the landscape of the Vulkaneifel to this day. The route of the Volcano Road takes you along 280 km of water-filled craters, geysers, cinder cones and traces of lava flows. Some sights are located along the route.
There are parking spaces everywhere along the route. In Gerolstein, for example, there is one for 25 places (6 euros including disposal) directly at the indoor pool. In Pulvermaar there is space for about 30 vehicles on a meadow at the edge of the Pulvermaar.
- Best for: Exploring romantic towns
- Places to visit: Neuschwanstein Castle, Rothenburg ob der Tauber and the lesser-known picturesque towns in between.
- Start: Würzburg or Fussen
- Route: Wurzburg – Taubertal – Rothenburg ob der Tauber – Augsburg – Neuschwanstein Castle – Fussen
- Length of the route: 400 km
- How long: At least 1 week
- Best time to travel: All year round, but Bavaria and the Allgau are quite crowded in summer.
On the 400 kilometers from Würzburg to Allgau, you can cross some of the most beautiful scenic corners in Germany on this route. The highlight is of course Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau near Füssen. But you shouldn’t neglect the castle in Würzburg either.
Nordic UNESCO World Heritage Route No. 1
There are a total of eight UNESCO World Heritage routes in Germany. The most beautiful is the Nordic Route No.1.
- Best for: Beautiful Hanseatic cities and the most beautiful places on the Baltic Sea coast to the North Sea to the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site
- Highlights: Jasmund National Park on Rügen, Stralsund, Wismar, Bremen, Hamburg, Lübeck, and the Wadden Sea near Bremerhaven.
- Start: Bremerhaven or Sassnitz (island of Rügen)
- Route: Wadden Sea – Bremen – Hamburg – Lübeck – Wismar – Stralsund – Island of Rügen
- Length of the route: 557 km
- How long: At least 2 weeks, 3 weeks is better
- Best travel time: spring, summer and autumn
Driving along the most beautiful places on the Baltic Sea to the North Sea coast sounds great to you? It is. That’s exactly what I did for 6 weeks in the summer (the advantage of being self-employed and being able to work on the go).
That’s why I don’t want to write much here, but link the articles with lots of details, information, accommodation and camper pitches.
Keep on writing, great job!