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Campervan hire Germany

From revisiting the proud Prussian Empire, through clinking Bavarian beer, to adventuring the deep Black Forest and snow-white Alps, fairy-tale Germany is a road-trip dream come true.

 

Witness to the first-ever long-distance drive, birthplace of the famous VW Kombi, Germany is tried-and-tested road trip material. It’s no wonder the Bundesrepublik Deutschland has been facilitating the vanlife movement for over a hundred years, because the country of folklore forests, fairytale towns and fantasy fortresses is seriously worth exploring. Go cultural in rustic villages like medieval Bacharach in Riesling wine-country; explore history at grand monuments like the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall; or go wild with outdoor activities in the Schwarzwald or Bavarian Alps. Germany’s endless stretches of autobahn give way to infinite possibilities––but no matter where you choose to hire a campervan in Germany (or, better yet, hire a VW!), Europe’s biggest road trip destination always has an adventure in store for you!

 

Getting around Germany by campervan

 

Gas prices for your campervan hire in Germany are nothing out of the ordinary! Majority of off-highway stations take card and you will find diesel prices to be fairly reasonable, being more expensive in busy downtown centres.

There is no speed limit when driving your campervan on the German Autobahn, but be cautious as not all roads are free of speed restrictions. 130 km/h is the recommended speed and on other motorways limits vary between 80 to 130 km/h.

In the world’s 12th largest road network, you will find 40,000 km of Federal Highways and 13,000 km of Autobahn, providing pristine paved access to even the most remote corners of the country. Don’t miss Germany’s themed highways on the wheel of your rental RV!

Germany has no tolls!

Wild camping is forbidden when hiring a campervan in Germany. However, overnight parking is not. Keep your eyes open for Stellplatz. These are places not on campsites where you are officially allowed to stop over with your motorhome in Germany and they are equipped with facilities like sanitary stations or hookups. Campsites average around €10 - €40, depending on the time of year.

 

Food in Germany is cheap, yet delicious. An average meal can vary from €2 for some great sausages and bratwurst to just above €20 for a nice sit-down meal with an additional tip of 5%-10%. For a week's worth of groceries you’ll likely spend between €30 - €60 depending on how much you eat!

Germany is a country of 4 seasons! The summer heat welcomes travellers between June - August, with the months of May and September being equally nice and less touristic. Winters tend to be a bit more chilly with a bit of snow, fog and rain.

Germans are organized and punctual, who appreciate work/life balance and having rules to stick by. Greetings are normally done with a firm handshake, or a kiss on both cheeks. Follow their lead and you’ll be set!

German is the official spoken language with English being the second.

Before you leave, be sure to tease your taste buds with an array of gastro delights from traditional sausage, schnitzel, pretzels and a large Mass of beer, to German favourites like springtime white asparagus, game, and a glass of world-class wines, notably the Riesling.

 

About Germany

What is Germania to the Italians is Allemagne in French and Saksa in Finnish. How did the country, called Deutschland in the native tongue, end up with a bunch of different names in neighbouring languages? The Romans sometimes used the term Germania to loosely denote everything north of the Roman Republic. The name stuck after Julius Caesar’s armies were pushed back across the Rhine by terrifying tribes spilling from the Black Forest. Everything he’d conquered below the river he dubbed Gaul, and all unknown territory above became Germania, or ‘the neighbours’. Those neighbouring tribes eventually overran the Roman Empire, and did so in all directions. Like the Alemanni, who moved into France. And the Saxons, who crossed the pond to Great Britain. The tribes settled in new territories, and the land from which they came was named after them. So what about the German name for… eh, Germany? Deutschland comes from the Old High German Diutisc, meaning ‘of the people’. What we call the land of our ‘neighbours’, Germans––whatever their particular ancestral tribe––refer to as ‘the land of the people’. Pretty fair, don’t you think?

So how do you explore Deutschland, a land as diverse as the many peoples that inhabit it? Easy, you hire a campervan in Germany, say Munich or Frankfurt. You then get familiar with the local culture––by chugging a Bavarian beer before taking on the Alps, or munching on a Frankfurter Würstchen while strolling along the Main. Festivities like the Oktoberfest, Carnival, or the Christmas Markets bring out the best of the locals, too!

And then there are the tried-and-tested, ready-made road trips in Germany, covering themes and much of the country’s most famous sights! Travelling with the family? Take the Fairy Tale Road from Hanau, Bremen, along the settings of the picturebook settings of your favourite fairy stories. In much need of tree time? The Black Forest Route is perhaps Germany’s oldest themed road, taking you through the 1000-metres-high pass of the Black Forest High Road. Want to get medieval? The German Castle Road takes you along more than 70 castles and palaces! Finally, hiring a campervan to take on Germany’s Romantic Road is not just meant for those travelling in the name of love, but for all that keep a special place in their hearts for the open road.

 

What to discover

In and around the country

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the country's most iconic fortresses and is said to be the inspiration for Walt Disney’s fairytale home.

Boldly perched upon the mountain side, this storybook castle makes for a spectacular viewpoint of the picturesque countryside that surrounds.

Romantic Road

The best way to see Bavaria is by hiring a campervan in the region and going on an RV road trip on the Romantic Road. But if everyone knows the route, is it still good? YES. The route winds along timber towns and along, past the foot of the Alps, and finishes at Neuschwanstein Castle.

You won’t be the only one traversing the well-trodden route, but you’ll definitely be among the freest of travellers, driving one of our Indie campervans across the 350 kilometres of Bavarian roads!

Jasmund National Park

Stretch your legs with a hike through the far north-east of Germany at this incredible chalk cliff spectacle. Choose from a variety of walking or cycling routes to explore the region’s enchanting woodlands.

Feel free to even take a tour with a park ranger and enjoy legends of famous pirate adventurers who buried treasures remain close by.

 

Top Regions

Travel to Berlin by campervan

The German capital and largest city is also one of its sixteen states. With close to 4 million inhabitants, Berlin is huge by any standards––but it’s not another looming megatropolis. Instead, Berlin is Europe’s coolest town, artsy and alternative, brave and ballsy. The city’s has a cool sense of freedom of expression ingrained in its DNA, going back to the division between not just East and West Berlin, but the entire West and Soviet Union. Nowadays, the people’s sense of freedom makes for a bright and buzzing urban scene, coupled with a very high standard of living.

In the spirit of the freedom of the road, the essence of any real road trip, and while it is - yet! - not possible to hire a campervan in Berlin with Indie Campers, rent a motorhome in Germany (Frankfurt or Munich) and stop by in the German capital. Begin by revisiting the pivotal points of the twentieth century: the Berlin Wall’s graffitied remains and the Holocaust Memorial. Go back further in time with the eighteenth-century Brandenburg Gate. Or go way back in the Pergamon Museum, which holds the Ishtar Gate, one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Next, get a feel for Berlin’s attractive alternative side. Mauerpark on Sundays, when people flock the flea market. Tempelhofer Feld, the former-airport-turned-park with inline skaters and casual joggers. Or, for the uncut version of Berlin, head for the clubs at night, starting on Friday night at Panorama Bar and finishing at Berghain by Monday morning.

 

RV Rental in Bavaria

Germany’s southeasternmost state is the country’s largest. With Lederhosen and Oktoberfest, it’s also considered the most quintessentially German by some. But don’t let the clichés fool you; they’re actually very Bavarian. Bayern is a proud state with a unique culture and a history that dates back all the way to the year 555, when it became a Duchy. Nevertheless, Bavaria is full of Germany’s most iconic images––from fairy-tale castles and half-timbered townhouses, to massive beer mugs and heel-ticking folk dance.

With the Alps at its doorstep, and bordering Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic, a road trip through Bavaria is a guaranteed alpine adventure. Hire a campervan in Bavaria by starting to explore the state’s capital Munich by chugging a pint at the Hofbräuhaus––if you’re not planning on driving, that is. Afterwards, cool off and catch ice-cold surf (if you’re a pro) at the Eisbach River. Don’t forget to visit the Asamkirche and Nymphenburg Palace before you head down to the Alps. Catch a cable car up the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak. For a real romantic getaway, drive down Bavaria’s famous Romantic Road with your Indie van. The 350-km-long route is Germany’s most scenic drive, passing medieval towns like Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and ending at Neuschwanstein Castle. Actually, the Romantic Road is great for families, too. Or friends. Heck, even the oddball einzelgänger!

 

Travel to Hamburg by motorhome

Officially called the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city is also one of its sixteen states. The city was actually an independent state until the unification of Germany, and even after has enjoyed an extraordinary amount of freedom. That’s because Hamburg is a very wealthy town––and wealth equals power. As a part of the Hanseatic Trading League, riches poured from the North Sea into the port city since medieval times.

All that wealth equals another thing: an ornate city, proudly displaying its Hanseatic heritage and later success stories. Take the late-nineteenth-century-built Rathaus, towering over Altstadt in proper Neo-Renaissance fashion. The Deichstraße is another attestment to Hamburg’s trading history. The Old Town’s oldest street has some of the oldest buildings still standing today. The world’s largest warehouse district, Speicherstadt replaced the Deichstraße as main port. While they lack the allure of the ornate St. Michael’s Church, or the curious Chilehaus, both districts are worth a visit to get a sense of what the famous freeport is all about! But a road trip isn’t only about cities; it’s also about nature. Hire a campervan in Germany and make it to Hamburg, from where it’s only a short drive to the North Sea, or to Denmark!

Explore Bremen by van

Another big guy in the Hanseatic League, Bremen is the next major inlet from the North Sea to have tons of goods shipped to its port and benefitting in the process. Like the northern Hamburg, the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen has enjoyed independence as a Hansestadt until it became a German state. The state forms an enclave in the bigger state of Lower Saxony and includes both Bremen City and coastal Bremerhaven (Bremen Harbour).

But while unfortunate Hamburg got bombed heavily in the Second World War, Freie Hansestadt Bremen was spared similar massive raids. Instead, only 60% of the city was destroyed by the Allies. The 40% that were spared include many historical buildings with a Hanseatic background. Like the Gewerbehaus, or Chamber of Commerce. Or many of the buildings along the Marktplatz. Just look down to the Market Square’s pavement and find out you’re actually walking on a huge emblem of the Hanseatic Cross! When you rent a motorhome in Germany and make your way to Bremen, make sure to also its seaport to catch a fresh seabreeze. Then, drive through the Fischerhude, where a serenity accumulated over the ages by marshes, forest and meadows, is only interrupted by the occasional farming village.

 

Campervan hire in Saarland

Below Luxembourg and hugging the French border, Saarland is French Baroque and German countryside––adding up to a charm that is unique to the region. In fact, Saarland’s motto is “mit grenzenlosem Charme” (with borderless charm).  La Sarre is not one of Germany’s smallest states, but also one of its most French, having changed nationality eight times in the past 200 years.

Rent an RV in Germany’s financial centre Frankfurt and head south, where you’ll soon drive into Saarland. Follow the banks of the river Saar and explore forests and valleys by bicycle or via hiking trail. Choose between 60 trails zigzagging the state, the Saar-Hunsrück Climb being the most popular. And Saarland is more than green, too. The Bliesgau district is a UNESCO Biosphere that, with its golden fields and rolling hills, resembles Tuscany more than anything German or French. Between the natural splendour, take some time to visit Saarland’s towns. The capital is especially worth a visit. Saarbrücken was made a royal seat in the 18th century and got a total Baroque makeover, the crownwork of which is the Ludwigskirche.

 

Discover Hesse

Right in the heart of Germany, Hesse (or Hessia) is a sure winner for happy holiday-goers. The central state is the country’s most accessible––not just because of Frankfurt Airport, but because it captures the German spirit effortlessly in its medieval towns, and through the retelling of the fairy tales written down by the brothers Grimm, who lived and worked in Hanau, Hessen. At the same time, Hessen is strikingly modern, which contract is most clear in the capital.  

Hire a campervan in Hesse beginning in Frankfurt and begin a medieval-themed holiday at Römerberg, a cobbled town square with timber houses and the iconic town hall. For a deep dive into German culture, visit Goethe House and tour the house where Germany’s most enlightened man grew up and cultivated his first ideas. Next, drive to Hanau, which isn’t just the Grimm brothers’ home, but also the start of the magical 600-km Fairy Tale Road! Starting in Hessen, the route goes north all the way to Bremen, and passes by all places folklore: the Schwalm Region, where Little Red Riding Hood skipped through the forest; Sababurg Castle, where the Sleeping Beauty dozed for a century straight; and Hamelin, whose Pied Piper lured the town’s children with his fantastical flute.

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