One of the best things about exploring Europe by campervan is just how much you can see in a short span of time, like on this Germany, Netherlands & Belgium road trip!
Three countries in one week might sound rushed, but this tri-state road trip is anything but. Grab your campervan rental in Cologne and kick off this one-week itinerary with a quick taste of the city’s vibrant fashion and nightlife.
An unusual underground experience awaits just across the Dutch border in Maastricht, while a fluffy Liège waffle alone is worth a quick stop in Belgium.
Back in Germany, relax like a king in Charlemagne’s old haunt, the spa city of Aachen. Just like that, you’ve hit three countries on one road trip!
Located along the northern end of the Rhine River, Düsseldorf is one of Germany’s largest and most fashionable cities. Altstadt (Old Town) is a hub of activity on the river’s east bank while a modern commercial district has sprung up to the west.
Park your campervan and head to the Rhine Tower, where sweeping city views give you a lay of the land. We suggest skipping the revolving restaurant and touristy observation deck in favour of the chic cocktail lounge M 168.
Düsseldorf attracts a fun, vibrant crowd, particularly in the evenings. As the sun sets, make a beeline for Old Town and partake in the beloved local pastime of pub-hopping.
Pair a late start the next morning with a lazy stroll along Königsallee, a pretty boulevard bursting with stylish boutiques and fashion showrooms. As you depart the city and make for the Netherlands and Belgium on this road trip, head southwest to add an afternoon stop at Castle Dyck, an important moated fortress dating back over a millennium.
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240m observation tower with city views
Posh shopping boulevard alongside canal
Hotel Schloss Dyck
Canary yellow castle with moat, 20 km from city
Bob & Mary
Juicy burger joint with a creative flair
Independent brewery with German food
Free parking at 30 min walk from Altstadt
On the Rhine, 30 minutes from center
Tucked away in the southernmost part of The Netherlands, the city of Maastricht is barely an hour’s drive, making it an easy addition to your otherwise only Germany & Belgium road trip itinerary.
Due to its tri-state location, the culture and cuisine of Maastricht have evolved into a surprising blend of Dutch, Belgian, and German influences.
Even more fascinating is what lies beneath the surface. Kazematten (Casemates) is an 18th-century fortress and large network of tunnels, bunkers, and caves dating as far back as 1575.
When you do return to the light of day, take a stroll through the lively Vrijthof square on your way to the Bonnefantenmuseum. Distinguished by its modern, domed tower, the art museum is home to a rotating collection of contemporary and medieval art.
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Underground netword of caves and tunnels
Art museum with recognizable domed tower
Cosy & traditional, try the tasting menu
Central parking lot, 84 spaces
Great facilities, including heated pool
The next stop on this border-hopping, Germany, Netherlands & Belgium road trip: Belgium’s French-speaking Wallonia region.
The little city of Liège is dissected by the Meuse River and dotted with medieval landmarks like the Collegiate Church of Saint Bartholomew. The church is well known for its distinctive red facade and surreal Dali-esque inner courtyard.
Ten minutes away by foot is a different sort of local landmark, the so-called “Mountain” of Bueren. It’s actually not a mountain at all, but rather, a steep stone staircase ascending 374 steps uphill from the old town and boasting fantastic views at the top.
If you manage the climb, you’ll have earned yourself a Belgian waffle or three! The Liège waffle is characterized by its thicker dough, untrimmed edges, and melt-in-your-mouth sugar crystals. Join the queue at famous Une Gaufrette Saperlipopette bakery (open Wednesday through Sunday only) to indulge in home-made gaufres liégeoises.
11th-century church with pretty courtyard
Montagne de Bueren
Great views if you can handle 374 steps
Peaceful, grassy park with renowned art museum
Une Gaufrette Saperlipopette
Belgian waffles, à la Liege
Cheap and cheerful fries of all flavours
Rue Henri de Dinant
Car park, max 3 hrs, 54 spaces
Camping Les Murets
9 miles south of center, in the countryside
The historic spa city of Aachen was the preferred residence of Charlemagne, one of Europe’s most powerful kings. As an easy ending to your Germany, Netherlands & Belgium road trip, you’ll quickly see the appeal.
While roaming Aachen’s cobblestone streets, it’s hard to miss the Aachen Cathedral, considered the oldest cathedral in northern Europe. A whopping 30 German kings were crowned here; it’s also the final resting place of Charlemagne himself. You can walk in his footsteps at the Centre Charlemagne, a local history museum nearby.
Sharing a border with Belgium and The Netherlands, the area’s hot springs and thermal baths have long attracted visitors seeking its rejuvenating mineral waters. The Carolus Thermen spa is the perfect place to spend your final full day, exploring indoor and outdoor swimming pools, saunas and steam rooms, or choosing from a range of healing spa treatments.
Feeling refreshed? Make your way back to Düsseldorf in just about an hour’s drive.
Landmark cathedral & burial place of Charlemagne
Modern day spa inspired by Roman thermal baths
Popular for rural, regional German food
Stylish spot with new menu every week
Ultra-hip vegetarian eatery (book ahead)
Car park with 27 spaces
Stellplatz Bad Aachen
Campervan campsite at 1.5 km from center, 46 places