If you are thinking of travelling Europe in your motorhome or campervan, then Germany is where you should go exploring!
Germany is a pleasure to motorhome in. The weather can be excellent, and the sights are breath-taking and varied. Moreover, the cities, towns, and castles are all fascinating destinations.
In addition to some excellent campsites, you might think you have everything you need. How can Germany compete with French Aires? The answer, the German Stellplatz.
How can you locate a Stellplatz? What are the advantages of Stellplatz over campsites? These subjects, as well as others, will be covered in this post.
The Concept of Stellplatz
Imagine a concept that revolutionises the traditional way of travelling, presenting a more personalised and immersive experience. That’s what Stellplatz embodies, offering a blend of comfort, adventure, and community spirit in the heart of Germany. Let’s embark on this journey to understand more about it.
What is a Stellplatz in Germany?
Stellplatz literally translates to parking space in English.
In the simplest terms, a Stellplatz is a designated area in Germany where motorhome owners can park for free or for a nominal fee, often in scenic locations offering a range of attractions right at their doorstep.
However, it’s more than just a parking space; it’s a culture, a way of life for motorhome enthusiasts. Originating from the German words ‘Stell’ meaning position and ‘Platz’ meaning place, it serves as a sanctuary where travellers can rest, recharge, and interact with a community of like-minded individuals.
These spaces are designed keeping in mind the needs of motorhome travellers, offering amenities that range from basic to modern comforts.
Why Choose a Stellplatz?
Affordability and Convenience
Choosing a Stellplatz is synonymous with opting for an economical yet fulfilling travel experience. These areas allow you to save on accommodation costs while still enjoying the serenity and beauty that Germany has to offer.
Community and Networking
One of the significant advantages of choosing a Stellplatz is the opportunity to mingle with a community of motorhome enthusiasts.
It serves as a melting pot of cultures and experiences, where you can share stories, forge friendships, and perhaps even learn a thing or two from veteran motorhome travellers. It’s like being a part of a group of people that share your passion for adventure and exploration.
Immersive Travel Experience
Opting for a Stellplatz means embracing a more authentic and immersive way of travelling. It grants you the freedom to explore Germany’s hidden gems at your own pace, without the constraints of a fixed itinerary.
Picture yourself waking up to the chirping of birds in a forest, or the waves crashing against the shore, a new scenery greeting you each morning. It’s about connecting with nature and immersing yourself in the local culture in a way that’s not possible with traditional travel methods.
A Gateway to Germany’s Attractions
What sets Stellplatz apart is its proximity to various attractions. These parking spots are strategically located near tourist hotspots, allowing you to explore the rich tapestry of Germany’s culture, history, and natural beauty with ease.
From historic castles to picturesque vineyards, the opportunities for exploration are endless, offering a rich and varied experience at every turn.
How to find a Stellplatz?
There are several ways to locate Stellplatz.
Park4Night and SearchForSites list many destinations. We use Park4night for pretty much every single place that we stay overnight. It’s a fantastic app and we’d be lost without it, we’ve found some incredible places to stay overnight through this app.
You can also ask local tourist information centres or look up Stellplatz on Google Maps while zoomed in on the area you wish to visit for information, or you can purchase the Stellplatz guidebook, which lists locations all over the country and their amenities.
Identifying the perfect Stellplatz is akin to finding your favourite camping spot. Consider aspects like location, facilities, and the proximity to attractions. Some spots might offer electricity hook-ups, sanitary facilities, and even Wi-Fi connectivity. Prioritising your needs will lead you to the Stellplatz that fits like a glove.
Popular Regions for Stellplatz in Germany
Germany is graced with numerous regions offering stunning Stellplatz locations. Think regions such as Bavaria, with its fairy-tale castles, or the Rhine Valley, steeped in history and culture. Researching and exploring different regions will gift you with a rich, varied, and unforgettable experience.
Do you have to book a Stellplatz?
No guidelines exist for reserving Stellplatz, but they all follow the same general pattern.
It’s all about timing your arrival at popular spots, as first come, first served is the norm. Late morning to early afternoon is usually the best time, as most departures will have already gone, and many vans will be arriving in the late afternoon to stay overnight.
You usually stay for one or two nights in your campervan or motorhome. Some Stellplatz will have a sign up with rules and that may contain the amount of time you are allowed to stay there.
Generally camping equipment should not be brought out: i.e., don’t set up tables, chairs, or BBQs. In a more rural or larger Stellplatz, many locals do keep their camping equipment (in their area only) and so you are welcome to do the same.
You don’t have to stay the night if you’re wild camping in Germany. Take advantage of this network to empty, fill, and charge your motorhome without paying campground fees.
If you want space to spread out and relax in a more traditional style, then a campsite might be more suitable for you.
We try to stay at as many free places overnight as we can because we travel on a budget, but we do sometimes like to treat ourselves and stay at a campsite. It allows us to get more of our equipment out such as our chairs, fire, BBQ etc and also, they generally have more services than a Stellplatz such as washing machines.
Now that you’re all clued up on finding and using German Stellplatz and touring the country for less money, go for it. Why not take an amazing road trip through the beautiful country of Germany?
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I have always wanted to travel and luckily I always got to travel to some amazing countries while I was growing up with my family and this really encouraged me to continue this and get out into the world on my own when I was older.
My goal growing up was really to see as much of the world as I could, but then I started going to work and really concentrating on my career and travel took a back seat. I still tried to get away a few times a year but I always knew there was an end goal which was to travel as much as possible.
So I got my head down and worked as hard as I could as an e-commerce manager. I have always been techy, I love computers and websites, so that’s where it gave me the idea to start this blog and also have my own web design agency. If you want to check it out or need any help then please take a look rrwebdesign.co.uk (shameless plug there)
But after covid, we both knew this was now the right time to take the leap and go and see the world after being trapped inside our house and working from home for a couple of years. We realised more than ever that you only get one life and you really need to make the most of it and do what you love!