Stellplatz - Free Motorhome Parking in Germany

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 Stellplagtz over campsites? These subjects, as well as others, will be covered in this post.

What is a Stellplatz in Germany?

Stellplatz literally translates to parking space in English.

In principle, a Stellplatz is similar to an Aire in France, but in Germany. You will discover what they are all about if you have frequented an Aire in France before. If you have not visited an Aire in France, please see our post on them to learn more.

They are usually free, but you may have to pay for certain amenities such as electricity, water and waste disposal. Typically, you will not have to pay more than ten euros for a night’s stay, they are certainly not as expensive as campsites.

They are wonderful if you are travelling on a budget in Germany. They are near wonderful spots, charming villages, and historic cities, so you can learn more about this fascinating and historic European nation.

Stellplatz - Free Motorhome Parking in Germany
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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 and wouldn’t have been able to find some of the amazing free places to stay overnight that we have.

You can 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.

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.

Stellplatz Guidelines

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 are travelling 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.

Summary

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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You can take a look at some of our other van life posts which include lots and lots of hints and tips on all things van life here – Van Life – Travel Information, Hints, Tips and Advice (threeasabird.com)

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