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.
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.
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.
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!