Spend Less, Do More – Germany Driving Guide
In a word, Germany is colourful. What is meant is that there are so many things to see and do and in so many interesting locations that there’s hardly a town where you can’t find something in your German car rental. Here are three cities certainly worth discovering.
Until the end of the Cold war, this city was split in two by a heavily guarded wall that bore the city’s name and all that remains today are graffitied portions for sightseers and is definitely worth an Instagram. With the city’s unification came an abundance of German accommodation making it possible to stay in affordable and some very interesting lodgings.
Near the wall is the Topography of Terror exhibition with free admission and offers an insight into atrocities that occurred during the Nazi period. Berlin is Germany’s capital city and the government building (Reichstag) is open to the public where it’s possible to go up to the glass dome and get a 360° view of the flat cityscape.
Less than an hour’s drive is Potsdam, 35 km (22 miles), where the ruler Frederick the Great had his palace (Sanssouci) surrounded with amazing gardens and very worthy of many selfies. Another destination is Peacock Island (Pfaueninsel), 30 km (19 miles) on highway A115 that is truly magical and relaxing for walkers and lovers with a short ferry ride, castles and strutting peacocks.
Situated on the Rhine River, follow your nose to the Schokolade, a chocolate museum and factory, but only if you really love this delicacy made from cocoa, which happily includes a mega number of people. If you need to have one photo of a cathedral on your trip, the Gothic structure in Cologne would certainly rank up there. Also, riding the cable car across the river makes you truly appreciate just where you are at the moment and requires a digital capture.
Cologne is on the fringe of the famous Mosel wine-producing area. Travel about 38 km (24 miles) along the Rhine River through Bonn, Ludwig van Beethoven’s birthplace, and in about 1 ¼ hours you’re surrounded by wineries, schlösser and stunning scenery.
Another area southwest of Cologne is Phantasialand in Bruhl, 26 km (16 miles), one of Germany’s largest theme parks that boasts having Europe’s longest theme-based underground ride.
This German city has photogenic charm with one of its main pleasures being able to sit in the town square, the Römerberg, with a beer and people-watch. This city is a great starting point for some of the extremely picturesque areas nearby such as Rudesheim, 65 km (40 miles), in a wine making area with its storybook-like buildings and vineyards that roll into the Rhine River with castle ruins perched above.
Driving south to Heidelberg, 88 km (55 miles), brings you to the red sandstone Heidelberg Castle overlooking the town and is accessed via funicular. Just by walking through the town, particularly the old portion makes it understandable why authors such as Mark Twain were inspired here. Also of interest is the Student Jail that saw its last offender from Heidelberg University about a century ago, and be sure to get Instagrammed with your face inside the monkey’s head at the entrance to the bridge. It’s all about doing the things you want to do by using your rental car from Cheaperthancars to get there.
At Cheaperthancars and Cheaperthanhotels we believe that the less you spend on our deals, the more you will to spend when you get there. Enjoy your trip to Germany
Your Cheaperthancars Team
Driving Tips – Germany
Germany has the highest accident rate of any European country because it has more traffic than any other country, as well. Therefore, you need to know the rules of the road to stay safe while driving as a tourist.
The minimum age for a full license in Germany is 18. A person who is 17-years-old may have a license to drive with a parent or adult in the car.
Driving Rules, Laws and Regulations
Speed Limits and Fines
Unless otherwise stated, following speed limits must be adhered:
130 km/h (81 mph) on the Autobahn
100 km/h (62 mph) on highways
50 km/h (31 mph) in city
Speeding fines start at 15 euros in cities and 10 euros in the country. They increase incrementally depending on how fast you are going above the speed limit and can be as much as 680 euros.
Germany has fairly strict laws for drunk driving. You can be in trouble for a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) as low as 0.03g/100ml (if it changes your behavior). Penalties can include not being allowed to drive in Germany, as well as hefty fines. Generally, it is best to not drive at all after drinking.
In most places, you’ll be able to park on the streets. Do not block driveways or roadways; also, do not park too close to an intersection. However, you may need a special parking sign (Parkscheibe) to place on your car, available at gas stations. With it, you signal to the police when you left the car. Follow the signs to pay for parking; in some places, you may need to park with two of your wheels off the street.
The sections above will help you drive your best while in Germany. Remember to check for any local regulations in the areas you will be traveling.