Cycling Germany

German Flag Capital: Berlin
Currency: Euro
Population: 82.4 million
Food: Sausage, Sauerkraut
Drink: Great Beer!

Germany is the perfect country for a first cycle tour.

Its wide network of bike paths mean you barely need to venture onto the road to travel between historic town centres and scenic castles perched on hilltops.

The food is excellent and varied, the beer is the best in the world and there’s accommodation for all budgets. Many people speak English. Some adventurous cyclists think of Germany as boring but we would call it comfortable and relaxed.

We visited Germany twice on our trip, in autumn 2006 and summer 2007. During these visits we covered a decent stretch of the north west and south of the country. Bicycle touring is very popular in Germany and we rarely had a day without meeting another bike tourist to swap stories with.

Last rays of lightRivers are a highlight of any bicycle trip to Germany. We particularly enjoyed pedalling along the Rhine near Koblenz and Rudesheim in the autumn, when we had mostly very good weather. The paths along the Danube and Main rivers were equally beautiful, although if you go in the summer expect to be there with hundreds of other cyclists. Frankfurt was a surprisingly interesting city, bustling with bars and street markets and great waterside bike paths. And of course we have to mention Munich, one of our favourite cities long before we took up this trip. You can ride in and out of the city easily along the Isar river.

We rarely cycled on the roads with drivers since good quality paths were almost always available. Often the paths were completely hidden away from drivers, in woodland or located some distance from the road and separated by trees. Tourist bureaus in the northwest of the country and in Bayern were able to give us good guides to the cycle routes, although we did not find the same thing in and around Frankfurt. When we did bike with traffic, car drivers were very considerate and gave us plenty of room.

Our Route
Our first journey took us from Holland, slightly east towards Recklinghausen and then south along the Rhein river to the spa town of Baden-Baden. From there we crossed into Strasbourg, France. We returned in summer 2007, this time coming via the Danube Cycle Path, from Austria into Passau. We then used a combination of cycling and train travel to get west to Frankfurt and south to Munich. We left by going directly south through Bavaria for Austria, setting a course for Innsbruck and Italy.

On our first trip we had a 1:300 000 scale road map which we’d picked up some years ago. Its scale was fine for touring and campsites were marked. By the time we returned to Germany in 2007 we’d thrown away our map, so we relied on free maps from tourist bureaus. This wasn’t a problem since we mainly followed cycle paths.

Tents in the rain There are many German campgrounds to choose from and they are always clean and well taken care of in our experience. They can, however, be rigid with their rules. Make sure you do your washing in the right sink. If you hang your clothes where you shouldn’t or cook in the wrong place, someone will be along quickly to correct your behaviour.

Breaking the Rules
Read about when we unwittingly broke the rules in a Passau campground. Thankfully this behaviour is a bit extreme but the Germans do love their rules.

In the summer, German campsites can be a bit expensive. There are not the cheap municipally run campgrounds that you find in France or Portugal. Costs range between 5-10 euros per person and on some of the high-traffic sites you may be thrown in a field along with several dozen other tents. We prefered to wild camp where possible and had no problems doing this. In the off season, some campsites were closed but if they sold year-round RV spots then usually someone was around and willing to accept a few euros and open up the toilet block for us.

Germany is a medium-budget European country. Outside of big cities you should be able to get a double hotel room for around 50 euros, possibly less in a guest house or B&B accomodation. German hotels, no matter their star classification, always seem to be very clean and come with a hearty breakfast. When it comes to grocery shopping, the many discount chains like Lidl, Aldi, Penny Markt and Norma offer plenty of food bargains.

Almost all stores, aside from bakeries, are closed on Sunday so stock up on food for the weekend.

Also, while the train system is excellent and will accept bikes on most most routes (not on the ICE highspeed trains), you may have to lift them up and into high, narrow carriages. Some of the newer trains offer a flat access ramp but these are still relatively rare. Enlist some help before the train arrives if you are alone! Don’t forget to buy a pass for your bike at the ticket counter and ask where to stand on the platform so the bike carriage arrives in front of you.


  1. David Piper
    23rd February 2010 at 7:23 am #

    Couldnt agree more, Germany is cycling Utopia. Those bike paths lead the world and how they guide you safely into the gothic centres of huge cities like Ingolstad is a miracle.

    You’re right about those rules. We found a lovely swimming pool along the Danube and had it all to ourselves until we were told off for not obeying the dress code. It was nude only!

  2. DannyB
    21st October 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    Germany is great for cycling in …but here’s a few things based on our experiences:

    1. Not all the campsites are ‘high standard’ – although the good ones are fantastic. Some campsites marked on our maps turned out to be ‘private’ and these seem quite common.

    2. The signing of routes can be erratic

    3. I never understand the comments here and elsewhere about “although if you go in the summer expect to be there with hundreds of other cyclists” – we thought cycling along with hundreds of other cyclists was really good fun!!

    Other than that, we were shown great kindness and help by many people. On a number of occassions people on bikes said ‘ follow me!’ when we asked where a campsite or route was. And yes, the beer (and wine!) are fantastic, and Germany is generally cheap.

  3. Neil Colquhoun
    21st April 2012 at 11:59 am #

    planning my first ever cycle tour this summer following pretty much the same route you seemed to follow the first time (down the Rhein then west into France).

    this article was really helpful. particularly with the advice on camping and i must agree with @DannyB that being surrounded by other cyclists great.

    any MUST SEE locations, sites, roads you would advise for a first timer?

    • Annika
      18th June 2012 at 8:41 pm #

      Hey Neil,
      I am from Germany and I started my first bike tour there in September 2011 (yes, I liked it, I am still on the road, currenty in Georgia).
      We started in Bremen following the Weser Radweg. It is very flat, that was why I as a beginner loved it.
      We only cycled a little part of the Main Radweg but it is said to be one of the most beautiful ones. You will follow the river’s curves and there are plenty of historic towns on the way. You will hardly cycle any hills in the way but you can see them on both sides of the river. This way leads you through wine- and beer country. There are plenty of other cycling paths connected to it so you can always leave the way and take another one for some days.
      The Danube way is a very easy one though for me it was the one with the best signs (not confusing at all).
      Those three I would personally advise for your first trip. But I am sure – any route you take you will have fun.
      Have a Weizenbier and Bratwurst for me in a beer garden!
      All the best from Tbilisi,

  4. wally
    21st May 2013 at 4:49 am #

    Hi, I am planning a trip and like the Weser radweg, am concerned that some of it appears to be on a road?. We like to Tour and hardly ever be on a road with cars or near roads . Can anyone suggest some routes like this in Germany?

  5. serbring
    12th March 2014 at 11:37 pm #


    The next summer I’m gonna cycle from Munich to Hamburg and I will approximately cycle 100 km per day. Which cities are worth to visit?


  6. CarlaJeff
    28th June 2014 at 7:01 pm #

    We are hoping to bike the Danube and Rhine June/July 2015, anyone out there with kids hoping to do the same? Give us a shout!

  7. Jeff
    30th June 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    If biking Germany in the summer do you need reservations for campsites or BandB? Or can you show up at a campsite and expect to find space?! Thank you

  8. David
    8th July 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    We’ve just returned from cycling down the Rhine – very popular route with cyclists. We didnt need reservations in accommodation or campsites but found there were not very many campsites along the route except huge places full of camper vans!

  9. Stefan
    4th January 2022 at 12:37 am #

    This looks like great fun, especially as I was born in Brake. (I’m Australian now.) I’ll be able to visit relatives on the way through.

    1. Is there a recommended map showing campsites? I think I found an app for this, but there must be more than one.

    2. Which way do headwinds blow in spring? Should I pedal from south to north or the other way around?

    3. Where is a good place to buy a used touring bike in Germany or Austria — is there somewhere I could buy one with all the panniers for a two month trip? German eBay? Facebook Marketplace? Bike shop?

    Hope I can travel soon…go away Covid!

  10. camping met supermarket spanje
    13th January 2022 at 10:23 am #

    I verrukking in , leiden tot Ik ontdekte net wat ik vroeger zoek voor. Je hebt eindigde mijn 4 dag lang jagen! God Bless you man. Heb een grote dag. Doei

  11. kyrie spongebob
    24th January 2022 at 6:51 am #

    I wish to show my passion for your kind-heartedness in support of women who should have help with this important concern. Your special commitment to passing the solution all over came to be surprisingly significant and have truly helped guys and women like me to realize their ambitions. Your valuable guide denotes a whole lot a person like me and still more to my fellow workers. Thanks a lot; from each one of us.

  12. curry 6 shoes
    24th January 2022 at 6:54 am #

    I precisely wished to say thanks again. I am not sure the things I would have implemented without the type of basics provided by you concerning such a area of interest. It was before a terrifying difficulty in my circumstances, however , noticing the well-written manner you treated the issue made me to leap over contentment. I’m happy for this advice and thus sincerely hope you recognize what an amazing job your are doing instructing the rest through the use of your blog. I am certain you haven’t come across all of us.

  13. yeezy supply
    21st February 2022 at 8:02 pm #

    I wanted to send a brief note to be able to express gratitude to you for some of the precious ideas you are posting on this site. My time-consuming internet look up has at the end of the day been paid with reputable facts and techniques to go over with my guests. I ‘d believe that we readers actually are truly fortunate to exist in a very good website with very many marvellous professionals with insightful things. I feel extremely happy to have used the webpages and look forward to tons of more entertaining moments reading here. Thanks a lot once more for all the details.

  14. golden goose
    21st February 2022 at 8:04 pm #

    I precisely had to thank you very much again. I am not sure the things I would’ve worked on without the secrets contributed by you over such situation. It seemed to be an absolute fearsome concern in my view, however , observing the very specialised approach you managed that made me to cry for fulfillment. I’m just thankful for the advice and pray you know what a great job that you’re accomplishing training other individuals with the aid of a blog. I’m certain you’ve never met all of us.

  15. chrome hearts
    9th March 2022 at 11:49 am #

    I precisely had to thank you so much again. I am not sure the things that I might have tried in the absence of those techniques shown by you regarding that problem. It actually was the traumatic concern for me, however , looking at your specialised mode you handled that made me to leap with contentment. I am just grateful for the guidance and thus have high hopes you are aware of a great job you have been putting in training people by way of your websites. I know that you have never encountered any of us.

  16. kobe sneakers
    5th August 2022 at 1:24 pm #

    I would like to get across my gratitude for your generosity supporting women who must have help on this one idea. Your special commitment to getting the message across had been remarkably significant and have always helped men and women like me to arrive at their dreams. Your useful guide means much to me and even further to my fellow workers. Thanks a lot; from each one of us.

  17. pg 1
    9th August 2022 at 7:55 am #

    I must show my love for your kindness supporting persons that actually need assistance with this important situation. Your real dedication to passing the solution all-around ended up being incredibly advantageous and has continually allowed associates just like me to realize their desired goals. Your entire helpful facts denotes much to me and even more to my peers. With thanks; from all of us.

  18. cheap kyrie 6
    10th August 2022 at 6:14 pm #

    I simply wished to thank you very much again. I am not sure the things I would have achieved in the absence of the type of aspects provided by you on such question. It previously was a frightful difficulty in my circumstances, nevertheless finding out a specialised mode you processed it forced me to cry with contentment. Extremely thankful for this guidance as well as hope you find out what a great job you are providing educating most people through the use of your webpage. I’m certain you have never come across any of us.

  19. golden goose sneakers
    25th August 2022 at 2:38 pm #

    I intended to write you one very little observation just to say thanks a lot yet again for the exceptional concepts you have featured at this time. This is certainly pretty generous of people like you to make extensively exactly what most of us would’ve advertised as an e-book to make some profit for themselves, and in particular considering the fact that you might have tried it if you decided. These techniques likewise served to be a great way to be sure that someone else have similar zeal just as my own to see good deal more in regard to this matter. I am sure there are numerous more enjoyable situations up front for individuals that looked over your site.

  20. off white outlet
    24th October 2022 at 4:50 am #

    I simply had to thank you very much yet again. I’m not certain the things that I would have accomplished in the absence of the secrets documented by you directly on this problem. It absolutely was the traumatic case in my view, but witnessing this well-written form you handled it took me to cry with contentment. Now i’m grateful for your information and as well , believe you comprehend what a powerful job that you are carrying out instructing others by way of your webpage. Most probably you have never encountered all of us.

  21. nike off whtie
    28th October 2022 at 8:11 am #

    I wish to point out my appreciation for your generosity in support of those who really need guidance on the subject. Your personal commitment to getting the solution around turned out to be extremely useful and have continually encouraged guys like me to attain their aims. Your warm and friendly guidelines means a great deal to me and especially to my office colleagues. Many thanks; from each one of us.

  22. bape hoodie
    5th November 2022 at 11:54 pm #

    I precisely desired to say thanks yet again. I do not know the things that I could possibly have followed without the entire opinions shared by you on such a field. It had become a scary concern in my position, nevertheless understanding a new professional form you handled it took me to leap with happiness. Now i am grateful for this assistance and wish you are aware of a powerful job you were doing training the mediocre ones by way of a site. Most likely you’ve never encountered all of us.

  23. bape clothing
    10th November 2022 at 3:20 am #

    I want to convey my admiration for your generosity supporting persons that should have guidance on in this issue. Your special commitment to passing the solution all over has been rather invaluable and have frequently made guys and women just like me to achieve their aims. Your personal interesting report indicates a great deal to me and even further to my office colleagues. Many thanks; from each one of us.

  24. bape hoodie
    12th November 2022 at 7:30 am #

    I have to express my affection for your kindness giving support to individuals who have the need for assistance with this important study. Your personal commitment to getting the solution around appears to be extraordinarily valuable and has consistently permitted women like me to achieve their desired goals. Your entire warm and helpful advice signifies a lot to me and substantially more to my office colleagues. Warm regards; from everyone of us.

  25. paul george shoes
    12th November 2022 at 7:30 am #

    Thank you a lot for providing individuals with remarkably marvellous possiblity to read critical reviews from here. It is often so terrific plus full of fun for me personally and my office friends to visit the blog not less than 3 times in one week to find out the latest things you will have. And indeed, I am just always impressed for the terrific principles served by you. Certain two facts on this page are honestly the simplest we have ever had.

  26. bape sta
    24th November 2022 at 3:58 pm #

    I want to show my respect for your kind-heartedness for people that should have assistance with your content. Your personal commitment to passing the solution along had been pretty invaluable and have specifically empowered many people like me to attain their ambitions. Your amazing invaluable facts means a lot a person like me and even further to my mates. Thank you; from all of us.

  27. supreme
    30th November 2022 at 8:03 pm #

    I wish to point out my gratitude for your kind-heartedness giving support to people that actually need help with your issue. Your real commitment to getting the message throughout had been quite helpful and have all the time permitted professionals much like me to arrive at their objectives. Your entire warm and helpful tips and hints entails this much a person like me and far more to my peers. Warm regards; from everyone of us.

  28. jordan sneakers
    2nd December 2022 at 12:47 am #

    My wife and i got now glad Louis could conclude his inquiry from the ideas he gained when using the web page. It is now and again perplexing just to choose to be handing out techniques which men and women may have been trying to sell. And we all realize we have got you to appreciate for that. All of the illustrations you made, the straightforward site menu, the friendships you can assist to create – it’s mostly incredible, and it is leading our son and our family do think the theme is entertaining, and that is truly mandatory. Thank you for the whole lot!

  29. westbrook shoes
    2nd December 2022 at 12:47 am #

    I wish to convey my love for your generosity supporting women who absolutely need guidance on this important concept. Your special commitment to passing the solution all over appears to be incredibly useful and has in most cases permitted guys much like me to arrive at their desired goals. The useful publication indicates much a person like me and even further to my peers. Warm regards; from all of us.

  30. kd shoes
    4th December 2022 at 4:06 am #

    I am writing to let you understand what a extraordinary experience my friend’s girl gained studying the blog. She came to understand too many pieces, including how it is like to have a great coaching style to have folks really easily grasp certain extremely tough subject areas. You actually exceeded visitors’ desires. Many thanks for churning out such necessary, trustworthy, revealing and unique tips on your topic to Gloria.

  31. off white clothing
    10th July 2023 at 3:03 am #

    It抯 hard to seek out educated folks on this subject, however you sound like you recognize what you抮e speaking about! Thanks

  32. เกมไพ่
    25th January 2024 at 12:38 am #

    982245 952710Extremely educating story, saved your website for hopes to read more! 531051

  33. faceless niches
    29th January 2024 at 4:49 pm #

    269578 448689Excellently written article, doubts all bloggers offered the identical content since you, the internet has to be far better location. Please stay the very best! 179564

Leave a comment