Germany is famous for its Autobahns being some of the few public roads in the world without speed limits. Mercedes, Porsche, and BMWs zip right down the Autobahn and bring out the race car driver in just about anyone (especially Tim, but Honey, the Honda is NOT going to win). And if racing that Porsche in the other lane makes your heart race just a little too much, just being in Germany is a thrill for any auto enthusiast. The automobile was, after all, invented in Germany in 1886 by Carl Benz. Ready to get your motor running? Head out on the highway with our car lover’s guide to Germany:
Visit Car Museums
Automobile museums display the evolution of engineering and design. And what car enthusiast doesn’t love ogling the classics? Germany has no shortage of car museums to do just that.
1. BMW World Munich<
The BMW Museum is located in the sprawling BMW World complex in Munich and is complete with show rooms, restaurants, cafes, and even an ice climbing wall. The museum showcases more than 90 years of BMW heritage, including how BMW actually started out manufacturing airplane engines in 1916.
The BMW Museum is open Tuesday – Sunday from 9am – 6pm. Tickets are €9 per adult and €6 per child. There is also a reduced military ticket for €6 per person.
2. Porsche Museum Stuttgart
Porsche, the oh-so-exclusive sports car producer comes from Stuttgart, so it’s no surprise that there is a Porsche Museum located there. I think a Porsche 911 is one of the sexiest cars out there and the museum is full of interesting things to learn about the brand. And even though most museum cafes are over-priced, we found the Boxenstopp Restaurant to be both delicious and affordable.
The Porsche Museum is open Tuesday – Sunday from 9am – 6pm. Tickets are €8 per adult and children under 14 are free.
The Sinsheim Car and Technology Museum has over 300 classic cars from Corvettes, ’55 Chevy’s, and a Delorian, to one of the first electric cars ever made. It is a 1904 electric car made by the Columbia Automobile Company, owned by the Rockefeller Family in New York. And you’ll find more than just cars at the museum – they even have a Concorde on the roof!
The Sinsheim Car and Technology Museum is open daily from 9am – 6pm and until 7pm on weekends. Tickets are €14 per adult, €12 per child ages 6 – 14, and children under 6 are free.
Be a Race Car Driver at Racetrack Nurburgring
If you’re a car enthusiast, you’ve no doubt heard of the Nordschleife track at the Nurburgring. If you haven’t, it’s a world famous challenging racetrack just under 13 miles of hills and challenging blind corners. It is most famous for the 24 hour race it hosts each year and has also featured in countless Top Gear episodes from testing various cars to unique challenges to entertain viewers. Nurburgring also has track days where you can be a race car driver for the day!
A lap on the track costs €26 if you’re driving your own car; otherwise the laps are included in most packages with Rent Race Car, which start at €99.
Take a Trabi Safari
Produced by former East German auto maker VEB Sachsenring Automobilwerke Zwickau, the Trabant was the most common type of car in East Berlin during communist times. The Berlin Wall may have come down and the Trabant is no longer produced, but you can still experience the car that German families waited 8 – 10 years to own. A Wild Trabi Safari around East Berlin is a really fun and unique way to explore the sprawling city and there are plenty of photo opportunities.
The Trabis hold up to 4 passengers. The cost of the Wild East Trabi Safari is €40 per person for 2 passengers, €35 per person for 3 passengers, and €30 per person for 4 passengers.
If you want a little slower pace than racing around the Nurburgring or zipping around East Berlin in a Trabant, you could take a road trip. Germany has many scenic drives past quaint villages, medieval castles, and through unspoiled countryside. Tim particularly enjoyed a Fall drive through the Moselle River Valley, with it’s rolling vineyards and charming riverside villages.
Just be sure to know the rules of the road when driving in Germany. Laws can be vastly different from those in the US, like you can’t turn right on a red light and there are in fact posted speed limits. Check out Amateur Traveler for things to know before driving in Germany.
Sleep in a Car Themed Hotel
Seriously one of the most fun and unique hotels we’ve ever stayed at, the V8 Hotel in Stuttgart is a car lover’s dream! There are a number of theme rooms rooms decked out to look like a camper, Route 66, and a car wash, just to name a few. There is also a car museum and dealership right inside the hotel, and all the theme rooms overlook the museum for a garage-like feel. If you don’t want to sleep in a car-turned-bed, there are also regular rooms available that still have fun automobile themed touches like car-shaped soaps.
Double rooms at the V8 Hotel start at €155 per night and the theme rooms start at €175 per night.
Attend the Frankfurt International Motor Show
No car lover’s guide to Germany would be complete without mentioning the every-other-year Frankfurt International Motor Show. Not only can you check out the fastest, latest, and most sustainable in new car technology, true car enthusiasts love that they can even get behind the wheel for a free test ride. There’s even an outdoor go-kart track and off-road courses available.