Is wild camping allowed in Germany?

No, unfortunately, wild camping and standing free is not officially allowed in Germany. However, if you follow the usual rules of conduct, are friendly and don't pollute the environment, officials will usually "turn a blind eye."

Last researched: Autumn 2020

In the worst case, you will be fined 100 € for pitching a tent in the wild or standing free.
However, if you deliberately pollute the environment when wild camping, the penalties may be much higher, depending on the state. You should also make sure that you don't stay on private property when camping wild in Germany. In the worst case, this can lead to a penalty for trespassing. This also applies when camping in a nature reserve.

Here are a few examples of the penalties to be expected for the various offenses:

  • Pollution, arson or trespassing: 1,000 €
  • Camping in a nature reserve or campfires without a permit: up to 5,000 €

However, don't be discouraged, our community shows that you can experience a fantastic camping experience in many beautiful places in the great outdoors and without any problems with the law.

Wild camping in Germany: The legal situation

Here we have selected a few important laws that are interesting in connection with wild camping and standing free and that you should adhere to, to avoid trouble and fines.

Wildcamping in the forest
Wildcamping in the forest
Wild camping and standing free in Germany
Wild camping and standing free in Germany

Tips and tricks for wild camping in Germany

What could be more beautiful than leaving everyday life and noise behind after a stressful week and take a break in the great outdoors? Leave civilization, get into your camper and head into the wilderness. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to pitch your tent everywhere in Germany. To make your camping experience in the great outdoors and away from the campsite a complete success, and to help you avoid any problems that might arise, we have provided you with some useful tips and tricks with the help of the Caravanya Community.

Set up late and leave early
The later you set up your camp, and the sooner you leave, the less chance there is of being discovered by other people.

Be quiet
Alone or in a small group, you make little noise, but the more people you camp with, the louder it gets, and the faster you attract attention.

Don't stay too long
The longer you stay at a pitch, the more likely you are to be caught by someone. So don't try to stay in one place too long.

Leave the place clean
Environmental pollution is one of the reasons wild camping is forbidden in Germany. Please leave the place the way you would like it to have been when you got there.

Take advantage of grey areas

  • Taking a break is permitted in Germany, as is protection from the weather. But the border from taking a break to camping is quite vague.
  • Bivouacking means staying in the open without a tent and is not regulated by law. You can sleep in your sleeping bag for one night and protect yourself from the weather with a tarpaulin. In both cases, fire, noise, or damage to property is still prohibited.

Ask nicely
To avoid trespassing, you can ask the owner of the property if you can camp one night. Usually, it is not a problem to obtain permission from a private landowner. This is almost always possible, especially in rural areas.

By the way: According to a study by the ADAC, Germany is the cheapest camping country in Europe. For example, two adults with one child pay an average of 28.54 € for an overnight stay on a campsite, including the pitch and ancillary costs.

10 interesting, bizarre and funny facts about Germany

How many motorhomes drive around in Germany? Are you the only one who gives his car a name and talks to him or her when your gas tank is empty but the station is another 10 kilometers away? We have the answers to these questions and eight other interesting facts for you.

Fact #1 - Forests
31 percent of the area of Germany is a forest area, so enough space to camp and discover nature.

Fact #2 - Beer
Most beers in Germany are subject to the German Purity Law, except for Craft Beers.

Fact #3 - Beer the second
Germany is known for its love of beer, per capita, beer consumption is only second behind the Czech Republic.

Fact #4 - Desire for Freedom
The escape from prison is not punishable by law. It is based on the human desire for freedom.

Fact #5 - Lighthouses
There are about 280 lighthouses on the German coasts, so pack your swimming gear and head north.

Fact #6 - Love for cars
Every fifth German talks to their car. As a camper, you naturally have a close connection to your vehicle.

Fact #7 - World Heritage
Germany ranks 4th among the world's richest World Heritage countries, with 49 natural and cultural assets and sites.

Fact #8 - Holiday
34 percent of German campers prefer to spend their holidays in Germany. What's your favorite travel destination?

Fact #9 - Campsites
Most campsites in Germany are located in Bavaria, followed by Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg.

Fact #10 - Motor homes
In 2017, a total of around 654,000 motor homes were registered in Germany, the highest number in Europe.

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