If you have heard anything of the German Autobahn its usually that there is no speed limit. While this is true ,it’s a little misleading. When I first planned a visit to Germany, I knew I wanted to drive. I love exploring a country by car especially in the countryside during fall. I knew the roads would be gorgeous with tons of leaves changing. These are some tips and tricks so you can successfully navigate your first time driving on the Autobahn.
Okay I don’t know if it was just me or what, but I thought the Autobahn was one specific road. I learned very quickly that nope that is just German for freeway. I rented a car with Enterprise and asked where I could find the revered Autobahn. The guy helping me tried not to laugh but he let out a little chuckle. He informed me that Autobahn is literally just German for freeway there is no special autobahn. I was extremely embarrassed and then realized I probably had a lot of misconceptions going into this.
I continued that I heard there were no speed limits. He signed so loud my mom back in California could have heard him. In all fairness, poor dude probably deals with ignorant tourist all the time and that must be exhausting, so point for taking the time to explain it to me!
He proceeded to tell me that there is speed limit but that certain spots the speed limit is not in effect. So, if you think you can fly 150mph the whole way, you would be incorrect.
The kind gentleman quickly realized that I was a rookie or a step below a rookie and upgraded my car for free! (Thanks Enterprise!) I received a Volvo and I won’t lie I told him “Omg I get to drive Edward Cullen’s car!” He looked confused and then got that I was talking about Twilight at almost thirty… He just smiled and nodded. I mean this guy deserves a raise for dealing with me!
The reason I got the fancy Twilight car was it came with an auto speed tracker. When driving it says the speed limit of the area and if you enter the no speed limit zone it lets you know. It was so helpful having that because I didn’t have to search for signs. I just looked down and could see that there was or wasn’t a speed limit.
Okay another ignorant confession, I was so ready to drive like Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious. This is also inaccurate because people don’t drive insane or very fast at all. Now I am sure a handful of people will drive as fast as possible, but I would say the other 90% drive normal.
I won’t lie, I kicked it up just a little bit to take advantage of the no speed limit but quickly realized I was not cut out for it. I got so nervous and kept excepting to get pulled over, so I guess the Fast and Furious life is not for me.
In Germany you do drive on the “right” side so if you are from America, it will be normal driving for you. If you are nervous driving or find people flying by you stay in the furthest right-hand lane. That’s the slow lane that way people know to pass you. You don’t want to be that guy who holds up traffic, that guy sucks.
Now be mindful that if you are just driving through the countryside or a small city its different then rush hour in Munich. Just like driving in LA versus driving in the Midwest are different. More people mean they will be rushing, and people can be rude. I personally recommend only driving in the smaller cities or countryside. The big cities can be intimidating and frustrating, it’s much easier to utilize public transportation or a ride-share.
Don’t get so caught up in trying to drive all crazy that you miss out on the scenery. I mean one, it’s unsafe and don’t want to hurt anyone. Number two it’s the German countryside so it’s gorgeous! Take your time and enjoy it all!
All in all, you should 100% drive the Autobahn at least once. One it’s just a cool travel story, you can wear it like a badge if you choose! Plus, it’s a fun and unique way to see the country on your own time!
Drop a comment below if you have ever braved driving on the Autobahn or if you learned something new from this post!