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Why carry an IDP while driving in Germany?

Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world – it is understandable to most of the local officials and authorities of the countries you visit.

It translates your identification information into 12 languages — so it speaks the language even if you don’t. Germany highly recommends an International Driving Permit.

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Top Destinations in Germany

Germany Photo by Meduana

Germany has a lot to offer for tourists like you. From their rich culture and history to their top-class architecture and mind-blowing landscapes. Every tourist attraction in Germany has something to please the traveler spirit of you.

You can best enjoy Germany’s top destinations if you have an International Driving Permit in Germany. An international driver’s license, officially called the “International Driving Permit” in Germany, is used to translate your native driver’s license to law officials. Although English is a universal language, not many law officers are knowledgeable about it. So, to avoid issues related to the language barrier, it would be smarter to have an IDP with you.

Is an International Driving Permit Required in Germany?

Although an International Driving Permit is not required in Germany, it is highly recommended to avoid miscommunication between law officials. If you are a non-German speaking tourist, you need an international driver’s license in Germany. Moreover, if you are a tourist, you also can’t rent a car without using an international driver’s permit in Germany. All questions related to your native driver’s license information will be found there.

If you are an Indian citizen with an international driving licence in Germany, your native driver’s license is valid. The explanation is connected with how the IDP functions as a translation for your international driving license, and the validity of it solely depends on your native license.

So, where does a tourist get an International Driving License or Permit in Germany?

Getting an IDP for Germany is easy. All you need to do is to provide the requirements asked. Your International Driving Permit’s requirements in Germany is a contact number, your native driver’s license, zip code, and other documentation proving that you know how to drive.

Getting the right office or organization to process your International Driving Permit is crucial. Why?

Your IDP contains all of your official information about your identity; moreover, it will be a waste of your money in time. A good organization recommended processing this would be the International Driver’s Association. In a few minutes, you can finish processing your application once you have written down your contact number, address with zip code, and other data.

A printed copy of your International Driving Permit can be retrieved within 24 hours for those living within the United States and 30 days Internationally. Also, you can get your digital copy emailed to you within 2 hours or even 20 minutes. Top it off with $30, and you get it through express!

Now that you’re all set with the requirements to drive in Germany with an IDP, the military can’t stop you from exploring the following destinations.

The Romantic Road

A perfect way to start your Germany tour is to enjoy the mystique’s route view of the 400km long Romantic Road. In medieval times, it was a trade route that connected the center of Germany with the south. Known as Germany's most scenic drive, the Romantic Road offers the visitors an opportunity to witness picturesque towns with city walls, towers, half-timbered houses, hidden monasteries, medieval castles, and romantic hotels and also to discover the country’s art, culture, and natural beauty.

The average span of traveling this road is three (3) days. But it depends on how long you spend at every stop you will take. Its traditional starting point is from Würzburg and ends at Füssen, where you can also witness the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. The best time to visit this is in fall, summer, or winter.

Driving Directions

  • It takes about 3 hours to get to Romantic Road from Frankfurt, Germany, via A3 and A7.
  • Get on A3 in Offenbach am Main from B3 and Babenhäuser Landstraße.
  • Follow A3 and A7 to L1060 in Ellwangen (Jagst). Take exit 113-Ellwangen from A7.
  • Continue on L1060. Drive to B25 in Möttingen.

You don’t necessarily need to have an International Driver’s Permit/License or IDP to drive in Germany. But is highly advised for a foreign driver to have an IDP to avoid further troubles with the officers, for some of them might ask for your IDP.

Neuschwanstein Castle Photo by Pascal Renet

Neuschwanstein Castle

Also called as the ultimate fairytale castle, it is one of Europe's most famous royal castles. It is situated on a rugged hill near Füssen in southwest Bavaria. It was specially made for King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who was sometimes called the Swan King. The castles themselves would be enough to satisfy your eyes. But the best view of the castle is from Mary’s Bridge. It is the perfect place to take a picture and enjoy the mesmerizing view of the castle.

Visiting the said place during weekdays instead of weekends of November up to April may guarantee the castle almost all to yourself (except during holidays seasons of Christmas and Easter). You may also have the chance to see the castle covered with snow in winter months.

Driving Directions

  • The closest city from Neuschwanstein Castle is Munich, so it’s better to start there.
  • Via B2 and B17 route.
  • Get on Brudermühlstraße/B2R from Erhardtstraße, Auenstraße and Schäftlarnstraße.
  • Take A95 and B2 to Waisenhausstraße in Weilheim in Oberbayern.
  • Follow Pollinger Str. and Weilheimer Str. to B472 in Peißenberg.
  • Follow B472 and B17 to Colomanstraße in Schwangau.
  • Follow Colomanstraße to Schwangauer Str.

Driving in Germany with your US License is allowed. If you wish to continue driving in Germany with your US License after six months, you must obtain a German License.

Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate Photo by Florian Wehde

Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate

No trip to Berlin would be completed without seeing the Brandenburg Gate, located at the heart of Germany’s capital, Berlin; the iconic structure that offers many insights into Berlin’s history is the city’s first Neoclassical structure. It is modeled from the Acropolis in Athens and was built for King Frederick William II in 1971. It was symbolic of the division of Berlin into East and West. As historic as it is, who wouldn’t want to take a picture with it, right?

As a must-visit for most of Berlin travelers, it gets crowded in the middle of the day and evening. So if you really want the place all to yourself, it is usually not crowded at 12-1 AM. In 2002, it was even possible to drive under the gate via a car or a bus.

Driving Directions

  • From Berlin Central Station via Wilhelmstraße.
  • Head south on Friedrich-List-Ufer toward Hugo-Preuß-Brücke.
  • Continue on Hugo-Preuß-Brücke. Take Kapelle-Ufer to Margarete-Steffin-Straße.
  • Turn right at the 1st cross street onto Margarete-Steffin-Straße.
  • Continue on Luisenstraße. Take Wilhelmstraße to Unter den Linden.
  • Turn right onto Unter den Linden.

For safe and less trouble driving in Germany, obtain an IDP at the International Driver’s Association.

If you have trouble with where to get an International Driver’s Permit/License in Germany, International Driver’s Association can help you. The process is straightforward, and you will get your International Driver’s Permit/License in Germany in no time.

Cologne Cathedral Photo by Dominik Kuhn

Cologne Cathedral

Known to be one of the most ambitious building projects of the Middle Ages, a UNESCO site, Cologne Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Mary is the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe, and it features a twin tower that stands at 515 feet tall. It was considered the world’s tallest building until 1890. Visitors can walk around, feel the gigantic cathedral’s ambiance, and somehow be amazed by its architectural structure. It’s a must to take a picture of it since it is free for all.

You can visit it anytime. Whether it is day or night, the scenic view of the cathedral does not disappoint. And of course, you can drive to that cathedral. There are other ways of traveling there, it can be via train or taxi also.

Driving Directions

  • From Cologne Central Station via Trankgasse.
  • Head west on Trankgasse.
  • The destination will be on the left.

Driving your own car or renting one would definitely make your trip a comfortable one. But to rent a car, you have to get an IDP first.

Oktoberfest Photo by Paloma A.

Oktoberfest

Who does not love beer, right? Oktoberfest in Munich, a city in Germany, is the largest Volksfest in the world, with over 6 million visitors annually. A bavarian culture that is celebrated not just in Munich but also all around the world. This festival has been held since 1810. Despite its name, it is usually held at the end of September until the first week of October. If you love beer then, you can enjoy a variety of German beer. Going to Munich is less hassle as it is accessible by rail from all major points in Europe.

It also has its own major, international airports. You can take your car or rent a car to go there. It is not advisable since Munich could be crowded at that festival and you would be stuck in a traffic jam, but for easy transportation, you should bring your own vehicle. Still, it is a festival that everyone wants to attend.

Driving Directions

  • From Munich International airport, a 38-minute drive would get you to Theresienwiese in Munich via the A9 route.
  • Take Nordallee and Zentralallee to A92 in Freising.
  • Follow A92 and A9 to Schenkendorfstraße/B2R in München. Take exit 76-München-Schwabing from A9.
  • Continue on B2R. Take Landsberger Str. to Bavariaring.

The legal age for you to drive in Germany is 18. You also must have a local driver’s license. You are not permitted to drive if you are below the age of 18, even if your home country’s driving age is lower.

Zugspitze Photo by Florian Heckl

Zugspitze

Want to experience high altitude places? Then visit Germany’s highest point, Zugspitze. It is the highest mountain in Germany. When you are at the peak, you can experience being at the top of the entire country. Peaking at 9,700 feet tall, you can experience the breathtaking feeling of being on top and seeing the mesmerizing view. It also marks the border between Germany and Austria.

Driving your own car in Germany or renting one is possible in going to Zugspitze. However, you have to leave your car at a place and then hike or ride a cable car to go to the peak of the mountain. Make sure not to go on a snowy day. If you do, with the rain, clouds, and snow, you will surely miss the views of the Alps. So it is better to go in the summer season, but if you want to go skiing, you can go in the winter season.

Driving Directions

  • From Munich Germany via A95, Take Erhardtstraße, Auenstraße, Schäftlarnstraße, Brudermühlstraße, and B2R to A95.
  • Continue onto A95.
  • Continue on B2 to your destination in Ehrwald, Österreich.

Have you ever wondered whether you need an international driver’s license in Germany? Or where to get your International Driver’s License in Germany? With the International Driver’s Association, you can get your IDP in 2 hours only. Plus the process is straightforward and hassle-free.

Reichstag in Berlin Photo by Angelo Abear

Reichstag in Berlin

Another scenic attraction that you can find in Berlin is the Reichstag. Though it got a major renovation in the 1990s after being severely damaged during WW2, it is now one of the iconic places that any traveler would want to visit in Berlin. It offers a glass dome that has views over the city and looks immensely majestic at night. You can dine on the rooftop, have a great view of the whole city of Berlin, and have the chance to walk around the German Parliament.

You should visit Reichs during the daytime because the glass’s reflection inside it is not so great during night time. Entrance is free and you can stay for as long as you want. It is located just a short walk from the Brandenburg Gate, so if you visit Brandenburg Gate, you might as well not miss the chance of visiting the Reichstag in Berlin.

Driving Directions

  • From Berlin Central Station via B96.
  • Take B96 to Invalidenstraße. Take the exit toward A100/Prenzlauer Berg/Mitte/Hauptbahnhof from Minna-Cauer-Straße/B96.
  • Take Clara-Jaschke-Straße and Willy-Brandt-Straße to Paul-Löbe-Allee.
Miniatur Wunderland Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini)

Miniatur Wunderland

Located at the heart of Port of Hamburg is the world’s largest model railway up to this date, the Miniatur Wunderland, which was inaugurated in 2001. It is an experience where Frederick Braun, one of the founders, came across a model shop and reminded him of his dream to build a model railway station that made Miniatur Wunderland rise into existence. What makes it more historic is its attention to detail in its construction.

It is open all year round, but the best time to visit it is early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid large crowds. It is also advised to purchase tickets beforehand to avoid long queues at the counter. Taking pictures in the place is not prohibited. You can take as many as you can that will serve as a memorabilia of your unforgettable visit. Lastly, is it also advisable to drive your own vehicle or maybe rent a car when going to Miniatur Wunderland for easy and comfortable transportation to avoid delays in going to the said place.

Driving Directions

  • From Berlin Germany via A24.
  • Take Prenzlauer Allee and Prenzlauer Promenade/B109 to A114.
  • Drive from A24 to Hamburg.
  • Take Sievekingsallee, Bürgerweide, Spaldingstraße, B4 and Am Sandtorkai to Kehrwieder.

Follow the road signs while driving in Germany. Road signs are there for a reason, and that is to help and guide you on your trip. Keep your focus on the road to avoid accidents. It is also essential to know which side of the road you should be driving, either left or right. In Germany, you have to drive on the right side of the road.

Sanssouci Park Photo by Oshomo Oforomeh

Sanssouci Park

Be amazed by the architectural structure found in Sanssouci Park located in the city of Potsdam, Germany. It is known to have many buildings built in the 18th century, but the main attraction is the Sanssouci Palace, built by Frederick the Great. You don’t have to worry about the entrance fee because it's free to enter the palace grounds and enjoy a stroll in the gardens. But if you want to visit each of the palaces in the said park, prices may vary from 3€ for the smaller pavilions to 12.00€ for Sanssouci palace itself.

Visiting Sanssouci Park is mostly about gardens, so it is best to see this place during summer, spring, or early-fall (May-September). June is the ideal month to visit the park and witness the gardens in their glory. Avoid visiting on Mondays because everything is pretty much closed during that day. You can bring your own car. Since 2019, Potsdam has 13 parking garages or underground garages as well as additional parking spaces thus, you won’t have the problem on where to park your car.

Driving Directions

  • From Berlin, Germany via A115 and B1
  • Take B2/B5, A115/E51 and B1 to Zur Historischen Mühle in Potsdam
  • Turn left onto Zur Historischen Mühle
  • Your destination will be on your left.

Some rental companies require you to have an International Driver’s License in Germany. There are also other requirements needed for you to rent a car and have the privilege of driving around Germany. Some of those are your local driver’s license and your passport.

Schwarzwald Hochstrasse

This is one of Germany’s themed drives. Also known as the Black Forest High Road, it is a 60 km stretch connecting Baden-Baden and Freudenstadt. It takes you over the ridges of the low mountains in southwestern Baden-Württemberg.

A few stops worth visiting along the Black Forest High Road is the beautiful little spa town, Baden-Baden. Just above Baden-Baden are the ruins of the Hohenbaden castle. You can climb into one of the ruined towers and look out over the valley below

In one of the deep valleys off the Black Forest High Road are the All Saints Waterfalls. These are the tallest waterfalls in the Black Forest, and while very pretty in a forest kind of way, don’t go in expecting Niagara Falls.

Driving Directions

From Stuttgart, Germany.

  • Continue to Wildparkstraße. Take the B14 exit from B14
  • Follow A81 to B462 in Zimmern ob Rottweil. Take exit 34-Rottweil from A81
  • Continue on B462. Take Aichhalder Loch and B294 to Hinterer Bahnhof in Hausach.

It is not necessary to have an International Driver’s License when exploring Stuttgart, Germany. But it is better to have a trip with no worries in mind. So better obtain first an International Driver’s License before exploring Stuttgart and the rest of Germany.

Most Important Driving Rules

If you are a tourist in Germany or planning to go on a tour in Germany with a rental car, you have to know essential rules that you have to obey and take note. Some rules may seem to be unfamiliar to you. Thus, you need to keep in mind the driving rules in Germany to avoid any road complications and, most importantly, to have safe driving in Germany.

Basic Traffic Rules

Some country roads may require you to drive on the left side of the road. When driving in Germany, you are to drive at the right side of the road. As every German driver, foreign drivers are expected to follow these rules to obey and follow the German driving traffic rules.

Always bring your IDP with you

German authorities are rigorous when it comes to road rules and regulations when driving in Germany. You need to bring your international driver’s license to drive in Germany and your driver’s license all the time. Violating this would lead to criminal charges in the eyes of the German driving traffic rules.

For foreigners, an International Driver’s Permit in Germany today is an essential document that you need to carry around Germany. To get an International Driver’s Permit to drive in Germany is very easy with the International Driver’s Association. All you need is to fill up the application form and upload other asked documents. Applying for an international driving license is very straightforward in the International Driver’s Association.

Don’t forget to carry required documents

Bringing your International Driver’s Permit in Germany, native driver’s license, your passport, and other documents related to the car you are using is a must requirement when driving in Germany. You might be questioned about your driving license in Germany, so it is best to be prepared and bring all necessary documents for possible checkpoints along your trip.

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs Is Strictly Prohibited

Drunk driving can trigger severe road accidents. It is one of the primary reasons for accidents that occur on the roads. For the first offense, a blood alcohol level of 0.5-1.09 per mm and a positive result in a drug test when driving in Germany can get you a fine of €500 and a 1-month suspension of your license.

Obey the Speed Limits of the Bangladesh Roads

Like any other country, driving in Germany over the speed limit indicated is prohibited. Germany has this federal-controlled highway system called Autobahn. It is widely known for having no federally mandated speed limit for some classes of vehicles. Unless stated in the road signs while driving in Germany, the speed limit in driving in Germany is 130 km/h for motorways, 100 km/h for main roads, and 50 km/h for urban areas.

Wearing a Seatbelt and Securing Child’s Safety

You always have to wear a seatbelt when driving in Germany for your own safety. Failure to do so while driving in Germany will result in a fine of €30. Children aged under three cannot travel without a child seat. If they are aged three or over, they must travel in the rear seats. All child seats and safety equipment must conform to European standards.

Observe Roads Sign While Driving in Germany

Germans are well-disciplined drivers. Obtaining and passing the driver’s license questions in Germany is not that easy for them. So they really respect their roads.

On your part, always be alert. When driving in Germany, strictly follow road signs so as to avoid accidents. In Germany, the three-colour light system is in use. Road signs are very important to guide you while driving in Germany.

Using Handheld Phones While Driving Is Not Allowed

Do not use your phone while driving. Answering calls and texting while driving in Germany is strictly prohibited. It’s one of the causes of road accidents as it divides the driver’s attention on the road. If you really need to answer a call, use the hands-free system.

Be Vigilant Driving in Germany Roundabouts

Some countries drive on the right or left side of the road. While driving in Germany, you have to be on the right side of the road. Vehicles driving on a roundabout in Germany have the right of way unless signs indicate they don't. When you are approaching while driving in a Germany roundabout, you cannot tell which exit you want to take.

Follow Priority on The Road

You have the right-of-way when driving in Germany at all intersections on this road until canceled by a "Yield,” "Stop,” or "End of Priority Road" sign. Any emergency vehicle that has flashing lights has priority, even if there is no siren. Traffic coming from the right takes priority at all crossroads and junctions.

Germany has a unique priority road sign (sign 306), indicating that road is a priority road. Traffic on this road has the right-of-way over traffic entering this road at unmarked intersections. Outside of cities and communities, parking on a priority road is prohibited unless there are marked signs for Parking.

Do Not Drive With an Expired License

Driving with an expired local driver’s license and expired international driver’s permit in Germany today can cause you severe punishment from German authorities. Even if only your local driver’s license has expired, an international driver's permit in Germany will not suffice because it is just a translation of your local driver’s license.

You can renew your IDP online at the International Driver’s Association by following the same steps you did when applied for the first time. The renewal for a German License will cost €24, while the price for an IDP is $49. If you lost your IDP, the International Driver’s Association offers a replacement service for which you only need to pay shipping costs.

Planning for a trip to another country should be studied carefully. You need to budget your money and time not to waste any of it. Exploring Germany by driving at your own comfort will give you the satisfaction that you want. But first, you have to secure an IDP to avoid any troubles during your memorable trip.

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