Berlin

Is it worth hiring a car in Berlin?

Should you rent a car in Berlin Germany > Berlin

Or are you better off using the city’s excellent public transport, combined with walking and maybe a bit of cycling?

Berlin Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings

Since reunification, the German government, the state of Brandenburg and private investors have poured in billions of euros in investment, both to create a reunited city, and to move the majority of the German government buildings.

There’s also been substantial investment in transport infrastructure, so is there any need to get a hire car for a visit to Berlin?

Why should you rent a car in Berlin?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Berlin?

Berlin Car hire summary


Overall drive rating

30%

 

Cheapest rate for one week

€110

 #118/300

 

How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?

 

 €140

74/300

 

Free parking score

Total 889 - of which 63 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

7%

#285/300

 

Is it worth hiring a car in Berlin?

  • Hire a Trabant!
  • Tropical islands paradise — for something completely different, head out to Brand, where a never-used blimp factory has been converted into Europe’s largest indoor leisure complex, complete with sandy beaches and palm trees.
    Forget about the Caribbean, you can have it all under one roof just outside Berlin for a fraction of the price, and with no cramped long haul flights needed!
    Although there is a shuttle bus linking Tropical Islands with a nearby railway station, it is easier to get here if you already have a hire car in the first place.

Beyond Berlin by car

  • Neustrelitz – There are also numerous parks around Neustrelitz, to the north of Berlin, although again there are several train routes heading through this area as well. Taking advantage if car hire in Berlin simply gives you a gew more options.
  • North-east coast – Heading towards Poland is the highly scenic, but often overlooked north-east coast. There are several different national parks on and around the island of Rugen. However, even this can be done by train — several lines around Germany’s answer to the Norwegian coastal city of Bergen are particularly scenic.
  • Car City — car lovers will want to head towards Volkswagen’s Autostadt (car city) in Wolfsburg, which features the dramatic Phaeno cultural centre, designed by architect Zaha Hadid, as featured in the film The International.
    However, even this most auto-friendly facility is still actually very easy to get to by train, as it is on the only dedicated high-speed rail route out of the German capital. Yet as with anywhere, car hire in Berlin will let you take the scenic route to Wolfsburg, and explore it in your own time.

Why not? Visiting Berlin without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Berlin public transport quick facts

Train score

 

00%

Water travel score

30%

Overall public transport score

40%

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

(walking + cycling)

60%

Is it worth hiring a car in Berlin? Clearly there's just no need for getting around the city, or to anywhere nearby.
The fantastic Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Central Station)
  • Outstanding public transport — an extensive network of underground, local and regional trains operates both within Berlin and out to surrounding towns and cities. This is supplemented by a comprehensive bus network, together with a circular ring network that makes it just as easy to get around between different suburban locations as it is to get in and out of the city centre.
    In fact, I would rate Berlin has having the best public transport network of any European city of its size – only cities like London or Paris, which are both notably larger, have more extensive underground and suburban networks. For anywhere within around an hour regional train journey, car hire in Berlin is just not needed.
  • Superlative station — stations don’t get any better than Berlin’s stunning new Hauptbahnhof, or Grand Central Station. This isn’t just somewhere to change trains, it is firstly a stunning engineering feat with upper-level tracks flying over the lower level in true Metropolis style, and secondly it is also a major shopping and eating destination in its own right.
    Appreciating Berlin Hauptbahnhof isn’t just about the structure, the station used to be in no man’s land, and a new underground link has been built through to Potsdammer Platz, making the station a true representation of reunification core from east to west and north to south.

Berlin’s unique transport history

  • Berlin Hauptbahnhof also right next to Germany’s impressive new government buildings, and the Reichstag building, with its stunning new dome, designed by British architect Norman Foster.
  • Light and dark — Berlin’s renaissance means that there are plenty of impressive new buildings to look at, even if they aren’t all occupied. Berlin also has an equally impressive collection of imposing historical buildings, but this is also a city with a dark past. You will undoubtedly find that there is much more to Berlin than the glossy postcard pictures, and it is easy to spend more time in the city than you might have otherwise had budgeted for. Whereas there are many places which offer a good mix of places to see within in the city, together with places worth visiting outside, but which are best to drive to, in my opinion, Berlin has much more to offer within.
  • Trabant / U2 tour –U2’s iconic album Achtung Baby, which was the starting point for the Zoo TV tour, was recorded in Berlin, and it sums up much of the mood at the time of reunification. Starting with the title track Zoo Station (which has since lost its main station buzz to the new Hauptbahnhof), you are already on the rail network, although of course the best way of exploring the Berlin of this time must surely be to take a tour in one of East Berlin’s famous Trabant cars, although this isn’t the sort of thing you pick up at the car rental desk at Schoenfeld airport.
  • Elevation — between Berlin’s Zoo Station and Ostbahnhof, the railway line runs on an elevated viaduct, giving you extensive views of the city, new and old. As introductions go, this one is a must.

Beyond Berlin by train

  • Dresden – Coventry’s twin city did exactly the opposite of her British counterpart, rebuilding the historic centre brick by brick, and it looks superb. However, one building that has been modernised is the city’s central station, which has been re-modelled by Norman Foster (see above). Whilst Dresden is well worth a visit in its own right, there are also a number of scenic routes available from the city, including the Labe Valley towards Prague and tourist routes to Dippoldiswalde and Radeburg.
  • Poland — Berlin is also the gateway to western Poland, and cities such as Poznan and Szczecin are both within easy reach of the German capital by train.

Practicalities

  • Car hire costs. Car hire in Germany can be quite good value in the summer, but it’s rare to find any kind of bargain here.
  • Parking costs – if your hotel is in a remotely central location, then car hire in Berlin is going to be accompanied by some hefty car parking charges. Stay further out and you might get free parking, but it will take you an age to get in and out of the city centre.

 Car hire in Berlin – Verdict

Conclusion — Is it worth hiring a car in Berllin? Berlin is so much more of a city to stay in than it is a base to get out and explore other areas, and even if you do want to get out of the city, it might well be just as easy to get out and about by train, especially as the network of local, regional and long-distance train services from Berlin really is excellent, even when compared to other German cities.

This leaves little reason to justify getting a hire car in Berlin, unless you want to head towards the scenic coastal areas to the north-east.

 Verdict — strong no

 Car hire in Berlin – notes

  • Note — flights to Berlin currently operate into Tegel and Schoenfeld airports. These were supposed to have united on one single site, the new Berlin Brandt airport, which now might  finally open in 2018. This brand-new facility, which is on a site adjacent to Schoenfeld airport, was supposed to open up more flights into Berlin, and offer local and regional rail connections from a station underneath the terminal building.
  • Car hire in Berlin is available from both airports and a range of city centre locations, including the main Grand Central (Hauptbahnhof) Station.

Ratings

Car rental in - Berlin Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Berlin?

Based on comparison with transit, walking and cycling.
 

Is it worth hiring a car in Berlin?

Based on value for money
 

Should you rent a car in Berlin?

Weighing up the above, if you are asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?
 

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Berlin if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

For families?

 

Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Berlin if we are staying in a central area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the city/resort?

Or in a rural area?

 

What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Berlin if I prefer not to drive?

If I am easy either way?

If I prefer to drive?


 

Verdict

Final score:

1

Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments
 

Would you hire a car in Berlin?

Have you driven in Berlin? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Berlin?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:
 

Cologne

Do you need a car in Cologne?

Should you rent a car in Cologne Germany > Cologne

One of the most iconic images for the round-Europe inter-rail traveller is the Hohenzollern bridge leading out from Cologne Hauptbahnhof station and over the Rhine, with the imposing Dom Cathedral as a backdrop.

For getting around the enormous Rhine-Ruhr conurbation which stretches from east to west to the north of Cologne, there is certainly no need for a hire car, as public transport is excellent. This is covered in our Düsseldorf car hire advice page. What about elsewhere?

Cologne Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings

Despite initial impressions, there are actually several reasons why you might find that you should hire a car in Cologne, and these generally revolve around driving south.

Why should you rent a car in Cologne?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Cologne?

Cologne Car hire summary


Overall drive rating

70%

 

Cheapest rate for one week

€105

 #114/300

 

How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?

 

 €120

56/300

 

Free parking score

Total 284 - of which 45 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

16%

#263/300

 
  • Valleys and Vines – Further to the south are the Rhine and Mosel valleys, which offer many a scenic vista amongst the numerous vineyards.
  • Belgium and Luxembourg – Cologne Bonn airport is also a useful gateway for the Ardennes scenic region in southern Belgium and also for neighbouring Luxembourg. From within Europe, flights to Cologne are usually much cheaper than flights to either Brussels or Luxembourg, and there is also a wider choice of low-cost routes. Generally, it is better to head into this part of the world in a hire car, although it is by no means essential (see below).

Driving

  • Autobahns – You can try and race a high speed train down the A35 autobahn, but with ever increasing speed restrictions coming into place on the German motorway network, the train is almost certain to win. Having said that, the German motorway network is still an easy way of getting around when compared with British or American equivalents.
  • Nurburgring – Cologne is also the closest major airport to the infamous Nurburgring Grand Prix circuit. You can even drive around the circuit in your own car, but hire car companies would not be best pleased about you doing it in one of theirs! More realistically, there area around Nurburg offers plenty of opportunities for scenic drives on rural lanes.

Why not? Visiting Cologne without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Cologne public transport quick facts

Train score

 

00%

Water travel score

40%

Overall public transport score

30%

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

(walking + cycling)

50%

Within the city

  • Public transport provision within Cologne itself, to neighbouring Bonn and also within the Rhine-Ruhr conurbation to the north is excellent, so no car is needed for simply travelling around this area. See our Düsseldorf page for more details.
  • High-speed and local train services are available to and from all the main airports in the region, including Cologne Bonn, and also Frankfurt International to the south and Düsseldorf International to the north.
  • Cool as ICE – If you really want to zoom fast down the A35 corridor, you can of course just take the ICE high-speed train from Cologne airport to Frankfurt. If you book far enough in advance, you can get a seat right behind the drivers’ cab – but depending on formation, you may need to upgrade to First class to get this view!

Beyond Cologne without a car

  • Boat cruises – A hire car is certainly a good option for exploring the Rhine or Mosel Valleys, but an even more pleasant, and far more tranquil option is to take a river cruise holiday. For shorter trips, plenty of cruisers offer journeys along the Rhine in Cologne itself. A perfect option for dinner!
  • Cycling – the city of Cologne itself is renowned for being one of the most cycle friendly in Germany, and there are also plenty of trails linking Cologne with the other big cities in the region. German drivers might have a reputation for putting their foot down on the autobahns, but cyclists can generally expect to be treated with respect by drivers in German cities.
  • Mosel Maare cycle route – Further south is the Mosel Maare cycle route, a rare example of a railway in Germany which fell into disuse, and has since been converted into a cycling trial. This runs between Daun and Wittlich. Take the train to Daun, or to Wengeror for the southern end of the route.

Ratings

Car rental in - Cologne Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Cologne?

Based on comparison with transit, walking and cycling.
 

Is it worth hiring a car in Cologne?

Based on value for money
 

Should you rent a car in Cologne?

Weighing up the above, if you are asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?
 

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Cologne if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

For families?

 

Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Cologne if we are staying in a central area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the city/resort?

Or in a rural area?

 

What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Cologne if I prefer not to drive?

If I am easy either way?

If I prefer to drive?


 

Verdict

Final score:

6

Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments
 

In many ways, the decision whether to hire a car or not in Cologne is a simple case of direction — head north and probably you won’t need to, head south and we think it is a good idea. As many people would have the impression that there is no need to hire a car in Cologne, or anywhere else in Germany, we think this is one city where that sentiment is worth re-considering.

Verdict — yes.

Would you hire a car in Cologne?

Have you driven in Cologne? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Cologne?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:
 

Dresden

Do you need a car in Dresden?

Should you rent a car in Dresden Germany > Dresden

Dresden Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings

[coming]

  • To follow.

Why should you rent a car in Dresden?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Dresden?

Dresden Car hire summary


Overall drive rating

30%

 

Cheapest rate for one week

€85

 #79/300

 

How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?

 

 €130

67/300

 

Free parking score

Total 182 - of which 45 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

25%

#227/300

 
  • To follow.

[whyno2 num=”77″]

  • To follow.

Do you need a car in Dresden? Maybe!

Ratings

Car rental in - Dresden Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Dresden?

Based on comparison with transit, walking and cycling.
 

Is it worth hiring a car in Dresden?

Based on value for money
 

Should you rent a car in Dresden?

Weighing up the above, if you are asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?
 

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Dresden if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

For families?

 

Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Dresden if we are staying in a central area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the city/resort?

Or in a rural area?

 

What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Dresden if I prefer not to drive?

If I am easy either way?

If I prefer to drive?


 

Verdict

Final score:

5

Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments
 

Would you hire a car in Dresden?

Have you driven in Dresden? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Dresden?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:
 

Düsseldorf

Do you need to a car in Düsseldorf?

Should you rent a car in Düsseldorf Germany > Düsseldorf

Düsseldorf Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings

[coming]

Why should you rent a car in Düsseldorf?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Düsseldorf?

Düsseldorf Car hire summary


Overall drive rating

40%

 

Cheapest rate for one week

€105

 #110/300

 

How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?

 

 €105

39/300

 

Free parking score

Total 267 - of which 33 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

12%

#270/300

 
  • To follow.
[whynot2 num=”83″]
  • To follow.

Ratings

Car rental in - Düsseldorf Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Düsseldorf?

Based on comparison with transit, walking and cycling.
 

Is it worth hiring a car in Düsseldorf?

Based on value for money
 

Should you rent a car in Düsseldorf?

Weighing up the above, if you are asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?
 

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Düsseldorf if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

For families?

 

Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Düsseldorf if we are staying in a central area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the city/resort?

Or in a rural area?

 

What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Düsseldorf if I prefer not to drive?

If I am easy either way?

If I prefer to drive?


 

Verdict

Final score:

1

Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments
 

Do you need to a car in Düsseldorf? No!

Would you hire a car in Düsseldorf?

Have you driven in Düsseldorf? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Düsseldorf?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:
 

Frankfurt

Do you need a car in Frankfurt?

Should you rent a car in Frankfurt Germany > Frankfurt

Frankfurt might be best known as Europe’s financial heart, and it is very much a work hard, play hard city. Ultimately, Frankfurt’s transport network is a great all-rounder, whether you’re planning on getting around by train, by car, or if you are simply looking at flights to get here in the first place. So is there a need to get a hire car in Frankfurt, or is it even a useful option?

[top num=”91″]

Why should you rent a car in Frankfurt?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Frankfurt?

Frankfurt Car hire summary


Overall drive rating

40%

 

Cheapest rate for one week

€115

 #131/300

 

How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?

 

 €130

69/300

 

Free parking score

Total 373 - of which 65 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

17%

#256/300

 
  • Romantic Road – this popular driving trip has its northenmost point in Wurzburg, around 120km to the east of Frankfurt. Given the sheer range of inward flights to Frankfurt, then this is the natural place to pick up a rental car for this trip.
  • The great outdoors — look on any map of the Frankfurt hinterland, and whether you go north (Naturpark Hochtaunus), south (Pfalzerwald) or east (Bayerischer and others), there are numerous opportunities to reconnect with nature.
  • Frankische Schweiz — head slightly further east to Nuremburg to visit the area known as Little Switzerland, so named because of its wonderful alpine scenery, even though it is actually only a few miles away from the border with the Czech Republic.
  • Frankfurt Hahn — there are two airports serving the Frankfurt region, and if you happen to be flying into this former airbase that is around 70 miles from the city of Frankfurt itself, then it is certainly much easier to pick up a hire car, rather than to spend forever on a bus.
  • Luxembourg — as the range of flights to Luxembourg is still relatively limited, many people fly to Frankfurt instead, and then transfer overland to Luxembourg. This time round, it is much easier to use Hahn airport rather than Frankfurt International. However, buses are also available from Hahn, together with trains from Frankfurt International, but the service is slow and indirect. That is why it is much easier to get a hire car.
  • Baden-Baden — this delightful spa resort, whose name literally means “Bath-Bath” is well worth a visit if you want to do some serious unwinding, German style. Although you can easily get there and back by train, having a hire car means that you can also drive around the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) region, and access a much wider range of hiking trails than you would otherwise be able to visit if you just confine yourself to those which are nearer to, or easily reached by bus from, Baden-Baden.

Why not? Visiting Frankfurt without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Frankfurt public transport quick facts

Train score

 

10%

Water travel score

50%

Overall public transport score

30%

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

(walking + cycling)

30%

  • Frankfurt city — the city of Frankfurt itself has a rich cultural scene, as would be expected in a place which has the money to sponsor the arts. Frankfurt is well-known for its opera, and is also home to the famous annual book fair, one of the largest in the world.
  • Architecture — known locally as “Mainhattan”, modern Frankfurt has a skyline to rival any great American city. This is dominated by the Commerzbank Tower, which was designed by the British architect Norman Foster. You can also visit the viewing platform at the top of the Europa Tower. For the anoraks amongst us (myself included), this is also a great place to view planes coming in and out of Frankfurt International airport, which is only 7 miles away from the city centre.
  • Easy public transport — this goes without saying, Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof is one of the busiest stations in Germany, with a vast network of underground (U-bahn), tram, suburban (S-bahn), regional and long-distance trains fanning out in all directions. Most underground lines pass through the Hauptbahnhof, although a number of lines run through nearby Hauptwache / Zeil instead.
  • River tours — Frankfurt looks at his most impressive when viewed at dusk from the River Main, and why not make the most of this with a dinner cruise? For longer trips, the Rhine River flows through nearby Mainz, with many cruises also running through nearby Koblenz.
  • Scenic railway lines — although speed freaks will want to travel on the ICE fast trains, the route along the Rhine around and above Koblenz, and then westward along the Mosel Valley down to Traben-Trarbach is particular scenic.
  • Cities nearby — it is easy to base yourself in Frankfurt and then make day or overnight trips to other major German cities which are nearby. The fast ICE trains really shrink the distance between Cologne and Frankfurt in particular as this is one of the newest German high-speed routes, taking just over an hour, whilst
  • Stuttgart is also less than 90 minutes away from Frankfurt. Visiting any of the cities by train is the best way to explore their main cultural attractions, which are nearly always in the city centre, where parking can also be expensive.

Conclusion – As all of the transport infrastructure around Frankfurt is of high quality, you shouldn’t have any problem getting around, whatever means you choose to use. 

Do you need a car in Frankfurt? In most of the cities Carornocar.com has reviewed, it is quite easy to give a clear cut verdict. In Frankfurt, this isn’t the case — a hire car will give you the flexibility to see more rural areas, whereas the trains are better for Frankfurt itself, or for visiting nearby larger cities. Ultimately, there is certainly no need to hire a car in Frankfurt, but as with anywhere else, doing so might give you a bit more flexibility. Needless to say, for a trip like the famous romantic road, then your own wheels of some kind are completely essential!

Verdict — no

Ratings

Car rental in - Frankfurt Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Frankfurt?

Based on comparison with transit, walking and cycling.
 

Is it worth hiring a car in Frankfurt?

Based on value for money
 

Should you rent a car in Frankfurt?

Weighing up the above, if you are asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?
 

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Frankfurt if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

For families?

 

Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Frankfurt if we are staying in a central area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the city/resort?

Or in a rural area?

 

What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Frankfurt if I prefer not to drive?

If I am easy either way?

If I prefer to drive?


 

Verdict

Final score:

4

Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments
 

Would you hire a car in Frankfurt?

Have you driven in Frankfurt? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Frankfurt?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:
 

Munich

Do you need a car in Munich?

Should you rent a car in Munich Germany > Munich

Munich is famous for the Oktoberfest drinking festival, but there’s a lot more to Bavaria than beer.

Munich Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings

However, even when you’ve ticked off your long list of all the interesting palaces and other historic places to visit within the city, and then headed out to some of the other palaces which are outside the centre of Munich, there is still no particular reason to rent a car.

Why should you rent a car in Munich?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Munich?

Munich Car hire summary


Overall drive rating

10%

 

Cheapest rate for one week

€110

 #117/300

 

How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?

 

 €130

68/300

 

Free parking score

Total 456 - of which 76 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

17%

#260/300

 
  • Since Munich is the home of BMW, there are a number of car related attractions, but they don’t always need a car to get to them.
  • A car can be useful for driving into the Alps – but it’s not strictly necessary.

Why not? Visiting Munich without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Munich public transport quick facts

Train score

 

50%

Water travel score

00%

Overall public transport score

60%

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

(walking + cycling)

40%

  • Whether you want to head deep into the Alps, travel elsewhere within Bavaria, or pop across the border into the wonderful city of Salzburg in neighbouring Austria, there are still trains are plenty to do this.
  • Munich also has an excellent network of cycling trails. You can head out of the city towards the south, and the city also has a good network of cycle paths along the major roads, making it reasonably bike friendly, in line with most other German cities.
  • The local suburban (S-Bahn) networks in Munich are supplemented by private railway lines which head into the Alps, and these are ideal for exploring lakeside cycling trails on a day excursion (best to hire bikes when you get there).

If you are here for the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein, then a hire car starts to make sense, but it’s still just going to be parked up there, and in many senses it’s easier to take an organised bus tour, with regular departures being available right from the heart of Munich.

Even if you prefer to travel independently, you can easily take local train services to Fussen (allow around 90 minutes), from where you can reach the entrance to Neuschwanstein in around 30 minutes of brisk uphill walking. Local shuttle buses are available, but because of the restricted design of the site, it’s not easy to access by anyone with restricted mobility.

Naturally, if you are the sort of visitor who prefers to drive anyway, then a hire car in Munich still makes sense for everywhere beyond the centre of the city itself. It’s just that there’s no need for one here.

Ratings

Car rental in - Munich Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Munich?

Based on comparison with transit, walking and cycling.
 

Is it worth hiring a car in Munich?

Based on value for money
 

Should you rent a car in Munich?

Weighing up the above, if you are asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?
 

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Munich if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

For families?

 

Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Munich if we are staying in a central area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the city/resort?

Or in a rural area?

 

What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Munich if I prefer not to drive?

If I am easy either way?

If I prefer to drive?


 

Verdict

Final score:

3

Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments
 

Would you hire a car in Munich?

Have you driven in Munich? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Munich?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:
 

Stuttgart

Should you rent a car in Stuttgart?

Should you rent a car in Stuttgart Germany > Stuttgart

Stuttgart might not have quite the same profile as top German city break destinations like Berlin, Cologne and Munich, but the home of Mercedes and Porsche still has plenty to offer. So does this motor city naturally lend itself towards a car-based holiday, or can you get around perfectly well without one?

Stuttgart Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings

Why should you rent a car in Stuttgart?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Stuttgart?

Stuttgart Car hire summary


Overall drive rating

60%

 

Cheapest rate for one week

€100

 #106/300

 

How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?

 

 €105

41/300

 

Free parking score

Total 182 - of which 42 have free parking. [full notes - parking]

23%

#229/300

 
  • Romantic Road – the Romantic Road is a well marketed modern creation, based around touring by car. The route runs in a roughly north-south direction for some 300 km, with Stuttgart being a natural place from where to start. If you pick up a hire car at Stuttgart airport and work your way down from the north, then you will save the best ’til last, concluding at the spectacular folly that is the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein. Travelling between the different stopping off points by car, you can take as little or as much time as you want, either staying overnight at hotels along the way, or breaking the journey into two or three days and returning back to Stuttgart each night.
  • Black Forest – heading south-west towards Basle, you can hit the top of the Black Forest within a couple of hours of leaving Stuttgart airport, and there are some great driving opportunities to be had.
  • Baden-Baden – they say New York is so good that they named it twice, but that only happens in song. Baden-Baden quite literally means The Baths – The Baths! With imposing leisure palaces such as Caracalla evoking the spirit of the original in Rome, Baden-Baden is one of those towns where indulgence is strictly top of the menu.
    Think of this as the German equivalent of, well, Bath, and you can’t go too far wrong, although the Roman references here are strictly of a more modern variety. Whilst it is perfectly possible to reach Baden-Baden by train from Stuttgart, you need to allow a couple of hours, and you have to change to get here. The spas in Baden-Baden can stay open as late as 10 p.m., and after this there is plenty of entertainment from casinos to shows. The last train back to Stuttgart leaves that 11 p.m., so if you don’t plan to overnight here, a hire car is a much better idea.
  • Slow public transport – if there was an award for the slowest train from an airport to the city centre it serves, then Stuttgart would be a very strong contender. The combination of stopping at each suburb on the way and a very circuitous route mean you should allow a good half an hour to get into town by train, whereas the drive can take as little as 15 minutes. Of course, there is no point in getting a hire car in Stuttgart just to drive around the city, but for a mix of city attractions and getting out into the countryside, the hire car is just a lot more flexible.

Why not? Visiting Stuttgart without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Stuttgart public transport quick facts

Train score

 

80%

Water travel score

80%

Overall public transport score

90%

Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

(walking + cycling)

90%

  • Excursion to Ulm – a quick sprint from our to the East of Stuttgart will take you to the dramatic city of Ulm, which has one of Germany’s most impressive churches, although technically there is no bishop here, so it isn’t officially a cathedral. In addition to a delightful historic centre, Ulm also has a number of impressive modern buildings, including a pyramid shaped library and a cleanly designed cultural centre with the instantly recognisable signature of Richard Meier.
  • City connections – although Stuttgart can be a good base in its own right, for many people it is the sort of city to pass through and dwell perhaps for one night, before carrying on elsewhere. Stuttgart makes a natural break between the better-known cities of Frankfurt and Munich, and it is also well-connected with destinations to the South West such as Baden-Baden, Freiburg, Karlsruhe and then into Switzerland via Basle. Jumping around between major cities is always much easier to do by train, because you arrive directly into the heart of each destination, and you don’t have to worry about parking costs. Additionally, Stuttgart makes a great stopping off point on the type of multicity tour where you fly into one destination (perhaps Cologne or even Amsterdam) and fly out from another (let’s say Munich or Zürich). Even if you stay within the boundaries of one country, doing this sort of journey as a road trip is likely to land you with hefty one way car rental fees, when there’s just no need to bother.
  • Cultural attractions – the most famous cultural attraction in Stuttgart is the starts Gallery, designed by British architect James Stirling, which is regarded as one of the leading examples of post modern architecture. Whilst the collection inside is as impressive as any other major European cultural centre, the real beauty of this building is the way you can wind your way over it on the path that runs up the hillside from one end to the other. This is very much a walking experience par excellence!
  • Pedestrian central – you might be reminded that Stuttgart is a car town when you are greeted with a huge Mercedes logo on acting the main railway station, but the centre itself is actually heavily pedestrianised, and all of the main points of interest are within an easy 10 to 15 minute walk of each other. This network is backed up by several suburban (s-bahn) railway routes which run underneath the city at this point, and it is very easy to orientate yourself around the main station anyway.
  • Hiking and mountain biking – many of the scenic areas mentioned above can be enjoyed even more on foot, or from a mountain bike, which can easily be hired at various different locations. Although having a hire car means you can set the pace, public transport in this part of the world is still perfectly adequate, and this can give you the flexibility to walk between different locations and returned from a different stop.
  • Romantic Road by bike – although primarily marketed as a road trip, the Romantic Road is also a very popular destination for cycling holidays. Starting from the UK, you can look at flights to Stuttgart and then either take your own bikes or hire ones locally, or you can reach this part of Germany by train from London, changing at Brussels and Cologne.
  • Public transport network – apart from the slow train to and from the airport, the network of public transport in Stuttgart is excellent, with plenty of buses supplementing the substantial local and suburban train network.

Conclusion: Should you rent a car in Stuttgart? As with any other German city, there is no firm advice about whether or not to get a hire car in Stuttgart, you can get by perfectly well, whether you have one or not. Yet on balance, there must surely be more places of interest outside the city than there are within, and the best way of exploring the scenic areas is to do so with a car. Therefore, a hire car is recommended, but it is by no means essential.

 

Verdict – yes

Useful links relating to Stuttgart car hire and transit:

  1. Map with key landmarks.
  2. Stuttgart transport map.
  3. Neuschwanstein.
  4. Caracalla Baths, Baden-Baden.

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