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    600 Miles on the Motorway Road Trip: Cologne to Berlin Itinerary

    The reason why German cars are regarded as the best in the world lies in the fact that they are designed and constructed to ensure safety and comfort, and provide the ultimate driving experience on some of the best and fastest motorways - Autobahns.

    Driving on a German Autobahn is surely an exciting experience. We have put together a 600-mile road trip planner along the Autobahn in Germany. With this route, you'll not only be able to test your car and your driving skills but also visit Germany's highlight cities.

    The Beer Gardens Road Trip, the Alpine Road,Wine and Fairytale Road trips take you to fascinating places across Germany. The 600-mile motorway route guides you from Cologne to remarkable German cities such as Dusseldorf, Muenster, Bremen, Hamburg and ends in the country's multicultural capital Berlin. The guide encompasses around 600 miles of motorway ensuring a thrilling driving experience. Should you be arriving in Germany by plane, pick up your car hire directly from the airport. Auto Europe offers car rental in all of the cities mentioned above, at airports and downtown.

    The 600 mile road trip begins in Cologne. There are three major airports in the area where you can pick-up your vehicle: Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Cologne/Bonn Airport. Read our driving information in Germany carefully to become familiar with the local road rules. You may also take a look at our fleet guide to get an idea of what vehicles are offered by Auto Europe.

    Driving Itinerary Distance Driving Time
    Cologne - Dusseldorf 27.1 miles 43 minutes
    Dusseldorf - Muenster 89.7 miles 2 hours 5 minutes
    Muenster - Osnabrueck 36.4 miles 52 minutes
    Osnabrueck - Bremen 74.2 miles 1 hour 16 minutes
    Bremen - Hamburg 76.2 miles 1 hour 22 minutes
    Hamburg - Rostock 114.4 miles 1 hour 48 minutes
    Rostock - Potsdam 141.2 miles 2 hours 18 minutes
    Potsdam - Berlin 21.2 miles 44 minutes
    Totals: 580.4 miles 11 hours 8 minutes

    Day 1: Cologne

    Road trip Cologne, Germany Road trip Cologne, Germany

    Cologne, or Köln in German, is the fourth biggest city in Germany and the largest one in North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state in the country. Driving through the city, you're soon going to realize this metropolis is bustling with life, full of interesting monuments and cultural events. Plan a road trip to Cologne and spend a few days there to see all the city has on offer.

    What to do in Cologne:

    Save yourself some time for Cologne's worth-seeing museums and treat yourself with a visit to Kolumba, the Museum Ludwig, the Museum Schnütgen, the Kölnisches Stadtmuseum, or the Käthe Kollwitz Museum. These places exhibit some of the most beautiful German art.

    The Alter Markt, the old town of Cologne, is the best place for lunch, where you'll be able to taste traditional local beer and sample exquisite German cuisine. And for something for your soul, take a stroll to Kölner Dom, the city's cathedral, a fine example of Gothic architecture and don't miss to see the equally representative Romanesque basilica of St. Gereon. The city is packed with amazing buildings, perfect for photographing.

    Compare offers for car hire in Cologne on Auto Europe's website and book a suitable vehicle for your needs and travel with comfort.

    Where to eat in Cologne:

    Over the years Cologne has developed into a lively metropolis with friendly people, cosy pubs and eventful clubs. Heising & Adelmann, a restaurant and party address, lures with its energetic atmosphere. For a traditional local beer, Kölsch, pay a visit to Päffgen, and if you are in for a traditional German cuisine, head to Früh am Dom.

    Where to stay in Cologne:

    Cologne has a wide array of accommodation on offer. The city is full of multiple hotels, guest houses and hostels. Nonetheless, we recommend booking your stay in advance. In the southern part of the old town lies a luxurious Hotel Wasserturm Köln. Today one of the most wanted hotels in the city, it used to be the tallest water tower in Europe. Throughout the years, the 11-storey hotel has hosted some of the biggest names in filming, fashion and politics. If you are looking for a less glamorous place with a family flair, try Hotel im Kupferkessel or Das Kleine Stapelhäuschen.

    Next stop: 43 minutes

    Day 2: Dusseldorf

    Road trip Dusseldorf, Germany Road trip Dusseldorf, Germany

    After a few days spent in Cologne it's time for the next part or the trip. Sit behind the steering wheel and head to Dusseldorf via the A57 Autobahn. Your destination is the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia and the economical hub of the country.

    What to do in Dusseldorf:

    Shop till you drop in Dusseldorf - literally, there are numerous shopping centres and fashion boutiques in the city and you can find almost everything you desire. A car hire in Dusseldorf is going to make it easier for you to see the highlights of the city.

    Begin your road trip in Dusseldorf with going to the old town by sunset. This place is known as "the longest bar in the world". The Altstadt (old town) with over 300 restaurants, bars and caffes, spreads along narrow streets, where everyone is able to find something for their taste and will be able to take in German culture.

    Art enthusiasts should head to the Heinrich-Heine-Institut, the Kunstammlug Nordrhein-Wesfalen or take a history lesson at the Neanderthal Museum.

    Where to stay in Dusseldorf:

    If you are looking for an affordable hotel in Dusseldorf, you'll have no problem in finding one. Not only in the centre, but also in the outskirts, there are various options to choose from. Rooms at competitive prices are offered by Hotel Orangerie and Carathotel Düsseldorf. One of the most popular hotels in the city is Breidenbacher Hof, a place known for its high standard.


    Next stop: 2 hours 5 minutes

    Day 3: Muenster and Osnabrueck

    Road trip Muenster, Germany Road trip Muenster, Germany

    If you have ever dreamed of hiring a luxury car and having an ultimate driving experience there's no better place for it than Germany. Our 600 mile road trip guide takes you on a third day through A1 Autobahn to charismatic Muenster. Within approximately 50-minute drive from Dusseldorf, you'll discover a rich history of your new destination.

    What to do in Muenster:

    Due to its compact size, Muenster has all its sightseeing attractions in close proximity. There are a couple of places worth paying a visit to: St Paulus Cathedral with an astronomical clock, the Church of St. Lamberti, the open-air natural history museum, and planetarium Mühlenhof. Those travelling with children should head to the Allwetterzoo, a zoo opened year-round. The main shopping district Prinzipalmarkt will give you the possibility to shop for souvenirs of your road trip to Muenster.

    Where to eat in Muenster:

    With over 30 different restaurants in town, Muenster will surprise you with a wide choice of dinning possibilities with culinary highlights. City centre has some traditional cuisine menu on offer, quick snacks and other fast food. With a car hire in Muenster you'll be travelling comfortably and quickly get from A to B.

    Are you ready for the next part? Hop in to your rental car, leave the city centre and head to A1 Autobahn in the direction of Osnabrueck. In about 45 minutes on the fast motorway you'll find yourself in the city centre. Osnabrueck is a city in Lower Saxony on the Hase River, situated between Wiehen Hills and Teutoburg Forest. It's located only 50 miles north of Dortmund and around 60 miles west from Hanover. As a student hub, Osnabrueck invites with its youthful atmosphere. Areas close to the city centre are pedestrian zones and it's best to use public transport or go by foot in there.

    What to do in Osnabrueck:

    Like other German cities Osnabrueck is home to numerous museums which attract tourist crowds. During your road trip to Osnabrueck do not miss the Felix Nussbaum Haus - museum with the largest collection of the artist's work. Take a lesson on the city's history in the Museum Industriekultur and the Kulturgeschichtliches Museum Osnabruck. Save some time for the Roman St Peter's Cathedral, the Osnabrueck Castle, Rathaus, and the zoo.

    Where to eat in Osnabrueck:

    Multiple dining opportunities are on offer in local eateries and restaurants. One of the most popular quick snacks is Turkish kebab or sausage with chips. More refined cuisine is served in La Vie restaurant, where you can have large meals at affordable prices.

    Other popular restaurant names in the city are Culina, Balu and Bottled. English is often spoken in the streets thanks to a large student population and you should not worry about communicating with the local people. A car hire in Osnabrueck will help you be independent from local public transport system.


    Next stop: 52 minutes

    Day 4: Bremen and Hamburg

    Road trip Bremen, Germany Road trip Bremen, Germany

    It's the fourth day of the journey and it's time for the road trip to Bremen and Hamburg. On your way from Osnabrueck you'll be passing through the picturesque countryside of valleys, mountains and deep woods. Bremen lies on the River Weser 40 miles from the North Sea. A car hire in Bremen will be the best way to go around this captivating city.

    What to do in Bremen:

    Bremen is a perfect holiday destination if you are keen on sightseeing and museums. Once in there, you will quickly realise that this is one of the loveliest cities in Germany. Right in the heart of Bremen, at Marktplatz, reigns St Petri Dom, a magnificent Gothic cathedral over 900 years old. The centre hides more jewels such as the Roselius-Haus with a collection of the finest German and Dutch art.

    Where to eat in Bremen:

    Give yourself some time for a leisure dinner at Bistro Grashoffs, where you can try traditional German meals. Alternateviley, visit Ratskeller, one of the oldest town hall restaurants in Germany.

    After a delicious dinner it's time to continue the 600 miles road trip on the German Autobahn. Your next destination is Hamburg, "the gateway to the world" as it's called by the locals. It is the largest port in the country and an important industrial and financial centre. Hamburg is an alluring metropolis with fantastic restaurants, numerous pubs, hotels and shopping galleries. Do not miss out on a stroll through the cobbled streets of the historic port to soak in the local flair.

    What to do in Hamburg:

    The next part of your road trip to Hamburg is dedicated to some of the world famous museums, Hamburg Kunsthalle and Deichtorhallen Hamburg, regarded as some of the most important art institutions in the country. Moreover, Hamburg is shopper's heaven - take a walk along Mönckebergstraße, Altona, Schanzenviertel, and Jungfernstieg with some of the best shops in the city.

    One of Hamburg's tourist magnets is St Pauli and Reeperbahn district, the latter is known as the red district, with popular restaurants and clubs. Experience genuine Hamburg during a night walk along the Wohlillstrasse, Schulterblatt and Susannestrasse.

    Where to stay in Hamburg:

    In Hamburg, there are literally hundreds of accommodation possibilities. From five-star hotels to inexpensive hostels - the choice is enormous. We recommend Motel One am Michael with affordable rooms for those who would like to stay close to the old town. Park Hyatt on the other hand is a higher class one. If you are thinking of staying close to Reeperbahn, consider checking in to the Empire Riverside Hotel or the Boston Hotel and you'll be able to come back on foot after a night-out. With a car hire in Hamburg staying outside downtown will not be a hassle.


    Next stop: 1 hour 22 minutes

    Day 5: Rostock and Potsdam

    Road trip Rostock and Potsdam, Germany Road trip Rostock and Potsdam, Germany

    What to do in Rostock:

    The fifth day begins on the A20 Autobahn to Rostock in Schleswig-Holstein near the Baltic coast. In the former East Germany, the area was the largest ship building centre. Plan your road trip to Rostock in August and you'll be able to take part in the popular event Hanse Sail yacht race.

    A car hire in Rostock will allow you to see the most of this beautiful region. Begin your road trip to Rostock with a visit to Schifffahrtsmuseum, a museum dedicated to the history of the region that was shaped through the ship building industry.

    Kids will be thrilled if you take them to the zoo with exotic mammals, birds, lions and other animals from around the world. Shoppers will be happy to visit Kröpelinerstrasse with many boutiques. Take your trip companions for lunch to a traditional German restaurant like Petrikeller and if you are seafood fan, head to Zur Kogge restaurant.

    Within two and a half hour you'll reach your next destination - Potsdam - the capital and the largest city in Branderburg. The city lies only half an hour away from Berlin and is known worldwide for its fine architecture and splendid palaces from the eighteenth century.

    What to do in Potsdam:

    A car hire in Potsdam will come in handy when you want to see the complex of palaces situated outside the city centre. Begin the sightseeing with such highlights as the Brandenburg Gate, Dampfmaschinehau, and Heilandskirche Sacrow and you will already be charmed by the beauty of the city. Be prepared for more astounding sites- the next point of the road trip to Potsdam is the one and only Schloss Sanssouci. Built in the eighteenth century, now the UNESCO world heritage site, was used as a summer residence of Prussia's king, Frederik the Great.

    Where to eat in Potsdam:

    Potsdam is home to restaurants specializing in French cuisine. Fine French dishes are on the menu at Juliette, Maison Charlotte or Ma Cuisine. Additionally, you will find here restaurants serving traditional Prussian meals. For the latter head to Fiore or Speckers Landhaus, and for desert stop by at Café Heider and try delicious home made cakes and aromatic coffee.

    Potsdam has a lively night scene and many cultural events take place on a daily basis. Charlotte club near Hans-Otto theatre is one of the most popular party venues in the city.

    Where to stay in Potsdam:

    Potsdam hotels cater for all types of travellers. You'll find plenty of hotels and guest houses and hotels in the city centre. Spend a night at Haus Katharina, Stropp or Gästehaus Urban with traditional German flair.


    Next stop: 2 hours 18 minutes

    Day 6: Berlin

    Road trip Berlin, Germany Road trip Berlin, Germany

    Berlin is the last stop on the 600 mile road trip in Germany. Steer to the A115 and head to Berlin. Germany's capital city is known for attracting many world class artists and has a very cosmopolitan atmosphere. The city shows off fine architecture and is home to a number of museums and peculiar clubs.

    What to do in Berlin:

    Since Germany's capital is a huge metropolis, a car hire in Berlin will be your best choice to go around. Sightseeing highlights include Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, East Side Gallery and Kulturforum as well as the Museum Island and the Philharmonic Hall. Friedrichstrasse in Mitte district and Kurfürstendamm, with a popular Kaufhaus des Westes, are the best addresses for shopping. Kreuzberg and Neukölln, on the other hand, are art districts with trendy second-hand and multiple vintage shops.

    While on a road trip to Berlin you should not miss out on the Berliner Philharmonie, the world's leading chamber orchestra with free concerts on every Tuesday afternoon at 1 pm. Another highlight of the German capital art life is the famous international Berliner Festspiele festival with numerous dance, art and literature events taking place.

    Where to eat in Berlin:

    Berlin has a fantastic food scene. With countless unique restaurants. From traditional German cuisine, through exotic Moroccan, Turkish and Asian food to vegetarian and vegan restaurants - the city has it all! Berlin is also big on coffee culture; there are places serving gourmet coffee scattered throughout the metropolis.

    600 mile road trip in Germany - Plan a Fantastic Journey

    Our guide ends here, now is your turn to take some action. Before you set off to the new adventure with Auto Europe, prepare your holiday plan. First of all, book your car hire in Germany and accommodation in advance. Book your flights and you'll be ready to get behind the steering wheel and feel the speed on the German Autobahn all the way from Cologne to Berlin!

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