Traffic in Germany

Hello everyone,

Which city or area do you live in in Germany, and how do you find the traffic?

How long does it take to commute to work or run errands?

Is there a rush hour in your city? What times of the day would you recommend people to avoid driving if they can?

Are there any ways to avoid spending too much time in traffic in Germany?

What is parking availability and cost like?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


Despite being a major centre of the automotive industry, Stuttgart is not well-planned for traffic. Due to its location in a valley, no ring roads can be built and few ways exist to avoid driving through the jammed centre. There's also not much parking available, so taking the well-developed public transport is actually a much better proposition for most trips.
Stuttgart also has an air pollution problem due to the traffic. On particularly bad days the authorities declare "environmental alarm" and public transport tickets are reduced to half the price, trying to prevent people from driving. It does not work.
We only use our car occasionally, to transport things and for long distance trips (German expressways are excellent!). It does not make much sense to drive within Stuttgart and, honestly, we could certainly live without a car (and save some time and money that way, too).

I moved closer to the Highway 2 years ago, so that my commuting time got reduced by 20mins one way, however, am a Propagator of carpooling which I have been practicing for 6.5 years on a Stretch, reliable colleagues and less stress since I have to drive 1-2 time a week, but mostly once a week depending on the number of colleagues on the road at a given week.

The A4 is notorious for crashes due to Trucks not seeing cars on the next lane prior to changing lanes. the rescue Helicopter Hoovers quite often around where I live in Cologne-West being a Meeting axis for 2 Major Highways A4 and A1.
Highways are becoming packed as the economy continues to grow, leaving home early is the remedy.

Enjoy the excellent road Network in Germany.
Regards from Cologne in Nov 2017

Bude2003 :

The A4 is notorious for crashes due to Trucks not seeing cars on the next lane prior to changing lanes. the rescue Helicopter Hoovers quite often around where I live in Cologne-West being a Meeting axis for 2 Major Highways A4 and A1.

That, unfortunately, is one of the side effects of Germany's world-famous lack of speed limit (which in reality has been reduced to only some stretches of expressway, to reduce the danger).

I live in a tiny village near a small town 60 km south of Stuttgart. My commute (you'll hate me for this) is 5 km and roughly 7 minutes. On days when there's a Stau (traffic jam) in town, my commute can take up to 10 minutes. And you should hear the locals complain!! I actually read online recently, "Our town can't figure out how to handle traffic, when even Stuttgart has managed it. It's fine there!"  (delusional, maybe?)

Is there a rush hour? I guess so, but even then it doesn't take more than 15 minutes to get through town.

We chose to live in this quiet village because property prices are almost affordable and my husband can walk to his office (4 minutes). We have a large supermarket that is 1 km away, so I can walk or drive, depending on how many bottles of wine we need.

Parking in town costs €2,50 for 24 hours - at least at the train station Parkhaus. I think an hour in the town parking lots costs €1, but the first 30 minutes are free. I know how lucky I am. We are beyond the last S-Bahn station in the Stuttgart area, which is one reason why property is less expensive. I would _never_ live in a big city.

I frequently need to travel to beautiful Esslingen, which is a 1-hour drive if there are no traffic problems. However, there are traffic problems on the Autobahnen (A81 & A8) _every_ day. Frequent accidents, construction, and too many cars are the main causes. I once gave up and turned around half way, because my GPS was telling me it would be another 90 minutes to Esslingen and I was sick of it. I had left at 15:00 for a meeting at 19:00.  I by far prefer traveling by train to Esslingen or anywhere else. I weigh the extra waiting time and potential delays against the stress of being on German roads and in traffic jams. It's a no-brainer for me. The expense of a train ticket is nothing compared to damage to the car or injury from an accident on the Autobahn. I have successfully avoided accidents thus far, but it's only a matter of time.

Driving is seriously the only thing I do not like about living in Germany. Impatient drivers (though I have witnessed many acts of kindness and patience as well!!), people driving WAY too fast, narrow roads (compared to those in my passport country), inconsiderate drivers, who with their "Me first" attitude make the entire situation worse for others...

On the train I can read, doze off, get some work done, go to the Toilette, and occasionally meet friendly people, and don't necessarily have to fear death on that particular day - none of which I can do in my car.

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