German manufacturers are known for producing some of the most reliable and efficient cars in history. Indeed, many people say that these vehicles embody the personality traits of the German people. One thing that’s for sure is that lovers of automobiles, classic or modern, can indulge their passion in a number of cities throughout the country.
One person who recently did this was famous baker and petrol head, Paul Hollywood. In his show ‘Paul Hollywood's Big Continental Road Trip’, the presenter visits a different European country every week to learn about the history of its cars. This week, he visited Germany and got to drive a Porsche 911, a Wartburg 353 and a BMW i8 among others.
Here are some of the car-related activities you can do in the cities Paul visited. If you are interested, Fred.\ Holidays can create a similar tour for your holiday.
Germany’s capital is the birthplace of one of the most iconic cars the country has ever produced. Trabants, affectionately known as ‘Trabis’, were driven by everyone during the Cold War era and, despite being no longer produced, have earned cult status in these parts. In 2013, a museum dedicated to this four-wheeled icon opened up near Checkpoint Charlie. Inside, you can marvel at the different Trabant models – including rare ones like the P60 and the version which the military and police used at the time.
If you would prefer to get behind the wheel of this classic vehicle, why not take a Trabi Safari around Berlin. Driving the car in convoy and being led by a knowledgeable guide, you will be taken to the city’s famous attractions and learn all about the era which made this car famous.
Finally, if you want to see a more varied lineup of vintage cars, head to Classic Remise. This free attraction is housed in an old tram depot and features glass boxes where owners can store their beloved vehicles. You will also see skilled mechanics working on people’s cars, waxing services sprucing them up and plenty of places to buy some related merchandise. You can even purchase your own car if you get the urge.
Wolfsburg is the home of Volkswagen – the cars are made here, everybody drives one and the Wolfsburg football team even play their games at the Volkswagen Arena. There are two main attractions here where you can see and learn about one of the most popular car manufacturers in the world.
The VW Museum allows you to see the famous models that have been made over the years – including everyone’s favourites, the Beetle and Camper Van. This also includes rare and concept vehicles that you may never get the chance to see elsewhere, as well as the latest designs and the model which changed everything – the Golf. The current entry fee is €6 per adult, but the museum is closed on Mondays.
Close by, you will find a must-see for every automobile fan visiting Wolfsburg. Autostadt (Auto City) is connected to the VW factory and offers the chance to get hands-on and drive a Volkswagen Touareg on a specially designed test track. As well as more displays of classic models, you will be able to see the latest cars as they roll off the production line. Two giant towers stand above other buildings, storing these new creations until they are collected by their new owners. Anyone choosing to pick their car up from here will be able to watch the automatic elevators take it from the towers and deliver it to them with the odometer showing 0.
Eisenach is a town in Thuringia famous for its imposing Wartburg Castle and an East German automotive marvel by the same name. The Wartburg was modelled on the French Decauville and visitors can see a range of different versions at Automobile Welt. Alongside those built in Eisenach, the museum displays other classic cars that were produced in Germany and is situated close to the old factory.
Apart from being located close to a stretch of autobahn that was created for speed record attempts, Frankfurt is home to another place where you can admire other people’s collections of classic cars. Klassikstadt (Classic City) features three floors of the type of cars you dreamt about when you were a kid, all housed in an old farming machinery building. McLaren and Lamborghini both have showrooms here and there are vintage Ferraris, BMWs and Mercedes lurking around every corner. Entry is free and there is even a fantastic restaurant where you can watch the cars being tinkered with in the workshop whilst you eat.
One auto event held in Frankfurt every other year is the International Motor Show. If this sounds like something you would like to attend, be sure to arrive in the city between 16th and 24th September 2017. As well as seeing “The Wild 70s” classic car exhibition, you’ll be able to test drive new models and experience a test track ladened with obstacles.
You will find two of Germany’s best car museums in Stuttgart, dedicated to Mercedes-Benz and Porsche respectively. The former is located in a beautiful double helix-shaped building and showcases cars, lorries and buses through the years. There’s even room for Princess Di's limo. The latter can be found in another modern building, in the north of the city, and currently has a special exhibition detailed the company’s off-road creations. Don’t worry, though, all of your favourite models throughout Porsche’s history are on display for you to admire.
Stuttgart is also home to the largest car wash in Germany. The giant ‘Mr Wash’ can service half a million cars a year and cost a massive €30 million to build. If you’ve hired a car or brought yours from the UK, this is the perfect chance to give it the love and attention it deserves. There’s also a very efficient ‘while you wait’ valet service. What else would you expect from the Germans?
If you are looking for somewhere to stay before you move on, look no further than the V8 Hotel. As well as having its own car museum downstairs, the luxurious rooms feature car-shaped beds and automotive murals on the walls. You could choose to stay in a Route 66, racing or gas station themed room and refuel your body in the hotel’s fantastic spa facilities.
If you have a passion for driving cars (fast) as well as admiring them, there is one thing that you have to do when considering vehicular adventures in Germany. The Nurburgring is perhaps the most famous racetrack in the world and anybody can test their driving skills on the 13-mile long ‘North Loop’ for €25 a lap. Enthusiasts bring their cars from all over the world to put them through their paces around the circuit and it is an experience that is sure to be on every petrol head’s bucket list.
If you would like to visit any of the places mentioned above, or combine them to make your own tour, we can tailor-make a package to suit your needs. Just tell us where and when you would like to go and we will do the hard work for you. Call us on 0800 988 3369 to speak to one of our experts.