State by state: Where and when can I travel within Germany?

State by state: Where and when can I travel within Germany?
Beach stands set up in Norddeich, Lower Saxony at the North Sea coast. Photo: DPA
Most of Germany's 16 states have roadmap plans for when their tourism infrastructure can reopen during the month of May. We look at where travellers can go, and under what conditions.

With another long weekend coming up at the end of May, many in Germany are wondering where they can travel within the country.

We break down every state's plans on tourism and travel accommodation, some such as Berlin and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania which have began opening hotels and holiday homes as of Monday May 25th.

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Baden-Württemberg 

Those eager to set up a tent in the Black Forest will have the chance soon: According to a step-by-step plan from the state government, holiday apartments and camping sites have been permitted to be rented out since Monday May 18th. On May 29th, hotels, visitor centres and leisure parks will also be able to open their doors. 

READ ALSO: Weekend Wanderlust: Chasing a hoax across the Black Forest

The town of St. Märgen in the Black Forest. Photo: DPA

Bavaria

Starting on May 30th, hotels, holiday apartments and campsites in Bavaria will again be allowed to receive guests, the southern state announced earlier this month. However, strict conditions will apply to the opening of hotels, meaning that there will be no “offers with common use, especially wellness”. 

Other tourist offerings, such as castles, are currently open under certain conditions and with limited admission. 

READ ALSO: Beautiful Bavarian day trips you can't miss

Berlin

According to the Berlin Senate, hotels and other accommodation facilities such as holiday apartments may offer tourist overnight stays starting on Monday May 25th, provided that hygiene rules are observed. However, spa and wellness areas will remain closed for the time being. 

From May 25th onwards, city and guided tours will also be on offer – as long as the minimum distance of 1.5 metres and the hygiene regulations are observed.

READ ALSO: 10 beauty spots that show a different side of Berlin

Brandenburg

According to the state government of Berlin’s neighbouring state, long-term camping, camping in mobile homes and caravans, as well as overnight stays in holiday apartments and houses, has been possible since May 15th.

From May 25th onwards, “all tourist rentals should then again be possible without restriction in compliance with hygiene and distance regulations”.

This includes hotels, camping sites with sanitary communal facilities, coach tours, city tours, boat trips and youth leisure facilities.

READ ALSO: Hiking to 'Wollywood', the former Hollywood of Brandenburg

Bremen

Hotels, holiday homes and campsites in the northern city-state are now open, as are all museums, according to Bremen's tourism website.

Hamburg

Since May 18th, camping grounds, guests houses and hotels in the Harbour City have been able to welcome guests again under strict hygienic measures, such as banning buffets and limiting the number of people staying in one dorm room to four.

Hesse

Since May 15th, hotels and other hospitality facilities such as holiday apartments have been able to open their doors to guests again, according to the state government

READ ALSO: Weekend Wanderlust: On the fairytale trail of Kassel

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

The scenic northeastern state, home to the Baltic Sea coast, opened all of its tourist accommodation on May 18th to its own residents.

Starting on May 25th, travellers from elsewhere in Germany will be allowed to visit and stay overnight.

READ ALSO: Finding woodland and witches in Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania

Lower Saxony

The state, home to Hanover and the scenic North Sea Coast, already opened its doors to tourists on Monday, May 11th, by again allowing rentals of holiday homes and apartments. However, these are only allowed to be filled to 50 percent of their capacity.

Hotels and hostels will also open under strict hygienic conditions on May 25th. However, the state’s islands may enforce their own, stricter rules.

READ ALSO: 10 unique reasons Hanover is worth visiting

North Rhine-Westphalia

Already from May 11th onwards, holiday apartments, holiday homes and camping sites in the northeastern state can again be used “while maintaining contact restrictions”. 

Restaurants, amusement parks, excursion boats, tourist information offices, bicycle and boat rentals will also be allowed to open again. 

On Thursday, May 21st, hotels were able to reopen for holidaymakers, as long as they comply with the social distancing and hygiene requirements put in place. 

Even spas, swimming pools and wellness facilities are to reopen from Whit Sunday on May 30th under strict hygiene rules.

READ ALSO: 10 reasons why you really should visit North Rhine-Westphalia

The streets of Monschau in North Rhine-Westphalia were almost completely empty on April 29th. Photo: DPA

Rhineland-Palatinate

Starting on Wednesday, May 13th, camping sites for permanent campers, caravan sites and day-trip boats were able to resume operations, according to the state government.

From May 18th, hotels, holiday flats and houses and youth hostels followed.

READ ALSO: Rhine valley – home to 'river of destiny'

Saarland

Tourism offerings began to increase incrementally starting on Monday May 18th, but only 50 percent of the units will be allowed to be occupied, according to the state government. However on May 25th, that number will rise to 75 percent, and then up to 100 percent by June 2nd, depending on the number of infections. 

The rules apply to hotels, guesthouses, inns, camping sites, youth hostels and holiday apartments. Swimming and fitness areas must remain closed.

READ ALSO: Big birthday in a small state: Saarland celebrates its 100 year old history

Saxony

It’s already possible to stay in one’s own holiday home, as long as social distancing and hygiene rules are maintained. 

Hotels, holiday homes for other guests and gastronomy opened again Friday May 15th, said the state

READ ALSO: A love letter to the eastern German city of Leipzig

Saxony-Anhalt

The eastern state, home of the Harz Mountains, allowed its own residents to rent out holiday homes starting on Friday May 15th, according to the state government.

On May 22nd, hotels also opened their doors, and welcomed visitors from around Germany. 

READ ALSO: These are the 15 most romantic towns to visit in Germany

The scenic city of Wernigerode at the foot of the Harz mountains, pictured in April. Photo: DPA

Schleswig-Holstein

From May 18th, catering and tourism facilities were allowed to reopen, as long as a hygiene concept is in place to ensure that customers or visitors can maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metres at all times.

In addition, the entry ban for tourists and the ban on entering islands and Halligen will be lifted.

READ ALSO: 10 beautiful and secluded German villages that you have to visit

Thuringia

The gastronomy and tourism industry in the east German state reopened on Friday, May 15th, the state announced.

READ ALSO: From Bauhaus to botany, discovering German culture in Weimar

According to the state government's plans, restaurants, hotels, campgrounds and holiday homes will be able to receive guests again at that time, under strict hygienic conditions.


Member comments

  1. There are still border restrictions for travelers from outside Germany though, right? So germans can travel from one state to another, but the external border is still closed?

  2. You can travel between states and stay in any establishment that’s open, providing you observe local regulations and observe the 1.5 mtr social distancing rule.

  3. When hotels open, can they only accept visitors within their state (Bundesland)? Or can you travel between states when the hotels open?

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