Many Germans use the long weekend beginning on May 26th, Ascension Day, as an opportunity to go on a short vacation. Drivers must therefore be prepared for increased traffic during this time. The German automobile club ADAC expects the volume of traffic to be significantly higher than in the previous two years, since there are no longer restrictions on travel between the individual German states introduced in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.
The traffic may be especially crowded on the freeways of the larger cities. An additional obstacle may be the large number of ongoing roadworks in Germany – currently there are more than a thousand such places.
ADAC warns of traffic jams forming on German roads from Wednesday
In order to be able to spend as much time as possible at their vacation destination, most holidaymakers will already set off on Wednesday afternoon, i.e. 25 May. Hence, the ADAC expects increased traffic on the roads on that day between 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The following federal states in particular are affected: Berlin, Bremen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony, Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia, and this is because the Friday after Ascension Day is officially school-free there.
However, also in other federal states many people take the day off to extend their weekend. In addition, many drivers from Hamburg and Saxony-Anhalt are likely to be on the roads as the week-long holidays come to an end in those two states.
The wave of returns is likely to reach its peak on Sunday afternoon. Friday, on the other hand, should be relatively quiet on Germany’s main roads.
These road sections are likely to see the worst traffic jams in Germany during the long weekend starting on Ascension Day:
- main roads leading to and from coastal towns
- in urban agglomerations such as: Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich
- A1 Cologne – Dortmund – Bremen – Hamburg – Lübeck
- A2 Berlin – Hannover – Oberhausen – Dortmund
- A3 Emmerich – Oberhausen – Cologne – Frankfurt – Würzburg – Nuremberg
- A4 Kirchheimer Dreieck – Erfurt – Chemnitz – Dresden
- A5 Hattenbacher Dreieck – Darmstadt – Karlsruhe
- A6 Heilbronn – Nuremberg
- A7 Hamburg – Hannover and Würzburg – Füssen/Reutte
- A7 Hamburg – Flensburg
- A8 Stuttgart – Munich – Salzburg
- A9 Munich – Nuremberg
- A10 Berliner Ring
- A40 Venlo – Duisburg – Essen – Dortmund
- A43 Wuppertal – Recklinghausen – Münster
- A61 Mönchengladbach – Koblenz – Ludwigshafen
- A81 Stuttgart – Singen
- A93 Inntaldreieck – Kufstein
- A95 /B 2 Munich – Garmisch-Partenkirchen
- A99 Autobahnring München (freeway ring road of Munich)
But travelers need to be prepared for traffic difficulties not only in Germany. Ascension Day is also a public holiday in Austria and Switzerland. This will be particularly noticeable on access roads to the lakes of Carinthia, the Salzkammergut region, Lake Neusiedl and recreational areas in the Swiss cantons of Ticino and Valais. Slightly longer driving times should also be planned on routes leading to the Rhine Valley or the Fernpass, for example.
According to the ADAC, stops at borders should not last longer than 30 minutes, both when entering and leaving the country.
When is the best time to go to a gas station?
Those who have planned their vacation in the coming days should also choose the right time to refuel. It is advisable to avoid refueling in the morning on the day of departure. It is better to do it the previous evening, between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. According to ADAC, you can save up to ten cents per liter of fuel this way.