Dec 23, 2021

How to find the best Campingspots

#Stellplatzsuche #Wildcamping #Freiheit

Written by Anna 


Campsite or wildcamping? Among campers, this is almost a question of faith. Some like a minimum of comfort and a base, so to speak, while others prefer to do without and live out their boundless freedom instead. We will soon discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each in a separate blog post, but in this article we want to focus more on the topic of finding a pitch in general, but especially when it comes to freestanding.

After all, who hasn't seen them: the gorgeous Instagram pictures of wonderful pitches right by the sea, with a view of the mountains, in the middle of nature. Lonely and deserted, with no other campers around. But what is celebrated on social media often has nothing to do with reality. Often the beautiful views are hidden behind trees and huge camper vans, in some places residents don't like you or you are even sent away by the police or the public order office, and in many places there are mountains of rubbish. 

Before we reveal a few practical tips and tools for finding a pitch and go into the criteria we look out for when it comes to pitches, we would first like to point out certain rules that are absolutely essential to observe when detaching!

The Instagram account @campierenmitmanieren has summarised the most important rules for wild camping well in the 10 commandments for campers, so we quote them here: 

1. Camp and park only where it is allowed. 

2. Leave places cleaner than you found them.

3. Respect your fellow campers. Respect your fellow human beings, campers and residents alike.

4. Behave in harmony with nature. 

5. Defecate in nature: big or small, keep the environment clean. 

6. Light open fires only in designated areas, respect forest fire zones and nature reserves. 

7. Campers are not pack animals. If the site is already full, find somewhere else.

8. Be friendly, positive and do not judge others. 

9. Keep your dog in sight and on a leash. The dog's waste should be collected and disposed of in a bin. 

10. Keep your pitches to yourself. Discover them yourself and do not share them with the public. 


So: Take your rubbish with you, including toilet paper, and at best pick up rubbish that is already lying around. Don't run off branches and keep quiet. Be friendly to residents and other campers and don't unpack all your equipment. As a general rule, wild camping is still prohibited in most countries. It is only permitted to spend a night to "restore fitness to drive". Free-standing is only tolerated in many places, even if it is forbidden in principle. Accordingly, when free-standing, you should refrain from setting up tables and chairs, awnings, tarps and other accessories.

Maximum freedom when wild camping

If you are aware of all these rules and commandments, nothing stands in the way of a night out :-) There are various ways to find a nice spot: 

Probably the best-known app for finding a pitch is park4night. It lists campsites as well as simple parking spaces, camper van sites and other, sometimes remote spots. Pitches can be marked with a star so that they can be found again quickly in the favourites. Anyone with an account can post newly discovered spots and rate existing ones. New spots are then reviewed by admins. The app thrives on the pitch ratings of its users, although these are of course often very subjective. The sites are also photographed by the users. Photos are of course always very helpful for choosing a spot, so it's great if there are a few meaningful pictures. You don't have to book the "wild" pitches, you can just drive up to them and hope that firstly it's nice and secondly something is still free :-) 

Google Maps or similar providers can also be very helpful when looking for a pitch. The satellite view often shows the location of the spot and makes it easier to decide whether you really want to go there or not. In addition, you can of course just take a lucky shot and see if you can find a small spot nearby. 

Camping close to nature - legally

In addition to Park4night, there are also a few other platforms that offer camping close to nature without the need for a campsite: 

The camping counterpart to AirBnB is, a platform for campers and adventurers who are looking for private tent and pitch sites in a secluded location. "In the middle of nature, far from the crowds, in the most beautiful parts of Germany," they write themselves on their website. Their slogan "Off to the hinterland, where freedom and adventure are at home!" says it all: from simple meadows to idyllic spots by small streams to spots with fantastic views, there is something for everyone here throughout Germany. To use, all you need is a user account, which you can use both as a host and to book trips. If you have some space yourself, you can of course also register as a host. 

A similar platform is offered by, a start-up that wants to make camping in nature possible. With VanSite, it's easy to find natural camping sites near you: "From a simple green space at the edge of a country lane to a spot by a lake with a shower and toilet, you too can find your dream spot," says the website. Here, too, most of the spaces are offered by private individuals. To be able to use, you can simply create an account. Advantage: is also available as an app :-) has also made it its business to offer campers the "perfect retreat with great hosts". You can find a lot of pitches in southern Germany, because the team consists of mountain friends and adventurers from the Lake Constance region. But is also already represented in the rest of Germany. As the name suggests, there are not only pure camping sites, but also huts, tent sites and other shelters. What all the sites have in common is that they are only offered in agreement with the responsible nature conservation authorities and are easily accessible. 

With camping.landreise, there is another portal for camping on sites close to nature. Here you can filter specifically whether you want a pitch on a meadow, by the water, at the edge of a forest, in the mountains or on farms. You can also filter directly for child-friendly pitches. With #legaleswildcampen, camping.landreise wants to offer a platform where you can camp in the great outdoors, far away from the hustle and bustle of the big campsites, but still legally. 

Camping on the farm

With Landvergnügen you can spend the night on Germany's most beautiful farms free of charge. Landvergnügen brings together over 1,300 idyllic destinations for motorhomes, caravans and camping buses. Here, rural hosts such as farms, wineries or similar offer pitches on their properties. The only thing expected in return is that you might buy something in the farm shops - but that's what you like to do anyway :-) For Landvergnügen, you need an annual vignette, which you get when you order the corresponding pitch guide. The annual vignette costs €49.90 for 2022 and can be ordered on 

Stadt Land Bus Camping follows a similar concept: The focus is also on camping on a farm. Stadt Land Bus Camping  stands for "an innovative cooperation between agriculture and tourism". Their mission is to "find unique pitches and campsites and provide an authentic experience where a real relationship between holidaymaker and host is created."

Campsite portals

Last but not least, we would like to introduce you to two portals for campsites: Pincamp is a portal of the ADAC (German Automobile Club), where you can find more than 10,000 campsites in 38 countries. Here you can also enter your travel dates directly and see the corresponding prices. In addition, there is often detailed information about the immediate vicinity of the campsite as well as ratings according to the ADAC classification and from campers who have already been there. 

With there is also a portal for - who would have thought it ;-) - small campsites that are inspected annually by ACSI. The motto here is "small and fine camping", so the sites all offer no more than 50 pitches. The focus is on atmosphere, cosiness and hospitality, while mass tourism and extensive entertainment programmes tend to take a back seat. Currently, around 2000 campsites from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Croatia, Spain and Belgium are represented here.

Our pitch criteria

The three of us always pay attention to a few criteria that make a spot particularly attractive to us:

For Carina, who now travels most of the time in a large Crafter, the accessibility plays a major role. It is also important to her that the spot is as close to nature as possible and rather open, ideally with a lot of greenery around it.

Nadine often finds parking spaces for hikers and checks them in advance using the satellite view on Google Maps to see how far the spot is from the road. It's important to her that she and her Caddy are not visible from the road.

Personally, I (Anna) always like places by the water best, or on the edge of fields or meadows where you can enjoy wide views. If there's a sea or mountain view, that's of course an absolute dream :-) 

Basically, of course, your gut feeling always plays a role - do I feel comfortable here, or does something seem strange to me? If the latter is the case, it is always advisable to drive further and look again. It makes sense to start looking for a parking space early so that you can arrive in the daylight and take a look at the surroundings.

In addition, the last park4night reviews should be read carefully - we all usually avoid places where, for example, it has been mentioned several times that young people often hold parties there in the evenings or that the police and the public order office check them.