Where traffic will be worst in Germany over the holiday weekend

If you're driving this holiday weekend, you might run into some traffic jams. Here are the roads where it's expected to get busy.

A traffic jam on May 17th at the A23 near Halstenbek, Schleswig-Holstein.
A traffic jam on May 17th at the A23 near Halstenbek, Schleswig-Holstein. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Bodo Marks

People in Germany can expect a nationwide holiday on Monday May 29th for Pfingsten (Pentecost).

As many people are getting a day off work to enjoy the long weekend, the roads are going to be busy. 

Germany’s ADAC – Europe’s largest automobile association – says drivers should expect worst traffic jams on Friday afternoon, Saturday morning and on Whit Monday. 

“Holidaymakers must be prepared for long traffic jams on the Whitsun weekend,” said the ADAC. “Holiday traffic as well as more than 1,300 road works will make car journeys a test of patience.”

READ ALSO: 9 of the best day trips from Frankfurt with the €49 ticket

By contrast, it should be relatively quiet on the trunk roads on Whit Sunday. 

Here are the routes (and areas) expected to be most congested:

  • Greater Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich
  • Trunk roads to the North Sea and Baltic Sea
  • A1 Cologne – Dortmund – Bremen – Lübeck
  • A2 Dortmund – Hanover – Berlin
  • A1/A3/A4 Cologne ring road
  • A3 Oberhausen – Frankfurt – Nuremberg – Passau
  • A4 Kirchheimer Dreieck – Erfurt – Dresden
  • A5 Hattenbacher Dreieck – Frankfurt – Karlsruhe – Basel
  • A6 Kaiserslautern – Mannheim – Heilbronn – Nuremberg
  • A7 Hamburg – Flensburg
  • A7 Hamburg – Hanover – Würzburg – Füssen/Reutte
  • A8 Karlsruhe – Stuttgart – Munich – Salzburg
  • A9 Munich – Nuremberg – Berlin
  • A10 Berlin Ring
  • A11 Berliner Ring – Uckermark junction
  • A19 Wittstock/Dosse triangle – Rostock
  • A24 Berlin – Hamburg
  • A61 Mönchengladbach – Koblenz – Ludwigshafen
  • A81 Stuttgart – Singen
  • A93 Inntaldreieck – Kufstein
  • A95 / B2 Munich – Garmisch-Partenkirchen
  • A96 Munich – Lindau
  • A99 Munich bypass

Another obstacle that could make travel difficult is roadworks. The ADAC said there are currently 1,304 motorway construction sites across Germany.

Here’s where there are some short-term closures:

  • A45 Hagen – Gießen in both directions between Hagen-Süd and Lüdenscheid-Nord on Sunday, May 28th, from 10am to 4pm
  • A59 Düsseldorf – Cologne in both directions between Kreuz Leverkusen-West and the end of the A59 extension (Rheinallee) from 10pm on Friday, May 26th, to 10pm on Sunday
  • A30 Amsterdam – Rheine in both directions near Salzbergen until May 30th, 5pm

Here’s a look at the longer-term closures to look out for:

  • A44 Kassel towards Dortmund between Dreieck Kassel-Süd and Kreuz Kassel-West until 30th January 2024
  • A45 Hagen towards Gießen between Lüdenscheid-Nord and Sauerland service area until further notice
  • A45 Gießen towards Hagen between Lüdenscheid and Lüdenscheid-Nord until further notice
  • A49 Kassel towards Gießen between Kreuz Kassel-West and Baunatal-Mitte until January 30th 2024
  • A66 Wiesbaden – Frankfurt in both directions between Wiesbaden-Biebrich and Wiesbaden-Mainzer Straße until further notice
  • A94 Munich – Passau in both directions between Malching and junction B12-Malching-Nord until September 30th 2023
  • A226 Travemünde direction Bad Schwartau between Lübeck-Siems and Dreieck Bad Schwartau from now until June 19th, 5 p.m.

Keep in mind that diversions are signposted and there may be some changes at short notice. 

Building sites and expected congested traffic over the holiday weekend.

Building sites and expected congested traffic over the holiday weekend. Photo: ADAC/DPA

What about neighbouring countries?

If you’re driving out of Germany, you’ll also probably experience some heavy traffic. 

International routes such as the Tauern, Inntal, Rheintal and Brenner motorways, as well as the Gotthard route are likely to be affected. 

Some popular destinations include the Carinthian lakes, the Salzkammergut and Lake Neusiedl in Austria as well as resorts in the Swiss cantons of Ticino and Valais.

If you are heading into neighbouring Austria, note that the Arlberg road tunnel is closed until the beginning of October, and drivers have to use the Arlberg Pass as a detour.

READ ALSO: Which foreign countries can you visit with Germany’s €49 ticket?

Can you avoid the traffic?

Experts say that people shouldn’t take a secondary route unless it’s an official diversion. 

That’s because traffic then builds up on smaller roads and clogs up smaller towns. 

“The police strictly control the alternative routes on the weekends and holidays,” said ADAC traffic expert Alexander Kreipl. Rescue services can also be affected by the increased traffic volume if too many people use other routes. 

Instead it’s best to try and travel at a time that isn’t so busy – or make sure you have plenty of water, snacks and good music in the car and be prepared to wait. 

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EXPLAINED: What are the rules of Berlin’s new €29 travel pass?

Berlin's public transport association BVG has announced the return of the monthly €29 ticket in 2024. Who's eligible to buy it, and which services are included?

EXPLAINED: What are the rules of Berlin's new €29 travel pass?

Why is the new €29 travel ticket being introduced?

As a whole, tickets to use Berlin’s U-Bahn, S-Bahn, and trams are only getting more expensive, going up by 6.7 percent on average starting in 2024. 

To put it concretely, that means that a single ticket for the AB fare zone (covering most of the city of Berlin itself) will be 30 cents more expensive next year, or €3.50 per ticket. For the entire ABC network (which covers all of Berlin and several cities in neighbouring Brandenburg), a single ticket will set you back €4.40 in future – 40 cents more than before. The price for the four-trip ticket for the AB area will increase by 80 cents to €10.80.

But regular Berlin public transport users who want to dodge the price increase – and even snag a bargain – can buy the new €29 next year. 

They’ll then pay a monthly fee to ride within the AB area of Berlin at a price last seen in 1972, according to the Berliner Morgenpost.

Back then for 60 Deutsche marks, passengers could travel through Berlin with the BVG, but only through the western part of the city.

READ ALSO: Berlin public transport fares set to increase in 2024

So when will I be able to get the €29 travel ticket in Berlin – and how?

The ticket is set to be introduced in the first half of 2024. The exact start date has not yet been set, but it should be available by July 1st, 2024 at the latest, according to Berlin public transport operator BVG.

The information will be published as soon as it’s available on their official website.

It’s a follow-up version to a prior €29 ticket, which has not been available since April of this year when the national €49 was introduced.

The €29 ticket can only be purchased as an annual subscription- so with a minimum term of 12 months.

What do existing BVG season ticket holders have to do if they want to switch to the €29 ticket?

Current seasonal ticket holders aren’t required to do anything – other than wait. “It will be easy and convenient to switch to the new subscription. Those who want to join the BVG subscription with the new ticket will of course receive all the information in good time, for example on,” according to the BVG.

An S-Bahn train arrives at Berlin-Grünau station in the morning.

An S-Bahn train arrives at Berlin-Grünau station in the morning. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Soeder

For whom is the €29 ticket worthwhile?

Financially the season ticket is worth getting for everyone who would buy an average of eight single tickets each month. According to the Senate Transport Administration, it is a good offer, especially for pensioners and the self-employed, neither of whom have the opportunity to get a reduced-price job ticket.

The existing social ticket (Sozialticket) remains completely unaffected by the introduction of the €29 ticket. It will continue to be available to all eligible people.

What are the differences between the national €49 ticket and Berlin’s €29 ticket?

The €49 ticket is valid nationwide on local public transport – including Berlin’s – so holders can travel – with enough time for slower regional trains – through all German cities and the whole of Germany, including some cities across the border. The €49 ticket is sold as a subscription, but can be cancelled on a monthly basis. 

However the new €29 ticket will only be valid in the AB fare zone in Berlin and its only valid for a whole year – so it can’t be used to travel across the country.

And unlike the first version of Berlin’s €29 ticket and the current monthly Umweltkarte (environment) ticket,  the new €29 ticket won’t allow holders to take other non-ticket holding passengers with them after 8pm or on the weekend.

So Berlin’s new ticket could be ideal for commuters who don’t venture regularly outside of Berlin – or other parts of Germany – via public transport. But for those who are planning even a couple regional trips per month, the €49 could be more economical. Note, though, that the future of this ticket and its pricing remains up in the air.


What option do €29 ticket users have who regularly need to transport their bikes?

That’s still up in the air. But so far there are already monthly tickets for bikes, which cost €12 (AB) and €15 (ABC). Starting on January 1st, 2024, that’s set to go up to €12.80 and €16.