German Road Signs, Autobahn

German Road Signs


German Road Signs, Autobahn

When we got to Germany, I was extremely nervous about driving. I have no idea why… I mean, I LOVE driving, I learned to drive in Dallas, plus I know the language. My husband got his license as soon as we arrived, which was WAY before I did (by 2 months). He doesn’t even speak the language!

There should’ve been no reason for the amount of nervous I felt. (I think it was because I had never driving in a foreign country.) But I was, and no, you’re not weird or odd for feeling that way too. It’s completely normal. Promise.

I’ve heard of people taking the test lots of time (not uncommon). As long as you read through the driving book, study the signs, and listen to the review before the exam, you’ll be completely fine. Fingers crossed; I’ll cross my fingers for you too. Fortunately, I only had to take it once.

Not everyone is lucky enough to know German when driving or taking the exam. So, I’ve come up with a list of words that you may come across on the road signs in your European Adventures…at least where Germany is concerned. The languages will be different in the other countries, but at least the signs look the same.

So drive safe and have a blast doing it! And when you hit the road the first time, yell for joy because you can read the signs!

German Road Sign, Einfahrt

Achtung! – (Pay) attention!
Alle Richtungen – All directions
Anlieger frei – Residents and local traffic allowed
Anlieger bis Baustelle frei – Residents and local traffic allowed as far as construction site
Anlieger oder Parken frei – Residents, local traffic and parking allowed
Anwohner frei – Residents allowed
Ausfahrt – Exit
Ausfahrt freihalten – Keep driveway exit clear
Autobahn – Interstate
Autohof – Truck stop

Bahnhof – Train station
bei Nässe – During wet conditions
bei Rot hier halten – Stop here on red
besetzt – Full, occupied (e.g. parking lot)

Durchgangsverkehr – Through traffic

Einbahnstraße – One way street
Einfahrt – Entrance
Einfahrt freihalten – Keep driveway entrance clear
Ende – End

Feuergasse – Fire lane
Flughafen – Airport
freihalten – Keep clear
Frostschäden – Frost/freeze damage
Fußgänger – Pedestrian

Gasse – Alley, lane
gebührenpflichtig – Toll/fee required
Gefahr – Danger
gesperrt – Closed, blocked (e.g. “Straße gesperrt” = “road closed”)

Haltestelle – Bus/tram stop

Kreuzung – Intersection

German Road Sign, Intersection

Licht! – Turn on your headlights (when entering a tunnel)
Licht? – Turn off your headlights (when coming out of a tunnel)
Licht ausschalten – Turn off headlights
Licht einschalten – Turn on headlights
Lkw. – Truck

mit Parkschein – With parking voucher

Nebel – Fog
Nebenstrecke – Secondary route
Nothalt – Emergency stopping area
Notruf – Emergency telephone

Ölspur – Watch for oil on lane

Parkhaus – Parking garage (above ground)
Parkscheinautomat – Parking voucher dispensing machine
Parkuhr – Parking meter
Pkw. – Passenger vehicle (car)
Polizei – Police

Radweg – Bicycle trail
Rasthaus – Service area
Rasthof – Service area
Raststätte – Service area
Reißverscluss erst in 200 m – “Zipper” merge begins in 200 meters
Richtung – Direction of travel
Rollsplitt – Loose gravel/chippings

German Road Signs, Winter

Schleudergefahr – Skidding danger
Schnellstraße – Expressway
Schule – School
Schulbus – School bus
Stadtmitte – Downtown/city center
Stau – Congestion/traffic jam
Straße – Street
Straßenbahn – Streetcar
Straßenschäden – Road damaged (I had a friend who always said “Sh*+y street” when she saw this sign…Pretty easy to remember it that way!)
Streugut – Road sand/salt
Stunde(n) – Hour(s) (You may see this word on a parking sign. It’s usually proceeded by a number to indicate how many hours you may park in the spot.)

Tankstelle – Filling station
Tiefgarage – Underground parking garage

überholen – Overtake, pass
Umleitung – Detour/diversion
Unfall – Accident

verboten – Prohibited
Verkehr – Traffic
Verkehrshelfer – Traffic guard
Verschmutzte Fahrbahn – Dirty road
Vorfahrt – Right-of-way/priority
Vorfahrt geändert – Right-of-way has been changed
Vorfahrtstraße – Priority road
Vorrang – Right-of-way/priority
Vorsicht – Caution

Weg – Way, lane
Werktags – Workdays

Zentrum – Downtown/city center
Zoll – Boarder

Sign Poster/Handout from the Army:
Document (

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