The Best No-Limit Autobahn near the Nurburging

Alex Gassman

by Alex Gassman

Nurburgring autobahn road sign

Heading to the Nurburgring for the thrill of driving the greatest race circuit in the world? Well Germany has another bonus to offer – desrestricted Autobahns. Unfortunately, however, not all of their motorways are derestricted. In this article we provide directions to the closest autobahn near the Nurburgring that has no speed limits.



Driving the Nordschleife is one of the greatest, most challenging, and most exhilarating driving experiences in the world. But if you’re not from Germany, having the chance to legally drive as fast as you want on their autobahns is probably a close second. 

It seems absurd that in this day and age going flat out on a public road is allowed but praise the German government – it is. Unfortunately however, not all autobahns have no speed limit.

How much of the autobahn network is derestricted?

A report published in 2015 by the Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen (BASt) – the research facility for the department of the German Federal Ministry of Transport – said that just over 70% of the autobahn network had no speed limits. 

The neat little infographic below published by Statista uses the data from the BASt report. It shows that an additional 6% of the autobahns can have no speed limit if traffic conditions are good and the traffic control system allows.

A graph showing how much of the autobahn has no speed limit

This report was published 7 years ago now and it has been hard to find any more official data. However, if Germany is anything like the UK, the number of ‘smart’ motorways being rolled out will have increased. 

This probably means some permanent derestricted sections may now be under digital traffic control.

How do you know if an autobahn has no speed limit?

The magic signpost you are looking for is the white circle with the 5 black diagonal lines. This means the end of any speed restriction, and you are free to boot it. The feeling of joy you get when you pass one of these, can drop a couple of cogs and weld your foot to the bulkhead is incredible. 

These signs may be fixed on the side of the road, or on an overhead digital gantry on a smart motorway.

You will also see this sign in a couple of places on the Nurburgring itself, because the circuit is classed as a public road for tourist driving.

The destricted sign to show there are no speed limits on the German Autobahn

If it is raining and / or the road surface is wet, look out for the signs that have a speed limit above the words “bei Nässe”. This means the stated limit applies in wet conditions.

BeiNasse autobahn sign

You may also see blue speed limit signs. If you enter Germany via a land border on the motorway you will see the sign below. The blue 130 sign is an advisory speed, not a mandatory limit. You do not have to stick to this when on a signposted derestricted section.

A motorway sign in Germany showing the speed limits on different road types

Destricted autobahn across Germany

The below map provided by Autobahnspeedhunter  highlights the stretches of autobahn across the whole of Germany that are known to have no speed limit. This is open-source generated info, so may not be 100% accurate. 

Also roadworks or traffic conditions may put temporary speed limits in place, but it is a great guide nonetheless.

Whether you’re driving all the way to the Ring or flying in from one of the nearby airports and hiring a car, it may well be worth factoring in a few of these motorways to try and get some no-limit fun on your journey.

Derestricted autobahn near the Nurburgring

What we really want to know is which autobahn near the Nurburgring is derestricted, and how do we get to the closest parts? Incorporating these in to your journey to the Nurburgring is always a good idea.

I’ve edited the map to include a pin of the Nordschleife tourist driving entrance.

If we look at this map a little closer, we can see that around the area of Nurburg there are three stretches of derestricted Autobahn. The two on the left hand side of this map running North – South are both the A1. The other stretch running South-East is the A61.

A map showing destricted motorways in the Eifel region

For the purposes of this article we are just going to focus on the A1 because this is an AWESOME stretch of Autobahn, and is the closest to the Ring.

The A1, theoretically, runs from one of the northern most points of Germany, to a very southern point of the country. I say theoretically because as you can see from the map there is a break in this road. The final section of this motorway – a 15 mile / 24km stretch through the Eifel mountains – was never completed.

The A1 autobahn near the nurburgring broken in to north and south sections

That means that these two sections of the autobahn are effectively dead ends. As a result, most satnavs will re-route people travelling North or South past this bit of the country on a different autobahn. Sending people through 15 miles of winding Eifel mountain roads is usually slower than taking a longer route around another autobahn.

So what? Well, it means traffic is usually pretty minimal here compared to on other motorways. Good news for getting some clear roads to boot it.

How close is the autobahn near the Nurburgring?

For the autobahn near the Nurburgring, it is quicker to get to the section of the A1 heading south, only a 20 minute drive from the Devil’s Diner restaurant at the Nurburgring tourist driving entrance.

Click the image below for Google Map directions

To get the northern section of the A1 from the entrance is slightly longer at just over 30 minutes.

Click the image below for Google Map directions

Which section should you head for? Well both parts are two lanes, and both have quite a steep hill in one direction. So a return run is required to make sure you get the downhill speed boost.

Our preference is the northern section because you have over 20 miles of just the A1 autobahn before a junction with another motorway.

The southern section is only around 7 miles of A1 before it joins with the A48, and traffic could get a little heavier.

What's the best time of day to drive the autobahn?

For either section of this autobahn near the Nurburgring, going at non-peak times are going to give you the best chance of light traffic. An early morning or late night run on these sections will probably give you some clear road.

These above sections of the A1 are dual carriageways, so it doesn’t take much to impede your progress.

Alex Gassman

I‘m Alex. I write F1 and motorsport travel guides based on my experience as racing driver and full-time motorsport nerd. I’ve traveled the world watching F1 and other racing series.

I started oversteer48 with the aim of helping other motorsport fans who are planning on watching some racing themselves.

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