Campsites or wild camping?

Campsites or wild camping?
Prague Labs
4 minutes of reading

The perfect camping moment: you, your loved ones and your camper van - surrounded by unspoilt nature with an amazing view. This is something you can totally achieve ... with our tips and guidance on the choice between campsites or wild camping! Both have pros and cons but the important aspect is ... that you need to be informed!

Wildcamping in Europe
Wildcamping in Europe

Which countries currently have open campsites and is there the possibility of wild camping in Europe?

Wild camping means spending the night outside of campgrounds, but this is perceived very differently in different countries. Therefore, you should stay at a campsite if possible. We have collected all the information about the current situation in the individual countries and tell you where you can currently spend the night on a campsite.


Wild camping is generally not allowed in Germany. Nature reserves, national parks, landscape conservation areas and private property are an absolute no-go! If you violate these prohibitions, you have to expect high fines. In general, please respect the local laws and treat nature with respect. You can find more information in our blogpost "Wildcamping in Germany".


Wild camping is also a bit more difficult in Austria. Here the regulation is different for some federal states. In Lower Austria, Carinthia, Tyrol and Burgenland wild camping is strictly forbidden and you have to expect high penalties. Vorarlberg, Styria, Upper Austria and Salzburg, on the other hand, take a more relaxed view and either let the municipalities decide or allow it above the tree line or in wasteland.


The legal situation regarding wild camping in Italy is not so clear. Basically there is a ban on wild camping, nevertheless there are some exceptions. Often the rule is to get a permit from the respective municipality to be on the safe side. In Tuscany, for example, there is no law, so it's best to check with the municipality. Veneto, on the other hand, has a clear ban and only allows camping in designated areas.


Generally, wild camping is considered prohibited in Croatia, but is mostly tolerated in rural areas. It is best to avoid tourist areas and national parks. Camping on private land is also not allowed in Croatia.


In general, wild camping is prohibited in Slovenia. However, you can ask the land owner if you can stay there for one night.


Wild camping in France is prohibited. It is better to use the municipal campsites "Camping Municipal", otherwise it can be very expensive. Wild camping is also not allowed in national parks, rivers and canals.


In Spain it is allowed to stay overnight away from campsites. However, it is prohibited on the popular central coast and on the beach. Always be on the safe side and try to find the owner of the land and simply ask if you can stay there.


Portugal prohibits wild camping. However, here you can find great camping sites close to nature and enjoy the landscape to the fullest.


Staying overnight in a camper is forbidden in national parks, nature reserves, hunting areas and in wildlife rest areas. Otherwise, Switzerland is a paradise for wild campers, as there are no uniform regulations. It is best to check with the local authorities directly to find out what the rules are there.


Wild camping in the Netherlands is strictly forbidden and it is also forbidden on private land.


In Belgium, as in many other countries, you can spend the night in parking lots, along roads or on private property. On the coasts, however, you have to be very careful, because there are high penalties.


In Denmark, free standing is generally prohibited, but you can get a permit from the land owner and stay overnight. Motorized vehicles are instructed to park at campgrounds or use designated parking areas.


In Sweden, the Everyman's Right applies, which allows anyone to stay in the countryside. As long as you avoid residential areas and nature reserves, you should have no problems with wild camping in Sweden. Please always make sure to leave your campsite clean.


Also in Norway the Everyman's Right is valid, but actually only for non-motorized campers. They are usually tolerated as long as they don't leave garbage and don't act like they are camping. It is best to leave your table in the camper and only stay in one place for one night.


Camping in the wild is possible in Poland from 04.05.2021. For this purpose, there is a map with 425 forest areas and designated areas. You can find more information here! Also, residents and authorities often turn a blind eye away from nature reserves, coasts and tourist areas.

Czech Republic

In principle, wild camping is prohibited. This also applies to private land. However, if you ask the farmer nicely, you can usually spend a night there in the meadow.


Unfortunately, wild camping is not allowed in Hungary. The rules are very strict, especially for free camping in mobile homes away from designated campsites. In rural areas, however, you are sure to find a property owner who will let you stay overnight.

Wildcampen in Europa
Wildcampen in Europa

Please note that due to the current situation most of the campsites had to be closed! Find out before your trip what options are available and where you can safely spend the night. Use the parking app park4night to find open overnight parking spaces for one night.

You can find detailed information in our blog post or on the Auswärtigen Amt page.

Your FreewayCamper Team