A Guide to Camping in Europe

3 min read

We all like to travel the world and see what it has in store for us. Traveling and seeing things in person is great, but accommodation can cost so much that we can be deterred and decide not to travel until we hear that camping is an option.

There are many ways to camp, but not all of them are legal. Camping in Europe is legal in most places, but it is not always regulated well, not in all countries at least. Here is what you should know about camping in Europe and how to approach it.


Camping in Europe is Legal

Most countries have legal camping spots where you can put up your tent, have showers, and even fresh drinking water and other necessities, like food you could buy. Such locations cost more money, but not as much as you would have to pay for a hostel or hotel. You do have your own place to sleep, which is good. RVs can be used, as well, in such camping sites. Some countries are pretty strict about camping outdoors, especially in national parks. You don’t want to be caught camping where you shouldn’t be in a national park. The fines can be devastating, especially in Nordic countries.


Camping Might Not Be Well Regulated

Some countries, while they have laws and regulations about camping, do not enforce the laws very well. You can basically camp by a road and nobody will bat an eyelash unless you get unlucky and the authorities decide to drive by or walk by. From experience, friends have camped in various forests and fields by road, without any hassle, in most countries in Europe, including Nordic ones. You would have to be careful because fines are still a possibility.

However, if you are clean and tidy and leave no trace behind, meaning waste or pollution, the consequences will be minuscule if any at all.


Any Special Places to Visit?

Europe is a huge collection of various countries with anything from a Mediterranean climate to a really chilly one up north. You can have hot days or nights which last for half a year. Regardless, whichever part of Europe you choose, you will have a good time. Whether camping in the south of France or Spain, on the Mediterranean or the Atlantic or up in the mountains in Norway, there are tons of great places to visit.


Warnings and Precautions

Make sure to have a working GPS device on you if you plan to venture off the beaten path. Have a whistle handy. Never leave food out in the open or in containers that animals will be able to smell through. Animals in the wild can be very aggressive if they want food. The usual camping rules apply when camping in Europe.

Read each country’s camping laws but always ask the locals. They will know more about the current location than a website will, such as where there is water and whether the authorities will be waking you up and evicting you.


Camping in Europe is legal and fun so pick a location and off you go!