Car-free Sunday in Germany

Car-Free Sunday in Germany: Embracing Sustainable Mobility

Car-free Sunday, or "Autofreier Sonntag" in German, is an event celebrated in Germany where certain streets or entire neighborhoods are closed to motorized vehicles, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy the streets without the noise and pollution caused by cars. The event aims to promote sustainable mobility, reduce air pollution, and encourage people to consider alternative modes of transportation.

Car-free Sunday in Germany does not have a fixed date, as it varies from city to city. However, it is usually celebrated on a Sunday in late summer or early autumn. Some cities may even host multiple car-free Sundays throughout the year.


The idea of car-free Sundays originated in the early 1970s during the oil crisis. Germany, along with other European countries, implemented car-free Sundays as a way to conserve fuel. The first car-free Sunday in Germany took place on November 25, 1973. Although the fuel crisis eventually ended, the concept of car-free Sundays continued to evolve and became an opportunity to raise awareness about sustainable mobility and environmental issues.


National customs for Car-free Sunday in Germany

On a national level, car-free Sunday in Germany is celebrated by closing selected streets or entire neighborhoods to motorized vehicles. This creates a unique atmosphere, as people are free to walk, cycle, or skate on the streets without worrying about traffic. The event is often accompanied by various activities organized by local authorities or community groups, such as bicycle tours, workshops on sustainable living, and concerts.

Local customs for Car-free Sunday in Germany

Local customs for car-free Sunday in Germany vary depending on the city or town hosting the event. In Berlin, for example, the annual "Sternfahrt" (Star Ride) takes place on a car-free Sunday, where thousands of cyclists come together from various starting points in the city and ride towards the Brandenburg Gate. In Munich, the city organizes a "Radlaktionstag" (Bicycle Action Day) in conjunction with car-free Sunday, offering cycling routes, guided tours, and workshops on bike maintenance.

Other cities and towns may have their unique customs and activities during car-free Sunday, such as street festivals, outdoor yoga classes, or even temporary parks and playgrounds set up on the car-free streets.


Car-free Sunday in Germany is a significant event that encourages citizens to rethink their transportation habits and embrace more sustainable means of mobility. By closing streets to motorized vehicles and hosting various activities, German cities and towns create a unique atmosphere that promotes environmental awareness and fosters a sense of community. As concerns about climate change and air pollution continue to grow, events like car-free Sunday play a crucial role in raising awareness and promoting sustainable living.