European public parking areas

European public parking areas

Staying overnight with a motorhome, rv, campervan or camper on public parking areas is possible throughout Europe – assuming a bit of common sense. Here’s how to load a Garmin Dezl 560 with 10.000+ public parking locations from a free GPS public parking directory.

Overnight parking areas in Europe

Staying overnight on public parking area’s with large camper trucks or bus campers is quite common in Europe – same as it is for truckers and bus coaches. With considerable autonomy there’s no need to stay at campsites or campings. Besides that European campsite entrances are often too narrow or height restricted. Specially pitches on popular  campsites are quite small - maximized to cater as many guests as possible.

Public parking areas in Europe
Public parking area in Europe - sometimes of the beaten path on gravel roads

Assuming a bit of common sense – its well possible to roam across Europe like this. Outside Europe towards Asia, Africa and direction Russia this way of travel is the norm since there’s no supporting campsite infrastructure at all.

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Public parking area directory in Europe

There are several who have compiled huge and growing lists of public parking area’s in Europe. Popular lists are:

Of course there’s no guarantee a public parking area still exists or has any space left specially during holiday seasons. Below a service point in France (in Void Vacon) for electricity, water and waste disposal.

Water, Electricity and waste water service point in France Aire de Service for Motorhomes, RV, Campervans, WOMO, Kampeerauto in France
Aire de Service in France - Water, Electricity and Water listed at

Also local authorities may have closed a public parking area down due to massive popularity or (ab)use such as excessive waste disposal or many complaints from locals in the neighborhood.

Height restricted public parking area due to excessive use by motorhomes, rvs, campervans and campers
Height restricted Public parking area in Europe - common in popular beach areas

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Though outside high season and well away from popular holiday regions - finding a public parking area in Europe is (still) no problem.

Spend the night at a fire brigade? Its possible in Portugal.

Public parking area file format conversion and POI download

The site distributes the public parking area list in ASCII format. This is just plain text without any formatting, making it readable for many programs.

ASCII formatted public parking area directory
Public parking area in Europe - in ASCII format - just plain text without formatting

To upload it to a Garmin Dezl 560 the list needs to be converted to popular CSV format (Comma Separated Values) used by for instance Microsoft Excel. For those not familiar with the import/export function of Microsoft Excel, free software like POIedit can do the same. It requires loading the ASC file and saving it as CSV file.

CSV formatted public parking area directory
Public parking area in Europe - in CSV format - just plain text without formatting

Garmin POI loader uploads .CSV files to internal or microSD card memory.


Public parking area in other languages

There's no single word in Europe to describe a public parkling area for those with a motorhome, campervan, or rv. Most European languages have their own jargon - some countries don't even have a word for it.

A public parking area in other European languages:

  • German - Stellplätze

  • French - Aires de stationnement

  • Italian - Aree di sosta

  • Spanish - Estacionamiento

  • Portuguese - Estacionamento

  • Dutch - Camperplaats, Openbare parkeerplaats


Links to public parking area information

Overview of external links mentioned above

  POIedit software

  Garmin POI Loader

  Free public parking area directory

  Staying overnight on European public parking areas (germain)