Tag: travel

The Best Instagrammable Places in NYC- Local Guide

Looking for the best spots to step up your photo game? Check out our comprehensive guide around our favorite instagrammable places in NYC.

New York City is filled with great photo opportunities that are scattered all over the city. Our list consists of 30 of our favorite picks. These are both well-known landmarks, as well as the not-so-famous spots in The Big Apple.

Best Instagrammable Places in NYC- Manhattan

  1. Guggenheim Museum
  2. Central Park
  3. Radio City Music Hall
  4. Top of The Rock- Rockefeller Center
  5. Times Square
  6. Grand Central Terminal
  7. The Vessel at Hudson Yards
  8. Empire State Building
  9. High Line
  10. Flatiron Building
  11. Greenwich Village
  12. Washington Square Park
  13. L’Appartement Sézane
  14. Pietro Nolita
  15. NoMo Soho
  16. The Crown
  17. Doyers Street
  18. Staple Street Skybridge
  19. One World Observatory
  20. The Oculus

Manhattan is home to the vast majority of Instagrammable places in the Big Apple. Take a look at some of our favorite picks!

The Guggenheim Museum

Address: 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128, United States

Hours: 11AM to 6PM Thursday-Monday

You cannot miss the iconic Guggenheim Museum! It is hard to find a museum that gets better than this. Travelers are in for a double-treat, as the building itself is just as spectacular as the art inside.

The stunning state-of-the-art architecture draws in thousands of visitors every day. The unique building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is beloved among both tourists and locals alike.

It is no surprise that the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Central Park

Address: Heart of Manhattan. You can enter the park at 59th Street, for instance

Opening hours: 6AM-10PM, 365 days a year

Central Park is perhaps the most recognizable park in the entire world. We have all seen it, either in blockbuster movies or on social media. Now is the perfect chance to see Central Park in real life.

There are so many places to see within the park that it would require an entire blog post to cover them all. Wherever you go in Central Park, you’re bound to see amazing photo opportunities to step up your Instagram game.

Why not drop by the Sheep Meadow for a picnic while you’re at it, too?

Radio City Music Hall

by Fernando Gonzalez

Address: 1260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020

Hours: Temporarily closed due to the pandemic. Best admired from across the street after sunset.

Once you’re in front of the iconic Radio City Music Hall, you’ll feel as if you’ve traveled back in time. The exterior of this building is nothing short of spectacular. What’s more, you can always book tickets and step inside to catch a live gig.

The fascia of the Music Hall is best admired after dusk falls, as the neon lights create a spectacular backdrop for your photos.

Top of The Rock- Rockefeller Center

by Monika Hafliger

Address: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112

Opening hours (Top of the Rock): Sunday-Saturday 11AM-7PM

Remember the Christmas Tree scene from Home Alone 2? The enormous tree can be admired every year at the Rockefeller Center, yet another Instagrammable landmark in NYC.

The seasonal Christmas tree display is far from the only reason to visit the Rockefeller Center. The Top Of The Rock offers unforgettable views of the city’s legendary skyline. Not to be missed when in New York City!

Out of all the viewpoints in NYC, this could very well be our favorite one. Afterall, when you’re at the Top Of The Rock you can still admire the Empire State Building, as well as the One World Trade Center.

Times Square

Address: Manhattan, NY 10036

Best time to visit: After sunset

Times Square needs no introduction. It makes for one of the instantly-recognizable landmarks of NYC, along with the Statue of Liberty and perhaps Central Park, too.

If you post a photo taken here, there will be no doubt that you are indeed in The City That Never Sleeps.

Expect tons of tourists from all corners of the planet squeezing through this iconic intersection, all while being entertained by street performers. Love it or hate it, you have got to visit Times Square at least once during your NYC trip.

Grand Central Terminal

Photo by Pexels

Address: 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

Best time to visit: Midday for the crowds or late at night to avoid them.

The Grand Central Terminal is as iconic as a train station can possibly get. The history of it dates back to 1913 when Grand Central Terminal first opened its doors to the public.

Step inside the station’s Main Concourse, which you’ve definitely seen in at least one movie before. The station’s jaw-dropping interior makes for a perfect backdrop for portrait photography. Filmmakers can set up a timelapse capturing the as the crowds go by during the afternoon.

The Vessel

Address: 20 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001

Want to feel as if you are in a science-fiction movie? Be sure to drop by the Vessel at Hudson Yards, one of the most famous instagrammable places in NYC.

Some of your followers may even think that this futuristic structure is photoshopped.

Travelers can climb the stairs to the top of the tower and enjoy a whole different perspective of the Vessel. What’s best, free entry tickets are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Get there early to make the most out of this spectacular location!

Empire State Building

by Paulo Corceiro

Address: 20 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001

Opening hours: 12-9PM daily

Visiting the observation deck at the top of the Empire State Building is a must-do when in NYC, no doubt. From a photographer’s point of view, however, there are better spots to see the city.

The largest issue when you’re at the top of the Empire State Building is that the majestic tower is not a part of the skyline anymore.

While it’s worth visiting the top strictly for the bragging rights, you may want to head to the Top of The Rock for a better photo.

The High Line

by Brandon W.

Address: enter at Gansevoort Street, 23rd Street, or 30th Street

Opening hours: 7AM-7PM on weekdays, 10AM-6PM on weekends. Reservations are required to enter on the weekend.

Apart from being one of the best Instagrammable places in NYC, the High Line is also one of the best free attractions in town!

The High Line connects the Meatpacking District to Hudson Yards. Once a busy train line, the High Line hosts art exhibits and colorful plants today. Expect some of the best views of NYC stretched across this 1.45-mile long attraction.

The Flatiron Building

by Fernando Gonzalez

Address: 175 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

The Flatiron Building is yet another iconic landmark in The Big Apple. Once again, if you post a photo of this building on your Instagram feed, your followers will instantly recognize that you are indeed in New York City.

Step across the street from the Flatiron Building, or grab a shot as you’re crossing the junction directly in front of it. Beware of oncoming traffic!

Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village is a quiet part of the Big Apple that sits north of Lower Manhattan. It is quite a contrast from the hustle and bustle of its neighboring districts, to say the least.

This cute part of the city is home to beautiful residential buildings made from iconic red brick. You’ve definitely seen Greenwich Village in some of your favorite films, perhaps without knowing where it was. Now’s the perfect chance to see them in person!

You can continue strolling over to West Village, which is arguably just as scenic yet nowhere near as popular among travelers. Treat it as somewhat of a hidden gem, if you will.

The next spot sits in the heart of Greenwich Village!

Washington Square Park

by Oltion Kola

Address: Washington Square, New York, NY 10012

Opening hours: 6AM-12AM

This is the spot to go if you want to fool your friends and followers that you’re in Paris. The Washington Square Arch overlooks Washington Square Park, right in the heart of Greenwich Village.

On a sunny day, you can get an awesome shot of the Empire State Building seen through the arch. Give it a try! Don’t forget to post your photos online using #Rentalmoose.

Great photos aside, this park is the ideal place to watch the daily life of New York City. If people-watching is your thing, you’ll love hanging out here.

Renwick Triangle

Address: 100-138 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

If you’re looking for a photo opportunity that’s a lot less common than the landmarks such as the Empire State Building or the Flatiron, the Renwick Triangle may be the ideal spot for you.

This cute Instagrammable spot in NYC lays on the corner of Stuyvesant & East 10th streets. The townhouse situated between the trees makes for a year-round backdrop, ideal for your photos.

L’Appartement Sézane

Address: 254 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012

L’Appartement Sézane is a cute store located just a few blocks away from Greenwich Village. The facade of this shop has become a favorite among photographers and influencers from across the globe.

You can always pop inside and pick out some new clothes, too.

Oh, the fun Museum of Ice Cream is just a stone’s throw away! It is quite literally the Instagram haven of NYC.

Pietro Nolita

Address: 174 ELIZABETH STREET NEW YORK, NY 10012

Opening hours: Thursday-Saturday 12pm–11pm Sunday 12PM–close

NoMo Soho

Address: 9 Crosby St, New York, NY 10013

Opening hours: until 9PM on weekdays, 10PM on weekends

Similar to Pietro Nolita, this is yet another trendy eatery that doubles as a famous Instagrammable place in NYC. NoMo Kitchen is a spectacular restaurant located within the NoMo Soho hotel.

The restaurant features vivid greenery that serves as a perfect photo backdrop. Guests can dine both inside and outdoors, though even the indoor area feels like a forest.

Don’t miss NoMo on your tour of New York City, especially if you enjoy taking photos in a beautiful setting.

The Crown Rooftop Bar

Address: 50 Bowery, New York, NY 10013

Opening hours: Wednesday-Sunday 4-11PM

There are tons of different rooftop bars in NYC that offer jaw-dropping views, though only a handful are as spectacular as The Crown. After all, what could be as Instagrammable as the skyline of New York City?

Enjoy an upscale night out with your friends, all while admiring the bustle of Manhattan from above. Indoor dining is available too, with an equally unbeatable view of the city.

Doyers Street

by David Yu

While Chinatown is home to many underrated Instagrammable places in NYC, Doyers Street remains the most iconic spot in this part of Manhattan.

Don’t let the photos fool you- Doyers Street is merely 200 feet (60 meters) long!

While the street is favored among photographers and influencers alike today, it certainly wasn’t the case in the early 20th century. Back then, Doyers Street was actually infamous as the “Bloody Angle” where countless killings among the Tong Gangs took place.

Despite a spooky past, there is no need to worry about the safety of Doyers Street in the 21st century. It’s just a stone’s throw away from The Crown over at Bowery.

Staple Street Skybridge

Address: 9 Jay St, New York, NY 10013

This is a real gem for photographers, which is surprisingly easy to miss when walking around the Tribeca. You have to know what you’re looking for, otherwise, you could end up missing this marvelous photo opportunity!

The charming cast-iron bridge connects two buildings over Staple Street. Back in the day, the bridge would connect two different buildings that made up the New York Hospital back at the beginning of the 20th century.

Today, the hospital is gone, yet the cute bridge remains. In fact, it was once listed for sale for a whopping $35 million around two years ago. Fancy a new place to stay in the heart of NYC?

One World Observatory

by KatiaKatia

Address: One World Trade Center 117 West Street New York, New York 10007

Opening hours: check the official website

This is the creme de la creme of all observation points in New York City. One World Observatory is in fact the highest of them all. Note that there is no outdoor deck here, though.

Just like the top of the Empire State Building, however, the biggest downside of the One World Observatory is that the iconic structure will not be in your photos taken here. If you want to capture NYC above the heart of it all, this is the place to go.

The Oculus

By Shire777

Address: 4-minute walk from the 9/11 Memorial. New York, NY 10007

If you’re already at the One World Observatory, don’t miss the Oculus. Much like the Grand Central Terminal, the Oculus is a busy transit hub. Its unique architecture makes the Oculus one of the best Instagrammable places in NYC.

The spectacular structure was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, and it is supposed to resemble a dove leaving a child’s hands.

The impressive train station cost $4 billion dollars to build, making it the most expensive one in the whole world. Yet another reason to pay it a visit!

Best Instagrammable Places in NYC- Brooklyn

  1. Brooklyn Bridge
  2. Jane’s Carousel
  3. DUMBO
  4. Brooklyn Bridge Park
  5. 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
  6. Domino Park
  7. Westlight Rooftop
  8. Luna Park in Coney Island
  9. TWA Hotel

After making the most out of the best photo opportunities in Manhattan, it’s time to cross the Brooklyn Bridge over to Brooklyn! Check out our favorite photo spots in Brooklyn below.

Brooklyn Bridge

by Foundry Co

Address: Brooklyn Bridge, New York, NY 10038

Virtually anybody who has been to New York City will have posted a photo of the famous Brooklyn Bridge. Afterall, this piece of architecture is easily just as much of a landmark as the Statue of Liberty. The bridge connects Manhattan and Brooklyn, and crossing it on foot is one of the must-do things in NYC.

Once you’re on the Brooklyn Bridge, you may seem overwhelmed with incredible photo opportunities to step up your Instagram game. Portraits of you and the bridge in the background, capturing the Manhattan skyline from the bridge, or grabbing shots of the Statue of Liberty. The possibilities here are simply endless, so get creative!

As this is one of the most famous places to visit in NYC, expect tons of like-minded tourists to be there too. Getting a shot with virtually no other people, like the photo above, is a difficult task. Especially when traveling during the peak season.

Address: DUMBO section of the Brooklyn Bridge Park

Jane’s Carousel is yet another spectacular Instagrammable place in Brooklyn, just a short walk away from the Brooklyn Bridge.

This vintage carousel dates back to 1922 when it was first opened, and its waterfront setting makes for a scenic backdrop for your pictures.

Make sure to stroll around the surrounding area to find even more photo opportunities! One of the most iconic spots, Dumbo, is just a short stroll away.

Dumbo

by Leonhard Niederwimmer

Address: 39-21 Washington St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Looking at the number of people who take pictures at Dumbo, you may think that it is a legal requirement to post a photo taken here. If there was an Instagram rulebook for New York City, a stop at Dumbo would likely land in its first section.

It is easy to see why so many aspiring Instagrammers choose this location. The symmetrical shot you can capture here is nothing short of legendary, even if it is slightly overdone by now. Nonetheless, Dumbo is another must-visit in Brooklyn.

Where is that iconic Manhattan Bridge photo spot?

All of these photos are taken on Washington Street. Here, the Manhattan Bridge is perfectly framed by NYC’s iconic red brick buildings.

If you’re an early bird and want to avoid the crowds while getting that sweet golden hour look, consider coming to Dumbo during sunrise.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

by Uwe Conrad

Address: 334 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Opening hours: 6AM-1AM, 365 days per year

After a visit to Jane’s Carousel and Dumbo, why not head to the waterfront Brooklyn Bridge Park? This location is full of wonderful photo opportunities, where you can capture the Manhattan skyline with the East River in the foreground.

Consider coming here after the sun sets, as the lights from Manhattan’s skyscrapers will illuminate the water. It’s truly magical!

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Address: 60 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Opening hours (Harriet’s Rooftop): Tuesday-Friday 5PM-2AM, Saturdays 12PM-2AM, Sundays 12PM-12AM

If you’re looking for a hotel in New York City that offers some of the best views in town, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge may be the perfect pick for you. This trendy property features rooms with tremendous views of the Manhattan Skyline. You can also head up to the rooftop pool to get your one-of-a-kind photo of Lower Manhattan.

Don’t want to splash out on a room here? Well, you can always head up to Harriet’s Rooftop that’s located within the hotel. This bar is known for its outdoor seating area that opens up to spectacular views of Manhattan. Indoor seating is available, too.

Domino Park

Address: 300 Kent Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Opening hours: 6AM-1AM all week long

Domino Park is one of those up-and-coming Instagrammable places in NYC. It is nowhere near as popular as the park near Brooklyn Bridge, hence it is also not as crowded.

Domino Park is the place to go for photos of the Manhattan skyline from a slightly different perspective. If you crave a lesser-known location, this is it!

The waterfront greenery is perfect for a picnic.

Westlight

Address: 111 N 12th St 22nd floor, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Opening hours: 5-11PM weekdays, 1-11PM weekends

Westlight is a trendy rooftop bar in Brooklyn that is known for beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline.

This is the perfect spot to get your sunset photos of NYC, as the bar features 360-degree views from 22 floors above ground level.

A wide selection of refreshing drinks only makes the experience more worthwhile. Indoor seating is available, too.

Luna Park in Coney Island

by Bruce Emmerling

Address: 1000 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224

Opening hours: Vary depending on the weather. Check the official website for details

Coney Island offers many unique photo opportunities, hence it lands on our list as one of the best Instagrammable places in NYC. The Luna Park here is simply iconic.

The 100-year-old Wonder Wheel makes for a great backdrop, especially when taking pictures from the sandy beach.

After you’re done taking in the atmosphere, feel free to step inside Luna Park and enjoy some of the thrilling rides! Don’t miss the legendary wooden coaster, one of the oldest in the country!

TWA Hotel

Address: John F. Kennedy International Airport, JFK Access Road, One Idlewild Drive, 11430

The TWA Hotel is the only on-airport hotel at the NYC JFK Airport. However, it is far from your regular airport hotel!

Once you step inside, you’ll be transported back to the 1960s. The interior design is one-of-a-kind, featuring a display of classic art exhibits, vintage cars, and more. You’re bound to be mesmerized by this incredible property. There’s even a restored TWA jet here!

You can book your room at the TWA Hotel and enjoy the best of what this unique property has to offer, including a rooftop pool or the airplane-turned-cocktail lounge.

Don’t skip this place, as it’s truly one of the most amazing Instagrammable places in NYC.

Best Instagrammable Place In Queens- Bonus

While many of the best Instagrammable places in NYC are scattered around Manhattan and Brooklyn, there are quite a few of them in Queens as well. We’ve picked Flushing Meadows as our go-to spot in this part of town.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

by Robert Jones

Address (unisphere): Avenue of the Americas, Flushing, NY 11354

Opening hours: 6AM-9PM all week long

Though this park is far from the most famous in NYC, you’ve probably seen its highlight at least once in an American movie. The Unisphere is a 140-foot high globe that is a perfect photo oppportunity, and one of our favorites in this part of the city.

The spacious park is full of other, lesser-known Instagrammable places as well. Don’t miss them!

There you have it, these are the 30 best Instagrammable places in NYC! Are you going to see them all on your next trip to The Big Apple?

Don’t forget to tag your New York City photos on Instagram using #Rentalmoose. Some of our favorites may even make it on our list!

Check out other curated travel guides around the US.

20 Of The Best Driving Roads In The World

Scenic drives are the core of any great road trip. Check out 20 of the best driving roads ever. How many of them are on your travel bucket list already?

We’ve compiled a list of 20 of our favorite roads in Europe and the US. Some of them offer spectacular views along the way, while others are simply a joy to drive on.

Check out the map below to see exactly where each road is located. That way, you can easily plan your next road trip around these locations. Take a look at our travel guides for more travel inspiration around some of the best locations worldwide.

The list goes as follows:

10 Best Driving Roads In Europe

  1. Furka Pass
  2. Stelvio Pass
  3. The Ring Road
  4. Atlantic Ocean Road (Norway)
  5. Transfaragasan
  6. Gorges du Verdon
  7. Route Napoleon
  8. North Coast 500
  9. Schwarzwaldhochstrasse
  10. Nurburgring

10 Best Driving Roads In America

  1. Going To The Sun Road
  2. Pacific Coast Highway
  3. Million Dollar Highway
  4. Overseas Highway
  5. White Rim Road
  6. The Tail of The Dragon
  7. Mulholland Drive
  8. Pikes Peak
  9. Artists Drive
  10. Monument Valley

Without further ado, let’s jump into each one of the best driving roads in the world!

The 10 Best Driving Roads in Europe

Picking just one as our favorite driving road would be nearly impossible, let alone sorting them from best to worst. Instead, the roads below are listed in random order.

Furka Pass- The Best Mountain Pass in Europe

Furka Pass mountain pass seen from a nearby highway. Furka in Switzerland is one of the best mountain passes in the Alps.
by Jason Parker

Picking the best mountain pass in Europe is a difficult task, as there are so many jaw-dropping drives to choose from.

The Swiss Furka Pass, however, has got to be one of the best mountain passes in the entire world. The 35-kilometer road will take you along tens of chicanes, all while overlooking the Swiss Alps.

abandoned Belvedere Hotel in Furka Pass, Switzerland. The hotel located at a hairpin turn is an eerie photo opportunity for those who drive down Furka.
by Maartenpinj

One of the highlights of the Furka Pass is the abandoned Belvedere Hotel which sits at one of the hairpins. Over the last years, this eerie structure became favored among photographers. Don’t forget to stop and take a photo of this hotel!

Length: 35km/22miles

Location: South of Switzerland, near Andermatt

Stelvio Pass

Scenic mountain road in the Dolomites. Stelvio Pass is a famous driving road that you can see during our Italy road trip.

We consider the famous Stelvio Pass to be an absolute must-visit point on any road trip around the North of Italy.

This Italian mountain pass features a continuous 25-kilometer long climb. When driving here, you’ll see many cyclists who challenge themselves to make it all the way to the top.

Stelvio Pass is ideal for fans of tight hairpins, as there are 48 of them in total! Expect beautiful scenery along virtually the entire journey.

Length: 25km/15miles

Location: North of Italy, Eastern Alps

Iceland’s Ring Road

A road in iceland through the endless plains, snowy mountains in the distance. The Ring Road loops around the beautiful country of Iceland.

Iceland is a truly fascinating country. The landscapes found here are unlike any other in the world, hence Iceland should definitely land on the bucket list of any traveler.

The best way of getting around the country is by car, as it’s the most convenient way to access all parts of the island. Some of the must-visit natural beauty here is rather remote, and it is barely possible to get around without a private car.

The main road in Iceland, also known as the Ring Road, will conveniently take you around the best spots in the country. Expect absolutely jaw-dropping natural beauty. The landscapes will be spectacular nearly every single kilometer of the journey, and there are over 1300 of them in total.

Once you visit Iceland for the first time, you’ll definitely keep coming back for more. You have been warned.

Check out our curated Iceland road trip itinerary around the Ring Road.

Length: 1300km/800miles

Location: Iceland

Atlantic Ocean Road

Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway is one of the most scenic drives in the world. Cars crossing a bridge over the ocean, with greenery in the distance and some tourists on the coast in the foreground.
by Hay Smits

The Atlantic Ocean Road in the northern tip of Norway is the shortest road on our list. In fact, it is merely 8 kilometers long. Don’t underestimate it based on its length, as it is nothing short of astonishing!

This scenic drive is a part of County Road 64, the rest of the route features great views of lush greenery and cute villages, while also opening up to the ocean practically the entire time. The Atlantic Ocean Tunnel is further down the road, too.

The surrounding area is worth a visit, too. Once you’re here, be sure to keep driving along the coast for some more unforgettable scenery.

Length: 8km/5miles

Location: North of Norway, near Elnesvagen

Transfagarasan

transfaragasan highway, one of the best driving roads in the world, seen from above. The hairpins and tight chicanes surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges are a favorite among travelers in Romania.
by Gavia26210

Until recently, the Transfagarasan was very underrated. Afterall, most travelers head to the Alps to drive down the most spectacular mountain passes. Believe it or not, one of the best driving roads in the world is actually located in Romania.

This mountain pass rose to fame after being featured in 2009 in BBC’s Top Gear. The hosts actually praised the highway and dubbed it the best driving road in the world.

Unsurprisingly, the Transfagarasan quickly became one of the most frequently visited destinations in the country.

The Transfagarasan is the ideal extension of a Balkan road trip. We happen to have a travel guide around the Balkan coast, curated for those who travel by car.

Length: 150km/95miles

Location: Central Romania, 3 hours away from Bucharest

Gorges du Verdon

Gorges du Verdon, often called the European Grand Canyon, is a beautiful national park in the south of france. Turquoise water in France, green trees and large mountains.
by Tom und Nicki Löschner

Gorges du Verdon is often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Europe. In reality, its landscape is very different from the one in Arizona.

This national park in the South of France is known for its turquoise-colored water and vibrant greenery, all situated between dramatic cliffs and mountains. These are not the views you’d expect in the South of France, that’s for sure!

You can expect jaw-dropping views of endless natural beauty, at some points 800 meters below the road you’re driving on. Not the best place to be if you fear heights!

What’s best, the next road is just a drive away from Gorges du Verdon. This means you can see 2 of the best driving roads in Europe in one day.

Length: 100km/60miles

Location: South of France, 2 hours 20 minutes from Nice

Route Napoleon

scenic driving road outside of nice, cote d'azur, france. Single-lane paved road with a right-chicane, surrounded by low trees and green bushes, cliffy mountain in the background. clear, sunny day in the french riviera.

The famous Route Napoleon is perhaps the most famous driving road in France. It has earned a spot on our list, as it is one of the best drives in Europe.

Back in 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte took this exact route when returning from Elba. He had 1200 soldiers with him, ready to conquer Paris and to be ruled by Napoleon once again. 

This chicane-filled drive spans 315 kilometers in length, beginning right outside of Cannes. Continue driving uphill all the way until Grenoble. From there, you can either head back to the coast or continue deeper into France. You may also head East into the Swiss Alps for a total change of scenery.

Length: 315km/195miles

Location: South of France, begins outside of Cannes

North Coast 500

the NC500 is a famous driving road in Scotland. The 500-mile route loops around the Scottish Highlands.

It goes without saying that Scotland has to land on the bucket list of any traveler. The North Coast 500 is just another reason to visit this magical land. Oh, and this road happens to be one of the best driving roads in the world, too!

This scenic drive will take you on a 500-mile long journey around the Scottish highlands, accompanied by waterfront views for a large chunk of the journey.

It’s best to begin the trip in Inverness, as you can enter the road there. Go in either direction, and you will end up back in Inverness 500 miles later.

Length: 830km/500miles

Location: Northern tip of Scotland

Schwarzwaldhochstrasse

motorcycles parked in front of wooden hexenlochmuhle building restaurant famous in black forest germany

Good luck typing in the name of this street into your GPS app. Surely, The Black Forest High Road is easier to remember than the lengthy Schwarzwaldhochstrasse.

This scenic drive, just like the entirety of The Black Forest, remains massively underrated. While the majority of the tourists flock to Bavaria, this beautiful forest is often overlooked.

The recommended way to drive down the B500 is by starting in the spa town of Baden-Baden. Then, make your way uphill and continue through the hairpin-filled High Road.

Check out this guide to find out the best places to visit in the Black Forest. You’ll also see some must-visit spots in Strasbourg and Northern Switzerland, too.

Length: 40km/25miles

Location: South-west Germany, near Strasbourg

Nurburgring

race cars driving down the Nurburgring Green Hell race track on a cloudy rainy day. Porsche 991 GT3 in front, followed by a BMW M4 and a BMW Z4.
by Mibro

I know what you’re thinking- isn’t the Nurburgring a race track?

Well, it is theoretically classified as a one-way toll road. At least by insurance companies.

The Nurburgring may not have the panoramic views as the other roads on this list. However, it is one of the best driving roads on the planet. Given that you classify it as a road and not a race track, that is.

The Nurburgring hosts frequent Touristenfahrten, or public track days. On those days, virtually any driver can test their skills on this challenging track.

Many insurance companies don’t cover driving on the ring. Double-check before coming on the track, as crashes here happen rather frequently.

Length:20km/12miles

Location: 1 hour South of Cologne, Germany

Are you looking for more of the best driving roads in Europe? Check out our short guide on Instagram, where we showcase a different selection of our favorite drives in The Old Continent!

 
 
 
 
 
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The 10 Best Driving Roads in America

The USA is filled with scenic driving roads scattered essentially all over the country. Once again, the roads below are listed in random order. Decide which one is your favorite.

Going To The Sun Road

natural tunnel in a mountain road. Going to the sun road, in Glacier national Park in Montana, is considered to be one of the best driving roads in the world.
by Mcfisher

A drive-through National Park? This sounds like one of the best National Park road trip ideas, and it is just that!

This otherworldly scenic drive will take you right through the very heart of the Glacier National Park in Montana. The Going To The Sun Road is actually one of the best attractions in this park, and the main route that connects the must-see points in Glacier NP.

Expect wonderful scenery that will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to the heart of the Alps, all while actually being in Montana.

Don’t miss the cute Red Jammers. This fleet of red buses from the 1930s continue to offer guided tours of the road. You’re bound to see them as you drive along.

You simply cannot miss the Going To The Sun Road, as it’s one of the best scenic drives in the US.

Length:80km/50miles

Location: Glacier National Park, Montana

Pacific Coast Highway

Bixby Creek Bridge is an iconic Big Sur bridge along the iconic Pacific Coast highway. This coastal drive in California is one of the best driving roads in the US.
Foundry Co

You will have definitely seen the Bixby Creek Bridge in at least one Hollywood movie. Afterall, this part of the Pacific Coast Highway in California was the shooting location for countless films, including Iron Man or the Fast & Furious.

No wonder this coastal highway is considered by many, including us, to be one of the best drives in the US. It should come as no surprise that we’ve included it on our Ultimate California Road Trip guide.

The entire Pacific Coast Highway is actually over 1000 kilometers (600 miles) long, making it the longest state route in all of sunny California.

Renting a convertible and driving off into the sunset as you watch the Pacific Ocean is surely a mesmerizing experience, no doubt.

Length:1000km/600miles

Location: Coast of California

Million Dollar Highway

The Million Dollar Highway is a scenic route that takes you up to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in the heart of Colorado. It’s easily one of the most beautiful roads in America.

No wonder it is a must-visit point on any Colorado road trip.

When passing the town of Durango, turn into the US 550 and head north up towards Montrose. You’ll drive along the 25-mile Million Dollar Highway.

Once you’re in Colorado, don’t forget to drop by Mesa Verde and the Rockies. We consider this to be one of the best national park road trip itineraries in the country!

Length:40km/25miles

Location: Western Colorado

Overseas Highway

The road that connects the scenic Keys to the rest of Florida is simply breathtaking.

Take the US1 south from Homestead and continue down the Overseas Highway. You’ll see turquoise water, scenic Keys, and the iconic 7-Mile Bridge. Key West lays at the end of the road, which is the Southernmost point of the Continental US.

We believe this magical drive deserves a spot as one of the best roads in the US. Naturally, we’ve included it in our Florida road trip itinerary.

Length:170km/105miles

Location: South of Florida, 1 hour from Miami

White Rim Road

White rim road is an off-roading trail that spans 160 kilometers in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. It is one of the most scenic drives in the world.
by Mike Goad

Utah is quite a dramatic change of scenery from the coast of Florida, that’s for sure. If you haven’t seen these kind of landscapes before, you may feel as if you were on the surface of another planet.

The White Rim Road should land on the bucket list of any off-roading enthusiast. This 100-mile (160km) long trail will take you around the natural beauty of Canyonlands National Park. Expect to stop nearly all the time, as the photo opportunities are just endless.

Visitors who obtain permits can spend multiple days on the trail and camp at the designated campgrounds along the White Rim Road. Spend up to 3 days to explore this region to the fullest!

The unique natural beauty of Utah is unlike any other place in the world. There are tens of parks worth visiting scattered around the state. Check out this curated travel guide and plan your ideal Utah road trip, seeing the best of what the state has to offer along the way.

Length:160km/100miles

Location: Canyonlands NP, Utah

Tail of The Dragon

This road is an absolute treat for any petrolhead visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. This exciting driving road is only a short drive away from the Smokies!

The Tail of The Dragon (US129) is praised as America’s #1 driving road for sports cars and motorcycles. It packs a whopping 318 curves in total along the 11-mile route. Expect to see hundreds of fellow petrolheads roaming up and down the road, especially during peak season.

Length: 160km/100miles

Location: west of The Great Smoky Mountains NP, NC

Mulholland Drive

 
 
 
 
 
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Mulholland Drive is the ideal getaway for a scenic joyride away from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood. One of the best driving roads in this part of California also doubles as a great tourist attraction, as there are plenty of overlooks that offer panoramic views of the Los Angeles skyline.

Mulholland Drive is only around 35 kilometers (21 miles) long and it is the perfect spot to spend an hour or two. Don’t forget to take your camera as you enjoy the views at one of the overlooks!

As far as the driving itself goes, expect a ton of chicanes and a couple of switchbacks. Perhaps it’s not as extreme as the White Rim Road in Utah, but it can still offer plenty of fun within the LA area.

Length: 34km/21miles

Location: Los Angeles, California

Pikes Peak

Chicane at pikes peak overlooking Colorado. Pikes Peak highway is an intesne uphill driving road in Colorado. The annual Hill Climb motor racing event is held right here.
by Mike Goad

Pikes Peak is a well-known name for any car freak. Every year, the world-class Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is organized on this road. Hundreds of racing drivers attempt to drive up to the peak as fast as possible, every year since 1916.

The route winds around over a hundred curves before making its way to the summit, some 31 kilometers (19miles) later. The majority of the Highway remains open-year round, depending on the amount of snow.

Driving up the Pikes Peak Highway is a must-do on any Colorado road trip.

Length: 31km/19miles

Location: Colorado, 2 hours south of Denver

Artists Drive

Artists Drive scenic drive in Death VAlley, California, considered to be one of the best driving roads in the world.

The Artists Drive in Death Valley National Park is yet another chance to witness absolutely otherworldly landscapes, somewhat similar to the ones you can find in Utah.

While Artists Drive is nothing short of an amazing attraction, it is certainly worth visiting for the panoramic views. It may not be as good of a driving road as The Tail of The Dragon, as it’s a one-way 10-mile long road with a low speed limit. The road lacks tight chicanes that are adored by motorcyclists and sports car owners alike.

Star Wars fans may recognize this area. Parts of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope were filmed within this National Park.

We recommend paying Artists Drive a visit during a road trip around Death Valley. No matter whether you choose to drive further into California or explore the beauty of Nevada, Death Valley is an absolute must.

Length: 16km/10miles

Location: Death Valley National Park, California

Monument Valley Scenic Drive

Monument Valley is an iconic road in the US. Straight road on a cloudy day, surrounded by the Arizona wilderness with large orange boulders in the background.
by Christoph Partsch

Highway 163 that cuts through Monument Valley could be the most iconic road in the country, perhaps except for the historic Route 66. The seemingly endless straight road is a far cry from the mountain passes of Europe or winding Colorado hill climbs. Instead, this road is all about the views.

Monument Valley is one of those places that you have to visit to really grasp their enormous scale. The desert-like landscape is nothing short of monumental, and the large boulders that dominate the skyline simply complete the experience.

Expect dramatic views and not many corners.

Monument Valley is a must when passing through Arizona and Utah.

Length: 100km/60miles

Location: Utah, Arizona

There you have it! Those are the 20 best driving roads in the world. Looking for more travel inspiration? Be sure to check out this blog post on 7 of the longest roads on the planet.

Be sure to add them to your travel bucket list!

Need a rental car to drive down these spectacular roads? No problem!

Head over to Rentalmoose and find the best rental car deal for your next journey. Our web platform serves over 15 000 locations worldwide, along with thousands of offers from the most trusted rental companies.

Rentalmoose plants a tree for every booking made with our platform. Click here to learn more about us.

How to travel safely during the Coronavirus pandemic

woman entering airport terminal at Warsaw Chopin Airport in June 2020. Most of the entrances are closed, temperature checks for passengers and mandatory masks. COVID-19 changed airplane travel.

As countries around the planet are beginning to reopen for international tourists, there is still a level of uncertainty regarding traveling during the coronavirus pandemic.

The travel industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hotels, airlines, and car rental agencies all across the planet had to pause welcoming customers for three months. Today, as the case numbers are slowly decreasing and travel restrictions are vanishing, vacation-goers are already planning their next adventures.

In this blog post, you will find out:

Which countries can you travel to?

Touristic travel within the European Union is possible, though some EU-member states have introduced extra safety measures amid the coronavirus. 

As of July 2020, EU-citizens can freely fly to these EU-members without any limitations:

  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

This, however, most certainly doesn’t mean that these are the only countries EU-citizens can go to. Other nations within the European Union have introduced extra measures for tourists. International travelers are allowed as long as the specific measures are followed.

As of July 2020, EU-citizens can fly to these EU-members with some limitations:

  • Austria
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • The Netherlands

What kind of limitations are in place for these countries? This depends on each country individually. Below are the flight limitations of some of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

Greece

Greece, for example, requires travelers to fill out a Passenger Locator Form up to 48 hours before coming. Once the form is filled out, you will get an e-mail with a QR code, which then has to be shown to airport personnel upon arrival. 

Travelers are then either able to leave the airport directly or are required to enter the COVID-19 testing area. In this case, the passenger has to undergo 24-hour self-isolation at the hotel (it has to be at the address that they’ve filled out in the locator form). 

Once the results of the test are available, passengers are either able to finish self-isolation or, if the test is positive, they have to isolate for 14 days.

Some of the border crossings remain closed, and visitors may be required to get a coronavirus test upon arrival by land or sea, depending on the individual crossing. Ferry boat services between Greece and Turkey are suspended as of July 2020.

Plan your next road trip in Greece and be inspired by these Rentalmoose travel guides.

A COVID-19 information form handed out on airplanes arriving in Greece. All passengers are required to fill out locator forms and are subject to 24-hour self-isolation upon arrival.

Cyprus

Cyprus classifies every country in one of three categories: passengers from a Category A country only need to fill out a declaration upon arrival, while passengers from B category countries have to get a coronavirus test in their home country prior to the departure and produce a negative result. 

If your country doesn’t offer coronavirus tests, you can get tested at your own expense once you arrive in Cyprus. Check this list to see the current country categories.

All passengers arriving in the Republic of Cyprus have to fill out the Cyprus Flight Pass form.

Planning to go to Cyprus? Check out this Rentalmoose travel guide to see the best attractions around the island.

Italy

Italy had the most cases out of any European nation and became the second epicenter of the coronavirus after China. Today, the country is on its way to recovery. The country is welcoming international visitors from EU-nations, as well as a handful of other countries such as Japan, Korea, Canada, or Thailand.

International tourists visiting Puglia, Sardinia, Sicily, or Calabria, must fill out a Health Declaration Form upon arrival.

If you’re planning your Italian road trip, take a look at this Rentalmoose guide to the South of Italy.

Spain

Spain has opened its borders to citizens of EU-countries, as well as Monaco, Andorra, and members of the Schengen agreement, back on the 21st of June. On top of those, citizens of these countries can travel to Spain:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • Serbia
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay

Keep in mind that all passengers must fill out a Health Control Form prior to their arrival in the country. Check out this informative video for more details.

France

France, much like Spain, is open for EU-citizens, members of the Schengen Area, as well as tourists from Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, and the United Kingdom. International travelers coming to France from those countries do not have to undergo compulsory quarantine or fill out any kind of declaration.

International visitors coming to France from other countries must fill out an International Travel Certificate prior to their arrival and are subject to quarantine or isolation.

You can check the current travel restrictions for all European nations via this website. To check flight restrictions for other nations, use this interactive platform by IATA.

Here’s how COVID-19 affected car rentals

It is no secret that the pandemic has affected the way we travel, both by airplane and in a rental car. Here are some of the new post-COVID policies implemented by car rental companies worldwide.

Flexibility- before the booking

Major car rental companies such as Avis or Enterprise have waived existing cancellation and rebooking fees. If your trip is affected by travel restrictions, you can either re-schedule for a later date or cancel the car rental booking completely.

At the rental desk

When collecting the keys to your rental car, you will see extra health measures introduced during the pandemic.

  • The customer will likely be separated from the employee by a glass panel
  • Social distancing is practiced
  • everyone is required to wear masks
  • The desk itself is disinfected regularly

Car rental companies have introduced new “Safety and Cleanliness Pledges” to demonstrate their enhanced health measures. You can find a car rental company’s safety pledge on its official website.

In the rental car

A rental car is one of the safest ways of getting around your holiday destination. Local governments often encourage tourists not to take public transport and recommend using private vehicles instead, all to lower the risk of infection.

Rental cars are thoroughly disinfected after each hire. In their Safety Pledge, Enterprise list out over 20 high-touch points in a rental car that are completely cleaned after every customer. These include, of course, the steering wheel and gear shift, as well as the trunk release and steering column.

Is flying during the coronavirus pandemic safe?

warsaw chopin airport interior, gate 36 is completely empty during the coronavirus pandemic. Flights resumed, no people in terminal building.

Warsaw Chopin Airport is still eerily empty, despite resumed international flights and cheap tickets.

Despite countries opening up for international tourists, many people question whether flying during the COVID-19 pandemic is safe. The reality is that, of course, spending time at airports and in airplanes is a lot riskier than staying home. Scientists still don’t know a lot about COVID-19, and there isn’t any vaccine or drug that can prevent it.

There is, however, a wide array of new safety measures and precautions that are introduced both at airports and on airplanes to reduce the risk of becoming infected by the coronavirus.

How has COVID-19 changed procedures at airports?

Only passengers are allowed at airport terminals

Passengers will see changes the moment they arrive at the airport. At the Warsaw Chopin Airport, for example, only passengers are allowed to enter the terminal. Families can no longer enter the building to pick up their loved ones from arrivals, and instead they have to wait at the car park in front of the terminal. 

To ensure that only passengers are within the terminal, most of the entrances are closed. The open entrances are supervised by personnel who check the passenger’s boarding pass before letting them inside the terminal. The personnel carries out random temperature checks when entering the terminal, too.

Masks are obligatory

Keep in mind that passengers are obliged to wear masks at the airport. If you happen to forget a mask, you can purchase one from vending machines set up in front of the building. Passengers without a mask will not be allowed into the airport terminal.

woman entering Warsaw Chopin Airport terminal A during coronavirus pandemic. Most entrances are closed, there are queues to enter the terminal and obligatory temperature checks in Warsaw Poland.

Hand Luggage Policies

Once inside, you might have to check in your hand luggage depending on the airline you’re flying with. Lufthansa, for example, has limited the amount of hand luggage permitted inside the cabin to just one piece per passenger. However, as the airline always permitted two bags and a personal item, compatible hand luggage can be checked in at no extra cost. Click here for more info.

The rest of the process at the airport remains largely the same. There are still passengers squishing in tight lines when queueing to the security checks, and most of the shops and restaurants remain open. There are frequent announcements to remind passengers about social distancing, wearing masks, and washing their hands.

Airports are frequently disinfected, and everyone inside the building must keep their masks on. You may only take your mask off when eating or drinking.

Warsaw Chopin Airport COVID-19 purple poster reminding passengers to disinfect their hands. How coronavirus pandemic changed airplane travel.

There are signs and posted all around the airport to remind the passengers to wash their hands, wear masks, and practice social distancing.

Boarding

When boarding your flight, you might have to show a previously-filled location card, depending on the policy of the country you’re visiting. Save time and check whether your holiday destination requires passengers to fill out location forms before leaving via Re-Open Europa.

How has COVID-19 changed airplane travel?

It was crucial for airlines to introduce new precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19, as airplanes are high-risk environments where the virus could spread easily.

Obligatory masks & staying in your seat

Everyone on the plane is required to wear a mask unless eating or drinking. What’s more, passengers are no longer allowed to walk around the aircraft (i.e. to talk to a friend who’s sitting in a different row). If you wish to go to the bathroom, you have to notify the airplane crew first and get permission from them.

Onboard services are altered to minimize contact between the staff and passengers.

Empty middle seats

At first, the seats were supposed to be assigned in a way that allows passengers to maintain a safe distance between each other, leaving the middle seats empty and reducing the cabin capacity. The idea of social distancing by leaving the middle seats empty was quickly rejected by IATA among other organizations claiming that it was an unnecessary measure.

Disinfecting the aircraft

Airlines have also drastically improved their sanitation protocols, adding more frequent disinfection and deep cleaning all of the aircraft fleet. Some experts, however, still recommend taking your own disinfectant wipe and wiping down your seat and tray.

The air inside the cabin

What’s more, airplanes are equipped with highly-efficient HEPA filters that clean the air within the cabin. As a result, the quality of the air is as sterile as the one in a hospital’s operating theatre.

A4E reassures passengers that airplanes are still the safest way to travel, even during the pandemic. These claims are supported by IATA’s statements that the risk of transmitting the virus onboard an airplane is low, and wearing masks by everyone in the cabin is enough to keep passengers safe. There is little evidence of coronavirus infections happening onboard airplanes.

Safety precautions upon arrival at your destination

Safety measures at arrival vary depending on the country you’re visiting. In general, you might have to show your previously-filled locator form, or get your temperature checked. 

Most EU-countries do not require citizens of other EU-members to undergo quarantine upon arrival. Use the Re-open Europa platform to check the exact arrival procedures for the country you’re visiting.

What can you do to minimize the risk of getting infected by the coronavirus while traveling?

Although airlines and airport personnel have added extra measures to ensure flying remains the safest way of traveling, there are some extra tips and recommendations for passengers. Here are some of the best tips to stay safe when traveling by plane during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Cover your face and nose with a mask at all times, on the airplane as well as at the airport. Do it for your own good, not just because it’s required.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Good hygiene is the absolute foundation of sanitation.
  • Wipe down your airplane seat and tray table before you use it.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • If you have any symptoms (flu-like symptoms, cough, fever, difficulty breathing) seek medical help immediately.
  • Practice social distancing. During air travel, you are bound to be in close proximity with multiple people.

Traveling during the coronavirus pandemic is a bit different than what we’re all used to, though it most certainly isn’t impossible. As countries continue opening up for tourists, airlines, car rentals, and hotels are all providing incredible discounts and unbeatable deals to encourage tourists to travel once again.

Are you planning to travel somewhere this year? Be sure to check out our Rentalmoose travel guides to help you plan your ideal road trip.

three british driver licenses covered by white printed receipt

International Driving Permit- all you need to know

All you need to know about an International Driving Permit

3 uk british drivers license laying flat on white table with receipt on top

Photography by Robert Fotograf.

If you’ve read any car rental travel guides, you have probably heard about an International Driving Permit, often referred to as the “IDP”. Is an IDP really necessary? Where can you get one? Which countries recognize it? Continue reading to find the answers to any questions you have regarding an International Driving Permit.

What is an International Driving Permit?

An IDP is essentially a translation of your domestic driving license. The document allows you to drive vehicles in any country that recognizes it, as long as it’s accompanied by your physical domestic driving license. For example, a US citizen with an IDP can legally drive in over 170 countries.

In theory, it might sound like an IDP is necessary every time you drive a car outside of the country where your driving license was issued. However, that’s not exactly the case as there are various exceptions. 

Is an IDP necessary?

1 van single car on long route 66 in arizona in rural country desert and hills

Route 66 in Arizona, US. Photography by PatternPictures.

An International Driving Permit isn’t always necessary. For example, if your driving license was issued in a country that’s part of the European Union (i.e. Italy), you can drive in another EU-member state (i.e. Germany) without the need to obtain an IDP.

There are more exceptions and arrangements around the world that eliminate the need for an IDP. What are the main ones?

An IDP is not required if your domestic license meets the requirements of the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic or the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. In that case, you can use your domestic driving license without an IDP unless stated otherwise by the country you’re planning to visit.

Other exceptions include European driving licenses being valid within the European Economic Area, or the Inter-American Driving Permit that allows holders to drive in certain countries within the Americas.

A major tourist destination that doesn’t recognize the International Driving Permit is the People’s Republic of China. In order to drive in China, foreign tourists need to obtain a Chinese driving license. Contact your local Chinese embassy for details.

Keep in mind that some car rental companies might ask for an IDP as a part of their policy, even if having it is not necessary for that country. Other countries, such as Botswana or Saudi Arabia, require an IDP when hiring a rental car. Always double-check with your car rental company’s terms and conditions as often referred to T&C before you rent a car to avoid unpleasant surprises during your trip. This is why you always need to read the T&Cs!

All the regulations, exceptions and arrangements around the world can be hard to keep track of, especially if you travel frequently or cross borders during road trips.

Rentalmoose recommends having an IDP for most of your trips outside of Europe, at least as a precautionary measure.

stelvio pass touge twisty uphill paved road in alps surrounded by green grass and stones

Stelvio Pass photographed by Erich Westendarp.

How many types of IDPs are there?

IDPs are governed by three different conventions: The 1926 Paris International Convention relative to Motor Traffic, the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, and the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. If a country signed more than one convention, the newest one replaces and terminates the previous ones. 

For example, if you plan on traveling to France, which is contracting to both Geneva and Vienna conventions, the more recent 1968 Vienna convention is the current one, terminating the older 1949 Geneva convention.

How can you get an IDP?

An IDP can be obtained from your local road and traffic administration office, the same one that issues driving licenses. The process for obtaining an IDP varies slightly depending on the country your driving license was issued in. In most cases, it’s a relatively fast and simple process.

In the United States of America, drivers can apply through either the American Automobile Association or the American Automobile Touring Alliance. You can also head to your local AAA office, or mail the application.

Drivers from the UK can apply for an International Driving Permit through Post Office branches. You will need to take your domestic license, a passport-sized photograph, proof of identification and the application fee.

As for other countries, it’s usually best to check out the website of the government office that issues driving licenses and look for the IDP application. In some countries, you can apply for an International Driving Permit online.

How much does an IDP cost?

Since an IDP has to be obtained in your country’s local office, the pricing is set individually by each nation. In European countries, for example, an International Driving Permit costs 35 EUR (US$ 38). In the United States of America, an IDP costs $15 (14 EUR).

antalya long wide beach calm blue sea mountains in background and curved road in foreground sunny day in turkish riviera

A seaside road overlooking the coast of Antalya, Turkey. Photography by Erik Karits.

How long is an International Driving Permit valid for?

Once again, the validity of an International Driving Permit depends on the nation that issued the document and the type of the IDP. Most countries issue IDPs for either one or three years. For example, the 1968 IDP required to drive in EU countries is valid for three years.

International Driver Permits are valid at least from the day they are issued, and you can apply for an IDP up to 3 months in advance. It is not possible to get a backdated IDP valid before the application date.

Don’t forget to check the date of expiry on your International Driving Permit, as the document cannot be renewed. Once your IDP expires, you will have to re-apply once again, this includes submitting all of the necessary paperwork and paying the fee. 

Keep in mind that you will have to travel back to your country and re-apply if your International Driving Permit expires when you’re overseas, unless your nation supports online applications. Keep track of the expiration date to avoid unnecessary hassle.

Can every driver obtain an International Driving Permit?

Young drivers from the United Kingdom or the United States will be disappointed to hear that you need to be at least 18 years old to obtain an International Driving Permit. What’s more, your driver’s license needs to be valid for at least 6 months in order to apply for an IDP. If you meet those two requirements, you will be able to obtain an International Driving Permit without problems.

iceland ring road paved road uphill turns right and left across green fields on a wet cloudy day snow covered mountains in background

Iceland’s Ring Road photographed by Steve Riot.

Can tourists obtain an IDP in the United States?

The short answer is no. You can only obtain an International Driving Permit in the country where your driver’s license was issued. That’s why it’s crucial to get the permits before you leave for your trip, otherwise it may become impossible to rent a car (or drive at all) overseas.

In the United States, however, tourists can drive using their foreign driver’s licenses without an IDP. There are exceptions in some states, though the most frequently-visited states such as Arizona, California, Florida or Nevada don’t require an IDP.

Keep in mind it is still recommended to obtain an IDP, even when it is not legally required, in order to ease communication in the event of a traffic stop or a fender-bender. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Is an International Driving Permit the same as an International Driver’s License?

International Driving Permit is not the same as an International Driver’s License. In fact, there is no such thing as an International Driver’s License. An IDP is a permit and not any form of a license or ID card, hence it’s only valid when it’s accompanied by your physical domestic driver’s license. 

In the United States, International Driving Permits are only issued by the AAA and the AATA. In other countries, they’re only issued by the relevant government offices. BEWARE OF SCAMS. There are lots of companies claiming to issue “international driver’s licenses”, “worldwide permits” and other types of documents. None of them are real, and attempting to use them is illegal.

What happens if you drive without an International Driving Permit?

If you get caught driving without an International Driving Permit when it is required (i.e. tourist from Germany driving in Alabama, one of the US states that does require an IDP), you can get in very serious trouble. 

Most countries will treat the offense equally to not having any driving license at all, and so the offender will face serious criminal charges. In practice, it means that driving without an IDP when it is required could land you in prison. Always double-check to make sure if the country you’re going to requires foreign tourists to obtain an International Driving Permit.

Do you have any other questions regarding International Driving Permits? Perhaps you’re not sure if the country you’re going to requires obtaining an IDP? Contact your local government office for any extra information. 


Rentalmoose OÜ 2020