Looking at Google Maps, I noticed that France uses "A" to designate roads, with the occasional "E", Spain uses "E-" and "AP-", the Netherlands uses a mixture of "A" and "E" and Germany simply uses numbers. Denmark seems to use a mixture of numbers and "E". Portugal is the same as the Netherlands with a mixture of "A" and "E".

Paris Madrid Amsterdam Berlin Copenhagen Lisbon

Is there a continent / EU wide road system, or do the roads simply change markings as one crosses the border?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JonathanReez
    Apr 10, 2018 at 17:14

3 Answers 3


Yes, there is such a system. The roads marked with a green label and letter E are marked in accordance with this system: E47 on the Denmark map is the European route 47, E1 on the Portugal map is the European route 1.

Quotation from WIkipedia:

In most countries, roads carry the European route designation beside national road numbers. Other countries like Belgium, Norway and Sweden have roads with exclusive European route signage (Examples: E 18 and E 6), while at the other end of the scale, British road signs do not show the routes at all. Denmark uses exclusive European routes, but uses also formal names for every motorway (or part of such), which the motorways are referred to, for instance in news and weather forecasts.

This is the map these international roads:

International E-Roads

All other names (not green) are national, and these roads may or may not be part of European routes. For example, 10 on the German map is A10 is Bundesautobahn 10, different parts of which belong to E26, E30, E51 and E55.

Here is a nice example of three diferent name systems for one road: Dutch A77 becomes A57 in Germany but still remains E31:


PS. Germany does not "simply use" numbers. It's Google Maps who simply uses numbers for German roads. Every German road has a letter in its name: A for Autobahn, B for Bundesstraße (federal highway), L for Landesstraße (regional/state road) and K for Kreisstraße (district/county road).

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JonathanReez
    Apr 10, 2018 at 17:14

Neusser gave a nice explanation about the European routes. As for the others: Yes, markings change at the border. Here's an example of the German-Austrian border near my place:

enter image description here

I picked this one because I definitely know that the motorway is not interrupted in any way, but I'm pretty sure it's the same all over Europe.

  • 3
    While it's not interrupted the actual rules can change on the other side and also usually the road markings might be slightly different as well
    – SztupY
    Apr 9, 2018 at 23:12
  • 2
    @SztupY Well, of-course, you still drive into a different country with different rules. And sometimes you know you crossed a border just by feeling the consistency of the road has changed (or the amount of potholes in the road). But this question is about numbering and the road being the same route, uninterrupted.
    – Mast
    Apr 10, 2018 at 4:40
  • 1
    @Mast wegenwiki.nl/Bestand:A67_grens_Eersel.jpg The E34 on the border between Netherlands and Belgium
    – Belle
    Apr 10, 2018 at 11:32
  • 2
    @Belle-Sophie I have to take the E34 to Antwerp this afternoon... You can drive there with your eyes closed (as passenger hopefully :-) ) and tell exactly when you cross the border. Belgian roads probably have the worst quality road-surface in the whole of North-West Europe, while the Dutch roads are in general very smooth.
    – Tonny
    Apr 10, 2018 at 13:02

In France, road are usually named following the pattern LetterNumber. The number starts at 1, and the letter depends on the type of road.

  • 'A' is for "Autoroute", "Highway" in french, high-speed roads, usually having a speed limit set to 130 km/h
  • 'N' is for "Nationale", these are roads crossing multiple Regions, usually 90 ou 110 km/h
  • 'D' is for "Départementale", for small roads, usually between 2 cities or towns, with a speed limit set to 90km/h or lower.
  • 9
    How is this an answer to Is there a continent / EU wide road system, or do the roads simply change markings as one crosses the border? Apr 10, 2018 at 7:58
  • 1
    @DmitryGrigoryev This addresses a part of the question that has not been addressed by previous answers. It adds more value to the site than repeating what has already been answered.
    – Pere
    Apr 10, 2018 at 17:57
  • 2
    @Pere sure, there is information in the answer, but it doesn't answer the question "is there an international way to name roads?"
    – JAD
    Apr 11, 2018 at 6:35
  • 1
    @Pere Exactly what JAD said. How about another answer about toll prices? It will certainly add something new. Apr 11, 2018 at 8:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .