I'm looking for a topographic or recreation atlas for Germany and/or the Alpine countries. Does such an atlas exist?

There are plenty of road atlases (ADAC, Falk, Michelin, others) in scales between 1:150k and 1:300k, but those are entirely focussed on driving a car, with little topographic information; at best they have hill shading and important rivers. Apart from some stars or circles drawn on the map and displaying some campgrounds, there is little practical information on recreation. For example, they're of little value for planning cycle touring trips.

There are topographic maps in scale 1:250k for sale at Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie. 30 sheets cover Germany, but this appears to be available only as paper sheets, not in a browsable book form. Swisstopo has excellent 1:200k overview maps as well (4 sheets cover the entire country).

I found the Topographischer Atlas Bundesrepublik Deutschland, which would satisfy my demand, but it appears to be last updated in 1977, which is rather old. There also appears to be a DVD version from 2006, advertising it includes "all 12 volumes on one DVD"; I'm not sure volumes of what, and I don't know if it's all thematic maps or also geographic/topographic maps covering the country in some detail.

There exist online services, of course, but I'm looking for a beautiful browsable offline atlas as I prefer paper maps for a variety of reasons.

What I'm looking for is either something like:

  • the topografische atlas van Nederland (a Dutch topographical atlas (although for Germany it'd have to be either per state/region or in a smaller scale)), or
  • the Национальный атлас России (national atlas of Russia), or
  • something like the Benchmark Maps Road & Recreation Atlases in the western United States; although those aren't topographic, their maps are doing a better job showing the landscape than any European road maps/atlases I've seen and there's plenty of recreation information too.

Does something like this exist for either Germany or the Alpine Countries, preferably from the last 25 years?

I love browsing beautiful paper maps, and it could be a great inspiration for yet-undiscovered travel destinations that don't require flying halfway across the world.


3 Answers 3


It appears Germany's Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy has a series of maps related to what you are interested in.

The Themed Maps section appears most relevant, but may be available only in German.

  • 1
    I already linked that series of maps (1:250k) in my question, but it appears they are available only as a map series, not in book (atlas) form.
    – gerrit
    Dec 7, 2020 at 10:24

There's always the Diercke Weltatlas, and you most likely can get a cheap, older copy for little money, since this atlas is widely used at schools. The atlas contains a section on the alps.

That being said, it is not detailled enough in order to allow route planning for cycling or hiking. I suggest you either get a map collection at 1:25,000 max, or take a look at komoot.com. Furthermore local authorities/tourism organisations provide tips/routes and often webviewers for hiking/cycling, too.

  • I guess I should visit a library to browse a copy of those to see if it contains anything I'm looking for.
    – gerrit
    Dec 7, 2020 at 10:26
  1. Online

Not specifically German but the ESRI World Topographic Map (Viewer) covers the entire area—Germany and the other Alpine countries—you are interested in though admittedly it is not printed as an atlas. This page has the metadata:

World Topographic Map is designed to be used as a basemap by GIS professionals and as a reference map by anyone. ...

The map provides coverage for the world down to a scale of ~1:72k. Coverage is provided down to ~1:4k for the following areas: Africa, Australia and New Zealand; Europe and Russia; India; most of the Middle East; Pacific Island nations; Alaska; Canada; Mexico; South America and Central America. Coverage is available down to ~1:2k and ~1:1k in select urban areas.

  1. Bundesland Offices

As an example, the Bavarian Landesamt für Digitalisierung, Breitband und Vermessung produces the 'Amtliche Topographische Karten im Maßstab 1:25 000'. The linked site provides a price listing for purchase-able map, but also there's this overview of where the different map sheets are. Searching for these on Amazon DE brings up purchase options (as one of many sites and providers) with the pricing €8.70 for each (as far as I understand).

  • I'm not looking for an online topographic map viewer, I'm looking for an atlas, that means paper. Topographic map data in Germany is not public domain in all states.
    – gerrit
    Dec 7, 2020 at 15:00
  • Not really. I know I can buy the map sheets separately at scales 1:25k, 1:50k, 1:100k from the Landesvermessungsämter and 1:250k, 1:500k from the federal agency mentioned in my question and in arboc7s answer, but what I am looking for is a browsable atlas, preferably with the same map material, like a big heavy book containing the whole country at 1:100k. I did find some, as mentioned in my question, but it's decades old (I found some from the German empire too).
    – gerrit
    Dec 7, 2020 at 18:04

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