The A30 is a short motorway (129 km) in Germany. It connects the Dutch A1 (beginning in Amsterdam) with Germany and ends up in Bad Oeynhausen. It is an important section of the connection between Amsterdam and Berlin.
It crosses the A31 (Emden - Bottrop) near Schüttorf, the A1 (Heiligenhafen - Saarbrücken) and the A33(Osnabrück - Paderborn) in Osnabrück. At it's end in Bad Oeynhausen it is possible to go over to the A2, but you have to cross the whole city. A direct connection A30 -> A2 is planned and seems to be finished in 2015/2016.
The construction of this last part of the A30 began October 2008.
Traveling along the A30 seems different but it's not. Coming from the Netherlands, hitching at the service station 't Lonnekermeer near Hengelo is easy for getting rides at least towards Osnabrück or even further. The part between Bad Bentheim (where the motorway begins) until Osnabrück seems to be a bit more difficult to hitchhike, especially towards the Netherlands the traffic will be a bit less. It might be much easier to jump between two or three on-ramps (usual traffic: Bad Bentheim, Rheine-Nord, Ibbenbüren) instead of denying cars in hope for longer rides. Enschede-Osnabrück can be done like this within 1,5 hours or even faster. From Osnabrück on towards Bad Oeynhausen you will find enough traffic.
There is only ONE petrol station located along this motorway (Tankstelle Grönegau) near Melle between Osnabrück and Bad Oeynhausen. A second Raststätte is located at the border between Germany and the Netherlands, but without a petrol station. Some maps will tell you that there is a petrol station at Brockbachtal between Ibbenbüren and Osnabrück. That's a goddam joke, but nevertheless a good parking area for hitchhiking, even without a service station.
Hitching the A30
- --> A1 (Netherlands)
- (1) Border crossing Bad Bentheim (average)
- At the border you'll find a big parking area for trucks, a police station and toilets. There's a bridge to walk over the motorway to a restaurant on the other side of the road and another parking area (for people going into the Netherlands). Hitchhiking there is quite easy if you prefer trucks. Many trucks stops there and will give you a ride when they start their journey through Germany. Don't expect too much cars on the parking area, there is no petrol station and many people just don't want to stop because the police is hanging around there. Sometimes they close the border and check every car that is coming into Germany. If so, don't panic but be happy, because all cars have to pass the parking area, ideal for hitchhiking. Unfortunately, the police is not announcing the border controls.
- (2) Gildehaus (average) -- (average)
- This is the first German ramp behind the border. Next to the ramp you'll find a small industrial park. Hitchhiking on the traffic island is not the best spot ever, but pretty doable. Mostly local traffic going towards Nordhorn, Bad Bentheim or Oldenzaal. Good enough for getting towards one of the better on-ramps nearby, waiting times can differ largely depending on time of day and resp. traffic conditions.
- Bentheimer Wald (average)
- Just 3 km behind the 1st ramp drivers will recognize a small parking area with a toilet building. Hitchhiking from here is OK, some trucks stopping here and maybe some travellers from the Netherlands want to make a first stop in Germany. Just prepare yourself for waiting some 40-50 minutes, the A30 is sometimes very empty and then cars on this parking area are rare. Maybe you can ask one of the many passing border police cars to give you a ride. Questions about you and your stay in the Netherlands to find out if you have marijuana with you are normal, especially when you are a hitchhiker somewhere on the road from Amsterdam to Germany :-) Just relax and stay cool, the guys from the border police also do. Mostly. :-)
- (3) Nordhorn / Bad Bentheim (very good) -- (average)- (bad)
- Small traffic-island to stand on, some space for cars to stop behind. platschi was standing here lots of times and got lifts within only some minutes in direction Rheine or further. Towards the Netherlands, not much traffic going, mostly locals heading towards Oldenzaal, which is a much better place to hitch already. Platschi's waiting time eastwards: average 5 minutes, westwards average 40 minutes. A lot of traffic here on weekdays between 3 and 4 pm!
- (4) Schüttorf-Nord (bad) -- (bad)
- This ramp is quite small, there is not much space to stop cars when they go onto the motorway. No hard shoulder to stand on, just a tiny traffic island. But if there is not much traffic (and that seems to be quite often), people can and will stop for you. It is directly at the motorway junction, so take care where people are going to! For the other direction towards NL, you're definitely wrong, though traffic towards Bad Bentheim ramp occurs. Waiting time can differ from 10 minutes to 1 hour.
- (5) Schüttorf (motorway junction) (senseless)
- You can't get out here, and if you do so: it's illegal! Take care, often border police driving around this junction. Here the A30 crosses the A31.
- (6) Salzbergen (average)- (bad)
- Quite small and tight ramp at the beginning of a little village. Few traffic, but platschi had luck in December 2007 and got a ride within 5 minutes towards Osnabrück. Within this time three cars drove eastwards, but haven't seen any cars direction Netherlands. In January 2008 he waited for a ride into the other direction (NL) but recognized that 80% of the traffic went into direction Osnabrück. It seems that only a small bunch of cars is going onto the motorway at all. Expect some longer waiting time. In Sep 08, he got a ride offer from here towards Amsterdam within 5 minutes. Luck?
- Emstal (average)- (good)
- The 2nd parking area along the A30. It is smaller than the first one, but it seems that more cars stop here. It has no petrol station, only a small toilet building and some space for parking. Nevertheless a good spot to get lifts, especially some cars in direction Netherlands stop here. In direction Osnabrück, you might be much better off using the next on-ramp in Rheine.
- (7) Rheine-Nord (bad) -- (good)
- This ramp is on a nice spot with traffic lights and much cars passing, but there is no place to stand if going towards Osnabrück. No hard shoulder or anything to let the cars stop for you, only some small space when you walk up the ramp for some meters. The place is doable, though, with waiting times mostly not longer than 10 minutes. For the other direction towards NL it's good, also with some green for stopping cars. If you want, you can force cars to stop by pushing the button at the traffic lights. Mostly rides towards Bad Bentheim on-ramp or south direction Oberhausen, waiting time differs from 5 to 40 minutes.
- (8) Rheine (average)
- On-ramp with only a few cars passing by. Waiting could be long, but mostly it's possible to get rides within 15 minutes at least to one of the next on-ramps. Due to lack of traffic it's ok to stand on the side of the on-ramp, though there is no hard shoulder available (see photo). If it's impossible here, try to go around 500m down towards Rheine, there's a traffic light and a restaurant where you can ask people that are stopping.
- (9) Rheine-Kanalhafen (average)
- Small ramp next to a tiny industrial park. Some traffic going on towards Osnabrück, but again not much space to stop cars. Best option is to stand on the traffic island and smile to every passing car saying you want to go out of here. Might help, waiting time depends. Never try on a Sunday, but on normal working days it should be possible to get rides at least towards Rheine-Nord within 20-30 minutes, sometimes faster.
- (10) Hörstel (very good) - (good)
- This ramp is located behind a bridge where mostly some cars are parked, so it is sometimes difficult for you to see coming cars (also for them!) just before they head in the ramp. Best would also be here to stand on the traffic island, make yourself visible and try to catch some people going to Ibbenbüren, Osnabrück or further. It's pretty easy. For going towards the Netherlands it's a bit more difficult, most cars only ride towards Rheine. Best is to catch a ride to Rheine-Nord.
- (11a) Ibbenbüren-West (average)- (bad)
- This is a new ramp. Not much traffic, mostly from an (not yet existing) industrial park. You can hitchhike on top of the bridge, so cars will recognize you early and can stop while going up the bridge.
- (11b) Ibbenbüren (very good) - (good)
- (12) Laggenbeck (average)
- At this ramp there's enough space to stand on the hard shoulder, hitchhiking is okay, with all traffic going to Osnabrück anyway.
- Brockbachtal (average)- (good)
- Parking area with no petrol station or restaurant. Some maps will tell you that, but that's a lie. A petrol station is planned for the next decade, but no constructions yet. In 2005 it was reconstructed into a bigger parking area. Nevertheless enough traffic eastwards, sometimes people get lost there thinking there's a petrol station. Luck for you! Waiting time between 20 and 50 minutes.
- (13) Lotte (senseless)
- Well, enough space for you to stand on, but nearly no traffic.
- (14) Lotte (motorway junction)
- (15) Hasbergen-Gaste (average) - (bad)
- This is the ramp where many people go up coming from the nearby IKEA. There's a traffic island where you can stand on inbetween the traffic lights, but it's quite dangerous for cars to stop. No hard shoulder or any grass to stand on. On weekdays there might be a lot of traffic going only to the other nearby ramps of Osnabrück. Try your luck, platschi got a ride on a Sunday after 5 minutes waiting towards the ramp of Nahne. If you get stuck here, it might be also possible to ask people at the parking area of IKEA. A sign might be useful (even if it only says OS-Nahne!) This spot is also an alternative when you can't find a ride onto the A1. Get out here, hitch/walk your way to the roundabout ~500m north, there at the bus station hitch your way towards Atter. Just before Atter the road makes a sharp 90 degree corner, get out there. Walk into the little road northwards and follow it through the forest for some 1,5 km. At the end, just behind the railway crossing, you'll find yourself at a big factory and a service station. Walk up the road and you'll see the on-ramp OS-Hafen at the A1, where you can easily hitch a ride along the A1 north/south.
- (16) Osnabrück-Hellern (bad) -- (bad)
- For going east: There's a big traffic light, but it's hard to stop traffic there, even the ramp is very small and no hard shoulder to stand on. Only safe possibility is the small way for cars coming from the left side. But anyway, it's possible. Platschi hitchhiked here twice and got rides within ~30min towards the next ramp in Nahne. For direction west, it's even harder, traffic ist fast and if they stop, it's dangerous because of drivers coming from behind can't overtake them properly. Also no hard shoulder on the ramp itself.
- (17) Osnabrück-Sutthausen (bad)
- No hard shoulder, quite a lot of traffic, no spot for cars to stop. Only chance is at the traffic light. Better don't get off here, but kindly ask your driver to go to Nahne.
- (18) Osnabrück-Nahne (very good)
- Perfect ramp, take a look at the Osnabrück page for closer information. Nice hard shoulder to stand on! But take care, there are 2 ramps for going eastwards. Best is to take the one for traffic coming out of OS.
- (19) Osnabrück-Süd (motorway junction)
- (20) Natbergen (average)
- Ramp has enough space to stand on, traffic is normal, mostly going towards Melle.
- (21) Bissendorf (average)
- Not much traffic towards Osnabrück and with police station, seems not very popular for people to stop for you.
- (22) Gesmold ?
- (23) Melle-West ?
- (24) Melle-Ost (very good)
- Very good for direction east. Just hitch behind the roundabout, there's enough space for cars to stop, and traffic drives slow. Perfect!
- Service station Grönegau (good)
- (25) Riemsloh ?
- (26) Bruchmühlen ?
- (27) Bünde ?
- (28) Hiddenhausen ?
- (29) Kirchlengern ?
- (30) Löhne ?
- (31) Dreieck-Löhne (senseless)
- No way!
- (32) Gohfeld ?
- --> A2 (Germany)
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