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|Motorways:||A2, A9, A10, A11, A12, A13, A24|
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Berlin is the capital of Germany.
For hitchhiking to Hamburg prepare a cardboard sign with "HH" written on it, which is the license plate sign for cars from Hamburg and understood widely. "HRO" stands for Rostock by the way.
If you want to hitchhike towards Hamburg or Schwerin on the A24 it is the best to go with the U6 towards Alt-Tegel and get off at Kurt-Schumacher-Platz and then start walking towards the motorway. About 2 minutes away from the U-Bahn station there is a Jet petrol station. You can either ask the drivers who stop there or stand at the road right before it. (Update January 2009: Spot is open again!)
- User:MaxHermens says: It's best to ask drivers if they are going on the motorway, and if so, if they can take you to the above mentioned Stolperheide. Then you can avoid the long walk and start hitching straight away.
Rasthof Stolper Heide
The hitchhiking-spot in Henningsdorf Rasthof Stolper Heide (map) is the best option to reach Hamburg, Rostock or Scandinavia. You are going to have to go on a 2 km walk in total. Get the train to S-Bahn station Heiligensee (S25 towards Henningsdorf, EUR 2.60 ticket), walk down Ruppiner Chaussee northwards (left when coming out of the station about 300 meters and turn right on an asphalt walking path (− there's a sign saying "Berliner Mauerweg"). Follow the path for 10-15 minutes. Cross the bridge over the motorway and turn immediately left down the little path - you can stay close to the motorway in order not to lose it and quickly you will see a pathway that you can follow to this Rasthof. There is a small fence to the left of the path which you have to jump at some point before you reach the station. The easiest place is probably to the right a green fenced inclosure about half way to the service station. You can easily get a direct ride to Hamburg from here, and with a little patience to Rostock. If you want to catch a certain boat in Rostock or have other basic time constraints, please note that getting to this spot from somewhere like Kreuzberg och Friedrichshain in the centre of Berlin can take two hours or even longer.
A (maybe not so good) very close-by spot that saves you the 2 km walk: Get off one station earlier, Schulzendorf (S25 towards Henningsdorf, EUR 2.60 ticket). Get out from the front of the train, and out of the station, follow Ruppiner Chaussee north, and take the first right (Schulzendorfer Straße). And there you are, on the motorway access ramp, 5 min walk from the station. However, at this spot the access ramp is quite narrow, and there is not a good place for cars to stop safely. There is also a curve in the road, and cars are traveling quickly, so this spot might be dangerous for you and the drivers. You can take any ride. If the car doesn't go your way, he can drop you off at the petrol station "Rasthof Stolper Heide" mentioned above, some kilometers up the road.
The street Prenzlauer Promenade is called Prenzlauer Allee in the city centre and becomes the Autobahn A114 next to the S-Bahn station Pankow-Heinersdorf. From there, just walk 500m down the bridge and you've got a traffic-light as well as two petrol stations, both on the right side for the drivers going towards the Autobahn. It may be worth walking to the second petrol station as it's cheaper and more frequented. However, it might happen that the staff at this second (Shell) station tell you to leave their property and threaten you to call the police.
You can also wait opposite of McDonald's for a lift. Sometimes you will meet other hitchhikers here, too. If someone offers a lift "only" to a gas station on the motorway ("Linumer Bruch" for instance) take it, since from a motorway gas station it is very easy to get another lift.
Borough Pankow, part Weißensee: Take the tram M4 to Berliner Allee/Indira-Gandhi-Str. which can be caught at Alexanderplatz. Then walk along the Berliner Allee just around the half circle of the road and find a decent place where cars can pull over. Many cars at this intersection have Polish License and are heading North East, some as far as Gdansk. Use a sign with the city Szczecin and surely a Polish driver will stop, though be prepared to mix your languages and refer to cities by there Polish names. Check the map for the street view.
On Ramp Berlin-Weißensee
First take the S-Bahn (line S2) from e.g. Friedrichstr. or Gesundbrunnen and go to "Buch" (from Friedrichstr., that will be an about 24 min train ride). From there, catch a bus that goes to "Schwanebeck, Dorf" (ca. 10 min). Several buses will go there so check the time table there or ask the driver or someone else. Note that you will need a ticket including Zone C, as Schwanebeck is located outside of the border of Berlin. Next, you'll have to walk the main road of the village into southern direction. It's about 1.2 km to the on ramp; before that there is a petrol station where one can already ask drivers. You'll need the on ramp towards eastern direction, that means coming from Schwanebeck, you have to pass the first on ramp which leads towards western direction. There, standing behind the safety fence, you are visible to all drivers who queue up at the traffic light from both sides. It is not very easy for drivers to stop by but just before the actual on ramp cars can pull over, as they are not on full speed and a little firm area off the road allows to stop. On your sign you should write "A11" as it's not the on ramp for the A11 straight away, but rather to the "Berliner Ring" (A10); the A11 goes off the A10 about a kilometer after this on ramp. If your driver is not going to your destination but follows the A11 for a while, ask to be dropped off at service station "Buckowsee", which is located some 35 km after the A11 begins. This service station is the only one on All and afterwards on A20 (leading towards Stralsund or Rügen) but a very busy one. From here you should try to find your final ride.
- This one also works for South or East!
Just 30 minutes by Regionalbahn (train) south west of Berlin. This is the most direct option. You easily get hitches to the south or west as well as to the east (Poland). Take a train (e.g. RE7 to Dessau, check fahrinfo-berlin.de for route information) from the center (ABC 3.10 EUR). Get off at the train station Michendorf. Leave the station at the left side (in direction of the train). Turn right into the Potsdamer Straße, at the bus stop, and walk for 20 minutes straight on it. To go west or south (Magdeburg, Hannover or Leipzig, Munich) turn right into Feldstraße and follow it till you see the service station. Enter via the green emergency door. Alternatively you can get here by bus 643 or 608 from Potsdam Hbf which also passes the train station in Michendorf. Get off at "Michendorf Abzweig Wildenbruch", and walk south west for the final stretch to the service station.
If you want to go east towards Poland or Dresden turn right after the tunnel (it's a small sandy track through a wood). Follow the track until you are at the hamburger restaurant at the rest area. The petrol station is after the restaurant and seems to be better for getting rides.
For going South or West you can try the Raststätte Grunewald. Take the S-Bahn train S7 towards Potsdam or S1 towards Wannsee and get out at Nikolassee. Walk out of the train station, cross the bridge and you'll see the petrol station right of you. Also standing at the traffic lights before the on-ramp seems to be useful! Get a lift at least to Michendorf.
There are often other hitchhikers here early, and it is polite to queue behind them. Get here early to avoid the competition.
The construction works going on in the second half of 2012 are now (April 2013) over. The onramp is open again and there is plenty of traffic toward the Berliner Ring.
There is a local campaign for an official hitchhiking spot in Potsdam, they made a petition and won it :) The hitchhiking spot is planned now and will be established soon.
Aral at Kaiserdamm
Another option is the Aral petrol station at Kaiserdamm near the central bus station. Take U2 to Kaiserdamm (if you come from direction Zoo) and go out in the driving direction. Leave the station on the left exit. After 50m there's the petrol station. It depends on the day, sometimes it's very easy to get away there, sometimes it's harder.
South towards Dresden 13 and East towards Frankfurt (Oder), Poland 12
There are 2 ways of entering the upper mentioned motorways:
1. From entrances to the new A113 motorway:
It's possible to hitchhike at the on-ramp next to the airport (Flughafen) Berlin-Schönefeld. You can reach the airport with S-Bahn S9 and some DB trains. You can not only find lifts mostly towards Dresden or Poland. It's probably the best spot within reach by S and U-Bahn to hitchhike to Poland. Stand right before the ramp with a 'PL' sign. The ramp is pretty small, but you can walk up some 15-20m behind the Autobahn sign so people can stop along the side of the road safely. Watch the speed of cars coming from the right hidden corner onto the ramp, it's a tricky on-ramp, can be dangerous so hitch carefully here.
- One hitchhiker waited here for 6 hours without success. Have a look at the discussion page.
(Update: At a busy traveling time, e.g. Friday afternoon, the left turn to enter the Autobahn A100 from B96 Tempelhofer Damm near S-Bahnhof Tempelhof under the S-Bahn bridge (googlemaps: 52.469536,13.385558) is highly recommended. You will stand with a Dresden or A13 sign on the pedestrian space where you can speak with some of the left-bound drivers directly. They could even stop before the Autobahn begins, but it's better to get in immediately. Wait for DD number plates, CB (Cottbus) come less often, but might also be useful. Not a thing to do in the night. One of ten DD cars would probably take you. Waiting time: one hour, but then you have a functioning ride.)
Maybe Tempelhof used to be a good place to hitch hike in the past but now it seems impossible to catch a ride there - there is simply no space for a car to stop (or we failed to find a spot which I doubt because we searched the whole neighbourhood). If you still want to test it yourself here is how to get there:
The airport is easy to reach with S-Bahn and U-Bahn. Once there simply follow the sign towards Dresden (A100). There are two red lights, for people coming from north and south, so they have time to see you. You should ask for A113 or A13, or simply if they are going in the way to Ikea, and get dropped on the petrol station before the big mall (before Waltersdorf, check map also). Bus #263 from S-Bahn station Grünau also goes to/near this petrol station. Please read the discussion page!
2. From the 96a road (not that much in use after opening the A113):
Take a train to the S-Bahn station Schöneweide, get out there and walk out of the station East, turn right on Michael-Brückner Straße and after 300 meter you'll find two big service stations − although the is far away these are mostly the last possibilities for cars to get petrol. The place was once crowded with hitchhikers but is normally empty now and works fine! Locals tend to stop at the second petrol station because it's usually cheaper. Also, behind this petrol station is a Burger King "Restaurant". If you choose your spot well, you can show a sign both to cars on the street who could stop at the Burger King entrance (but often drive too fast though) and to people leaving the second petrol station or entering Burger King.
- However the attendants at the service station will ask you to look for your ride elsewhere and may even call the police. The road leading to the is a no stopping zone, so the best solution is to stand near the Burger King, where a driver can pull in. There is no better spot further up the road toward the .
- 2008-08-24: I used this petrol stations quite often and never had problems. What the hell did you do? -Ben
- I tried both the petrol station and by using a sign to stop cars from the street. First of all most people weren't traveling to Dresden and even if they were they were very hesitant to give you a ride if you ask them. For all the time I spent there, two other hitchhikers came and they also had no luck. I eventually gave up and had to pay for the bus. I'm not sure if that's a good spot.
- as of August 2010 I consider this the best spot for hitching to Dresden. Living in Dresden and going to Berlin for weekend-trips quite often it worked fine for me as well as for others visiting from Berlin. The catch might be it was almost always Sunday afternoons though. So if you take that into account you should be fine getting a lift to Dresden from Schöneweide, given the number of people returning to Dresden for the start of the week. Both standing by the side of the road with a sign as well as asking people at the petrol station turned out well for me.
- We hitch hiked at the petrol station by asking people. (the second, the first was rather empty). Most of the people who get fuel over there stay local or are kind of rude. Using a sign we got a hitch after 20 minutes to Dresden.
- Sept 2011 - we got a ride after about 30 minutes by standing at the exit to the second petrol station. There was another hitch hiker standing at the entrance and we got picked up before him. Recommended to stay at the exit with a sign and smile.
July 2012. Monday morning and I'm standing a little after both petrol stations just outside the Burger King. Traffic from the road, both stations and sometimes coming out of the 'restaurant'. I was picked up in half an hour with a ride all the way to Dresden. A Romanian guy heading to Poland caught a ride just before me. Great place to hitch. LookingforStu
Go to the S-Bahn station Altglienicke. When getting off, you ll see there is a road in parallel to the S-Bahn line, and a red light. To get there, leave the platform by using "the bridge" and then cross the road to stand at the red light. You can ask cars every time they stop for the red light. The red light is 100 m before the onramp of the motorway going to Cottbus or Dresden.
I'd suggest to go some hundred meters down the road. A normal lane changes into a parking lane, where cars can easily stop. Actually I saw cars from anywhere in Germany (Dresden, Hannover, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Offenburg, Leipzig) Redjo27
You can also take the S-Bahn one station further to S Grünbergallee. You'll find a big road and a big hardware-store (called Hornbach). There is a right-going lane at the big road. Just show a sign saying Dresden at the beginning of this lane. Sometimes you can ask drivers at the parking lot of the hardware-store if they can take you to the first petrol station on the Autobahn (this is just a minutes ride). From there you can be lucky, too.
As there's not really a great spot to hitch out, sometimes worth to consider trying something else. True, agreeing in advance and paying for a ride is totally not hitching, but you can save painful hours of waiting. Normally there are lots of offers on , till the first petrol station it shouldn't be more than five euros.
East towards Kostrzyn and Frankfurt (Oder)
If you are only going to Frankfurt/Oder or somewhere else close by, you can try to hitch along the national road B5/B1 instead of taking the highway A12.
Take the S5 to Mahlsdorf and follow Hönewer Straße to the South until the big intersection with the street Alt-Mahlsdorf. After the traffic light there is enough place to stop. Cars go quite fast, but often slow down due according to the changing traffic lights. There is still a lot of city traffic though. Directly before the entrance to the Berlin ringway there is a bus stop suitable for hitching further. About 10km after the highway the B1/B5 changes from a fast two lane road to a smaller national road.
A word about getting into Berlin since the ring is so big and maybe you are on a ride that's only passing by.
The Ruhr area
When hitch hiking towards Berlin from Belgium, avoid passing the Ruhr area (Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg). Once you get in, it's difficult to get out. Service stations are rare and passing traffic avoids this region. We tried on several places and had to take the train to pass this area (lost 5 hours). There are sufficient work arounds to avoid this area. See also the hitchwiki page of the Ruhr Area.
I have experienced yesterday: Do not take a hitchhike in direction of Osnabruck/Bremen/Hamburg, be a little bit more patient and wait for a ride in direction Hannover! I have stepped off at the tankstation 10 km before Osnabruck at the A1 and have waited there for 4 hours, all cars go up north. I was coming from Essen.--Hapiel 02:25, 27 July 2012 (CEST)
East and West
The best is to get off at Rasthof Michendorf (after all the ring interchanges). There is a bridge over the Autobahn nearby so if you are coming from Poland you can jump over and easily find someone going into the city.
- Alternatively, you can walk into Michendorf itself, which takes about 20min. Just head north from the petrol stations (you can go under the motorway from the southern petrol station). From Michendorf, you can take a train for EUR 3.10 to the centre of Berlin (the ABC ticket, which is valid for 2hrs, so you can also use metro, bus etc. when in Berlin). The last train everyday is at 22:30. So don't leave the petrol station if you get there after 22:00.
Alternatively, when coming from the east about 2 km before the interchange "Berlin Zentrum" (it's really not a good idea to get off at interchanges on the autobahn), there is an exit for Königs Wusterhausen. There will be a lot of commercial shopping buildings you will see just before you need to exit and as you are exiting will see the McDonalds. Then, if you can't find a ride going into Berlin (which could be rare actually) walk about 1 km into the nearest town. There is a bus going to Berlin for 1 EUR.
Blackriding is possible, albeit risky. Ticket inspectors usually wear uniforms on the U-Bahn, on the S-bahn it's possible that there are some in civil clothing, and since they do not receive an hourly wage but a salary depending on how many people they catch, playing the "dumb tourist" will have no effect on them; they want you in their record. The good news is that even if they ask you to pay the fine on the spot (EUR 40), you can say you don't have the money and then you have two weeks to pay it. Be careful when giving false addresses, as inspectors can check whether the name and address you give them match. Giving a foreign address is your safest bet here. If a controller catches you, use some identification besides your passport, preferably one that doesn't have your real name on it. That way you're not in the system. First time you also may have a good chance to decrease your fine if you write a letter to the S-Bahn office. It´s wise to mention things like it was an unlucky event, you've been overwhelmed by the city and the mass of people and that you usually pay for the good and ecological public transport... :)
Trams and buses are easier to blackride: Trams have vending machines inside, so keep close to one and in case someone should ask for tickets just be at the point of getting one, after all, it takes a while to find some small cash, figure out which ticket to get, how to use the machine ... :) On buses you'll have to show your ticket to the driver when getting in, but they barely look at it so an old used one usually does just fine.
Another option is the social one: Most people are actually riding on a monthly ticket called "Umweltkarte". It is valid for *two* adults after 20:00 and all day on weekends and public holidays. The same also applies to the 7day ticket, but not the student ticket. So just ask around, but be prepared to explain yourself as it's not common so people may be somewhat puzzled at first. Take it as a way to meet random people and at the same time relax about controllers!
In case you splurged and got yourself a real ticket, share it! A single one works for a whole two hours, and a day ticket until 03:00. After you're done using yours just drop it inside a vending machine or on top of the validator thing, and someone will be happy to take it!
Other useful info
Sidewalk express (internet) is located in the food court at Hauptbahnhof, pick up some of the leftover receipts and enter the code, there is usually some time left. This is the internet I'm using now.
Also, the American library something, close to Halleches Tor has a lot of computers with free Internet access and free wifi.
At Hauptbahnhof the McDonalds has free refills, pick up a cup and get high on fizzy drinks.