Bordeaux is encircled by a ring road (rocade in french), a fast dual-carriageway bypass, with no places to stop and pick up hitchhikers, and peages are far and not easy to reach by walking or public transport. This makes leaving Bordeaux very tricky, although not impossible. It is best to hitchhike on the approach roads to the ring road in the direction you wish to travel. It is advised to avoid going into the town centre.
To reach the gas station on the ring road/rocade:
Take the Tramway A, to “Gravières”. Follow the street Rue des Gravières/Rue François Villon which is on the right hand side just before the tram arrives at the stop from the city centre. At a big crossroad, go left down the big crossing road named Avenue de Paris. There is a small road parallel of this street in the industrial estate, take it (rue Jean Raymond Guyon). It ends to a roundabout but here is a small old pedestrian road. Take it. Cross the bridge that crosses the motorway. From it, you can see two Gas station on different sides of the road. The fences are broken so you can walk easily to the furthest one away for the North (Paris, etc.)
Ask for going to the next gas station, just before “Saint André de Cubzac” if nobody takes the A10. At the next petrol station, there is a restaurant, so a lot more people.
For the south one can use the first service station seen from the pedestrian bridge.
East towards Perigeux, Clermont-Ferrand, Lyon
A big outward road leads from the city center over bridges over the Dordogne, over the ring motorway and later becomes the motorway A 89 (E 70) to the east. Shortly after it crosses the ring there is a good spot: There is a junction, where all the eastbound traffic from the ring joins. One may ask waiting drivers at the traffic lights or stand beside the road after that, because it is not a motorway yet. Drivers can see you there and go slow because normally everyone has to stop at the traffic lights, and there is a broad hard shoulder, where one can safely stop and continue. A few hundred meters further there is also a small dedicated fuel station on that road.
NOTE #1 That fuel station was closed when I was there (August 2016), but I guess it will be open after two weeks.
To get there on public transit, take the purple line A (both lines to Dravemont or La Gardette bassens work) from the city center to the stop Buttinière. The line follows a big avenue (Avenue Carnot) for roughly 3km. At 'Buttinière you get out and walk along that same Avenue Carnot for another 1-1.5km passing on your left first the 'Polyclinique de Bordeaux', then a gigantic Carrefour supermarket and stop lights. After the stoplights as mentioned above there is a restaurant, a fuel station and a few ramps where you might try hitchhiking. (User:Freek waited 15min at this spot on 6 August, 2015.)
- The official advice is: Quai de la grave & Rue des Allamandiers (bus #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #28, #91, #92)
- Fye finds the official advice to be bad, cause there's absolutely no space for cars to stop, just 3 driving lanes in that spot.
- Carl has had more success at the roundabout where Quai Paludate, Quai Brienne and Rue Carle Vernet meet. Carry a clear sign indicating your direction (Biarritz or Toulouse work best, depending on your direction), and stand in the lay-by on the roundabout at the entrance to Rue Carle Vernet, so you catch the traffic from the preceding two junctions heading for the Rocade. The roundabout is easy to reach from tram C stop Carle Vernet.
- This roundabout is also a region where sex workers tend to linger. Amylin advises that even if you don't look like one and do carry a clearly-written sign, stupid horny drivers might try and pick you up persistently. Sometimes, they appear like “normal” drivers at first, but when you get to talking with them, you realize they only want one thing from you, and whether you want it or not. If you hitch here as a single girl, it's not too recommended.
- The safest bet for getting out of Bordeaux (mainly in direction Tolouse) is probably to go hitch-hiking closer to the entrance of the highway. Take the bus #15 towards "Villenave d'Ornon" and exit at "Pont de la Maye" (you can ask the bus driver to tell you when it is). Then, walk in the same direction that the bus went, on the road. Cross the bridge above the road. Just after the bridge there is a little grassy hill on the right. Walk down the hill. You'll arrive on a roundabout with a road going directly to A62 (Toulouse). There is some space on the roundabout so the cars can stop and pick you up relatively easily. In Scar's opinion, the easiest way to get out of the city in direction Tolouse. If you want to go towards Biarritz here, wait at the traffic light at the beginning of the bridge at the entrance to the motorway Rocade.
- I really don't know why everyone hitches from the centre, when you can actually get to the motorway easily with the tram. Take number B, direction Pessac Centre and get off at Saige. Then walk back on that small parallel road Rue de la Ramée and follow it to the right. Then straight ahead, at the corner where the street turns again walk on up the hill till you hit the protection wall of the motorway. follow the wall to the left - it's a bit of a walk, but at the end there will be an access point. Cross the first on ramp, cross the field and voila: the next on ramp (direction Biarritz) has a small spot for parking there. Waited 5 minutes and cars are comparably slow (50 kmh, even though I think they don't care about the traffic sign there.) // Pablo.gelato strongly disagrees and thinks this is a dangerous spot because ON the motorway with two lanes and cars at 80-100km/h. The spot for parking is not small but very very very small and it is dangerous if cars would try to stop there unless no other car is in sight. NOT recommended!
- You can take the Tram B towards Pessac Centre and get off at Montaigne-Montesquieu. Then you can walk through the university to this spot: see map. The cars there will most probably take the A63 that goes south. There is a bus stop (Ecole d'architecture) where you can stand with a sign and the cars will have space to stop and don't go very fast.
- There is a big service station with a lot of traffic on A63 in the suburb of Cestas, 8 km from the highway circle that surrounds Bordeaux. There is a railway going from Bordeaux train station to a suburb Gazinet, from there it's about 45 minutes walk to the resting area. It's possible that some local busses go directly to Cestas. When you walk to the area, go to the one that is on the wrong side of the highway (driving direction north). There is a tunnel connecting two sides of the resting area and it appears to be much easier to reach the wrong side. (The bus is 602 from tram Pessac-Unitec. Go until Cestas Gendarmerie. Walk ahead to Avenue Baron Haussmann, then right, then right along Route de Fourc, at the roundabout to the left and follow signs to Plan d'eau de Pinoche.)
In the tramway, there are very few controls, but there is no way to avoid the control when it happens. Therefore, it's wise to travel with a valid ticket to punch in case of need.