|Major roads:||A4, A13, A14, A17|
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Due to the specific positioning of motorway petrol stations around Dresden, passing this city from the North to the South (and vice versa) could be (but not necessarily) rather difficult.
A great place for direction north and east is Hansastraße. You can either take tram line 13 and get off at Friedensstraße or if you are in Neustadt, you can also walk from Alaunpark along Bischofsweg and Fritz-Reuter-Straße in direction west and you will pass the Friedensstraße tram stop as well. Walk down Hansastraße and you will pass 2 petrol stations. Both are good for asking people or to wave a sign. The first is generally better and you may meet some other hitchers. Hitching with thumb only is not recommended as cars are going in all directions.
- If you are going to Berlin, just make a sign saying Berlin, you will probably get a straight lift from here or at least to Freienhufener where it's very easy to hitch to Berlin from the petrol station/truck stop there.
- If you are going to Poland, make a sign saying Bautzen. That's only a short ride, but just before Bautzen there's a great service area on the motorway where it's easy to find a lift to Poland.
Another good hitchhiking spot is very close to the motorway ramp. From Bahnhof Neustadt take the bus 81 towards Wilschdorf and get off at Hellerberge. If you stand besides the bus station with a sign Berlin, you probably won't wait for long.
Very often there are hitchhikers right behind the railway station Dresden-Neustadt. Be aware that this is a common meeting point for car-pools, so if you stop a car there you might be asked to contribute to the cost of fuel, although generally it is very unlikely as anywhere else in Germany.
- On-ramp Hellerberge in Dresden: From Dresden-Neustadt DB station; take bus number 81 (WILSCHDORF) to the stop 'Hellerberge'. This should not take longer than fifteen minutes. Here you are right at 'Dresden Hellerau' interchange of B170 and A4 / A13 direction Bautzen as well as Görlitz.
- Service station Dresdner Tor near Dresden: from Dresden take bus 424 or 333 from main station to station Wilsdruff Markt (about 45min ride), go north to junction Nossener/Meißner/Dresdner Straße and turn east into Dresdner Straße. Follow this road for 500m eastwards. You will see a hotel on the right. After this take the left option of the Y-junction, cross the street Umgehungsstraße (S36) and follow the road K9034 (direction Hühndorf, north-east) for 1km. Right before you hit the freeway turn right and walk along the road parallel to the freeway. After another 500m you reach the service station
Option 1 Go to the tram stop Cossebauder Straße and walk up the big street (Meißner Landstraße). You can either ask people at the petrol station, stand next to the road with a sign or walk about 1,5km to the A4 ramp (see below).
Option 2 Another good spot is directly at the motorway A4 ramp. There is quite a good place for the cars to stop; in addition, drivers can notice you in advance when waiting at the traffic lights. To get to this spot, take a bus 94 towards either Cossebaude or Niederwartha and get off at the Zschonergrundstraße stop; you can also get there by local trains RB/RE going to Elsterwerda-Biela or Hoyerswerda (get off at Dresden-Kemnitz). Both for the train and/or the bus you can use one-fare-zone ticket, so it is relatively cheap.
Option 3 From Dresden-Neustadt DB station; take bus number 81 (WILSCHDORF) to the stop 'Am Olter'. This should not take longer than fifteen minutes. Here you are right at 'Dresden Hellerau' interchange of B170 and A4 / A13 direction Leipzig as well as Chemnitz. You can try to directly hitchhike there or to use 'Rastanlage Dresdner Tor' (10 minutes/12 kilometers from here) as a relais.
Option 4 For a good service station to ask drivers directly, go to Dresden Hauptbahnhopf, buy a ticket to Warthenau (2€ as of July 2013). From Warthenau, take the exit and walk right, descending a semi-gravel road. Turn right under the viaduct, and then turn right again. Here you will see an old German inn called Gasthof Warthenau. Walk to the Gasthof, then cross the street facing the Elbe river: here you will see several bus stops. From the bus stop without a shelter, take bus 331 to Huhndorf, only two stops. Note: this bus only runs three or four times a day, so figure out what train you should take in order to avoid an hour wait; you can figure this out to go to the information desk at the Hauptbahnhof in Dresden. When you arrive in Huhndorf, walk in the direction the bus just came for approx. 10 metres, then turn right to Am Rasthof (which means "at the service station") – yes, that really is the name of the street. Walk down the road to the service station (approx. a 10-minute walk), take the second left, turn right at the house (a cheap hotel) you will find yourself on an excellent service station with restaurants, a giant truck resting area and westbound drivers stopping for petrol. If you want to head to Holland, first try to hitch to Leipzig and then Magdeburg-Hannover, this way you avoid hitching through the Ruhr area, which is a pain.
There are a few places near bus stop Südhöhe (Bus lines 72, 76 & 360) at the overpass intersection of Bergstraße, Südhöhe, Kohlenstaße.
A. the onramp to Bergstraße (Highway 170) going south towards A17 and Prag. You can get a driver while they are stopped at the light waiting to take a right onto the highway. See other options for next steps as you are unlikely to get a long distance ride from here.
B. There is a petrol station ("Aral") but it is located on the opposite side of the road. It's the last petrol station before the motorway though.
Try to stop cars on various bus stops or near traffic lights on Bergstraße between city center and Südhöhe. However, it is difficult for the drivers to stop on this road and taking a bus to Südhöhe is recommended. Haltestelle Mommsenstraße is probably the best as you can easily stand close to the bridge and ask people at the traffic light. It is not advisable to walk along highway 170 past Südhöhe.
B170, A17 / E55 autobahn interchange (map). There is a traffic light at entry ramp to A17 east towards Prag with a blue sign, a wide shoulder, and just after the corner to the entry ramp is a small slab of asphalt were drivers can stop. Try to get a ride to the next rest stop, about 5 minutes away driving.
To get here:
- Get a ride to the A17 west onramp from one of the other options. They will be dropping you off on the side of the highway so be careful.
- Take bus 360 from Dresden main station towards A17 (direction Dippoldiswalde). Press the stop button directly after you pass the onramp to A17 towards Prague. The bus will stop 200m later so walk back to the onramp. (bus stop "Nöthnitz, Bannewitz")
Try to get to the first parking lot right after getting on the A17. Nearly everyone leaving Dresden in this direction is going to Pirna and will pass this park place. There is not very much traffic at this stop, but surely everybody is going across the border to the first petrol station in Czech Republic.
To get here:
- Get a ride from one of the previous options
- Walk there. It is ca. 600m east from the Highway 170 onramp and it is not necessary to walk on the Autobahn.
Having tried a few of the above options, we headed to the Technical University ('Technische Universtät') and got a ride in about 20 minutes. It's along the highway to Prague and I figured it might have a younger population driving past (being based around a uni).
From Haubtbahnhof, take the 66 bus (heading south) to stop 'Technische Universtät.' This will place you along the 170 highway that passes North-South through Dresden and later connects with the A17 highway towards Prague. Try hitching a ride from the bus stop. It allows plenty of space for cars to stop, and the buses come every 20 mins - so they shouldn't be too much of an issue for stopping cars. Make yourself a clear and legible sign so passing drivers can see where you want to go.
South by train, hitchhiking in Czech Republic (Děčín, Ústí nad Labem)
If you got some time and money, and prefer seeing some landscape of the Elbe/Labe valley as well as of the Saxonian and Bohemian "Switzerland" mountains, you can take the train S1 from Dresden (from main station, Dresden-Neustadt and others; direction Schöna) to the Czech border. The ticket is 17 Euro (as of 2015 october) - get it at the ticket machines and validate it before entering the train!
You can either leave the train at Schmilka-Hirschmühle (the ferry there is included in the ticket price) or at Schöna (and pay the ferry extra). After crossing the river by ferry, walk over the border and through Hřensko. There is a bus stop at the end of the town and a large space behind it. If there are too many cars parked, hitch at the bus stop directly.
As well the train ride as the road from Hřensko have really nice nature which is best experienced in good weather.
If you driver is passing Dresden in east-west direction, it's a good idea to have him drop you at the exit Dresden-Neustadt. It's very easy for then driver to get back onto the motorway and there's a tram station from where you can get into the city centre easily.
Passing through Dresden (North->South or South->North)
If you are coming from the North (e.g. Berlin, A13 or A4 from the East) and you want to continue to the South (e.g. Prague) you might have some troubles regarding the location of where you can be dropped off for further successful hitchhiking in case when your driver is not going further your way.
The problem is that the motorway splits just before the motorway petrol station called Dresdner Tor (Aral), so if you are dropped at the petrol station, you will get only those drivers who go the other way (to the West).
Then, you have several ways to get further (in any of these ways you will have similar problems and solutions):
- you might want to get dropped off way before Dresden, at the gasstation Freienhufener Eck West, approximately 60 kilometers before getting into the city;
- get a ride going west onto A4 at Dresden, so that you can be dropped off at Dresdner-Tor Nord. Then walk west for about 800 meters to a local road, walk through the tunnel and walk back east at the other side of the motorway for 800 meters to get back on Dresdner-Tor Sud.
- you find a nice driver willing to do a loop for you meaning that he must drive off the motorway after that "Aral" petrol station, make a U-turn, take the motorway in the opposite direction and drop you off at the petrol station, and only then he can either enter Dresden or make another U-turn if he is heading West;
The public transport in Dresden consists of buses, trams and regional S-Bahn trains. All of them can be used with the same ticket given it is valid for your zone.
- You can validate your ticket in both trams and buses. The machines "beeps" when you do so. Tickets can not be validated in the S-Bahn, you have to do that on the platform or your ticket might be considered invalid.
- Ticket machines on tram stops give you unstamped (unvalidated) tickets which you validate inside the tram at any time later. Bus drivers sell stamped (validated) tickets.
- Inside most of dresden DVB AG trams there is a ticket machine that gives you an already stamped (validated) ticket. You cannot rely on the phrase: "I am already hanging around the machine to buy a ticket the very next moment" when inspectors are showing up around you within seconds. The given argument will definitely not be helpful! You do not hold a valid DVB AG transportation document in yours hands!
- People carrying an adult monthly, yearly or job ticket can take somebody along on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays for free. This is possible from the day before (e.g. Friday for weekends) 18:00 until the day after (e.g. Monday for weekends) 06:00. Just ask around at the stops. Unfortunately students cannot take you.
Blackriding (Freeloading, Freeriding)
[The information below does not apply to the S-Bahn city train. See Deutsche Bahn instead]
- If you fail to show your ticket to an inspector you will most likely get a fine of 40 EUR which needs to be paid by bank transfer within about 10 days. Rumors are that even if you are a foreigner but living within the European Union an announcement to pay will be send even to your country.
- Ticket inspectors in Dresden (DVB AG) are dressed in civil clothes.
- They are usually neither very friendly to foreigners nor able to speak English very well. Make sure to have a valid(!) ticket.
- Ticket inspectors are difficult but possible to spot: They do not look like students which mostly carry a laptop case and/or wear a white or light blue shirt with a collar. They do not look like businessmen which would wear suit and tie. The are mostly not older than 50 to 55 years. They are mostly not younger than 20 years. They do not carry any (large) case, (heavy or completely filled) backpack or plastic (shopping) bag with them. They do not use mp3 player or walkmen with any sort of earphones. They mostly appear in smaller groups of two or three men in an average dress (sloppy T-shirt or pullover, jeans, a fisherman vest, cheaper non-brand shoes). They are mostly standing (or sitting) together but are not talking (or arguing) to/at each other in public.
- Ticket inspectors mostly carry a very small waist backpack or normal (but almost empty) backpack underneath a vest/shirt where their DVB AG computer devices or official papers are in.
- Ticket inspections are not conducted (as in some other European cities) on bus or tram platforms or on open bus or tram doors but only when vehicles are moving between two stops.
- After 20:00 you need to get into the bus through the first door where the driver sits. Drivers are supposed to check tickets but usually do not give them a closer look. You might be lucky when you quickly show an older (and now invalid) DVB AG ticket.
- At night, ticket inspectors in trams are accompanied by security personnel.
- Most DVB AG ticket inspections are conducted from around 09:00 to around 13:00.
- All in all: Do not blackride in Dresden. It doesn't work. Don't do it.
Do not put your tent in the parks, especially Großer Garten and Alaunpark. It is strictly forbidden and Großer Garten is patroulled by its own security personnel while Alaunpark could be checked by the police multiple times during the night.
You can buy expensive stuff at the touristic shops but every Saturday there is a second hand market until 14:00 @ here where people sell ancient things - e.g. from the time of the socialism - very cheap. Moreover you can bring or get clothes for free at the free shop here. Check the opening hours.
Eat and drink
Nearly every day there is warm food for a low price in a different alternative house. Check the calendar for the words "Essen" or "Küfa".
- This article is based on text from the German language Anarchopedia which is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.