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|motorways = [[A1 (Germany)|A1]], [[A3 (Germany)|A3]], [[A4 (Germany)|A4]], [[A57 (Germany)|A57]], [[A59 (Germany)|A59]]
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'''Cologne''', or '''Köln''' in German, is a big city in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Cars number plates starting with the letter '''K''' are registered in this locality. While the following are localities in the neighbourhood of Cologne: ''(LEV - GL - SU - BM) clockwise from the North''
If you're headed to [[Frankfurt am Main]], take the train to the last stop ''Königsforst'' (tram U9), walk straight for about 15 min. Then after a right turn you are on a decent on ramp of the [[A3 (Germany)|A3]], most of the cars will go to [[Frankfurt am Main]] or can drop you at least on the ''Rasthof Siegburg'' (about 20 km South), which is it worth for long-distance rides.
:''[[User:Frixge|Frixge]] : I hitched at Königsforst in August 2011 by chance. The ramp And found it hard to imagine that people would stop, because it is rarely used outside of town and you need as well luck to find some gentle a lot of people who trust someone ignore hanging out beyond populated areahitchhikers. But the next times I went there I got a ride in 5 to 30min. Especially it is easier to get southwards, because there is no other option than the A3.''
[[File:Dariocraigmalaysia.jpg|thumb|250px|left|[[User:Halt, Stop! Reudnitz kommt.|Craig]] & Dario hit the road for '''Thumbing Asia West to East''' (Königsforst always a good option!)]]
Another possibility for the [[A3 (Germany)|A3]] direction [[Frankfurt]] is to take the train “RB 25” from the main station in the direction “Marienheide” or “Overath” for EUR 3.20. Leave at “Stümpen” and turn right and go up to the “Kiefernweg” and turn right. Follow the street that is later called “Dammelsfurther Weg” up to the “Pestalozziweg” for maybe 500 meters and turn right. Now you pass the Autobahn and turn right again in the “Plantage”. Follow this way a few hundred meters through the forest and you will see a service station on the right side. Maybe you have to climb a fence. Now you are on the a station without oil station but much traffic and it's easy to get a ride there. It takes approximately 40 minutes to reach it from Cologne Hbf (main train station).
:''[[User:Hash|Hash]]: Hitched at this spot successfully in July 2017, took about 25 mins but got a good long distance ride to Nürnberg. Climbing the fence is probably necessary - there is a good place on the western end of the station where the fence has larger gaps for a foot to fit in."
Furthermore going in direction of FFM you can use the traffic lights at the ramp Köln-Dellbrück (Mülheim/Buchheim) or at the ramp onto the 55a (Frankfurterstraße). Ask the driver to bring you at least on the ''Rasthof Siegburg''. To Köln-Dellbrück you can catch the bus 159 in direction ''Buchheim'' to ''Gronauerstraße'' for example at ''Wiener Platz'' (3 stops). To the ramp at Frankfurterstraße take bus 151, 152 or 153 to ''Beuthenerstraße''.
:''[[User:Frixge|Frixge]] mostly waited between 5 and 15 minutes. But I once waited two hours at Köln-Dellbrück. It was early in the morning. Maybe most of the traffic at that daytime is local.''
=== North or East towards [[Berlin]], [[Dortmund]], [[Hannover]] and [[Münster]] ===
Hitching in that direction seems to be legendarily difficult unless you take a regional train and walk an hour. Several experienced hitchhikers got trapped countless hours and decided to take a train instead. Nevertheless it's of course possible to hitch out of Cologne, experiences about this vary extremely. So far we have three there are four options:
* '''Option 1:''' Close to the city, you may want to try one of the on-ramps in the North East of Cologne. On-ramp ''Köln-Dellbrück'' (exit 26 on the [[A3 (Germany)|A3]]) seems to be good for hitchhiking in direction Remscheid or further along the A1. Also traffic North the A3 passes here. There's no hard shoulder but some green space to stop cars ~60m behind the Autobahn sign. Another possibility is to ask the drivers directly at the traffic light with an extra lane for the motorway. You can get there by taking the metro U18 to ''Holweide-Vischeringstrasse'', cross the railways towards the main road and to the left you'll find the on-ramp. Or Follow the description for ''Köln-Dellbrück'' (see south towards). You just have to walk a bit more. Make sure to have a "Remscheid" or "RS" sign in case of going towards A1 because there is only one tiny resting area ahead of the A3/A1 crossing and as of 06/2011, it is mainly used as a meeting spot for male homosexuals.
:''[[User:Platschi|Platschi]] hitched at Dellbrück in May 2010 and got a ride easily within ten minutes towards Remscheid service station, with even two cars stopping in the meantime but driving northbound.'':''[[User:artti|artti]] hitchhiked there in May 2011 and two police cars didn't do anything, but third one nicely asked him to leave, because it might not be safe, because cars don't have actually proper place to stop. He took a U-bahn number 4 to last stop Schlebusch (it is possible without ticket) and about twenty meters away you can catch a bus number 260, if lucky driver doesn't ask you to show ticket, but if you must buy, then ticket to Kaltenherberg Ort is eur 2.50.'':''[[User:Frixge|Frixge]] tried twice to get off at the traffic light at ''Köln-Dellbrück'' to Berlin. First time at 15:00-16:00 there was an huge amount of traffic and he just had to walk along and ask the drivers. After 10 min he found someone who passed the service-station Remscheid. Second time at 13:00 he waited for 2 hours at the traffic light. There was few traffic, mostly local. Next time he will try the option 4.'':''[[User:Roanne|Roanne]] and a partner tried this option, but instead of stopping cars at the traffic lights they asked people at the Jet gas station just before the exit onto the Autobahn. It didn't take long to get a ride to Remscheid that way.
* '''Option 2:''' It's also possible to hitch from the South East of the city because there is a petrol station on the A59. The closest bus stop is "Eil Heumarer", bus #152. You can take it from Steinstr. S-Bahn, which is relatively close from the main station.
* '''Option 3:''' In case you try to use a ramp from Cologne, a good take-off sign is "Remscheid", because the first service area on the [[A1 (Germany)|A1]] is "Rasthof Remscheid", just before the exit for Remscheid. There are lots of commuters. You can also get there by train from Cologne Dom/Hbf for 6,50 Euros via Remscheid Hbf and walk 5 km to the area (map [,7.226601&sspn=0.008559,0.023174&ie=UTF8&ll=51.169872,7.215099&spn=0.034228,0.092697&t=h&z=13 here]). If you're lucky, catch the bus 672 or 673 (valid with your zone 4 ticket) to Talsperre/Mebusmühle or Talsperre/Raststätte (closer but only 673) and avoid the walk. These buses do not pass very often, though.
* '''Option 4:''' There is also the possibility to take the bus nr 260 from the central station towards Remscheid. Get off at the bus stop Kaltenherberg Ort, From there you just have to walk for about 2 Minutesminutes, the motorway is already visible. All drivers that pass can at least take you to the gas petrol station in Remscheid which is just about a few kilometers kilometres from there. Like that you avoid the ring and are straight on the A1. I never waited long at that place.:''[[User:Frixge|Frixge]] Taking the bus is a good alternative. By the way the first car in Kaltenherberg took me to the service station. I was surprised because there is not a lot of space on the ramp.'' * '''Option 5:''' A very good spot seems to be on the crossing of the A57 and the 'Parkgurtel' ring road. Get there using the S-Bahn (get off at station Nussbaumstrasse) and walk direction east until you get to the traffic lights. All the people turning left are going on A57 and there's a good chance they're heading on the A1 later. Like mentioned above, ask for Remscheid service station. The spot is protected from the rain by the train bridge! The cars only stop at the red lights, so you will have to do some jumping around. 
=== East towards [[Siegen]] or [[Gießen]] ([[A4 (Germany)|A4]]) ===
Trying to get onto A4 seems to be as difficult as getting anywhere northeastnorth-east. [[User:Caro|Caro]] tried Mid-July 2010 to hitchhike at the onramp on-ramp in Merheim, giving up after 3 hours using the following spot.
One but long (and maybe worthwhile) possibility is to go to gas petrol station ''Aggertal''. Take ''S-Bahn'' "Regionalbahn (RB) 25 " direction Marienheide Bf. Get off at Overath Bf and take bus 310 direction GumemrsbachGummersbach. Get off (2nd halt) at Klef/Hotel Lüdenbach and walk 20 minutes to the gas petrol staion. Check [,7.31123&sspn=0.01287,0.027595&ie=UTF8&ll=50.950154,7.312946&spn=0.012869,0.027595&z=15 map] before! From there you can go anywhere eastwards, including long distance rides too.
:''[[User:janpa|janpa]] suggests to not take the bus, but hitch to the gas-petrol station from Overath Bf. Its It's probably faster to take a lift to the on-ramp, and then directly to the gas-petrol station, since it is only two kilometerskilometres. From Koeln Köln it takes about one hour to get to the spot.''
=== North towards [[Düsseldorf]] or [[Nijmegen]] ===
Take the tram no. 5 or 13 to ''Nußbaumer Str.''. There is an onrampon-ramp. A lot of traffic goes in your direction, but it is very dangerous for drivers to stop there.[[User:Perilisk|Perilisk]] tried this spot in 2008 but was unsuccessful and uncomfortable stopping cars there. [[User:Clint.hotvedt|Clint.hotvedt]] tried this spot a few times in the fall of 2009 and was not able to get out for some hours as well, in the end accepting a ride to Ausfahrt 26 ''K-Worringen'', where it was much easier. At least for direction [[Krefeld]]/[[Nijmegen]] this user recommends riding the S-bahn to ''Worringen'' and try it from there, average waiting time around 30-60 minutes.
=== West towards [[Aachen]], [[Maastricht]], [[Eindhoven]] and [[Belgium]] ===
On the motorway ring around Cologne, to the west of the city, there's the motorway service area ''Köln-Frechen'', Germany's busiest service station. You can reach it by catching a train to Königsdorf S-Bahn (around 20 minutes). Turn right on the stairs at the station, walk through the car park, turn left on Augustinus Straße, walk straight for 2 minutes and then turn right on to Marienhöfer Weg. Keep walking up this path into the forest for 5 minutes. Eventually you will come to a crossroad with the service station on the left.
There you can get lifts to the [[Netherlands]], [[Belgium]] and [[United Kingdom|Great Britain]] from one of around 200. Trucks are going in the direction of [[Aachen]] or [[Maastricht]], at least.
== Hitching In ==
When you arrive Cologne via the [[A1 (Germany)|A1]], it's difficult to get into the town centercentre, because the motorway is very far outside. One option is to get off at the exit '''Köln-Niehl'''. There is a tram station, close to the motorway, in east direction, 15 minutes walking. At daytime, you can get to the town center centre in like 15 minutes.
From the same motorway ([[A1 (Germany)|A1]]), you may as well get out at '''Köln-Lövenich''' and catch Tram #1 on Aachener Straße direction downtown down town at either ''Bahnstraße'' or ''Mohnweg'' stops. You could as well try to catch a ride from the A1 onto the A3. And then get off for example at '''Köln-Dellbrück'''. There you walk 5min in direction west, catch the bus 159 to ''Wiener Platz'', where can get a tram.
Coming from the South on the A555 or through the A4, you may as well as the driver to leave you at the ''Am Verteilerkreis'' roundabout situated just at the complete end of the A555, at the ''Kreuz Köln-Süd'' (Junction A555-A4). The driver can really leave you at a petrol station and gain the motorway back with complete ease. From there, you can walk along the Bonner Straße to catch a bus to the heart of Köln.
== Public Transport ==
* Students and people with a monthly ticket can take one person for free, ask around tram/bus stops.
== Useful Links ==
* [ KVB], the local/regional public transportation network has a good route planner. Very useful!
{{IsIn|North Rhine-Westphalia}}

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