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Zürich (Zurich in English and French, Zurigo in Italian and Züri in local Swiss-german) is a city in Switzerland and lies in the northeast of the little alpine country. It is the biggest city in Switzerland, but not its capital. The city is well connected with motorways in all directions. Keep in mind that Zürich (and Switzerland in general) is expensive compared to its neighbouring countries.
1. Take tram 4 to Sportweg. Cross the tram tracks to the opposite platform and walk back about 30m in the direction the tram came to the lay-by on Pfingstweidstrasse. This is a very good hitching spot located before the motorway entrance as cars are not going too fast and drivers can see you from afar and have time to pull into the lay-by. It is also a spot easily accessible from the city center.
2. Another option is to reach a petrol station on the motorway by train and then foot. Take the S12 to Kilwangen-Spreitenbach. The stop is near the service station. One can also use this petrol station to go east and south of Zürich by using the opposite side to the Bern/Basel exit.
Nina used the first spot twice, the first time waiting quite long for a ride and the second time having no luck at all. I headed to the second spot, reached it, but the nearest petrol station was very small, and the big one was close but unreachable by foot. I walked to the east until IKEA where it was possible to cross the highway, and there waited on Limmatstrasse before the exit that leads to the highway. I got a ride very fast. It seems to me that the way traffic goes out of Zurich, spots like this one - outside the city and before the highway, rather than on the highway inside the city - would be better (maybe a similar one at Dietikon - haven't tried it, but it would make sense, and the train there is cheaper).
3.Third option is to reach an other petrol station on the motorway by train and then foot.Take the S6 (Direction Baden) and stop at Würenlos or go to the train station Killwangen Spreitenbach (there are both at the same distance more or less). From there you will have to walk to the gas station (C8QX+F3 Würenlos, Suisse) crossing the village and then follow a road leading the station itself (crossing nice fields and a little forest from Würenlos). There is a gate which opens in both direction that gives you access to this big gas station and you can access both sides of the motorway since the stations are connected. Easy rides towards to Lausanne/Geneve and even France.
I often use the first spot and it always works very good. Sometimes I already had to change car at "Kilwangen-Spreitenbach". It never was a problem.
August 2019: I was at the spot of option 1 on a sunday at 12:00 and I waited for 1 hour. I got picked up by Germans, who dropped me at the gas station just past the Swiss German border, which wasn't a good spot either (on that sunday). Luckily there is a gas station just before Basel so you can accept rides going there.
Follow signs in the city for motorway 4 to Luzern. You will reach West st. Just past the intersection of West and Werd, there is a driveway in front of an apartment building where cars can pull over just before the right turn onto the onramp of motorway 4. To get to the onramp of the motorway from Bahnhof Wiedikon (a railway station nearby) take a look at this map. It is also possible to walk from the city center, it should take you about 15-20 min.
This spot is also an option if you are heading for the canton of Graubünden, Austria, Liechtenstein, and southern Germany, especially Munich (via Bregenz).
Since there is the bypass tunnel, you can also stay at the spot at Pfingstweidstrasse (look above) to go towards Luzern and Italy. There are not so many cars going in this direction, but it is a very kindly spot.
To start towards Germany from the City Centre you can also take the public transport to Limmatplatz and walk over the Kornhausbrücke. On the other side of the bridge you take the stairs down to the Wasserwerkstrasse. Just some hundred meters from there the highway starts into a tunnel to the left. You can walk near the tunnel and take position in the middle of the street on the traffic island just in front of the traffic light. Like that the cars can see you easily and you can jump in, while it is red. Unfortunately, this position is not very comfortable because you are standing in the middle of the traffic (an I am not sure, if it is legal... but normally you come away quite fast). If you don`t like that (or if it is raining) you can also stay under the Kornhausbrücke. There is not so much traffic, but it is also ok. The best thing is to write Winterthur on your board. Like that you are coming to the petrol station Kempttal just in front of Winterthur.
Take S-Bahn S7 to Kemptthal (~25 minutes from the main station), then walk up the hill in the direction from where the train came from. After a 5 min walk, you should see a grassy hill on your right hand side. Walk to the top of the grassy hill and you will find a BP petrol station, a restaurant and a small COOP supermarket.
Public Transport (Freeriding)
On the buses after 21.00 (when the controllers stop their work day) one has to enter at the front and show the driver their ticket, before then, one should be really careful because the conductors can come with a whole bunch of people and won't let anyone out. Better to take the tram - according to a friend who grew up in Zurich the chance is very small that there will be a control, and after 21 there won't be any controllers at all.
However, if taking the tram during the day, and there is a control, you are going to be caught. They come in a giant group of ~15 and take up the entire station so you can't escape. I was caught 8/2015 and plead poverty, although while I had my wallet out giving ID, he discovered I had euros (40), so he took that, saying I owed the remaining 60 and gave me a receipt/bill/ticket.
You can also reach everything in Zürich very easy by bike. Here you can rent bikes for free (you have to give a deposit): https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/aoz/de/index/shop/veloverleih.html
Free Food / Free Concerts
Every Saturday you can go to a Bar called "La Stanza" in Bleicherweg 10 from 18:00 to 19:00, they will serve free pasta as long as they have some. This is a Homepage where a guy is collecting all the free concerts and interesting free stuff in Zürich: www.zuerifreikollekte.tk There is also www.zuerichunbezahlbar for a broader spectrum of free events like museum entries etc.
Camping spot: In the « Platzpromenade », there is a big tree big enough to set the tent inside, well hiden inside.