Earth > Europe > Western Europe > Germany > North Rhine-Westphalia > Aachen
|<map lat="50.775160245564" lng="6.082352042177" zoom="10" view="3" float="right" />|
|Population:||258,770 (31 Dec 2006)|
|Major roads:||A4, A44, A544|
|Meet fellow hitchhikers on Trustroots|
Apparently - from what Guaka has heard - there is a somewhat official hitchhiking spot at Europaplatz.
Cars number plates starting with letters AC are registered in this locality. License plates with DN indicate that a car is from the neighbour locality of Düren in the east.
West towards Netherlands , Belgium , East towards Köln
There is a nice petrol station, Aachener Land, on the A4, not too far east of Aachen. It is good for heading towards Netherlands or Belgium, while the other side offers good opportunities to hitch towards almost any region in Germany via Köln.
You can either hitchhike there or take the bus. To go by bus take line 52 from the main bus terminal Aachen Bushof in direction of Eschweiler Bushof and get out at Röhe Wasserwerk (3,20 Euro in January 2012, approx. 25 min). To go in direction of Köln just walk back 500 meters, to go to NL cross the highway bridge and turn left at the first street. Another option is to start hitchhiking from Europaplatz just where the cars enter the motorway from a roundabout. When going East (direction Köln), leave Aachener Land behind you. When going West, step out at the petrol station and do a little walk over the bridge nearby to cross the motorway.
<map lat='50.79269814077799' lng='6.1571502685546875' zoom='12' view='0' width='400'/> If heading towards the Netherlands you have several options. The first is to hitchhike to the traffic lights at the main motorway exit at Geleen from the Aachener Land service station (perfect if you are going to Maastricht). Otherwise, one can walk from the Ponttor while in Aachen for about two kilometers up the Roermonderstrasse or take the buses 27, 37, 47 or 77 from the central bus station Aachen Bushof to Jupp-Müller-Straße (2,40 Euro in January 2012). There are two petrol stations and the bus stop for thumbing where you can find a Dutch driver. If you are going to Maastricht you can also go to Vaalserstrasse or take a bus to Vaals. When in Vaals, walk to the roundabout on Maastricherlaan, go for 20 meters more and you will see a bus stop. It's a perfect place to get a lift to Maastricht.
The Aachen-Laurensberg on-ramp is a pretty good for getting a ride, into the Netherlands. There is a petrol station right after the border, but people going from Aachen to Maastricht might prefer to use the road via Vaals instead of the highway.
South towards Liege, Luxembourg , Eifel
Option 1: Take bus #11, #36, #55, or #SB63 from Bushof (main bus terminal) or Hauptbahnhof (central train station) to Oberforstbach Laschet, get out and walk back the direction you came from. You have to walk a few hundred meters until you reach a bridge after which you turn left to get to the service station after 150-200m (you can either walk through the fields or use the exit and walk along the autobahn). At the same bridge there is also the exit #2 Aachen-Lichtenbusch at the A44 which you can use to go either in the direction of Köln (or at least to the service station Aachener Land) or in the direction of Belgium.
Option 2: To get to the service station or the exit you can also hitchhike from the bus station Aachen Siegel (reachable by the lines #11, #21, #36, #46, #53 and #SB63 or by foot - ask locals for directions) which is perfect if you want to hitchhike south to the Eifel in the direction of Roetgen, Monschau, Simmerath or further.
Option 3: One may also thumb at the on-ramp at the highway exit Aachen Brand. To get there take bus lines 25, 45, 55 or 68 from the main bus station Aachen Bushof until Königsberger Straße (2,40 Euro as of January 2012). Walk 500 m along the road and either thumb down the cars coming from Aachen center turning left or the cars going straight onto the highway from the industrial area. Beware that there is local traffic that will exit the highway on the next exit.
If you are with people that are going directly to Aachen being dropped of at the central bus terminal Aachen Bushof is a good idea. Most buses come through there, but this is not the main train station.
When your driver is passing by on the A4 it is a good idea to get out at the service station Aachener Land and take the bus 52 to the center (see Hitchhiking Out). Buses to Aachen go weekdays every half hour between 5:00 and 20:30 and hourly until 23:30. Saturday service is from 5:30 until 23:30 and sunday service is between 8:30 and 23:30. Else, if you are on the A44 from/to Belgium, try to get dropped off at the exit Aachen Brand. You can use the frequent bus service at any time from there to the center and your driver can get back on the highway easily.
Check the website of the local bus operator ASEAG for bus informations. There is no english page but you can just input your request on the top right. Input the start city (e.g. Aachen) and station (e.g. Bushof, the main bus terminal) and the same for the destination in the second row. The results are understandable without knowing German.
People with monthly tickets and job tickets can take you along for free in buses and regional RE trains on weekdays from 19:00 until 3:00 and on the whole weekend within the area of their validity. Feel free to ask around.
Other useful info
There are quite a few police controls around Aachen, so make sure you are not bringing any drugs from the Netherlands to Germany as you might get controlled.
Hitchhiker Fverhart writes: "I don't like drugs and I was never checked on the border. Once in my life I had some marihuana with me, our host so kindly asked for it that I took the risk, although I did not know what kind of risk I was actually running." Kriechstrom thinks otherwise: "There are police controls for sure for buses, cars and even bicycles. Bus lines from the NL are being controlled, especially the line 50 from Maastricht if you get out at the main train station. Cars are more likely to be controlled if they have registration plates from other cities than Aachen."