Berlin is the capital of Germany.
|<map lat='52.5' lng='13.4' zoom='9' view='0' />|
|Population:||3,405,483 (31 Juli 2007)|
|Major roads:||A2, A9, A10, A11, A12, A13, A24|
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Option 1: Kurt-Schumacher-Damm
Take subway line U6 direction Alt-Tegel and get off at Kurt-Schumacher-Platz. Then walk ≈500 m south along Kurt-Schumacher-Damm to the start of the Autobahn. Alternatively, about 2 minutes away from the subway station there is a Jet petrol station. You can either ask the drivers who stop there or stand at the road right before it.
You can have a free breakfast or dinner before you start in the Sikh temple (gurdwara) that is a 10 minute walk from the petrol station at Kögelstraße 6.
Option 2: Prenzlauer Promenade
The street Prenzlauer Promenade is called Prenzlauer Allee in the city centre and becomes the Autobahn A114 next to the S-Bahn station Pankow-Heinersdorf. From there, just walk 500 m down the bridge and you've got a traffic light as well as two petrol stations, both on the right side for the drivers going towards the Autobahn. It may be worth walking to the second petrol station as it's cheaper and more frequented. However, it might happen that the staff at this second (Shell) station tell you to leave their property and threaten to call the police.
There is usually a lot of traffic on this road, so you could also hitch with a sign. Coming from Pankow-Heinersdorf, 50 m before the first petrol station, there is a shoulder where cars can stop and people waiting at the traffic light are able to see you.
Option 3: Raststätte Stolper Heide
Take S-Bahn S25 towards Hennigsdorf and get off at Heiligensee (AB/BC ticket required). Turn left from the station and walk north 300 m down Ruppiner Chaussee. Then turn right on an asphalt walking path (there's a sign saying "Berliner Mauerweg"). Follow the path for 1.2 km, crossing the bridge over the Autobahn. Then turn immediately left down a little path - you can stay close to the Autobahn in order not to lose it and quickly you will see a pathway that you can follow to this Raststätte. There is a small fence to the left of the path which you have to jump at some point before you reach the station. The easiest place is probably to the right of a green fenced enclosure about half way to the Raststätte. The walk from the bridge is about 1.5 km.
If you don't mind spending the extra money on a C zone ticket to save yourself most of the walking: You can catch the S25, get off at Hennigsdorf, change to bus 809 (direction: S Hermsdorf) and get off at Stolpe (OHV), Autobahnbrücke. As this bus line only runs once an hour at the most, check VBB.de in advance for departure times. Coming from the other direction, you can also take the same bus (direction: Hennigsdorf, F.-Wolf-Str.) from station Hohen Neuendorf when taking the S1 or S8 prior.
This Raststätte is ideal in the sense that you end up starting to hitchhike directly from a petrol station in which there are a fair few people heading in direction Hamburg, Rostock or Scandinavia, and you can easily get a direct ride to Hamburg from here, and with a little patience, to Rostock. If you want to catch a certain boat in Rostock or have other basic time constraints, please note that getting to this spot from somewhere like Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain in the centre of Berlin can take two hours or even longer; Option A is recommended.
The ferries leave 15 km north of Rostock at Warnemünde and from Puttgarden, from Berlin generally people head for the ferry at Rostock but it leaves more seldom, and if you are offered the right ride you could go to the Puttgarden one instead, which is a good option especially if you are only transitting through Denmark to Sweden seeing as on the Rostock - Gedser ferry there is very little Sweden bound traffic.
To go to Puttgarden from Berlin is possible if you are offered a ride to
Hamburg-Stillhorn: If you can get a ride to this gas station you can walk under the highway and hitchhike the other direction towards Lübeck - however, only people living in the southern part of the city are likely to pass by here.
Lübeck: It is possible to accept a ride either to Lübeck or to the Neustadt gas station just north of the city (but that is more rare). In case you can get dropped off at the onramp leading out of central Lübeck in direction Neustadt, wait for a ride that will take you at least to the gas station 10 km north.
For direction Århus you can also accept a ride towards Flensburg and some hitchhikers have even been known to accept such rides and then going to Copenhagen through Kolding and Odense. Also it is possible to reach both South western Norway with the ferries from Hirtshals (Hitchable??) and Göteborg, Sweden with the ferry from Fredrikstad.
For Sweden bound travellers
Option 1: Berliner Allee
Take tram M4 from Alexanderplatz to Berliner Allee/Indira-Gandhi-Str.. Then walk 150 m along Berliner Allee to the bus lay-by. Many cars at this intersection have Polish license plates and are heading northeast, some as far as Gdansk. Using a Szczecin sign will surely persuade a Polish driver to stop, though be prepared to mix your languages and refer to cities by their Polish names.
Alternatively, walk 1 km north along Berliner Allee from Berliner Allee/Indira-Gandhi-Str. to the place just before where Darßer Str. passes over Berliner allee. I found this place to be much better. It's a long straight road where people don't drive too fast and where there are a couple of pockets for cars to stop. There's less local traffic and a higher concentration of relevant traffic
Option 2: Autobahn Junction Berlin-Weißensee
Take S-Bahn S2 direction Bernau from Friedrichstr. and get off at "Buch". From there, catch a bus that goes to "Schwanebeck, Dorf" (ca. 10 min). Several buses will go there so check the time table there or ask the driver or someone else. Note that you will need a ticket including Zone C, as Schwanebeck is located outside of the border of Berlin. Next, you'll have to walk the main road of the village into southern direction. It's about 1.2 km to the on ramp; before that there is a petrol station where one can already ask drivers. You'll need the on ramp towards eastern direction, that means coming from Schwanebeck, you have to pass the first on ramp which leads towards western direction. There, standing behind the safety fence, you are visible to all drivers who queue up at the traffic light from both sides. It is not very easy for drivers to stop by but just before the actual on ramp cars can pull over, as they are not on full speed and a little firm area off the road allows to stop. On your sign you should write "A11" as it's not the on ramp for the A11 straight away, but rather to the "Berliner Ring" (A10); the A11 goes off the A10 about a kilometre after this on ramp. If your driver is not going to your destination but follows the A11 for a while, ask to be dropped off at Raststätte "Buckowsee", which is located some 35 km after the A11 begins. This Raststätte is the only one on the A11 and afterwards on A20 (leading towards Stralsund or Rügen) but a very busy one. From here you should try to find your final ride.
Option 1: Raststätte Grunewald
Take S-Bahn S7 direction Potsdam, or S1 direction Wannsee, and get out at Nikolassee. Walk out of the train station, cross the bridge and you'll see the petrol station to the right. You can talk to drivers at the petrol station or on the parking lot.
There are often other hitchhikers here early, and it is polite to wait until they have left. Get here early to avoid the competition.
This spot is both faster and cheaper to get to than option 2: Michendorf. You will need 25 minutes from Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Main Station) on an AB ticket (EUR 2.90), compared to ~1 hour (including the walk) on an ABC ticket (EUR 3.60) to Michendorf.
There is a lot of long distance traffic heading south and west, with high chances of finding a ride for at least several hundred kilometres. However, it is not a good spot to hitch East.
If you find nobody heading in your direction, you can also get a short lift until Michendorf and try your luck there, but this is usually not necessary.
Option 2: Raststätte Michendorf
Regional train (e.g. RE7 direction Dessau, check fahrinfo-berlin.de for route information) from the centre and get off at Michendorf (zones ABC, EUR 3.30). Leave the station at the left side (in direction of the train). Turn right into the Potsdamer Straße and walk south 1.3 km. Turn right into Feldstraße and follow it till you see the Raststätte. Enter via the green emergency door.
Bus 643 or 608 from Potsdam Hbf which also passes the train station at Michendorf. Get off at Michendorf Luckenwalder Straße. Walk 100 m south along Potsdamer Straße and then turn right into Feldstraße, following it for ≈800 m until the Raststätte.
There is a map on crossable rest areas in Germany that tells you exactly how to get from one side of Michendorf to the other.
Option 3: AVUS / Messedamm access lane
A good spot to stand with a sign is at the access lane onto the A115 (AVUS) from Messedamm. The access lane is a part of the Funkturm junction which connects the A115 and A100. The exact place to stand is at the acceleration lane of the road connecting the Messedam with the A115 in a U-turn around a quiet parking area at the Messedamm. From S-bahnhof Westkreutz walk north along the Halenseestrasse, and at the big crossing cross the road onto the Messedam. After 100 meters on the Messedam there is the quiet parking at your left hand side. Walk across the parking. To reach the place to stand, climb the traffic barrier between the parking and the acceleration lane. This is the exact location . Hitchhiking is prohibited here as the location is behind the Autobahn sign, but the risk is worth it. From S-bahnhof Messe Nord it is slightly further, but easier to find. Walk to the Messedamm, follow it south and at the next crossing turn right, then you find the quiet parking after 100 meters on your left hand side.
Option 1: B96a Altglienicke
Take S-Bahn S9 or S45 to Altglienicke. When getting off, you'll see there is a road that runs parallel on your left-hand side to the S-Bahn line (if you are facing south), and a red light. To get there, leave the platform by using the footbridge and turning right at the staircase (walk over the road running parallel). On the right side, There will be a pathway that goes down to the road - it's a little windy path that will eventually take you there. You will come to the road that runs parallel to the S-Bahn track (over which you just walked) and on that road is the red light that does not seem to have any shoulder space. But do not be confused. This is the BEST PLACE to stand and get an immediate ride. Cross the road to stand at the red light on the SBahn Track side. You can ask cars every time they stop for the red light. The red light is 100 m before the right hand onramp of the Autobahn going to Cottbus or Dresden.
Update : It may seem like there is no shoulder for cars to pull up but there is which most drivers know (remark: I waited more than an hour there without getting a lift, the entrance if the highway has 2 lanes and much more space to stop. There I got a ride in less than 30min) . We could not see it and got confused and took a ride in the direction of airport, wasted like 3 hours and came back to this point crossed the road and got the first ride within 5 minutes.
- UPDATE 08/2020
Construction ongoing, a bit different, the highway ramp to the right is closed but many cars continue towards the south a different way. Comfortably walk against them (eastwards) for about 500 m, on a small bridge there is a tight lane to stop but long enough for a truck (52.4127747N, 13.5658911E). The cars are passing at 30 kmh.
Option 2: A100 Autobahn junction Tempelhof
Take U-Bahn U6 or S-Bahn S41, S42, S45, S46, or S47 to Tempelhof. Turn right (south) along Tempelhofer Damm for 200 m to the A100 junction.
Option 3: B96a Schöneweide
Take S-Bahn S8, S9, S41, S42, S45, S4, S47, or S85 to Schöneweide. Then walk east out of the station, turn right onto Michael-Brückner-Straße and after 300 m, you'll find two petrol stations. Most people stops on second.
Option 4: A100 Auffahrt Siemensdamm
Directly in front of the junction "Siemensdamm" (at least towards south) there is a crossing of the streets "Siemensdamm" and "Nikolaus-Groß-Weg" with traffic lights. Moving away from the motorway there is a long line of parking spots, perfect to getting picked up. I've made the experience that directly at the traffic lights it's hard but a bit further it can work.
Very close is the station "U Siemensdamm". Of course it is probably a great spot towards AVUS and north as well.
East towards Frankfurt (Oder), Poland
Once you get a ride in Germany direction to Poland you can hitchhike before or after places where people pay for higway (polish name bramki). One side will have a parking place and its free to hitchike there.
Option 1: Raststätte Michendorf
This option requires the least walking. Take a regional train (e.g. RE7 direction Dessau, check fahrinfo-berlin.de for route information) from the centre and get off at Michendorf (requires BC/ABC ticket). Leave the station at the left side (in direction of the train). Turn right into the Potsdamer Straße and walk south ≈1.7 km on Potsdamer Straße until it ends (it bends right and is called An der Autobahn then). Keep walking straight ahead on a footpath and cross the tunnel under the Autobahn A10. After the tunnel, turn right on a sandy path through the forest. Follow the track until you are at the Mcdonalds at the rest area. The petrol station is after the restaurant and seems to be better for getting rides.
Alternative: Take bus 643 from Potsdam Hbf, direction Busendorf, and get off at Michendorf, Bergheide. Walk back 40 m in the direction the bus came from to the junction. There will be a small road going to the left, through the forest. Follow this road for ≈1 km to the Mcdonalds/Raststätte.
Option 2: Raststätte Am Fichtenplan
S-Bahn + 1 stop with train + 5 km walking
Take S-bahn S2 to the end station Blankenfelde. From there, take any regional train one stop to Dahlewitz. Turn right from the station and walk southeast ≈4 km along Bahnhofstrasse/L40 until you cross over the Autobahn A10/E30 bridge. Head down to the Autobahn and walk 1 km east to the big Aral petrol station. Walking on the Autobahn is illegal, so if you want to avoid the risk of getting caught, continue walking straight on the L40 after crossing the bridge for 1.6 km. There will be a small road on the left heading to the Autobahn. Walk north 850 m along this road until the start of the bridge over the Autobahn. Climb down to the field and walk east 300 m, parallel with the Autobahn, until you reach the Raststätte. (There is a fence to with holes in it before/next to Raststätte). See the map on the right.
There are a lot of cars and trucks. Altogether you need to walk 5 to 6 km, but the place is very good! You won't have to wait too long to hitch a ride almost anywhere in Eastern Europe.
S-Bahn + 2 stops with train + 5 km walking
Take S-bahn S2 to the end station Blankenfelde. From there, take any regional train 2 stops to Rangsdorf. Walk the Kienitzer Str until the crossing with L40 road. Continue walking 500 metres and turn left on the gravel road. You will hear the highway and see a rest area through the bushes.
Can someone confirm that Kienitzer Dorfstrase almost all lenght have bicycle path next to it??????
Train + bus with one C zone ticket
From train stop S Blankenfelde catch bus 792, check VBB.de in advance to find out about the departure times. If you’ve bought a ticket including tariff zone C to get to Blankenfelde, it’ll also cover the bus fare. When looking for the bus at Blankenfelde station, the displayed direction doesn’t matter as this is the initial/final stop of this line.
Once you’re on the bus, get off at Am Weidendamm, the surrounding area being a business park. Walk towards the Northeast, there’s a crane business on the right hand side that you’ll spot from afar. The main road makes a left turn here, and a dead end road branches off: The latter is the one you have to take, the crane business coming closer and closer. A dirt road starts at the concrete square at the end of this road, and passes the crane business site, the fence of it being on your right.
Now proceed to the field, pass the trench and turn left. If you’ve got the right shoes/boots, you may also head across the field diagonally to your left from where you crossed the trench. If you haven’t seen it from the trench, you’ll soon notice a low causeway ahead of you (if you walked across the field) or on your left (if you followed the field’s edge). You’ll want to be on the causeway, which in fact had a railway line on it many decades ago.
Once on the causeway, turn right (South) and simply follow it. You’ll soon be on a forest road near the motorway, and likely also see a bridge as well as the Raststätte already. Cross the bridge, turn immediately left and enter the rest area.
From eastern Berlin, go to S Königs Wusterhausen, catch bus 730 to Brusendorf, Kreuzung (15 min ride with same C zone ticket) and walk down the L40 road for ~500 metres. On the first intersection, turn right onto the gravel road. You should hear the highway and see a rest stop through the trees.
Option 3: Raststätte Seeberg West
The cheapest, though probably not fastest option to reach Raststätte Seeberg West, is to take subway line U5 to its eastern terminus Hönow (Berlin AB/BC ticket). Once out of the station, cross Mahlsdorfer Straße (the road right in front of the station), turn left, and then turn right into the first road that branches off, called Am Barschsee/Am Weiher. Follow Am Weiher and keep heading straight; the road continues as Am Grünzug after crossing Hoppegartener Straße and eventually as Wernergraben. Once you can see the REWE supermarket, turn right into Stöbberstraße and follow it until its very end (it becomes An der alten Gärtnerei past the kindergarten). Turn left into Bamberger Straße and walk until the main road Neuenhagener Chaussee.
Carefully cross Neuenhagener Chaussee – it’s a busy road with cars going pretty fast – and start walking on the dirt road straight ahead. At some point the road turns right and you have to enter the forested area; the road crosses a stream called Zochegraben here. The road will now continue to the left whereas on the right you’ll see a small path. Turn left and keep following the dirt road. A few minutes later, after walking besides a field (on your right), there will be two paths to a small natural pool (which, depending on the time of the year, might not have any water in it; you’ll recognise the place though, having some wooden installations as well as a small “sand beach”. There, you’ll also see a wire fence that follows the direction of the pool if you were to look at it from the dirt road.
Walk past the pool on the right hand side – there’s something like a path for a few metres – until you encounter high grass or the overgrown area respectively. From here, the easiest way to continue is to look where the least shrub is and head towards the wire fence. Chances are you’ll be doing some bush-bashing (again dependent on season), so don’t wear your fanciest clothes. Once besides the wire fence, the grass is not too high and walking becomes easier; keep following the fence, which will make a 90° right turn soon, when a huge field opens in front of you.
From there, you’ll already see a big power line. Your destination is a wooden gate near the power pole on the field. Walk along its edge or simply across the field if conditions are favourable, no farmer is around and you’re wearing boots or something similar. Approximately 20 to 30 metres before the power pole, you’ll see the open gate (with nothing but an overgrown area behind it) on the edge of the field.
Enter the gate and immediately turn right; walk about ten metres, then turn slightly left (approx. 45°) and keep walking. The shrub is pretty dense in places so again it’s some bush bashing, but a few metres further you’ll already encounter the fence of the Raststätte. If you followed these directions, chances are you’ll already see the gate in the fence to enter the rest area. When Raureif arrived here in October 2019, there was no padlock on the gate so it could simply be opened from either side of the fence.
Altogether, the walk is a little bit over 5 km and should take 90 minutes at the most. To skip walking the suburban part in the beginning, you can also take bus 943 (direction: S Hoppegarten) from Hönow station and get off at Thälmannstr., with this bus stop being very close to where the dirt road is starting at Neuenhagener Chaussee. However, the bus only runs once per hour during weekdays and operates in tariff zone C, meaning you'll likely need an additional ticket.
At the Raststätte, trucks heading for Poland abound, as well as a fair number of private cars with Polish number plates.
East towards Kostrzyn and Frankfurt (Oder)
If you are going to Frankfurt/Oder or somewhere else close by, you can try to hitch along the national road B5/B1 instead of taking the highway A12.
Take the S5 to Mahlsdorf and follow Hönewer Straße to the South until the big intersection with the street Alt-Mahlsdorf. After the traffic light there is enough place to stop. Cars go quite fast, but often slow down due according to the changing traffic lights. There is still a lot of city traffic though.
Directly before the entrance to the Berlin ringway there is a bus stop suitable for hitching further. About 10 km after the highway the B1/B5 changes from a fast two lane road to a smaller national road.
North towards Fürstenberg, Neustrelitz and Neubrandenburg
For the East part of Mecklenburg - Western Pomerania the B96 could be a good option instead of A11/A20, because there's only one petrol station on A11 and none on the eastern part of the A20.
So first you need to go Oranienburg (S1, RE from Südkreuz - Hauptbahnhof - Gesundbrunnen, RB Lichtenberg - Hohenschönhausen). From Oranienburg go by bus to Sachsenhausen Kirche and continue walking Granseer Straße for 15 minutes and you'll reach the B96. at this point the B96 still looks like a highway. but don't be confused: just a few meters before the onramp Oranienburg-Nord there's a sign saying that Autobahn ends. So cars are allowed to stop north of the ramp. between Oranienburg and Neubrandenburg just Neustrelitz is bad for leaving a car. If you're driver goes to Neustrelitz leave the car 2 km before at the last crossroad (connection with B198 to Wesenberg, Mirow) and use the bus stop over there to go on to NB or ask if you driver can drop you off at the North end of Neustrelitz. In every other town/village on that way the B96 goes directly via the town. so you can get off and look for the next busstop on the B96.
Weekend or holidays it might be that there's nearly no bus via Sachsenhausen, Kirche. then you can go by train to Sachsenhausen and walk 30 minutes to the spot. Check before on vbb-Homepage!
Getting into Berlin since the ring is big and maybe you are on a ride that's only passing by. Good option is to get out at...
Highway 10 (Poland > Amsterdam) - Rasthof Michendorf
The best to hitchhike is to get off at Rasthof Michendorf (after all the ring interchanges). There is a bridge over the Autobahn nearby so if you are coming from Poland you can jump over and easily find someone going into the city.
Alternatively, you can walk into Michendorf itself, which takes about 30 min. Just head north from the petrol stations (you can go under the Autobahn from the southern petrol station Update!-> As of January 2020, there is a construction going on there and I didn't find any possible way to cross from the Nord station to the other side of the motorway where the Sud Station is). From Michendorf, you can take a train for EUR 3.30 to the centre of Berlin (the ABC ticket, which is valid for 2 hours, so you can also use metro, bus etc. when in Berlin). The last train everyday is at 00:21. So don't leave the petrol station if you get there after 00:00. Also, if you end up having to sleep over there, that train station is definitely not really suitable for sleeping; however, near the petrol station there's a 24 hours restaurant called "Restaurant Michendorf Nord", you can charge your phone there and probably sleep in the downstairs toilet for disabled people.
If you want to go Reach Berlin most efficiently with public transports the best is to get of at "Königs Wusterhausen"/"Wildau". The exit is one exit after the "Schönefelder Kreuz" on the A10 direction Poland. I consider it as the quickest to get in Berlin from the South! Maybe your driver can drop you in the village at the S-Bahn otherwise here is the independent version:
If you want to get off in Königs Wusterhausen, the best opportunity is a bit a freestyle one. Ca. 2 km after the exit for "Königs Wusterhausen" there is 150 m long bridge called Wildauer Brücke. If your driver is ready to stop there he can drop you directly after the bridge on the hard shoulder. If you pay antention you will find a small door in the noise barrier. Open the door, go down the stairs, you will find the road for Königswusterhausen. Walk 20 min and you will be at the S-Bahn station. The last S-Bahn for Berlin is at 00:41!
Alternatively you can take the same road in the other direction and go to the S-Bahn station of Wildau.
A115 - Spanische Allee
You can get off at the exit Spanische Allee if your driver takes the A115 passing by Potsdam to get into the city which most people do that are coming from the West. From the station Nikolassee right next to it you can take the S-Bahn to Zoologischer Garten, Friedrichstraße or Warschauer Straße from where you can go anywhere. It is usually faster to do so unless your driver really goes directly into your neighbourhood, because you need more or less the same time by public transport to go anywhere in Berlin from this spot as with the car. Also your driver can easily go off the highway and back onto it.
The Ruhr area warning
When hitch hiking towards Berlin from Belgium, avoid passing the Ruhr area (Dortmund, Essen, Duisburg). Once you get in, it's difficult to get out. Raststättes are rare and passing traffic avoids this region. We tried on several places and had to take the train to pass this area (lost 5 hours. There are sufficient work arounds to avoid this area. See also the hitchwiki page of the Ruhr Area.