Earth > Europe > Western Europe > Germany > Berlin
|<map lat='52.5' lng='13.3' zoom='9' view='0' float='right' height='300' width='400' country='Germany'/>|
|Population:||3,405,483 (31 Juli 2007)|
|Major roads:||A2, A9, A10, A11, A12, A13, A24|
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Berlin is the capital of Germany.
For hitchhiking to Hamburg prepare a cardboard sign with "HH" written on it, which is the license plate sign for cars from Hamburg and understood widely. "HRO" stands for Rostock by the way.
Rasthof Stolper Heide
The hitchhiking-spot in Henningsdorf Rasthof Stolper Heide is the best option to reach Hamburg, Rostock or Scandinavia. You are going to have to go on a 2 km walk in total (part of which involves gorgeous forests...). S-Bahn station Heiligensee (S25 towards Henningsdorf, 2.10 € ticket), walk down Ruppiner Chaussee northwards about 200 meters and turn right on an asphalt walking path (− there's a sign saying "Berliner Mauerweg" or something). Follow the path for 10-15 minutes. Cross the bridge over the motorway and you will see a short railing on the your left. You can easily jump over and then walk down the little hill to the motorway. Walk along the way for about 600/700m, if you walk on the path in the woods you will be on the wrong side of a tall green fence and have to go back. The large petrol station is there. You can easily get a direct ride to Hamburg from here.
A very close-by spot that saves you the 2 km walk: Get off one station earlier, Schulzendorf (S25 towards Henningsdorf, 2.10€ ticket). Get out from the front of the train, and out of the station, follow Ruppiner Chaussee north, and take the first right (Schulzendorfer Straße). And there you are, on the motorway access ramp, 5 min walk from the station. Traffic is pretty low, but cars are very slow and can get a good view at you. You can take any ride. If the car doesn't go your way, he can drop you off at the petrol station "Rasthof Stolper Heide" some kilometers uproad.
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 500m 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 you to call the police.
You can also wait opposite of McDonald's for a lift. Sometimes you will meet other hitchhikers here, too. If someone offers a lift "only" to a gas station on the highway ("Linumer Bruch" for instance) take it, since from a highway gas station it is very easy to get another lift.
If you want to hitchhike towards Hamburg or Schwerin on the A24 it is the best to go with the U6 towards Alt-Tegel and get off at Kurt-Schumacher-Platz and then start walking towards the motorway. About 2 minutes away from the U-Bahn station there is a Jet petrol station. You can either ask the drivers who stop there or stand at the road right before it. (Update January 2009: Spot is open again!)
Borough Pankow, part Weißensee: Take the tram M4 to Berliner Allee/Indira-Gandhi-Str. which can be caught at Alexanderplatz. Then walk along the Berliner Allee just around the half circle of the road and find a decent place where cars can pull over. Many cars at this intersection have Polish License and are heading North East, some as far as Gdansk. Use a sign with the city Szczecin and surely a Polish driver will stop, though be prepared to mix your languages and refer to cities by there Polish names. Check the map for the street view.
- This one also works for East towards Poland!
Just 30 minutes by Regionalbahn (train) south west of Berlin. This is the most direct option. You easily get hitches to the south or west as well as to the east (Poland). Take a train (e.g. RE3 to Dessau, check fahrinfo-berlin.de for route information.) from the center (ABC 2.80 EUR). Get off at the train station Michendorf. Leave the station at the left side (in direction of the train). Turn right into the Potsdamer Straße, at the bus stop, and walk for 20 minutes straight on it.
If you want to go east towards Poland or Dresden (If you want to go to Dresden, Schöneweide would be a much better option to start off) turn right after the tunnel (it's a small sandy road through a wood). Follow the road until you are at the restaurant at the rest area. This is a long arena so walk around the restaurant area, car parks, and petrol pumps.
For going South or West you can try the Raststätte Grunewald. Take the S-Bahn train S7 towards Potsdam or S1 towards Wannsee and get out at Nikolasee. Walk out of the train station, cross the bridge and you'll see the petrol station next to you. Usually you will encounter some other hitchhikers ("I stood there with 14 other Hitchhikers on a sunny Monday morning, 9 o`clock. Maybe Grunewald is a HH place, that is too well known!" --Bocia), but normally you get a car at the petrol station within a few minutes − at least to Michendorf! Also standing at the traffic lights before the on-ramp seems to be useful!
There is a local campaign for an official hitchhiking spot in Potsdam, they made a petition and won it :) The hitchhiking spot is planned now and will be established soon.
Aral at Kaiserdamm
Another option is the Aral petrol station at Kaiserdamm near the central bus station. Take U2 to Kaiserdamm (if you come from direction Zoo) and go out in the driving direction. Leave the station on the left exit. After 50m there's the petrol station. It depends on the day, sometimes it's very easy to get away there, sometimes it's harder.
South towards Dresden and East towards Frankfurt (Oder), Poland
There are 2 ways of entering the upper mentioned highways:
1. From entrances to the new A113 highway:
It's possible to hitchhike at the on-ramp next to the airport (Flughafen) Berlin-Schönefeld. You can reach the airport with S-Bahn S9 and some DB trains. You can not only find lifts mostly towards Dresden or Poland. It's probably the best spot within reach by S and U-bahn to hitchhike to Poland. Stand right before the ramp with a 'PL' sign. The ramp is pretty small, but you can walk up some 15-20m behind the Autobahn sign so people can stop along the side of the road safely. Watch the speed of cars coming from the right hidden corner onto the ramp, it's a tricky on-ramp, can be dangerous so hitch carefully here.
Maybe Tempelhof used to be a good place to hitch hike in the past but now it seems impossible to catch a ride there - there is simply no space for a car to stop (or we failed to find a spot which i doubt because we searched the whole neighbourhood). If you still want to test it yourself here is how to get there: The airport is easy to reach with S-bahn and U-bahn. Once there simply follow the sign towards Dresden (A100). There are two red lights, for people coming from north and south, so they have time to see you. You should ask for A113 or A13, or simply if they are going in the way to Ikea, and get dropped on the petrol station before the big mall (before Waltersdorf, check map also). Bus #263 from S-Bahn station Grünau also goes to/near this petrol station. Please read the discussion page!
2. From the 96a road (not that much in use after opening the A113):
Take a train to the S-Bahn station Schöneweide, get out there and walk out of the station East, turn right on Michael-Brückner Straße and after 300 meter you'll find two big service stations − although the Autobahn is far away these are mostly the last possibilities for cars to get petrol. The place was once crowded with hitchhikers but is normally empty now and works fine! Locals tend to stop at the second petrol station because it's usually cheaper. Also, behind this petrol station is a Burger King "Restaurant". If you choose your spot well, you can show a sign both to cars on the street who could stop at the Burger King entrance (but often drive too fast though) and to people leaving the second petrol station or entering Burger King.
- However the attendants at the service station will ask you to look for your ride elsewhere and may even call the police. The road leading to the Autobahn is a no stopping zone, so the best solution is to stand near the Burger King, where a driver can pull in. There is no better spot further up the road toward the Autobahn.
- 2008-08-24: I used this petrol stations quite often and never had problems. What the hell did you do? -Ben
- I tried both the gas station and by using a sign to stop cars from the street. First of all most people weren't traveling to Dresden and even if they were they were very hesitant to give you a ride if you ask them. For all the time I spent there, two other hitchhikers came and they also had no luck. I eventually gave up and had to pay for the bus. I'm not sure if that's a good spot.
Alternatively go to the S-Bahn station Altglienicke. Leave the platform illegally at the east end, then hike over the rails, which will bring you to the B96. The road is also named Am Seegraben. There is a wide emergency lane and a speed limit of 50 km/h. Use a sign to get a lift to Dresden (DD), Braunschweig (BS), Hannover(H), Rasthof Michendorf or Frankfurt (Oder) (FF) / Poland (Poznan). It is not allowed to hitchhike on that spot, though it's very likely that you will obtain a good lift in short time. Remember: Running over the rails can cost you something around 25 Euro if they catch you.
Attention Cars are driving too fast and you'll bring yourself in danger.people start honking also... so better not using this hitchhike spot.after a while the police appeared and sent us away.(August 2009)--Wukk 12:32, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
You can also take the S-Bahn one station further to S Grünbergallee. You'll find a big road and a big hardware-store (called Hornbach). There is a right-going lane at the big road. Just show a sign saying Dresden at the beginning of this lane. Sometimes you can ask drivers at the parking lot of the hardware-store if they can take you to the first petrol station on the Autobahn (this is just a minutes ride). From there you can be lucky, too.
A word about getting into Berlin since the ring is so big and maybe you are on a ride that's only passing by.
East and West
The best 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, when coming from the east about 2 km before the interchange "Berlin Zentrum" (it's really is not a good idea to get off at interchanges on the autobahn), there is an exit for Königs Wusterhausen. There will be a lot of commercial shopping buildings you will see just before you need to exit and as you are exiting will see the McDonalds. Then, if you can't find a ride going into Berlin (which could be rare actually) walk about 1 km into the nearest town. There is a bus going to Berlin for 1 EUR.
At Hauptbahnhof the McDonalds has free refills, pick up a cup and get high on fizzy drinks.
Sidewalk express (internet) is located in the food court at Hauptbahnhof, pick up some of the leftover receipts and enter the code, there is usually some time left. This is the internet I'm using now.
Blackriding is possible, albeit risky. Controllers are very frequent and wear civil clothes, so they cannot be noticed before the doors are closed. And since they do not receive hourly wage but salary depending on how many people they catch, playing the "dumb tourist" will have no effect on them; they want you in their record. The good news is that even if they ask you to pay the fine on the spot (40 euros), you can say you don't have the money and then you have two weeks to pay it. Or, give them a false address and just never pay it.
Trams and buses are easier to blackride: Trams have vending machines inside, so keep close to one and in case someone should ask for tickets just be at the point of getting one, after all, it takes a while to find some small cash, figure out which ticket to get, how to use the machine ... :) On buses you'll have to show your ticket to the driver when getting in, but they barely look at it so an old used one usually does just fine.
Another option is the social one: Most people are actually riding on a monthly ticket called "Umweltkarte". It is valid for *two* adults after 8pm and all day on weekends and public holidays. The same also applies to the 7day ticket, but not the student ticket. So just ask around, but be prepared to explain yourself as it's not common so people may be somewhat puzzled at first. Take it as a way to meet random people and at the same time relax about controllers!
In case you splurged and got yourself a real ticket, share it! A single one works for a whole two hours, and a day ticket until 3am. After you're done using yours just drop it inside a vending machine or on top of the validator thing, and someone will be happy to take it!