- 1 Hitchhiking out
- 1.1 Northwest towards Hamburg, Rostock and Scandinavia
- 1.2 Northeast towards Szczecin, Gdansk (Danzig)
- 1.3 South towards Leipzig, Munich and West towards Magdeburg, Hannover
- 1.4 South towards Dresden and Cottbus
- 1.5 East towards Frankfurt (Oder), Poland E 30
- 1.6 East towards Kostrzyn and Frankfurt (Oder)
- 1.7 North towards Fürstenberg, Neustrelitz and Neubrandenburg
- 2 Hitching In
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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.
Option 1: Kurt-Schumacher-Damm
Take U-bahn 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 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.
This spot is nearer to Berlin than the Autobahn Raststätte Stolper Heide and includes much less time spent walking and on the train.
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.
- MaxHermens says: It's best to ask drivers if they are going on the Autobahn, and if so, if they can take you to the above mentioned Stolperheide. Then you can avoid the long walk and start hitching straight away.
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 Henningsdorf and get off at Heiligensee (EUR 2.60). 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 . The walk from the bridge is about 1.5 km.
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.
Note: A (maybe not so good) nearby spot that saves you the 2 km walk: Get off one station earlier at Schulzendorf. Walk ≈150 m north along Ruppiner Chaussee and take the first right (Schulzendorfer Straße). After ≈200 m, you will arrive at the Autobahn entrance sliproad. However, at this spot the access ramp is quite narrow, and there is not a good place for cars to stop safely. There is also a curve in the road, and cars are traveling quickly, so this spot might be dangerous for you and the drivers. You can take any ride. If the driver doesn't go your way, they can drop you off at the petrol station "Rasthof Stolper Heide" mentioned above, 3.5 km up the road.
The ferries that are usable by hitchhikers are Scandline's 2 ferries, the other ones charge per passenger whereas these charge per car making the ride on the ferry free for the hitchhiker. One of them, recommended by this article when hitching from Berlin leaves from a ferry terminal 10 kilometres north of Rostock to Gedser in Denmark and the other one, from Puttgarden to Rodby, also in Denmark, sees more traffic and runs more often. For going to Copenhagen or other places in Denmark from Berlin the Rostock ferry works rather well. It does however have the problem of only leaving every 2 hours or less. Also for any Sweden (or Norway) bound hitchhikers it has the issue that rather few people on this ferry are going to Sweden so mostly you will find yourself dropped off at a petrol station before Copenhagen from where you will have to find yourself a lift to Sweden.
In hitchhiker Theo's personal Berlin --> Sweden commuting experience it is generally faster to go from Berlin to Sweden by using the Puttgarden ferry than the Rostock ferry. The time invested in getting to the main highway going north from Hamburg and Lubeck to Puttgarden is well-rewarded seeing as getting a ride by standing with a Sweden sign in Puttgarden before the ticket booth or from one of the petrol stations before saves you time and effort by not having to hitchhike at all in Denmark by using only transit traffic. The next good place to hitchhike if you are going towards Stockholm or Gothenburg is after or before people get on/off the ferry in Helsingor/Helsingborg and getting a ride from Puttgarden to there is pretty straightforward.
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 (Poles, to be blunt), and it's much nicer to stand here. I waited around 40 minutes until a truck driver stopped.
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.
- Update: Due to reconstructions of the on ramp that finished in 2013 the situation looks different. There is hardly a spot for drivers to stop and the cars are going quite fast. Berliner Allee might be the easier option.
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 & cheaper to get to than option 2: Michendorf. You will need 25 minutes from Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Main Station) on an AB-ticket (EUR 2.70), compared to ~1 hour (including the walk) on an ABC-ticket (EUR 3.30) 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
- Take a 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.
- Take 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 4: Aral petrol station Kaiserdamm
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 50 m there's the petrol station. It depends on the day, sometimes it's very easy to get away there, sometimes it's harder.
Option 5: Trampstelle Potsdam
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. Update 2016: There is still no "Trampstelle" in Potsdam.
Option 1: B96a Altglienicke BEST SPOT FOR DRESDEN
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 North), 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 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. 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.
- This is the best place to hitch towards Dresden/Prague than Schöneweide in my opinion ( I second the opinion ) ! In Schöneweide I waited one hour and more, in Altglienicke max. 15 minutes! Some drivers also told me they say hitchhikers in Schöneweide but didn't take them because it was difficult for them to stop there. In Altglienicke it's easy.
XX - Do not follow the instructions below. Very confusing and do not work.
- I'd suggest to go some hundred meters down the road. A normal lane changes into a parking lane, where cars can easily stop. Actually I saw cars from anywhere in Germany (Dresden, Hannover, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Offenburg, Leipzig) Redjo27
- I didn't find this parking lane some hundred meters down the road, but there was the offramp that goes to Dresden maybe 100 m or less. This is really unsafe. I instead went 100 m or so back towards Berlin (from the above mentioned red light) where you will find a long stretch of safe lane space for cars to stop. This is prime real estate for hitchhiking as cars are going slow enough and there is plenty of run way in and out. I have taken this twice now, and waited only 10 min one time, and about 45min the next. Filbert ( This did not work at all despite all the shoulder space. Cars have no incentive or natural reason to spot and they are already speeding because they are anticipating the Red light ahead.
- Next to the road close to the S-Bahn station is a big breakdown lane, where cars can stop easily.
If you go to Prague, make sure that drivers who stop in Dresden bring you to the Raststätte "Dresdner Tor Süd". "Dresdner Tor Nord" is also possible, but then you have to walk approx. 1.5 kilometers through a field to go to the other side.
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.
- (Update June 2015: A busy Friday afternoon, got a lift after 15 minutes all the way to Dresden so was very happy with this spot. It is possible to walk along the row of cars in the left-turning lane during a red light, but there isn't much space between these cars and the lane of traffic coming beside it in the opposite direction, so try to get back to the small pedestrian area at the traffic light before it changes. - grae)
- (Update: At a busy traveling time, e.g. Friday afternoon, the left turn to enter the Autobahn A100 from B96 Tempelhofer Damm near S-Bahnhof Tempelhof under the S-Bahn bridge (googlemaps: 52.469536,13.385558) is highly recommended. You will stand with a Dresden or A13 sign on the pedestrian space where you can speak with some of the left-bound drivers directly. They could even stop before the Autobahn begins, but it's better to get in immediately. Wait for DD number plates, CB (Cottbus) come less often, but might also be useful. Not a thing to do in the night. One of ten DD cars would probably take you. Waiting time: one hour, but then you have a functioning ride.)
- 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: 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!
- From the 96a road (not that much in use after opening the A113).
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 on Michael-Brückner Straße and after 300 m, you'll find two big Raststättes.
- Although it 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 Raststätte will ask you to look for your ride elsewhere and may even call the police. The road leading to the 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 .
- 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 petrol 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.
- as of August 2010 I consider this the best spot for hitching to Dresden. Living in Dresden and going to Berlin for weekend-trips quite often it worked fine for me as well as for others visiting from Berlin. The catch might be it was almost always Sunday afternoons though. So if you take that into account you should be fine getting a lift to Dresden from Schöneweide, given the number of people returning to Dresden for the start of the week. Both standing by the side of the road with a sign as well as asking people at the petrol station turned out well for me.
- We hitch hiked at the petrol station by asking people. (the second, the first was rather empty). Most of the people who get fuel over there stay local or are kind of rude. Using a sign we got a hitch after 20 minutes to Dresden.
- Sept 2011 - we got a ride after about 30 minutes by standing at the exit to the second petrol station. There was another hitch hiker standing at the entrance and we got picked up before him. Recommended to stay at the exit with a sign and smile.
- July 2012. Monday morning and I'm standing a little after both petrol stations just outside the Burger King. Traffic from the road, both stations and sometimes coming out of the 'restaurant'. I was picked up in half an hour with a ride all the way to Dresden. A Romanian guy heading to Poland caught a ride just before me. Great place to hitch. LookingforStu
- As of 2015 (last time I tried) this spot is no longer convenient for hitching, since the place that cars could once stop is now just another lane of traffic. You can still try asking at petrol stations, but this is a shame as in my experience it was the only easily accessible and convenient place for hitchhiking towards Dresden.
East towards Frankfurt (Oder), Poland
Option 1: Raststätte Michendorf
- Take a 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 ≈1.7 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 hamburger restaurant at the rest area. The petrol station is after the restaurant and seems to be better for getting rides.
- 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 Raststätte.
Option 2: Raststätte Am Fichtenplan
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 jump just before the 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!
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 (verified 2014-09-03).
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.
If you're doing this on 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!
All in all it will take quite long time to get there, but if you need this direction it's easier, because it's outside the Berlin-Ringroad and you just have traffic in this direction. Waiting time between 1 and 40 minutes... average 15...20 minutes.
A word about getting into Berlin since the ring is so big and maybe you are on a ride that's only passing by.
The Ruhr area
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.
- I have experienced yesterday: Do not take a hitchhike in direction of Osnabruck/Bremen/Hamburg, be a little bit more patient and wait for a ride in direction Hannover! I have stepped off at the tankstation 10 km before Osnabruck at the A1 and have waited there for 4 hours, all cars go up north. I was coming from Essen.--Hapiel 02:25, 27 July 2012 (CEST)
Poland > Amsterdam highway 10
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 20 min. Just head north from the petrol stations (you can go under the Autobahn from the southern petrol station). 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 22:30. So don't leave the petrol station if you get there after 22:00.
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.