Hitchhiking in Europe is fun. There are many small countries, highways in the West are good and hitchhiking is relatively safe. Some countries, such as Germany are quite easy to hitch around. Germany for the large distances in a single lift, and the possibility to go really fast (no legal speed limits on many highways). England for the relative short time for waiting. Most other countries are at the European average (rather easy), e.g. the Netherlands, Belgium and Eastern countries. Some other countries are considered bad for the long waiting times like Spain and Italy, but even there you might get a ride with some patience. Some people skip a country after standing in one place for over two hours. When this happens more than once on suitable places for hitching, this is reasonable.
Hitching is rather safe in Europe. However, a woman alone takes a higher risk anywhere, of course.
For crossing borders, have a look to the Schengen Agreement. With a visa to the Schengen area you can travel within a bunch of European countries.
Of course, you won't go on the road without a map. For all of Europe but the East, the Marco Polo Euro Atlas is great. It contains detailed information about gas stations on highways, without unneeded stuff like an index or city maps. You can find it in Slovakia.
For online usage:
- Liftershalte.info - based on google maps.
- Map24.com - very good Java-Maps and routing
Tips for each country
The United Nations Statistics Division defines Europe as following:
- Ireland<map lat='51.83577752045248' lng='17.2265625' zoom='3' view='0' float='right' width='400' height='500'/>
- 30px United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Autonomic Islands or Regions
- Åland Islands
- Channel Islands
- Faeroe Islands
- Isle of Man
- Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands
- Czech Republic
- Republic of Moldova
- Russian Federation
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- San Marino