Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main
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|Major roads:||A3, A5, A66, A661, A648|
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If you are coming from the north (Netherlands; Cologne, Düsseldorf, etc.) and your ride is not going directly to Frankfurt am Main, but continuing towards the south instead, ask your driver to drop you out at the Medenbach service station at the A3. It lies some 35km northwest of Frankfurt. This is a very busy service station and you should be able to quickly find a ride directly to central Frankfurt. If you miss that stop, there won't be any other good places to be dropped out until close to Darmstadt (unless of course, the driver is willing to make a detour to leave you at Frankfurt Airport).
A good spot for getting rides out of Frankfurt in every direction is on the B8, on the start of the "Theodor-Heuss-Allee" near the center of the city. The spot is a bus stop on "Theodor-Heuss-Allee", about 40 metres after a roundabout next to “Messeturm” skyscraper. Take the U-Bahn line U4, or Straßenbahn line 16 or 17, to “Festhalle/Messe”. Or walk from the Hauptbahnhof north for approximately 15 minutes to Messeturm skyscraper.
As of February 2013 there has been construction near here for a couple years and the bus stop has moved further down the road. Everything else is still the same.
Traffic is very busy and slow here every day from 7:00 to 20:00. The rate at which people pick up hitch hikers here is reportedly very low (twits will also make a variety of offensive gestures at you so be prepared) but with so much traffic going in every direction you can eventually get a ride.
The next good hitch hiking spot on A5/E451 in northern direction is "Raststätte Wetterau" and is a better spot to look for longer rides so try to get a ride to there if you are heading north.
2nd option: Take tram No. 17 from Frankfurt DB main train station until the last stop "Am Rebstockbad" (Map. This takes you about 10 minutes. From the final stop "Am Rebstockbad" you can already see the motorway (A648) which interchanges some 700 meter westward on the Autobahn A5 (north/soutward). When you arrive at the (eastbound) Esso gas station on the side that leads into Frankfurt - walk westward along the Autobahn and cross at a road bridge 200-300 meters away. Cars that refuel at the opposite (westbound) Esso gas station will in almost every case travel either northward (Kassel, Hannover) or southward (Darmstadt, Basel) on the Autobahn A5.
June 2019: I've been on the northward spot and was able to get a short ride after about 90 minutes. The traffic from the gas station is low, and it seems to be very hard to stop the cars driving on the road next to it. Not saying it is not possible, just prepare to the option of waiting.
The "Friedberger Landstrasse" (Friedberger Street) is often used to leave the city towards the Autobahn A5 (North). From the "Konstablerwache" (city centre), walk (2 km) or take the tram 18 / bus 30 till the stop "Münzenberger Str.". Hitchhike on this road about 150 m before the entrance of the supermarket Lidl (Map). You definitely need a sign with "A5" on it because many cars go to other (uninteressant) directions. It is a perfect spot to get a ride to the Autobahn A5 (for instance to the rest area "Wetterau").
2nd option (Rest area Gräfenhausen - in the south of Frankfurt):
Take suburban train (S-Bahn) S3 (indicating: Darmstadt) to the stop "Erzhausen", leave the station and walk through the town Erzhausen on "Bahnstraße" and "Hauptstraße" westward until you can hear the Autobahn A5. At some point, you will see a sign pointing left to a Schützenhaus, follow this direction, continue straight beyond the clubhouse and you will arrive at Rastanlage Gräfenhausen Ost (Map).
It takes 50-60 minutes from the city center of Frankfurt until "Rastanlage Gräfenhausen". There is plenty of long distance traffic 24 hours a day at this spot, a restaurant as well as a small supermarket!
Take the Metro to "Kalbach" (Line U2 or U9), underpass the highway and take the second street right (street is called "Am Martinszehnten"). There is a petrol station called Hessol and a McDonalds, which are close to A5. As the petrol station is cheap it is frequently used and you can easily get a ride from there to the A5 - at least to service station "Wetterau" wich is a good spot to find long-distance lifts.
South (Karlsruhe, Strasbourg, Freiburg)
Go by subway (U-Bahn) line 6 to the last stop "Heerstraße", continue walking the path along the rail-track on the left side northward. Walk over the fields until the Autobahn and cross via the underpass. You´ll see a small steep footpath on the right. Go there and you are on the rest area "Taunusblick" on the A5. The whole journey takes not more than 25/30 minutes from the city center (10 minutes walking only). Attention: There is no exit or entrance for cars going north on A5/E451! You can only use the rest area Taunusblick to travel South!
As of March 2018 there is a construction on the U6. This means getting to option one has changed. The best way from the main train station is to take the S3/S4 to Rodelheim then take bus 60 direction Uhrig ( the bus will be on left if you are facing the direction the train is heading ). From this spot I got a ride to Kharlsruhe in about 15mins
2nd option (Rest area Gräfenhausen - in the south of Frankfurt): Take suburban train (S-Bahn) S3 (indicating: Darmstadt) to the stop Erzhausen, leave the station and walk through the town Erzhausen on "Bahnstraße" and "Hauptstraße". Cross the Autobahn via the bridge, walk lefthand through the forest on Erzhäuser Weg until the relais [Map. Hitchhike on the Rastanlage Gräfenhausen West.
East (Würzburg, Nürnberg, Czech Republic)
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Take subway (U-Bahn) line 1, 2 or 3 from the DB main train station to the final stop "Südbahnhof" (there are also many other ways to reach Südbahnhof = just pick one of them!) Take bus number 30 or 36 from the station to the stop “Sachsenhausen - Hainer Weg”. Bundesstraße 3 ("Babenhäuser Landstraße") is right at the busstop, there is a restarea which you can reach by crossing the road. This is a hitchhiking spot par excellence - lots of cars passing it all the time and it is easy to pull off there. Attention: Think twice if someone offers you a ride to the petrol station nearby, by taking it you will lose this spot and might end up waiting for hours.
- I was at this spot in July 2010 and im not sure how great it is, one of the workers on the ground behind actually drove us to to the Service station further down the autobahn (which was excellent), because he said he saw a couple wait a whole day for no lifts the week before.
March 2015: Been to that spot as well and didn't get a ride, there's mainly local traffic. Besides I guess public transport has changed slightly since the first description was uploadad. There is no U-Bahn 1,2 or 3 directly from the Hauptbahnhof. Easiest way I found to get to the spot is taking the S-Bahn S5 or S6 from Hauptbahnhof to "Lokalbahnhof". From there you can enter Bus line 30 or 36 from "Lokalbahnhof/Darmstädter Landstraße". The last stop is the described spot. Each ride (S-Bahn as well as bus) will cost you 2,75€.
July 2016: The person giving his account of March 2015 is right about the public transport! I have been to this spot twice. The first time it was in 2014: it took me three hours to get away from here to the next gas-station. The second time in July 2016 it took me 5 minutes to get there, and my friends who were also itch-hiking got a ride half an hour later. So I guess it is just a very uncertain place. One thing I do know: if you do get a ride to the next gas station, which is actually on the highway: take it. The person saying you shouldn't is right about something else though: it is mainly local traffic going to the surrounding villages. They do however all take the highway there and many WILL pass the gas-station. So I suggest makeing two sings when you try this spot. One with Würzburg on it and one with the sign of a gas-station. Both our groups did this the second time around and we got rides easily, like I said.
2nd Option Alternative which takes you to the service area mentioned above. Take S1 train to Rodgau-Weiskirchen then walk along Bahnhofstrasse until you reach Hauptstrasse turn right and then take first left into Shillerstrass. Follow Shillerstrasse until you reach into the forest and then take first road going left. This will take you straight to the Service area. It takes approximately 40 minutes.
"Rastanlage Weiskirchen" has two sides, north and south for going east or west. A bridge over A3/E42 (east of the station) connects both sides. From Frankfurt you can reach this place in around 60 minutes. From Frankfurt DB main train station, you should take S-Bahn S1 direction: "Rödermark Ober-Roden" to the stop "Weiskirchen". Wander through the town on "Bahnhofstraße", "Schillerstraße" and "Pommernstraße", later through the cropfields first in east- then in northward direction until you can see the Autobahn.
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2nd option (Rest area Theißtal - west of Frankfurt): An alternative, if you want to leave Frankfurt for Köln and further north or west, is the rest area Theißtal along the Autobahn A3. Take the S-Bahn (S2) towards Niedernhausen (final stop, about 30 minutes). You'll hear the Autobahn once you are there. Walk 1.5 km (20 min) northwestwards. There is a tiny footpath through the woods leading all the way to the motorway rest area, and if you try to stick close to the Autobahn, you shouldn't miss it. You'll walk past a shooting range, and when you reach a 100m diameter clearing in the woods, you're there. Most cars here go at least to Köln/Bonn if they don't go to Koblenz, since there isn't much else on the way.
As of May 2017 there is a fence between the woods and the rest area
Option 3 Medenbach service station (Probably best option to go towards Cologne)
This option has a fair bit of potential walking but leaves you at a well visited service station on the A3 to the West of Frankfurt and really only ends up being one or 2 kilometers more of a walk compared to the first option. Take the S-Bahn S2 towards Niedernhausen and get off at Eppstein-Bremthal. You can save a kilometer of uphill walking by taking bus 20 (just outside the station and easy to board without a ticket because you can enter in the back doors) for 3 (possibly 4) stops to bus stop Waldallee. (The stop is immediately after the bus turns right after reach the top of the hill. You then have a 5 kilometer walk to the service station but could also hitch a ride most of the way. Going the opposite direction of the bus, walk along the L3017 passing through the town of Wildsachsen. About a kilometer past the town, turn right onto L3018. (It veers slightly away from the previous road heading up a hill. Walk 500 meters and turn left onto the path. (Or if you want to go south keep going until you pass under the autobahn.) Walk about 700 meters on the path and you will be able to turn right on a road that leads to the service station. You can then turn left and follow it until you come out near the gas station or just after the green fence you can turn right and take the elevator down to the ground level and emerge in the parking area near the restaurant. (You'll have to press the door open button to get the doors to open). From here you could easily get a ride even as far as Belgium or the Netherlands.
From the airport
There are two good spots at the car park. Go to the arrival level in front of Terminal 1. You can now enter a throughway beneath the brownish Sheraton building that is opposite to Terminal 1 Part C. There is a delivery area of the Sheraton, great spot. Slow traffic and a lot of space for stopping. You should be able to spot the main car park exit. You can follow the cars further down some 100 meters to find a spot in the sunlight. Note that most traffic will go south!
- Craig found it easy to get a lift south but rather tough to find a car going in direction north along the A5.
Hitched from the Airport direction A3 South to Nurnberg on 16.6.13 and stood there for 5 hours. Note there is not much traffic going to Bavaria especially on sundays. If you want to go that direction have a look for Licence plates with WÜ, AB, N, BA, M. Otherwise the airport is great for anything going south down the A5 or going north the A3, lots of traffic going that direction, even met a hitchhiker going to berlin getting a lift immidiatly. Melmacian
dominic had a hard time trying to go north on the A5 in june 2013. eventually, on the advice of some police officers, he moved to this on ramp: http://goo.gl/maps/tYgBg where he found a ride in five minutes. a 20 minute walk, but it may be better for going north.
Helen says: Hard to find direct lifts to the North (Berlin). Still, a nice women took me to the next petrol station (only 5 min away) from where I found someone going to A5. Once there, it's pretty straight forward. I went in the middle of the night and it only took me six hours to Berlin.
David stood there 1,5 hours to get A3 north-east and then took a train. A sign would be very very helpful, as people are driving everywhere (but not where YOU want to go ;-) )