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Tiziano hitching from Berlin to Munich

Germany is a great country for hitchhiking. Just make sure you get on the Autobahn (motorway)! There it is best to get to a Raststätte (service area) where drivers can legally stop and get from one to another. You will often find maps with the motorways and the service areas along them.

In Germany there are no speed limits on many highways. So you might first want to try to get a ride with fast cars before asking truck drivers! Trucks are great during nighttime, but like in France, there are restrictions to when they might drive. In Germany, trucks aren't allowed to drive on weekends from Saturday 10 PM to Sunday 10 PM or on public holidays.

License plates

In Germany license plates start with an abbreviation of the region where the car is registered. So look out for number plates starting with B if you're hitching to Berlin!

See German car number plates and List of abbreviations used (in German) on Wikipedia for more information.

Border crossings

Germany implemented the Schengen Agreement. This means, that the border to other Schengen countries are open. At the borders to non-Schengen countries (Poland, Czech Republic and Switzerland) there are still checkpoints and German custom officers or sometimes police might control your luggage, especially if you come from Eastern European countries like Poland (searching for forged branded goods, smuggled tobacco, etc.), or if you come from or cross over into Switzerland (black money is often smuggled over that border). If coming in with a commuter train, they easily take you out of your train to search your belongings, while your train continues without you.

Nevertheless, this seems to be very unlikely nowadays.


Try to avoid eating on service stations on the motorways. They are very expensive (you even have to pay for the toilets) and the food is usually very bad. At some service stations you get a 1€ bill for the toilet. You can buy thinks for 1€ with it at the petrol station shop and at the restaurant. You can drink water from the tap nearly everywhere in Germany.

Keep in mind that most shops (including supermarkets) are not allowed to open on Sundays. Also most supermarkets close at 20:00 or even earlier. There are no 24h-shops, but gas stations often offer a limited food section. In bigger cities you can usually get the cheapest fast-food at the various Turkish and Italian Restaurants.

Biggest cities



Freiburg, Karlsruhe, Konstanz, Ravensburg, Reutlingen, Stuttgart, Ulm, Weingarten,

Bayern (Bavaria)

Augsburg, München, Nürnberg, Würzburg

Hessen (Hassia)

Darmstadt, Gießen

Nordrhein-Westfalen (North-Rhine Westphalia)

Aachen, Bielefeld, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Köln, Wuppertal, Mönchengladbach

Sachsen (Saxony)






Lower saxony


Practical links