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<map lat='51.39920565355378' lng='9.9755859375' zoom='5' view='0' height='320' width='260' float='left' country='Germany' />
Germany is a member state of the European Union as well as the Schengen Agreement. It 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. On most on ramps you will get also reasonably fast a ride. Just make sure not to end up on a "Schnellstrasse" (leading to the on ramp), where cars go fast and cannot stop.
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, most trucks aren't allowed to drive on Sundays or public holidays until 22:00.
If you are traveling specific highways, have a look at the highways page or at the bottom of this article. There you'll find specific information about the ramps and hints along the highways, currently especially for the route Amsterdam–Berlin along the A2 and A30!
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! Have a look at German car number plates and List of abbreviations used (in German) on Wikipedia for more information.
> 2.000.000: Berlin
100.000–300.000: Aachen • Augsburg • Bergisch-Gladbach • Bottrop • Braunschweig • Bremerhaven • Chemnitz • Cottbus • Darmstadt • Erfurt • Erlangen • Freiburg im Breisgau • Fürth • Gelsenkirchen • Gera • Göttingen • Hagen • Halle (Saale) • Heidelberg • Heilbronn • Herne • Ingolstadt • Jena • Karlsruhe • Kassel • Koblenz • Kiel • Krefeld • Leverkusen • Lübeck • Ludwigshafen • Magdeburg • Mainz • Moers • Mönchengladbach • Mülheim • Münster • Neuss • Oberhausen • Offenbach • Osnabrück • Paderborn • Pforzheim • Potsdam • Recklinghausen • Regensburg • Remscheid • Reutlingen • Rostock • Saarbrücken • Salzgitter • Siegen • Solingen • Ulm • Wiesbaden • Witten • Wolfsburg • Würzburg
If you search cities with less than 100.000 inhabitants, have a look at the seperate Federal State articles. You find them at the bottom of this page.
Germany implemented the Schengen Agreement. This means, that the border to other Schengen countries are open. Since December 21th 2007, Poland and Czech Republic are also part of the Schengen area and only at the border to Switzerland) there are still checkpoints and German custom officers or sometimes police might control your luggage. If you want to hitchhike from a border check point, it might be better, to stand a little bit away from the check point, so you are out of the custom officers' sight.
Germany has a national carpooling website that gives the opportunity to the driver to post their journey in search of passenger to share the cost of the ride. The website, called Mitfahrgelegenheit is sadly exclusively in german. Although, its system is pretty basic as you can scroll search from your departure point (von) to a destination (nach) with a date and # of passengers. If you search for a ride going outside Germany or to Germany from another european country, you can simply click the Europa link. Then you simply have to contact the driver yourself (most of the time through email, some does leave their phone number) and agree to a price and a departure point and time. This system can reveal a low expense alternative to hitching, a similar system also exists in Belgium.
Experience showed that sometimes hitchhiking is even faster than Mitfahrgelegenheit, because drivers sometimes drive in each city they pass to get in new passengers or load them off.
Note: Abfahrt = Departure / Ankunft = Arrival
If you're not staying very long in Germany you can make it with any map of Germany showing you the gas stations on the highway. Go to any gas station along the highways and ask for a "Autobahn-Guide". This "Autobahn-Guide" is for free! You'll get a booklet describing all Services and including a map with an overview of all gas stations along the highways. More Information you can find here: tank.rast.de. You can also find more detailed maps there for ~5 Euro.
Very good maps for hitchhiking are Michelin Regional, the orange ones with the numbers 541-546. There are six of them, each covering a different part of Germany.
They are very detailed, on the motorway they show every single gas station, hotel, restaurant, or parking place and they also have town maps for any bigger town within the covered area.
Ratio is 1:350000. You can usually get them in local bookstores for about EUR 8.
Platschi suggests the Aral Straßen-Atlas Deutschland & Europa. It contains a detailled map of Germany and bordering countries, with city maps of the biggest German cities and all service stations along the highway. Costs EUR 7,95. Available at all Aral service stations and bookstores.
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 with a Sanifair system you get a EUR 0,50 bill for the toilet. You can buy things for EUR 0,50 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. There are no 24h-shops, but gas stations often offer a limited food section. In bigger cities you can usually get the cheapest food at the various Turkish and Italian Restaurants.
Baden-Württemberg • Bayern (Bavaria) • Brandenburg • Hessen (Hesse) • Mecklenburg-Vorpommern • Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony) • Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia) • Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate) • Saarland • Sachsen (Saxony) • Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt) • Schleswig-Holstein • Thüringen (Thuringia)
Minor highways: A10 • A11 • A12 • A13 • A14 • A15 • A17 • A19 • A20 • A21 • A23 • A24 • A25 • A26 • A27 • A28 • A29 • A30 • A31 • A33 • A37 • A38 • A39 • A40 • A42 • A43 • A44 • A45 • A46 • A48 • A49 • A52 • A57 • A59 • A60 • A61 • A62 • A63 • A64 • A65 • A66 • A67 • A70 • A71 • A72 • A73 • A81 • A92 • A93 • A94 • A95 • A96 • A98 • A99
- Hitchhiking spots in Germany, in German, on a GFDL wiki
- www.hitch-hiking.org - Information all about hitchhiking (English and German language)
- world map with good places to hitch
- Overview of highways in Germany
- Highway restaurants in German
- Service stations on highways in Germany