Hitchhiking in the Netherlands is quite easy, and legal in most places, though not on motorways. The basic idea is that when you're allowed to walk somewhere, you can stand there for hitching too. Roads where it is not permitted to walk are indicated by:
- a round white sign with red edge depicting a pedestrian.
- a rectangular blue sign depicting a motorway. Cars are also not allowed to stop here.
- a square blue sign depicting a car. Cars are also not allowed to stop here.
However: standing on a motorway entrance just in front of the sign is allowed as well as standing on a petrol station along the motorway.
Since 1991 Dutch students have a card providing them with free public transport (either in weekends or during the week), so hitchhiking is not as popular as it used to be. In some university towns, There are still official liftershaltes, official hitchhiking spots. Other good places are petrol stations along the motorways and the entrances to the motorway from larger cities (when there is a stopping space such as an emergency lane). On such a place the average waiting time is 5-45 minutes (same as Germany). A major difference with Germany is that many lifts are not longer than 50km.
Useful tip: Free use of Internet PC's in every city library.
To get to Germany can be a bit difficult, because some people are afraid they could get in trouble if you have marijuana (illegal but tolerated in the Netherlands) or other drugs with you. However, if you're not on a highway you can walk over the border and get another ride behind it.
At gas stations you can try to talk to people, which will probably work out fine if you don't dress up like a hippie. Try and speak in Dutch or English. French and German often work too, but not as effectively.
When hitching in the Netherlands for a longer period (or when you're living there), it's advisable to buy yourself a 15-strippenkaart for 6,80 euro, or a 45-strippenkaart for 19,80 euro. This is a lot cheaper than buying a 2-, 3- or 8-strippenkaart on the bus or tram.
- Den Haag
- Hitchhiking in the Netherlands, by Frank Verhart.