Niš is a small city in Southern Serbia with 250.000 inhabitants. It is a nice place to stay overnight. It is on the main high-way between Belgrade and Skopje, as well as between Belagrade and Sofia. If you're coming from Belgrade, on your way to Istanbul, it might be easier though to hitch straight to Sofia, and to get a ride towards Sofia at the last toll-station just before Nis, as it is only 190km further.
The road from Nis to Sofia is partly high-way. It should be possible to get a ride from Nis towards the border of Serbia with Bulgaria. If you do not get one direct ride, be aware that there are not that many good spots on this road.
Route to Istanbul
- Robino got a lift from his host in Nis to the highway around Nis. There is generally not much traffic in the morning, and he is not aware of any good spots or how to get there.
- Hitching on the main road going east from central Nis (which runs just below the castle) seems to work fine. You can just walk down the road for a while until you found a spot you like (perhaps 2/3 km). There's plenty of traffic going to nearby villages, and once you get out of the city you also have a chance of getting longer rides to the border for example.
- Platschi used to hitchhike on the highway near Nis and had no problems getting a ride. At the end of the highway in direction Bulgaria, where the windy mountain-road begins, you can find a well-frequented restaurant where many Turkish truck drivers are stopping. If you get out there, for sure you might find a ride towards Turkey.