Earth > Europe > Western Europe > Netherlands > Zuid Holland > Rotterdam
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|Major roads:||A13, A15, A16, A20, A29|
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Warning: As I was hitching out of Rotterdam, the people in the cars where insulting me and showing me their middle finger. Eventhough it happened to me before it was never as bad as in Rotterdam :-( Bikepunk (talk)
East towards Utrecht, Arnhem, Apeldoorn, Amersfoort, Germany (A20)
- There is a great spot directly north of the central Station. It is about a 25 minute walk or take tram #25 in the direction of Schiebroek until the stop Schieweg, which is just before the tram goes up onto a bridge over the motorway. Continue walking in the same direction on the right-hand side. During peak hours the traffic is very heavy and is slowed down by traffic lights feeding the traffic onto the motorway at intervals. There is a small parking area, so drivers have ample room to stop.
- Another spot is on the A16. Take the Metro to Kralingse Zoom and walk south down the Kralingse Zoom and then left at the Abram van Rijckevorselweg until you get to a huge roundabout with an on-road. There's a lot of space for cars to stop and a lot of traffic, but getting on the other side of the roundabout can be a tad dangerous and it's probably technically speaking illegal to stand there. A sign is a must.
Most cars are heading to Utrecht. To get to Germany you could try your luck with a D sign or first try towards Arnhem for Köln and Frankfurt from a service area (the border service areas are large with high traffic volume).
Tip: Stand in a position where the street sign does not come between you and the drivers' view.
My personal advice is not to confuse drivers with 'D' signs or 'Arnhem' or 'Apeldoorn' as those are locations further away. The priority should be to get to any fuel station on the highway where by talking to people you can get a ride even as far as to Lithuania or Bulgaria. So a ride just for 20km to the first station is all what you need. Thus, I would recommend just putting 'Utrecht' on your sign - which is very clear and close. Once you are off the highway entrance you will not need a board anyway any more, then you can talk to people on the fuel stations. If you speak good English Dutch people will most likely take you if they can. Rozwal
West towards Hoek van Holland and ferries to England
The ferries from the Hook of Holland to England do not often carry trucks and therefore do not always offer free options. To get to the ferry terminal you can blackride the train to Hoek Van Hollland Haven. You can also hitch there from one of the many service stations on the A20 with someone going on the ferry. After speaking to drivers on the A20, most trucks passing through there terminate at the port, which means no free ferry. That being said, you could hitch to where they terminate and continue to Calais, though I have not tried this;
South towards Dordrecht, Breda, Antwerp, Lille (A16)
Take tram line 21 (direction De Esch) to the Woudestein stop. Once in Woudestein you need to follow the big road in front of you. Keep walking in the direction of the Erasmus university. If looking for rides at traffic lights is your thing, then there's plenty of opportunity on the way. But if not, keep on going until you reach the motorway which crosses in front of you. It's about a 15 minute walk.
The spot is the motorway sliproad which has an additional lane for cars to safely pull over. As far as this type of spot goes it isn't bad, and there's also possible shelter under the bridge. Traffic density is quite high but unfortunately so is the speed of the traffic. It's best to have a sign here because although traffic can only be going north or south, there are plentiful exits on the way.
If you are someone who likes to hitch from petrol stations there is a Shell south of the city that feeds on to the A16. It is directly to the west of `Oude Plantage, De Esch, Rotterdam, The Netherlands` and is walking distance from Gerdesiaweg Rotterdam train station and from trams. It has good visibility for you and your potential rides and a slip road entering the station where your ride can stop. From the station, head South until you hit the river, then head west (left) and you will see the station on the side of the river. I waited here for 20 minutes to get a ride
About 99.99% of trams will have a ticket inspector. Board the tram at the rear and have 2.50 euro ready to pay (it is best to have a Dutch chip card since then you pay for a distance and not per ride - and for few stops you will pay between 0.5 - 1 euro instead of 2.50 without it). The inspector (wearing an ugly yellow and black jacket with green, red and purple stripes) will have to walk the length of the entire tram checking tickets before he/she reaches you. Hopefully you have reached the stop by this time, if not just give the inspector the 2.50 euro for the ticket as though you were waiting to buy one from them. This is common practice. The Metro is harder to blackride, you'll have to follow somebody going through the gates very closely. Make sure nobody's watching, though.
If you take tram 23 from Rotterdam Central to the stop P+R Beverwaard in the Ijsselmonde suburb, there is some small forest along a bike trail parallel to the A16/E19 motorway where you could put up a tent.
Most McDonalds restaurants in the city have wi-fi and, if you are discreet, you can use them without buying anything. The central library also has free wi-fi. Get a "guest pass" from the machine on the ground floor and log in with the details printed on it (the library connection, however, blocks everything but port 80 -- that is, except simple web browsing). trash:Rotterdam