August 16, 2015

Guide to Hitchhiking the World

Hitchhiking is a great way to experience cultures and save a lot of money. I have hitchhiked in close to 100 countries and territories with more than 1,000 cars total. I hitchhike when only taxis are available or in islands with unreliable public transport.

My advice is just to do it. You will most probably be afraid hitchhiking for the first time like I was, but the only way to lose the fear is just to do it. I recommend beginning on an island where hitchhiking is part of the culture and where nobody will give you strange looks.

I update this page after every new hitchhiking experience. For additional information, I recommend Hitchwiki.org.

Very easy and completely safe:

Fernando de Noronha 
Located an hour from Brazil, Fernando de Noronha is completely safe and easy for hitchhiking. Every 2nd car stopped on average. No need ever to take a taxi.

Palau
Every car or every second car will stop. It is incredible and very safe. No need ever to take a taxi.

Nauru
The world’s smallest country is a wonderful island to hitchhike. Full of friendly people. Almost all will stop for you.

New Zealand
The best place to start hitchhiking. Very easy and safe. I love this country for many reasons, and hitchhiking is one of them.

Saba
This small Dutch territory in the Caribbean is a unique travel destination and a very easy place to hitchhike.

St. Pierre 
Very easy to hitchhike in this French territory. Hitchhiked three times and never waited more than one minute.

Svalbard
Every car stopped in the Northernmost city in the world, Longyearbyen. No need to take the expensive airport bus.

Tinian
American territory in the Pacific, but does not feel like America at all. Very small and every car or every second car will stop.

Tonga
Very easy and safe to hitchhike on both Tongatapu and Vava’u island. Very friendly islanders.

Easy and safe:

Anguilla
Hitchhiked twice and the both times, the first car stopped. Lovely place and very easy for hitchhiking.

Azerbaijan
Read my article about Azerbaijan. It was one of the wildest adventures.

Comoros 
Safe and easy to hitchhike in one of the world’s poorest countries. The locals don’t speak English, but just say auto-stop to avoid misunderstandings.

Djibouti
Hitchhiked from the airport to the city center with a friendly Egyptian businessman living in Djibouti. On the way back, a French soldier and later an American businessman took me all the way to the airport.

Kiribati 
Hitchhiked many times during my eight nights in Kiribati. Probably with 30 cars total. The locals are friendly, and it is easy to get a ride. I would say, approximately one out of ten cars will stop on busy roads while one of three will stop on the more quiet roads.

Macedonia
Hitchhiked from the Bulgarian border to my remotely located resort with several cars and trucks. Warm people and quite easy to get a ride in the countryside. Can’t comment on Skopje and the bigger cities.

Martinique 
Arrived late and asked people at the airport if I could get a ride. The first person took me right to my hotel.

Saipan
American territory in the Pacific. Hitchhiked five times, but had to wait a little time on the more busy roads.

Seychelles
It is easy and safe to hitchhike in one of my favourite place on earth; The Seychelles. It is just not every car that will stop, but more every 10th depending on where you are.

St. Barth 
Very easy to hitchhike on this incredible island.

Turks & Caicos 
Very easy to hitchhike in the Turks & Caicos Islands. The main island Providenciales can be a little difficult on the busy roads, but never a problem on the more quiet ones. South Caicos is even more easy, and I bet every car would stop based on my experience. The only problem is that some drivers will ask you for money beforehand. Just tell them your situation and you will find a free ride in no time.

Doable:
Aruba
Hitchhiked from the airport to my hotel in 2013. Took almost 30 minutes before a friendly Colombian stopped.

Austria
Very mixed experience. On the busy roads I have never been able to get a ride, but never been a problem on the quiet roads.

Bali 
Hitchhiked between hotels a few times. Sometimes easy, sometimes now. Also hitchhiked in other parts of Indonesia. Ambon is a lot easier.

Costa Rica
A relatively easy place for hitchhiking, but probably not the safest place to do it. I hitchhiked from the town of Liberia all the way out to Four Seasons beautiful resort. It took some time, but guess some felt sorry for me as it was raining.

Cyprus
It all depends on where you are. On smaller quiet roads, many will stop, but on the busy roads, it was difficult for me.

Cuba 
I hitchhiked five times in the Holguin area with no problems. Quite easy, but the problem is that most drivers require money, and it can be hard to explain you don’t have any.

Curacao 
I hitchhiked from the airport to a 5-star luxury hotel near the capital. Took around 20 minutes before someone picked me up, but it took almost two hours to reach my resort 13 kilometres away. Reason? He stopped at several places in small villages and insisted he would get me to my resort. He did, but a strange experience.

Germany 
Germany is one of the best places in Europe to hitchhike. Many Germans have stopped for me in Italy, but in Germany itself I have only hitchhiked once. From Munich City Center to the airport. The airport bus is very expensive so asked people with bags waiting for a taxi if I could get a ride. With success.

Iceland
Hitchhiking from both Reykjavik and Akureyri Airport and had to wait about 10 minutes in both cases.

Iran
Hitchhiked from the international airport of Tehran into the city with a friendly English teacher. Hitchhiking seems easy, but few speak English, and it would be good to have something written in Persian.

Ireland
If there is one thing I regret in my travels, it must be taking buses in Ireland. I should have hitchhiked every single time. I have hitchhiked with around 20 cars here and never been an issue to stop a car. That being said, you will sometimes have to wait a bit.

Lampedusa 
Not many cars around, but they will stop for you. A lot easier to hitchhike on Lampedusa than mainland Italy.

Mauritania 
Hitchhiked from the international airport to the city at night. I just waited outside the airport and asked locals if they were travelling to time. The first offered a ride.

Mauritius
Probably hitchhiked with 100 different cars in Mauritius. Mostly easy, but sometimes impossible and I end on the $1 bus.

Nicaragua 
Hitchhiked a few times with no problems, but you have to be patient.

Poland
Hitchhiked near the Ukranian border with some difficulties into the nearest town, from where I took the train to Krakow.

Prince Edward Island 
Reported to be a hitchhiker’s paradise, but not quite my experience. Took me some time to get a ride from The Inn at St. Peters to Charlottetown Airport, but managed.

Qatar
Hitchhiked on a busy street in the capital of Doha. No problem. I’ve also asked people on the street a few times, and they were all happy to give me a ride.

Reunion 
Reunion feels a lot like France – also when it comes to hitchhiking. I hitchhiked with eight different cars, and only three of them had a local driver.

Romania
Hitchhiked in smaller towns and the countryside with no problem. Very friendly people and underrated travel destination.

St. Martin
French territory in the Caribbean and definitely for hitchhiking, but far from every car will stop.

St. Maarten
The Dutch side of the island was a real adventure for me. I was hitchhiking at midnight from the international airport on the Dutch side with five different cars to the Radisson Blu on the French side of the island. I was surprised people would stop at midnight, but they did.

Tuvalu
There are hardly any cars in this small Pacific nation but managed to find one during my stay so I could test the hitchhiking. He stopped!

Wales
I hitchhiked in the countryside from my hotel to the nearest town. The first car stopped.

Ukraine
I hitchhiked to the Polish border, The 2nd car stopped.

Yemen
Hitchhiking is very easy on the Yemeni island of Socotra. Very few cars and its part of the culture to pick people up. You kind of have to, my driver said. Note: I did not hitchhike on Socotra, but we picked up a few locals during my tours around the island.

Possible, but be patient / Can be risky:

Belgium
Difficult to hitchhike. Tried for more than an hour near Charleroi Airport where nobody stopped, so had to travel to Brussels by bus.

Denmark
I find it difficult to hitchhike in my country. People don’t trust one another as much as in other countries. That being said, it is doable, but be patient.

India 
Hitchhiked at midnight from the Sikkim territory into West Bengal with two different cars. The last driver was a very unpleasant experience. He was drunk, drinking his vodka and did not speak a word of English. Anyway, I survived.

Okinawa
Waited a long time between the rides, but managed to get to the airport in time from my resort.

Italy
Said to be difficult to many travellers, but I have had mixed experiences. I have had many memorable hitchhiking adventures here, including one time where a driver first said no because my bike wouldn’t fit his car. Then felt sorry for me and came back.

Morocco
I hitchhiked from the border of Ceuta to the nearest village after some difficulties. Morocco is a cheap country for travellers, and I normally get around by buses.

Senegal 
Hitchhiked from Dakar Airport to the city centre by just asking for a ride from a local. He agreed.

Somaliland
I hitchhiked with a mini-bus from Hargeisa Airport to my hotel. It was a very short distance of just two kilometres, but very friendly people.

Spain
Hitchhiked in Andalusia a few times. Very easy. Wouldn’t do it in or near Barcelona.

South Africa 
I hitchhiked three times near Johannesburg, one of the most dangerous cities in the world. I was lost with no buses around and only expensive taxis. I had no problems, but would probably never do it again in dangerous places.

Tanzania 
Hitchhiked with three different cars from Arusha Airport to my hotel just outside Arusha. Friendly locals, no problems, but would not do it many places in Africa.

Western Sahara 
Tried to hitchhike from Dakhla Airport to the city center, but nobody stopped. After 30 minutes I decided to walk instead. Probably easier in other places in Western Sahara.

Zanzibar 
Hitchhiked a few kilometres with a car with no problems to my resort, but would not do it again. The buses are very cheap everywhere on the island.

Difficult, but not impossible depending on your exact spot/ Unsafe:
Faroe Islands
No risk here, but nobody picked me up when I tried to hitchhike for an hour from the international airport. I’m sure it’s a lot easier on smaller roads.

USA
Be careful where you do it. I’ve hitchhiking many times in America, but for some reason, I am always nervous doing it. I had a bad experience near San Francisco, but a great experience in the countryside of Texas.

Guam 
American territory in the Pacific. Tried so many times in different spots, but nobody picked me up and I ended up walking around 15 kilometres over the two days I spend there. It is an American territory, but it feels exact like America.

Iraq
Tried to hitchhike in Erbil, Northen Iraq. It had taken a very long time before someone stopped and he wasn’t going in the right direction. Ended up in a cheap taxi on the way back to the airport.

Very difficult, but probably possible depending on the exact spot you are:
Cape Verde 
Tried many times on a busy street on the island of Sal, but nobody stopped.

Greece
Tried to stop 100s of cars in Rhodes, but nobody stopped. Had more luck on the island of Corfu, but only after dark.

Slovenia
My credit card didn’t work, and I was forced to hitchhike. After 3 hours, I had to give up, and my dad called the bank manager on a Saturday to fix my credit card so I could take the train.

England 
I tried to hitchhike near Gatwick Airport for an hour and nobody picked me up. I guess the countryside is doable, but haven’t tried yet. I did hitchhike with success in Wales, look under “Doable”.

Puerto Rico 
I tried to hitchhike in the capital of San Juan, but no cars stopped. It might be a different story outside the capital area.