The ex-Germany international spent 12 years playing in the top flights of divisions in Spain, Germany and Scotland.
"There's something important I need to tell you," he wrote on his blog. "I have decided to end my career as footballer. It was not a snap decision, but a step that has been planned for some time. I've even been busy with my new career for a few weeks already.
"I know many may think that 30 is no age to quit, but in my case I have a different opinion.
"I played football at a very high level for 12 years - 12 wonderful intensive years with amazing experiences, first class clubs and overwhelming supporters."
He then went on to reveal that he is hoping to stay in the game in a coaching capacity.
"I am thrilled to begin a new chapter in my life and full of energy to start it," he added. "It goes without saying that this chapter will also be in football, this is the best sport in the world.
"I have several ideas, but before I can start to implement them, I want to improve my skills and knowledge in all respective areas. Right now I'm working to get a coaching licence."
Hinkel has called time on his career with two professional goals to his name.