Hamburg is considered the gateway to the world. The port city in northern Germany attracts numerous visitors to a city trip to Hamburg every year.
The city between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea is located on the Elbe River. The independent federal state was once the starting point for many people who wanted to explore the world. Goods from all over the world arrived in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and until today the port is one of the main attractions for tourists.
Many visitors also use their city break to Hamburg to visit the Elbphilharmonie concert hall or in one of the city’s many music venues. Especially popular is the evening stroll through St.Pauli and over the Reeperbahn.
City trip to Hamburg – excursion tips
Read the reports about our experiences in Hamburg:
No matter how short the trip to Hamburg is, a stroll on the Reeperbahn, Hamburg most popular area for amusements of different kinds, is a must. We agreed in advance that we didn’t want to hop from club to club but stay put in Olivias Show Club.
There is no such thing as bad weather. Only inappropriate clothing. So, despite it spitting with rain, we put on our most comfortable shoes, got the umbrellas out and embarked on an expedition through Hamburg. Mostly on foot with the occasional metro or train journey.
A harbour tour in Hamburg can be very expensive. But there is a cheap alternative to explore the waters of Hamburg.
People of Hamburg are proud of their “Michel”, one of their most popular landmarks. Michel is short for St Michael’s Church. It is one of the most important baroque churches in northern Germany.
Travel information about Hamburg
In the north of Hamburg, in the district of Fuhsbüttel, is the international airport Hamburg-Airport Helmut Schmidt. You can reach it from the city center by S-Bahn or night bus.
There are several long-distance train stations in Hamburg, which form the central hub for long-distance and local traffic in northern Germany:
- Hamburg Central Station
- Hamburg-Dammtor train station
- Hamburg-Harburg train station
- Hamburg-Bergedorf train station
All of the city’s S-Bahn and U-Bahn lines intersect at the main station.
The city’s central bus station is located directly at the main train station. It is served by national and international long-distance bus lines.
Hamburg is easily accessible from all directions via the A 1, A 7, A 23 and A 24 freeways.
There are three major signposted cycle paths leading to Hamburg:
- Elbe Cycle Path
- Hamburg-Rügen long-distance cycle path
- Leine-Heide Cycle Path
Hamburg’s Havel is one of the largest ports in the world. There is lively shipping traffic here all year round.
Numerous cruise shipping companies call at the port regularly. Mostly they are on routes in the Baltic Sea region and the Norwegian fjords. Those looking for an alternative to cruise ships can travel by cargo ship from the Port of Hamburg.
In addition, there are regional ship connections from the port to Cuxhaven and Helgoland. During the summer months, there is also a regular ship connection between Stadersand and Altona.
If you want to go to Hamburg with your pleasure boat, you should be aware that there is a lot of shipping traffic with large cargo ships. There are special moorings for sports boats in Wedel, Blankenese, Finkenwerder, Harburg and in the City-Sportboothafen.
On the way in …
By local public transport
In the inner city area of Hamburg there is a dense network of public transport. There are 112 bus lines, suburban trains and subways in the city.
Hamburg has a total of 3 S-Bahn lines that meet at the main station. The 4 subway lines in Hamburg also meet at the main station. In some areas, the Hamburg subway runs above ground, where it is also known as the elevated railroad.
The current fares and ticket options can be found here.
Tickets are available from ticket machines in all stations and at the harbor ferry stations. There are also advance ticket offices at many subway and S-Bahn stations, and tickets can also be purchased online.
With the harbor ferries
There are 6 harbor ferries in Hamburg that can be used with normal public transport tickets.
In the city center, there are partly well-developed bike paths, which are distinguished by red stones or other visual markings. The signposting of the bicycle routes is not so good. Bicycles are not allowed in some public parks.
There is a wide range of taxi companies operating throughout the city.
Traffic, as in many big cities, is quite dense and hectic, especially during rush hours. Many one-way streets often make orientation not easy.
Metered parking and parking garages are available in sufficient quantity. It is also possible to pay by cell phone at the parking machines. The prices depend on the location, the more central the more expensive.
Free parking spaces are rarely available in the city center.
In Hamburg and in the surrounding area, some Park&Ride parking spaces are offered. Some of the offers are subject to a fee. For example, the parking lot at the U2 station Hackenbecks Tierpark offers a free option.
Best time to travel
The North Sea is about 80 km away and the flat landscape around Hamburg characterize the maritime climate. The summers and winters are quite mild. However, it can often get quite humid, especially in summer.
We got some very confused (but friendly!) looks when we, a group of nine ladies and their bags, wanted to check in at the desk of the Quality Hotel Ambassador Hamburg at 8 in the morning.