Hamburg Travel Guide

Photo of Hamburg Germany
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Hamburg is Germany's second largest city (after Berlin) and home to 1.8 million people. Located in the north of the country, it features a large working harbor, interconnecting waterways, and hundreds of canals. Hamburg has more bridges than Amsterdam and Venice combined, all adding up a to a great city with lots of maritime charm.

Today, Hamburg is the mecca of the German media and its publishing houses make the city one of the wealthiest in Germany.

Hamburg is also known for elegant shopping, world-class museums, and the legendary nightlife hub of the Reeperbahn.

Attractions in Hamburg

There are more than just ten things to see and do in Hamburg, but you must see the 800-year-old harbor (one of the largest ports in the world) and warehouse district, stroll through a 300-year-old Fischmarkt, and learn about the city through the spectacular museums. Start at the Emigration Museum Ballinstadt which covers the 5 million people who moved through the city from 1850 to 1939. Then expand your mind with Hamburger Kunsthalle's art collection and the impressive St. Michael's Church.

Hamburg Nightlife

And after dark the city doesn't stop. This is the city where the Beatles first found fame, there are endless bars and clubs and the Reeperbahn, one of the biggest red light districts in Europe, earns its reputation. Explore the eclectic mix of bars, restaurants, theaters, sex shops, erotic museums and strip clubs any time of day, but visit at night to get the full neon experience.

And while you need to watch your possessions, the area is generally quite safe.

Food in Hamburg

Hamburg is famous for seafood: The fresh catches from the North Sea arrive daily at the harbor. For fine dining, head to Restaurant Rive, which offers excellent seafood and commanding views of the harbor.

For a cheaper snack on the go, walk down the main pier called "Landungsbruecken", where you can get fresh and inexpensive fish sandwiches called Fischbrötchen.

Weather in Hamburg

Due to its northern location and westerly winds which blow in moist air from the North Sea, Hamburg travelers should always be prepared for rain.

Hamburg summers are pleasantly warm and breezy with temperatures in the upper 60s. Winters can be very cold with temperatures dropping below zero and the people of Hamburg like to go ice skating on the frozen lakes and rivers in the city center.

Transport in Hamburg

Hamburg International Airport

Hamburg International airport opened in 1911 and is Germany’s oldest airport still in operation. Recently, it has undergone major modernization and now offers a new airport hotel, shopping malls and modern architecture.

Located only 8 km outside of Hamburg, the fastest way to reach the city center is by metro. Take the S1 to reach the city center in approximately 25 minutes.

Cabs are also available outside the terminals and cost about 30 euro into the city center.

Hamburg Main Train Station

Situated in the center of the city, Hamburg’s main train station is surrounded by many museums and is just a few steps away from its main pedestrian shopping street, Mönckebergstraße.

So how long does it take you to reach Hamburg by train?

  • From Berlin to Hamburg: 1.5 hours
  • From Frankfurt to Hamburg: 3,5 hours
  • From Cologne to Hamburg: 4 hours
  • From Munich to Hamburg: 6 hours

Getting Around

Besides exploring the city by foot, the easiest way to get around is by public transportation. Well developed, modern and easy to navigate, the Hamburg metro system (HVV) includes rail, bus, and ferries (that are also a great and affordable way to see Hamburg's cityscape from the waterside).

If you plan on using the metro a lot, the Hamburg Discount Card will be a good deal for you.

Where to Stay in Hamburg

From affordable hostels, to luxurious hotels, Hamburg offers a wide range of accommodation that suits every taste and wallet. For example, check out the design-conscious Superbude Hotel on our coolest hotels in Germany list.

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