Hamburg - Introduction:
Hamburg, Germany's second largest city and home to 1,8 million people, is located in the North of the country.
With a 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.
Hamburg’s 800-year-old harbor, one of the largest ports in the world, was the starting point for many life-changing journeys: Between 1850 and 1939, more than 5 million people from all over Europe emigrated from Hamburg to the New World.
Today, Hamburg is the mecca of the German media, and its lion share of publishing houses makes the city one of the wealthiest in Germany.
Hamburg is known for elegant shopping, world-class museums, and the legendary nightlife hub Reeperbahn, which is also home to one of the biggest red light districts in Europe.
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.
While Hamburg summers are pleasantly warm and breezy, with temperatures ranging in the upper 60s, winters can be very cold; temperatures can drop below zero, and the people of Hamburg like to go ice skating on the frozen lakes and rivers in the city center.
Hamburg International Airport:
Hamburg International airport, which opened in 1911, is Germany’s oldest airport still in operation; in the last years, it has undergone major modernization and offers now 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 metro S1 to reach the city center in approximately 25 minutes.
Cabs are also available outside the terminals.
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, Moenckebergstrasse.
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
Hamburg - 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.
Hamburg - What to See and Do:
Check out my list of the top ten things to see and do in Hamburg, from a harbor boat tour, and a stroll through a 300-year-old Fischmarkt, to a visit of the city's premier museums.
Hamburg’s most famous street is the Reeperbahn, the thoroughfare of the city’s legendary entertainment and red light district. The eclectic mix of bars, restaurants, and theaters, along with sex shops, erotic museums and strip clubs makes the Reeperbahn an interesting place to visit for travelers and locals alike.
In the early 60's, it even brought the Beatles here, who started their international career in the music clubs of the Reeperbahn.
Hamburg - Where to Stay:
From affordable hostels, to luxurious hotels, Hamburg offers a wide range of accommodation that suits every taste and wallet.
Hamburg - Restaurants and Food:
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 Fischbroetchen.