List of countries
Travel in Europe
Travel in Africa
Travel in Asia
Travel in Europe :
Travel in France
Travel in Belgium
Travel in Finland
Travel in Germany
Travel in Asia :
Travel in America :
Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in hamburg
Free Travel guide Ooaj.com A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in hamburg, Bed and Breakfast!
Hamburg is a major port city situated on the Elbe river in northern Germany. It is at the same time zone of the German Bundeslander (states).
Hamburg is a city-state; it values its status as a "free city". Traditionally one of the most important harbors in Europe, the city takes great pride in its mercantile background. Millions left Europe on their way to the new world. Even today, one of Hamburgs taglines is "The Gate to the World".
With the decline of sea travel, Hamburg has been trying - with some success - to cast itself as a hub of the service industry, especially media.
Hamburg has the fifth-largest international airport in Germany, so arrival by plane is an obvious choice for those visiting from far away.
Hamburg airport is closed at nighttime. So be careful not to book late flights. Severely delayed flights mustn't land in Hamburg, they have to land in Hannover, Frankfurt or other airports instead.
The airport---which is hugely popular with plane-spotters---is surrounded by Schrebergartens (meticulous privately maintained mini-garden parcels), parklands and open greenspaces, criss-crossed by biking and walking trails.
The airport has been thoroughly modernized with a new terminal, streamlined infrastructure and facilities that are by and large adequate, so you won't get lost. Depending on the gate your flight arrives at or leaves from, walking longer distances can be a problem.
Despite the fact that the airport is basically in the city, it isn't quite trivial to reach it. If you are in a hurry or feel like you do not want to bother, take a taxi - but be aware that this can be costly. Buses connect the airport to the central station, to Ohlsdorf and to Rahlstedt - you can change to regional trains and subways at all three, or national/international trains at the central station. Fare is roughly 2-3 Euros per person, depending on where you wish to go. Trips can take a while, since you likely will have to change to a connecting transport.
The bus shuttle called 'Airport Express' to the central station is not covered by tickets for the public transportation; you will have to pay the fare as you enter the bus: 5 Euros one-way; the trip will take about 25 minutes.
This situation is being addressed; part of the construction at the airport is for a new subway station which will hopefully result in much better connections to the city itself. The subway is said to operate from 2008/09.
The discount airline Ryan Air (http://www.ryanair.com/) operates from Lübeck airport (http://www.flughafen-luebeck.de/), 60km from Hamburg via motorway A1. Flights go to London Stansted (England), Shannon (Ireland), Glasgow Prestwick (Scotland), Stockholm Skavsta (Sweden), Milan (Italy) and Pisa (Italy). Busses connecting to the flights go from Hamburg's central bus station ("ZOB") and cost 8 Euros. Free parking is available at the airport at car park "P3".
Hamburg has five major stations: Hauptbahnhof (central station), Altona, Dammtor, Harburg, Bergedorf. Various types of train service are available.
via the Autobahn:
Be prepared to pay for parking or park outside the city and use public transportation.
Buses serving other cities arrive at or depart from Hamburg's central bus station ("ZOB") which is located near the central railway station (Hauptbahnhof) (2 minute walk). Destinations include Berlin (several times a day).
Buses to Lübeck depart from Wandsbek.
Hamburg has a well developed public transportation system. Buses going around the clock. Underground/metro service from approx. 5 AM until 1 AM, on weekends all night. See HVV - Hamburger Verkehrsverbund (http://www.hvv.com/) for lines and prices. Group tickets, day tickets, 3-day tickets available. Try to avoid rush-hours before 9 AM and 4-7 PM. You are not allowed to take bikes into subways before 9am and between 4pm and 6pm.
Hamburg has six S-Bahn lines and three U-Bahn (subway) lines. Major stations include Hauptbahnhof and Dammtor. Hauptbahnhof is the only station with all the rail lines.
The area west of Hamburg's central railway station is mainly a shopping area with the streets Spitaler Straße and Monckebergstraße leading to Hamburg's town hall. Close to the Monckebergstraße you find the churches St. Jacobi (at road Jakobikirchhof) and St. Petri (at road Bergstraße), two of Hamburg's five main churches. Directly beside St. Petri there is the Hubelhaus dating from the beginning of the 20th century as most buildings around, but looking much older.
Behind the Hubelhaus under the building of "Radio Hamburg" you can visit the remains of the bishops tower, from the 11th century. On the other side of the road, where's nowadays a big car park, the fortress Hammaburg was erected in the 9th century giving Hamburg its name.
Around city hall
The Monckebergstraße ends at Hamburg's impressive city hall ("Rathaus"). It was built 1897 out of sandstone in neo-Renaissance style having a 112 meters tower. Inside there are several magnificent halls used for representative purposes and sittings of government and parliament. These can be visited in guided tours (Mon-Thu: 10:00-15:15, Fri-Sun: 10:00-13:15, half-hourly in German, hourly in English and French. Closed during official events. Admission: EUR 1.50/0.50 adult/children.) A virtual tour with photos and German comments is available here (http://fhh.hamburg.de/stadt/Aktuell/senat/rathaus/virtuelle-rathausfuehrung/start.html).
The building behind the city hall is Hamburg's House of Commerce ("Borse"). Between the buildings there is a little nice place called Rathaushof with its fountain Hygieia-Brunnen. The place in front of the city hall is the Rathausmarkt hosting many events especially in summer.
North of the Rathausmarkt you find white arches at a canal called Alsterarkaden. The whole area behind is full of indoor shopping arcades. The most well-known one is the Hanse Viertel.
Following the canal to the right and crossing the traditional shopping road Jungfernstieg you quickly get to the artificial lake Binnenalster. Boat tours take you to the even bigger artificial lake Außenalster directly behind the Binnenalster with lots of sailing boats in summer.
Around St. Nikolai
From the House of Commerce into the road Borsenbrücke you get to the house of the Patriotische Gesellschaft. Behind the building to the right there is the bridge Trostbrücke with the statues of Graf Adolf III and Bishop Ansgar on both sides. Following the water to left, there is Hamburg's oldest remaining bridge Zollenbrücke from the 17th century.
At the other side of the Trostbrücke there is the ruin of the church St. Nikolai. All five main churches of Hamburg have been damaged in World War II. But in contrast to the other four St. Nikolai has not been re-erected making it a memorial against war. At the side of St.Nikolai there is the hop market ("Hopfenmarkt") with its fountain Vierlanderinbrunnen.
Following the bridge over the huge street Ost-West-Straße and keeping right takes you into the road "Alte Deichstraße" with its ensemble of traditional half timbered merchant houses and the canal Nicolai Fleet at the rear. This is the site where Hamburg's harbour was some centuries ago.
At the southern end of the Alte Deichstraße you see whereto the harbour moved afterwards. There is a canal called Zollkanal. Looking to the left you see the Speicherstadt, a large district of warehouses from around 1900. Some are still in use, but others have been converted to apartments. It's a "typical" location and worth a visit. It also houses attractions such as the "Hamburg Dungeon" and the "Miniatur Wunderland".
The Hamburg Dungeon is a live-action presentation of the "darker times" of Hamburg. It is probably mostly suited for a younger, easily impressed audience. But it might not be suitable for young children. For details see their Website (http://www.hamburgdungeon.com/).
The Miniatur Wunderland is the world largest model railway layout. It is located in the Speicherstadt close to the Hamburg Dungeon. For details see their Website (http://www.miniaturwunderland.de/html2/framepage.htm).
Behind the Speicherstadt is the area of Hamburg's HafenCity. It is Europe's largest project of city development, creating a whole new quarter from scratch in a former harbour region. The Kesselhaus houses an exhibition about (Am Sandtorkai 30, in the Speicherstadt, Open Tue-Sun 10am-6pm, www.hafencity.com (http://hafencity.com/html/info_United_Kingdom.html), admission free).
The Hamburg Cruise Center, where cruise lines land in Hamburg, is in the HafenCity. Its terminal building is constructed out of 40 sea containers. Nearby, directly at the river Elbe, you find an orange observation tower called HafenCity View Point, allowing nice views on the HafenCity, the harbour and the river (admission free).
Looking from Alte Deichstraße over the Zollkanal to the right you can see the modern buildings belonging to the Hanseatic Trade Center ending to the right at the Kehrwiederspitze. Looking further right you already see the modern harbour.
Walking in this direction takes you to the river Elbe. At the opposite of the metro station "Baumwall" there's Hamburg's city and yacht harbour ("City und Sportboothafen"). The big red lighthouse boot ("Feuerschiff") hosts a restaurant today. Some yards further down the Elbe you get to the Überseebrücke where formerly big cruise liners docked when coming to Hamburg. Permanently docked is the museum ship Cap San Diego, which is said to be last classic cargo ship.
Leaving the water, passing by the hypermodern building of the Gruner + Jahr publishers, you get to the church St. Michaelis (called "Michel"), Hamburg's well-known landmark. Close to the Michel off the road Krayenkamp the shopkeeper-office-flats ("Krameramtswohnungen") are the last example of a typical 17th century housing estate.
Continuing down the river Elbe you get to Landungsbrücken ("landing bridges"), the most touristy part of Hamburg's harbour, close to the metro station with the same name. Piers connected with several bridges swim on the water adapting to the tide. There tourism boats land and you will find tourist shops, restaurants and snack bars. The sailing ship Rickmer Rickmers can be visited.
You can also walk through the tunnel Alter Elbtunnel from 1911 to the other side of the river Elbe and have great views from there. A lift or stairs bring you the 24 meters down into the tunnel. You then walk through one of its two 427 meter long pipes having 12 meters of water over your head. The tunnel is decorated with ceramic arts of maritime motives (e.g. fish, mussles, seals). At the other side you again walk up the stairs or take a lift. Go out and back to the river to "Aussichtspunkt Steinwerder" for great views on Landungsbrücken and the sights behind. Even cars can pass though the tunnel (only Mon-Fri, 5:30-20:00, for 2 Euros) being brought down with 4 lifts. You find the tunnel at Landungsbrücken in the building having the biggest green dome. Signs to "Aussichtspunkt Steinwerder" also point to it. For pedestrians and bicycles it is free and open all day and night, every day.
From Landungsbrücken you can also make boat tours into the harbour. These Hafenrundfahrten are available from various companies and take around an hour. Big ships provide more comfort, but smaller ships also go though the Speicherstadt. Both are well worth the money. Inquire about English language tours.
As a low-budget alternative for a boat tour on the river Elbe take a HADAG Ferry that is part of Hamburg's public transport system (HVV, see "Get Around"). If you have already bought a HVV day ticket, the ride is free. Most tourists take the number 62 to Finkenwerder via the museum harbour Övelgonne. The whole ride to Finkenwerder and return takes about an hour. In Finkenwerder you can continue with another Ferry to Teufelsbrück.
Walking from Landungsbrücken down the river Elbe takes you to St. Pauli Fischmarkt.
Another Hamburg landmark is the Reeperbahn - probably one of the most famous red-light districts in the world. And that's exactly what it is. From variety to prostitutes, from bars to sex-shops you can find an assortment of attractions. Common sense and caution are advised here as in any such area. It's relatively safe and a definite touristy place to see - a lot of people go there for dinner, live music, or other non-sex related activities.
U 434: One of the biggest non-nuclear Sovjet submarines.
Church St. Katherinen: One of the fifth main churches of Hamburg.
The Chilehaus having the form of a ship.
The Auswandererhalle is only a sight if you know its history. In some way it is the counterpart of Ellis Island in New York where immigrants from the old world landed in America. Emmigrants stayed in Hamburg's Auswandererhallen for two weeks in quarantine before emigrating to the new world. It was opened 1900 and regarded to be modern and comfortable. After the flow of emigrants decreased it was closed in 1934. Today only one of the buildings is left and nothing tells you about its historical role. It just looks like a dirty, white commercial building with a today closed restaurant on one side. But for the future there are plans to make it a musum. For a visit take metro S3 to Station "Veddel". Leave at its southern exit, cross the bus station and the steet "Veddeler Straße". Then you stand in front of it.
Theater, Opera and Musicals
Hamburg has an opera house (Staatsoper) and many theaters. It is also known to host a number of different Musicals as well as other music events.
The main shopping area of Hamburg is the Monckebergstraße in the center of the city. Take the subway to either central station, Rathaus (town hall) or Monckebergstraße. West of town hall towards Gaensemarkt are the more pricey shops like Hugo Boss.
The Schanzenviertel is also getting more popular nowadays for unique designer botiques. Especially younger people happen to be here often. Subway: "Sternschanze"/"Feldstraße".
There are countless hotels in Hamburg, too many to list here. At best you should contact Hamburg's tourist information or a travel agency.
The Atlantic and the Vier Jahreszeiten share the prize of Hamburg's best hotels over the last one hundred years. Emperors and movie stars have stayed there - and James Bond (Tomorrow never dies, 1997).
On the floor
There is a Church mission on the West side of the main train station, mainly for homeless people and people in problems. But it's very clean, people are friendly there and if one is humble and polite, there are good chances he can enter to chat (even in English) and sleep there on the floor in his sleeping bag. The night shift opens the place at midnight and everyone has to leave before seven in the morning.
Free WLAN access available in various locations. See HOTSPOT HAMBURG (http://www.hamburg-hotspot.de/)