Hamburg


Hamburg, Germany’s Gateway to the World, has one of the fastest growing tourism industries in Germany thanks to its important landmarks: the City Hall, church St. Michaelis, the old warehouse district and the harbor promenade. The nightlife rivals the one in Amsterdam.

Location

Hamburg is second largest city in Germany and the sixth largest in the European Union. It is located on the river Elbe, about 100 km from the North Sea, and is the second largest port in Europe.

The city’s official status is “Free and Hanseatic City” and is an independent state, part of Germany’s 16 federal states (Bundesländer).

How to get to

Hamburg is a major transportation hub in northern Germany and is a major tourist destination for both locals and foreign travelers.

Hamburg is served by two major airports.

  • Airport Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel (HAM) : is the fifth largest international airport in Germany. It handles mostly flights from Europe and the flights from other continents are very limited. The airport is connected to the city center by S-Bahn S1 commuter train line.
  • Airport Lübeck-Blankensee (LBC): is the low-cost carries hub. There are flights operated by Rynair and WizzAir, connecting Hamburg to the rest of Europe. There are buses connecting the airport to the city center.

Hamburg-Finkenwerder Airport (XFW) is the closest to the city, but usage is restricted to Airbus employees only; while Hamburg-Uetersen Airport serves several German islands.

Hamburg is served by five major train station, making it very easy to get here by rail from: Zurich, Budapest, Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, as well as from other German cities.

You can also get to Hamburg by bus. There are regional buses connecting to other cities in Germany and there are some international buses, too.

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It’s also possible to get to Hamburg by boat, especially cruise ship.

Weather

Hamburg has an oceanic climate , influenced by its proximity to the coast. Snowfall is rare and the warmest months are June to August.

Sample temperatures

Jan avg high 3.5C / avg low -1.5C
Mar avg high 8C / avg low 1C
Jul avg high 22C / avg low 13C
Oct avg high 13C / avg low 6C
Dec avg high 4.5C/ avg low 0C

Accommodation

There is accommodation for all type of travelers. In the summer you can choose to camp. Otherwise, stay in a hostel if you look for a budget place or choose among the mid-range and luxury hotels if you feel like pampering yourself.

What to do

The City Hall (Rathaus) is a tourist attraction in itself. It was built in 1897 and has a 112 m tower. There are guided tours available. In front of the City Hall, there’s Rathausmarkt, which is home to many events during summer months. And close by there’s a shopping arcade.

If you have shopping in mind, the Mönckebergstraße Area, west of Hamburg’s central railway station, is another shopping heaven. But you can also find some interesting churches here: St. Jacobi and St. Petri.

Don’t forget to walk on the oldest bring in town, Zollenbrücke, dating back to the 17th century. Also near-by there’s the ruin of the church of St. Nikolai. You can take the elevator to the top for some lovely views of the city.

Feeling active? Then take a bike tour around the artificial lake Binnenalster.

The Harbor Area is worth your time, even if you just plan to walk around and soak up the atmosphere. In the Speicherstadt district there are some interesting museums to check out.

You can also visit Sankt Pauli, one of the most famous red-light districts in the world. If you look for sex-related fun (toys, accessories, etc) this is where you’ll find them. And there are also some excellent bars, clubs and restaurants.

If you travel with the kids, don’t miss the zoo, the botanical garden and the planetarium.

In the summer, you can check out some small beaches on the North side of the Elbe river. You can also pack a picnic basket and come here in the evenings.

Hamburg is well known for the street parties, parades and festivals. During the Hamburger Dom , the streets are lined on both sides with stalls and rides. The fair takes place in the spring, summer and early winter.

Some of the original Hamburg dishes are: Birnen, Bohnen und Speck (green beans cooked with pears and bacon), Aalsuppe (eel soup) , Bratkartoffeln (pan-fried potato slices) and Pannfisch (pan-fried fish) . You can wash them down with Alsterwasser (beer and carbonated lemonade).

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