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The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, or just Hamburg, is the second most populous city in Germany, with almost 1.8 million residents. The metropolitan area has about 4.3 million inhabitants. It is a city state, with Niedersachsen just south of it, and Schleswig-Holstein to the north. It is one of the largest port cities in all of Europe, and the largest city in the European Union that is not a capital.
Hamburg has a temperate maritime climate. Summers last from June to August when average daytime temperatures are around 20 °C and nights around 12 °C. Winters are from December to February and are around 2-4 °C during the day and slightly below zero at night. Precipitation is evenly distributed througout the year, with spring being somewhat drier and summers slightly wetter. Total annual amount is about 750 mm.
|Avg Max||3.5 °C||4.4 °C||8 °C||12.3 °C||17.5 °C||19.9 °C||22.1 °C||22.2 °C||17.9 °C||13 °C||7.5 °C||4.6 °C|
|Avg Min||-1.4 °C||-1.2 °C||1.1 °C||3.3 °C||7.4 °C||10.5 °C||12.7 °C||12.5 °C||9.6 °C||6 °C||2.4 °C||0 °C|
|Rainfall||64.4 mm||42.4 mm||62.9 mm||45.6 mm||53.7 mm||76.9 mm||74.7 mm||73 mm||68.4 mm||63.6 mm||69.4 mm||77.7 mm|
Hamburg Airport (HAM) (Flughafen Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel) is about 8 kilometres north of the city centre and mainly serves cities throughout Europe. Air Berlin has most flights, with destinations including Barcelona, Helsinki, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Palma de Mallorca, Rome, Venice and several German cities. Condor has a decent amount of flights as well. Several dozens of other airlines serve places like Moscow, Toronto, Istanbul, Malta, Paris, Dublin, London, Prague, Dubai, Amsterdam, Tehran, Budapest, Oslo, Vienna, Warsaw, Copenhagen, Luxembourg, Zürich and Lisbon. Easyjet serves routes between Hamburg and London or Basel-Freiburg.
To/from the airport
The nearest Ryanair airport with several destinations all over Europe is Hamburg-Lübeck. Although this airport contains "Hamburg" in its name, it is quite far from the city (about 60 kilometres). However, there are buses leaving from the Central Busstation (ZOB), Adenauerallee 74, meeting every scheduled flight. Traveltime is about 55 minutes, and the price for a one way ticket is 10€.
Deutsche Bahn (DB) has connections to other German cities. There are international trains as well, for example to Scandinavian cities.
There are several trains hourly to Lübeck (45 minutes), Kiel (1¼ hours), Hannover (1¼ hours) and Bremen (one hour). A direct service to Westerland on Sylt Island leaves every two hours (three hours).
There are direct IC connections to Berlin-Hauptbahnhof (1½ hours) and Cologne (four hours). Frankfurt is served hourly by the ICE train (3.5 hours), as well as Munich (six to nine hours). There’s a direct service to Copenhagen several times a day, but the only direct train to Paris is the night train.
Eurolines connects to several German cities, including Hamburg. The stop is at the Central Busstation (ZOB), Adenauerallee 74 (phone: 040-2804538). This is where you can also make reservations. You can also make reservations by internet.
The Icelandic cargo ship Eimskip has two vessels, the Dettifoss and Goðafoss which travel the route Rotterdam-Hamburg-Göteborg-Århus-Fredrikstad-Tórshavn-Reykjavík. It takes 8 days in total and the return trip goes via eastern Iceland and Tórshavn only. The vessel can take a maximum of 3 passengers but only between mid-April and mid-October.
As in most big cities free parking spaces might be difficult to find. There are several multi-story car parks in the city centre. Available lots can be easily found by following the car park guidance system. However, parking in a car park is rather expensive. If you come to Hamburg by car for a one day visit, try to park in one of the noumerous Park&Ride (P&R) car parks around the city and take the public transport (S-Bahn) to get inside the city. Parking in these car parks is free of charge. However, they are strictly reserved for those that intend to take the public transport. The P&R S-Bahn stations are marked on the S-Bahn map and any good city map.
Hamburg has a good working and reliable public transport system. During the week and on saturdays most U-Bahn (metro) trains leave every 5 minutes. On sundays there are in generel less trains (1 every 10 minutes). Most S-Bahns (suburban trains) have a 10-minute frequency. All U- and S-Bahn trains stop at the Hauptbahnhof (central station).
If you are alone the best is to take a Tageskarte (one-day-ticket). Nearly all public transport stations in Hamburg lay in the so called "Großbereich Hamburg" (see public transport map). A one-day ticket ("Ganztagesticket") that allows you to go everywhere inside the Großbereich by public transport costst €6.30. If you start your visit after 9:00am, you only need to buy the "9-Uhr-Tageskarte" (€5.30). And if in addition you are a group of 2 to 5 people and you intend to stay together all day long, take the "9-Uhr-Gruppenkarte" that only costs you €8.95 for the whole group. All one day tickets are valid only the day you buy them until 6h the following day. They are NOT 24-hour tickets! If you come to Hamburg for 3 days, an alternative is the "3-Tage-Karte" that is valid the day you buy it as well as the two following days. It costs €15.60. For groups of 2 to 5 people it is however cheaper to buy a "9-Uhr-Gruppenkarte" for each single day (if you not intend to take the public transport before between 6:00am and 9:00am).
Special tickets that in addition give you discount at numerous Tourist attractions might be an alternative. See here for details.
It is recommended to visit Hamburg by foot. Of course, if you have not enough time and you only want to visit some particular attractions it might be easier to get around by public transport. But if you have one or better two or three days and the weather is fine, walk!
|A&O Hamburg Hammer Kirche||Hammer Landstrasse 170||Hostel||82|
|A&O Hamburg Hauptbahnhof||Amsinckstra'e 2||Hostel||73|
|A&O Hamburg Reeperbahn||Reeperbahn 154||Hostel||73|
|Altan Hotel||Beim Grünen Jäger 23||hotel||80|
|Apartment-Hotel Hamburg Hamm||Borstelmannsweg 133||Hotel||81|
|Appartementhotel Hamburg||Wendenstr. 282||Apartment||-|
|Arcade-Hostel||Kieler Straße 385 Hamburg||Hostel||82|
|Backpackers St. Pauli||Bernstorffstrasse 98||Hostel||84|
|Hostel Fangdieck||Fangdieckstrasse 55 Hamburg||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Beefang||Kirchenallee 26||Hotel||74|
|Hotel Budapester Hof||Budapesterstrasse 43 Paulinenstrasse 18||Hotel||78|
|Hotel Figaro||Neuer Kamp 21||hotel||76|
|Hotel Helgoland Hamburg||Kieler Strasse 173 - 177 22525||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Lilienhof||Ernst - Merck - Straße 4||hotel||-|
|Hotel Lumen am Hbf.||Steindamm 19||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Mercedes||Steindamm 51||Hotel||84|
|Hotel Nord||Bremer Reihe 22||hotel||74|
|Hotel Residence am Hbf.||Steindamm 24||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Stephan||Schmarjestrasse 31||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Terminus am Hbf.||Steindamm 5||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Wikinger Hof||Steindamm 53||Hotel||79|
|Instant Sleep Backpacker Hostel||Max-Brauer-Allee 277||Hostel||79|
|Luebecker Hof||Bremer Reihe 17||Guesthouse||-|
|MEININGER Hamburg City Center||Goetheallee 3-11||Hostel||84|
|Motel Hamburg||Hoheluftchaussee 117-119||Hotel||81|
|Pension Kieler Hof||Bremer Reihe 15 20099 Hamburg||Guesthouse||79|
|WIRA Guesthouse||Lübecker Str. 25a 22087 Hamburg||Guesthouse||-|
|Wira Hostel||Koenigstrasse 16a||Hostel||-|
|YES! Youth, Education and Sport!||Ahrenshooper Str. 5||hostel||-|
|Jugendherberge Hamburg-Horner Rennbahn||Rennbahnstrasse 100||Hostel||80|
|Jugendherberge Hamburg-Auf dem Stintfang||Alfred-Wegener Weg 5||Hostel||82|
|Zwei Eichen Bed & Breakfast||Eichenweg 1 Holm-Seppensen, Buchholz||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Kastanien Hostel||Kastanienallee 27||Hostel||85|
|Hotel Marco Polo||Börnestraße 14 S/U Bahn Wandsbecker Chaussee||Hotel||-|
|Thaden 88||Thadenstrasse 88 + 94 Schanzenviertel / St. Pauli||Hostel||-|
|Night Lodge||Bundesstrasse 8||HOSTEL||80|
|Generator Hostel Hamburg||Steinorplatz 3,||HOSTEL||84|
|KiezBude Hostel||Lincolnstrasse 2||HOSTEL||81|
|A&O Hamburg City||Spaldingstrasse 160||HOSTEL||77|
|Arena Hostel Hamburg||Fangdieckstrasse 20||Hostel||83|
|Boulevard Hostel Hamburg||Hofweg 73 22085||HOSTEL||81|
|Superbude Hotel Hostel St. Georg||Spaldingstrasse 152||Hotel||87|
|Superbude Hotel Hostel St. Pauli||Juliusstrasse 1-7||Hotel||92|
|Letzter Heller Fair Price Hostel||Letzter Heller 11||HOSTEL||76|
|Living Apartments||Erichstrasse 53||Apartment||-|
|Pyjama Park Hotel & Hostel||Reeperbahn 36 Hamburg||HOSTEL||83|
|St. Pauli Lodge Townhouse||Detlef Bremer Strasse 8 22767 Hamburg||HOTEL||-|
|Schanzenstern Altona GmbH||Kleine Rainstraße 24-26||HOSTEL||-|
|Bedpark Altona||Stresemannstrasse 117||Hotel||-|
|Mini Hotel an der Messe||Bundesstrasse 8||HOTEL||-|
|Bridge Inn||Billwerder Neuer Deich 2-4||HOTEL||80|
Internet cafes (rates €1.50 to €5 per hour) are starting to become less common due to widespread offers of free wifi by shops, restaurants or cafes. Sometimes it requires minimum consumption but usually it's free within the premises. Phone shops will often offer internet access, too. In general hotels offer internet access. In several cities, projects exist to provide free "community" hotspots for wireless networking. Passenger lounges at some airports and central railway stations also provide internet access to their customers.
Several pre-paid SIMs allow Internet access for a monthly flat fee, for example those available at Tchibo coffee stores (o2 network, €10/month limited to 500 MB, €20/month for 5 GB) or Aldi (E-Plus network). A regular O2 sim card, which can be used for calls and text messages, is €15 and another €15 buys 1GB of data valid for 1 month. Vodafone offers a prepaid sim card for €25 which includes €22.5 of credit, out of which you can get 300 MB of data for 2 days for €15 and be left with €7.5 of credit.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The international call prefix in Germany is 00. To dial out of Germany, dial 00, followed by country code, area code, and the telephone number (for example 00 44 1234 567890). If you're using a mobile phone, simply add the plus sign "+" before the country code to call out of Germany (for example +44 1234 567890). The general emergency number is 112 and the additional number for less emergent issues for police is 110.
Mobile phone coverage on the four networks (T-Mobile, Vodafone, E-Plus and o2) is excellent across the whole country. UMTS (3G data and HSDPA) and EDGE is also available. UMTS is still somewhat limited to urban areas. All mobile providers use GSM technology on the 900 and 1800 MHz frequency ranges. If you stay for a longer period of time, consider buying a prepaid phone card from one of the mobile phone companies; you won't have trouble finding a T-Mobile (in a "T-Punkt"), Vodafone, E-Plus or O2 store in any major shopping area. In most supermarket chains (for example ALDI), there are prepaid SIM cards from their own virtual providers available. These are normally quite cheap to buy, but expensive for international calls (around €1–2/min), but incoming calls are always free and SMS cost around €0.09–0.19. They are available at: Aldi, Lidl, Penny, Netto, Tchibo, Rewe, toom. A registration via Internet or (expensive) phone call is necessary after buying to activate the SIM card.
The cheapest way to call abroad from Germany is to use the internet cafés run by immigrants. They sell special calling cards that give the best rate to certain countries as well as offer cheap international calls from phone booths. It is also the cheapest way to call landlines in Germany.
Germany's postal system is very efficient, their logistics branch DHL is one of the best companies in this field world-wide, with domestic post or within a radius of 400 kilometres, send within a day. The website of Deutsche Post has an online calculator for postage fees as well as a post office finder. Stamps are available at post offices and sometimes at newsagents or shops selling postcards. Also stamp vending machines can be found at a lot of places around the cities. You can purchase every stamp you need from this machines. They are unique as they accept every coin from 1 cent to 2 euro but change is only given in stamps. It costs about €40 to send a small package to Australia and €1.70 to send an old-fashioned letter to any place in the world outside of Europe. Within Germany, sending postcards costs €0.45 and standard letters €0.55, within Europe it is €0.65 for a postcard, standard letters to places in Europe cost €0.75. Outside Europe, the prices for sending a postcard or standard letter are €1 and €1.70 respectively. Although you will find the old post offices (mainly in the city centre), most of the smaller neighbourhood post offices are part of a small tobacco shop or grocery store. For larger package, you might consider competitive private companies like UPS, DHL or TNT.
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