Hamburg Transportation and Tourist Information
From: Hamburg City Guide
How to reach Hamburg
Hamburg is a "city-state" in Northern Germany, with a direct connection by water (the River Elbe) to the North Sea. Here's how to reach the city:
By train. The Deutsche Bahn, or German Federal Railways, operates frequent services between Hamburg and other European cities, including high-speed ICE (InterCity Express) trains that reach Berlin in about 1 hour 40 minutes and Frankfurt in 3½ to 4½ hours. You can check timetables with the DB's multilingual journey planner. (Hamburg's two main stations are the and the suburban terminus station of Altona.
Hamburg Airport has been expanded in recent years, and it's conveniently located only 8 km or 5 miles from the city center. S-Bahn trains (line S1) run at 10-minute intervals during most of the day, taking 25 minutes to get from the airport to the Hauptbahnhof or main railroad station.
Hamburg is well-connected to other German cities via the national Autobahn network. See Brian's Guide to Getting Around Germany: The Autobahn for general motoring advice, and use ViaMichelin to get customized road maps and directions from anywhere in Europe.
For more information, see the tourist office's "Arrival" page.
The HVV, or Hamburg Transport Authority, offers multiple ways of getting around: a Metro or subway, the similar but separate , and a wide-ranging bus network.
If you plan to use the system often, you can buy a local or regional Hamburg CARD that includes unlimited travel on public transportation.
Sightseeing buses and boats. Hamburger Stadtrundfahrt offers "hop on, hop off" tours on red double-decker buses. The circuit has 27 stops and takes about 1½ hours (not including time spent off the bus). Given a choice, however, we'd opt for the Maritime Circle Line, a museum boat with "hop on, hop off" service to seven museums and tourist locations around the harbor.
The StadtRAD bikeshare program is an easy, low-cost way to explore the city on two wheels. Once you've registered, you can use a bicycle free for 30 minutes, with a modest charge per minute after that. Some 70 rental stations and 700 bicycles are located around the city. For a quick overview, see the tourist office's "StadtRAD Hamburg - bike rental" page.
Back to: Hamburg City Guide - Introduction
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