Hamburg's extensive public transport system consists of the U-Bahn (subway), the S-Bahn (suburban train), buses and harbour ferries, and makes getting around without a car pleasurable and easy. The U-Bahn is excellent and serves the whole city centre; it connects with the S-Bahn that services the suburbs, and this train network is the fastest way to get around the city. Buses are also convenient and night buses operate in the downtown area. Taxis are generally less expensive than in other German cities and are available at all hours. It is possible to hire a car but parking in some areas of the city, like the famous Reeperbahn, is extremely difficult to find and makes driving stressful. Like most cities in Germany it is possible to hire bicycles at very little cost and this is a fun way to get around. Parts of the city are best explored on foot and it is generally considered a safe city, but it is worth taking good care of your possessions when walking and using public transport.
GMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in April).
220 volts, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are standard.
The unit of currency is the Euro (EUR), divided into 100 cents. ATMs and exchange bureaux are widely available. The major credit cards are becoming more widely accepted in large shops, hotels and restaurants, although Germans themselves prefer to carry cash. The quickest and most convenient way to change money is to obtain cash from one of the ATM machines that are ubiquitous features on all German streets. Banks are closed on weekends, but exchange bureaux at airports and main railway stations are open daily.
The international access code for Germany is +49. Telephone numbers in Germany can range from four to nine digits. There are surcharges on international calls made from hotels; it is often cheaper to use public telephone boxes in post offices, which use phone cards. The local mobile phone operators use GSM networks and have roaming agreements with most international operators. Internet cafes are available in the main towns.
Emergencies: 110 (Police); 112 (Ambulance/Fire)
|New Years Day||1 Jan||1 Jan|
|Epiphany (some states)||6 Jan||6 Jan|
|Good Friday||3 Apr||25 Mar|
|Easter Monday||6 Apr||28 Mar|
|Labour Day||1 May||1 May|
|Ascension Day||14 May||5 May|
|Whit Monday||25 May||16 May|
|Corpus Christi||4 Jun||26 May|
|Day of German Unity||3 Oct||3 Oct|
|Day of Reformation||31 Oct||31 Oct|
|All Saints Day||1 Nov||1 Nov|
|Christmas Day||25 Dec||25 Dec|
|St Stephens Day||26 Dec||26 Dec|
Hamburg has an oceanic climate which means that it is a fairly wet and windy city, with prevailing westerly winds blowing in moist air from the North Sea. Summers are warm but rainy, with occasional and brief dry, sunny spells. Winters are cold, sometimes chilling to 28ºF (-2ºC) or below in January, the coldest month, when the Elbe and lakes in the city centre have been known to freeze enough for ice-skating. Snowfall is usually light and Hamburg generally only experiences one or two heavy snowfalls a year, starting in early December, with icy sleet being the more common form of winter precipitation. Spring is very pleasant in Hamburg, when the city's thousands of trees come into bloom with a new cloak of green and days start to warm up after the dreary winter. In fact, despite summer being the most popular period for tourism, spring is the best time to visit Hamburg, not least of all because it is the season which shows off the city's numerous parks and gardens to their best advantage. Summer can be delightful, and there are many events to be enjoyed in the hottest months, but attractions can also get very crowded and everything is more expensive.
Hamburg Airport is accessible by S-Bahn which is a 25-minute journey from central station at a normal fare. Buses service the city centre and other suburban areas. Taxis are readily available outside all terminals; they take around 30 minutes to the city centre.
Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Budget, National and Sixt are all represented in Terminal 2.
Taxis are readily available outside all terminals, they take around 30 minutes to the city centre.
The terminals are connected and both can be explored on foot.
There are several restaurants, shops, bars and cafes throughout the airport, as well as banks, currency exchange and ATMs in Terminals 1 and 2. There is wifi access in all terminals. Disabled facilities are good; passengers with special needs should contact their airline in advance.
Short-term parking is charged at about €1 every 20 minutes up to €22 (P1 and P2) or €25 (P4 and P5) per day. Long-term parking is charged at between €70 and €150 per week.
Wifi access is free for the first hour; thereafter it's charged with a nominal fee.