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Blankenese district, Hamburg

Practical Info about Hamburg

Getting around the city

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.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 110 (Police); 112 (Ambulance/Fire)

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

2015 2016
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

Getting to the city

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.

Car rental

Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Budget, National and Sixt are all represented in Terminal 2.

Airport taxi's

Taxis are readily available outside all terminals, they take around 30 minutes to the city centre.

Transfer between terminals

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.