How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

Hamburg-Fuhlsbuttel Airport is located 5 miles north of the city center. If you have not booked a private transfer with us then you have a few options. The Hamburg-Fuhlsbuttel Airport is connected to the city by the S-Bahn (suburban rail network) S1 commuter train line, which connects to the Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) and the city center in about 30 minutes. There are trains every 10 - 20 minutes with a one-way fare costing around €3.30 for adults and €1.20 for children between 6 and 14, children under 6 are free. This transit runs from 6 am till 11 pm on Monday - Friday and from 8 am till 11 pm on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

Note: Be aware when transporting to the airport from the city center, all trains are divided at Ohlsdorf, with only the first three cars going to the airport, and the rest going to the suburb Poppenbuttel.

The airport is also linked by some local bus routes to nearby areas as well as regular coach services to the cities of Kiel and Neumunster. There are several car rental companies operating in Terminal 2 of the airport. Taxis are another available option with taxi ranks located outside the airport, this is about a 30-minute ride and will cost about €20 to €25.

How do I get from the train station to my hotel?

Hamburg has two major stations worth noting: Hauptbahnhof (central station) and Altona, Dammtor.

Most trains arrive at the Hauptbahnhof station, although trains from the north of Germany, including Westerland and Schleswig, arrive at Altona. The two stations are connected by train and S-Bahn. Hamburg has frequent train connections with all major German cities, and is a hub for international routes as well.

Hauptbahnhof Train Station: The city center is a short walk from here. You will find every type of public transportation at the station including a Tourist Hop On Hop Off bus, plenty of hotels, cafes, restaurants, museums, shopping, etc all in the local vicinity. There are also several car rental providers that can be found at the station.

How do I get around by taxi?

Taxis in Hamburg can be recognized by their pale yellow color and their taxi sign on top. Official taxi stands are located at Hamburg Airport, all train stations and at popular shopping, business, and tourist locations around the city. You can also hail a taxi on the street: if the sign is lit up, the car is available.

Taxi fares are legally fixed, metered fares, making it easy to calculate what you`ll have to pay for your ride. Should you need a larger vehicle that fits more than four passengers, you can opt for a so-called `Großraumtaxe` for about €6 more. Tipping the driver is appreciated, simply round up the total sum. All taxi drivers should accept payment by cash, debit and/or credit card. Taxi fares start at around €3.20 and increases from there (per km).

Is Hamburg a walking city?

Many of the city`s top attractions are located centrally and within walking distance to one another, so walking is a great option. For the sites that are a bit further, you can hop aboard the excellent public transportation system offered in the city.

I will have a car in Hamburg, where can I park?

We do not suggest driving while in the city since the public transportation is so efficient and affordable; driving can add an unneeded hassle. Although major thoroughfares are well marked, traffic and parking is an aggravation and can be expensive. That being said, if you wish to make some day trips outside the city, you`ll find car rental agencies at Hamburg Airport and the central train station.

Parking: Hamburg has a wide selection of P+R (Park+Ride) parking areas outside the city center, where you can park for free and very easily use public transport to get into the city. The idea is that you leave your car there and use the public transport to get around. This is the cheaper option.

Parking in the city center is a viable option if you would like to walk around the central area. Generally, the fee is around €12 for 24 hours.

What are the local transportation options available in Hamburg?

HVV operates buses, ferries, U-Bahn and S-Bahn and has several info centers, including at the Jungfernstieg S/U Bahn station and the Hauptbahnhof (central station).

Hamburg is broken into different zones, by which the fare is calculated. Fare starts at about €2 and increase from there. Tickets can be purchased at HVV ticket machines. The Hamburg CARD is recommended for tourists, as it grants discounts on various cultural and leisure activities in addition to free transportation.

The Bahns includes a number of trains: the S-Bahn (suburban train/commuter rail), the U-Bahn (city subway), the A-Bahn (a farther-reaching suburban train) and the R-Bahn (a regional train). All train platforms have signs showing the next train, where it is headed, and how many minutes until it arrives. Trains are described by a number and the final station. Visitors tend to stick with the U-Bahn subway trains, which connect with the S-Bahn trains out to the suburbs.

Note: Train doors do not open automatically. You have to press a button or pull a handle on the door. Wait for passengers to get off first before you enter. In the cold season, close the door after getting on the train if it looks like a longer stop. All signs and notifications at stations and in trains are shown in at least two languages (German and English).

Buses run around the clock. The main bus station is Zentral-Omnibus-Bahnhof, which is located right next to the main train station. Tickets are about €2, except when traveling on the night buses, which are a bit more expensive. The special `Nachtbus` (night bus) service connects the outlying districts and the city center. The buses depart and arrive at `Rathausmarkt`, near the town hall and operate through the night. Tickets can be purchased at HVV stations throughout the city or from the bus drivers.

Ferries are another way you can get around. Hamburg is a watery city with a river, a lake, and numerous canals. The HADAG ferries (part of the HVV system) travel a number of different routes along the River Elbe. Ferries run more frequently during the summer high season than they do the rest of the year.

There are six ferry services that operate in the harbor and along the River Elbe as part of the regular public transport system and can be purchased in HVV stations. (Tip: take ferry line 62 from Landungsbrücken to Finkenwerder and back to enjoy a scenic trip through the harbor on a day ticket.)

Note: This information and prices are accurate when this was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

How do I get around by bike?

Hamburg is an extremely bicycle-friendly city and during the warmer months, many of the city`s residents will use bicycles as their normal form of transportation. This is a great way to discover more interesting places and save a significant amount of time compared to walking. Several hotels within Hamburg provide residents with access to hotel bicycles.

Hamburg has its own bike sharing program called StadtRad, and you will find several kiosks around the city. To use this service you can register at one of the terminal locations using your credit card, or register online in advance if you already know you prefer a city tour by bike. The rental is an initial fee of €5 and this fee will be added to your credit balance for future use. Bikes are free of charge within the first 1-30 minutes. Each minute on top costs about 8 cents per minute, one day (24 hours) will maximally amount to about €12.

Is Hamburg a dangerous city? Are there certain areas I should avoid?

Hamburg is generally a safe city, but like all big cities of the world, has its share of crime. Watch out for pickpockets, especially in the area around the Mönckebergstrasse, Central Station, on the Reeperbahn, in buses and trains, but also on crowded escalators and any other crowded places. Be cautious after dark along Reeperbahn where prostitutes have a reputation for hanging out and sometimes walk in groups and might try to pickpocket you.

Be very careful when entering a table dance bar at the Reeperbahn. Many of the clubs have the reputation of ripping off the tourists. The most common trick is that a girl in the bars asks if she could order something to drink. If positive answer is given (and a positive answer could be even the slightest movement, without even saying it), she is most likely to order a bottle of champagne of up to €500 or more. If the customer is unwilling or incapable of paying the bill, he/she will be escorted to the nearby ATM to withdraw the cash. If you happen to be in such a situation, try to attract the attention of the police, in the end, you may get out of paying the full bill.

Also take high precaution (especially on weekends) at the S-Bahn Station Reeperbahn, as this is the place where the party-goers board in/out of the trains, and very often conflicts between drunk teenagers or groups arise. There is a high security and police presence on the platform itself, as in the trains as well, but still, keep an eye on the groups and, when possible, stay out of conflicts.

Swimming in the River Elbe is possible but, of course, you must keep out of the way of ships. Swimmers can be thrown about and even totally swamped by the wake from ocean liners. Swimmers should also stay away from structures in the river.

Strong underwater swirls going down as deep as 30-50 ft. and even close to the beach may pull the strongest swimmers under water. When relaxing on one of the beaches along the riverside, keep several feet away from the water`s edge and keep an eye on children playing in or near the water. Container ships passing by sometimes create surprisingly large waves that can drag you into the Elbe.

Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The currency used in Hamburg and all of Germany is the euro (€), US dollars are not accepted. ATMs and banks can be located all throughout the city. If you require the services of a bank, try the ReiseBank at the Hauptbahnhof, which is open daily 7:30 am to 10 pm and has a number of English-speaking staff. The same bank is located at the Altona Station, open Monday to Friday 7:30 am to 8 pm, and Saturday 9 am to 2 pm and 2:45 to 5 pm. There`s also a branch in Terminal 2 of Hamburg`s airport open daily 8 am to 9 pm.

We recommend that you exchange a small amount of cash prior to your trip, enough for a cab ride or basic spending on arrival. It is also useful to remind your bank and credit card company that you will be traveling to make sure your cards will work while in France. We recommend you record all your credit card numbers, as well as the phone numbers to call if your cards are lost or stolen.

Under the euro system, there are seven notes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euros. Notes are the same for all countries. There are eight coins: 1 and 2 euros, plus 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents.

What is the weather like? When is the best time to visit?

The best time to visit Hamburg is the months between May and September when the weather is warm. This also means that room rates and flights are high and tourist fill the streets. For fewer crowds and potentially lower hotel prices (room rates remain pretty steady year-round), visit in the fall. The weather will be brisk with temperatures in the 50s and 60s, but the benefits might be worth the cooler weather.

May through September is the peak season when average high temperatures are ideal, barely creeping above 70F. If you visit during this time, make sure to book your hotel at least two or three months before you travel.

January through April is very cold with temperatures ranging in the 20s and 30sF. This is the slowest season for tourism, so hotel rates may be cheaper, but the city still hosts lots of conventions so this is not always the case.

October through December offers cooler temperatures ranging from 30 to 55F. This can be a great time to visit because there are less tourist (with the one exception being Christmas).

I don`t speak German. Will many people speak English?

German is the official language spoken in Hamburg. Hotels, tourist attractions and restaurants in popular areas generally have staff that speaks some English. The cafes and restaurants are welcoming and the locals are very friendly. They are receptive to all languages, but always try to use German when you can. If you decide to do some traveling into the surrounding, more rural areas, or happen upon a restaurant off the beaten track then it`s a good idea to brush up on your German! We suggest you get a good English-German guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers1-10.

All signs and notifications at stations and in trains are shown in at least two languages (German and English).

What is the food/drink like?

When visiting the harbor city Hamburg, try these foods to enjoy some of the best of traditional northern German cooking:

Finkenwerder Scholle: A traditional fish dish that is named after a district of Hamburg that was once a fishing village. Plaice (scholle) is baked or pan-fried with bacon, onions and shrimp from the North Sea. Plaice is one of the most commonly eaten fishes in Northern Germany and used to be the key ingredient in fish and chips. Today, plaice has become limited in several seas, but walking along the streets of Finkenwerder, you will find many restaurants expertly cooking this superb fish meal.

Sign up Fischbrötchen: This is a simple fish sandwich typically made with pickled herring or soused herring, some onions, pickles and remoulade sauce. You will find this sandwich being offered at various food stands throughout the city, all offered a number of different ways. You can have fried fish or fish patty, North Sea shrimp or crabmeat.

Labskaus: This dish is made from corned beef, mashed potatoes and onions, with pickled beetroot, pickled gherkin, herring and fried egg commonly served as sides. This dish is an awakening to your taste buds.

Grünkohl: This is the German name for kale, typically served across North Germany in a much different manner than the healthy superfood reputation that it has. Kale is stewed for several hours and served with the sides of smoked pork, one or two types of sausage, as well as boiled or fried potatoes.

Aalsuppe: This is a sweet-and-sour soup cooked with meat broth, cured beef, vegetables, baked fruit and dumplings, as well as some eel. The soup is typically served as a main course.

Rote Grütze: This is a sweet local delicacy cooked from red summer berries and served with milk, vanilla sauce or ice cream. While red is the traditional color of this fruit dish, there are many varieties that can also be found on some café and restaurant menus.

Franzbrötchen: The literal translation is French roll. This is a sweet pastry, which is made with lots of butter and cinnamon, that cannot be found anywhere else but in Hamburg and its surrounding towns. Most bakeries offer several different types such as marzipan, chocolate pieces or pumpkin seeds.

Freshly roasted coffee: The city of Hamburg has had a strong relationship with coffee that goes back for centuries. The port of Hamburg has become the largest coffee market in the world. The biggest trading for coffee worldwide takes place in the warehouses of the Speicherstadt district. The city offers the best quality coffee for even the pickiest coffee drinkers.

What is the nightlife like?

The nightlife scene in Hamburg is young and diverse offering trendy bars, traditional pubs, discos with DJs, live music venues and numerous clubs. The city also has excellent opera and dance companies and symphonies to enjoy.

The famous red light, and party district of St Pauli, is the heart of Hamburg`s nightlife. The area truly comes to life after midnight. Here erotic bars and sex shops coexist along with old sailors` pubs and modern discos. Reeperbahn is a 0.6 mile stretch with surrounding streets and squares where you`ll find cheap student bars, sophisticated cocktail bars, lively Irish pubs, and legendary live music venues.

Just a short walk from the Reeperbahn is a completely different atmosphere at the Sternschanze district. This district has a trendy and alternative vibe. When the weather is nice, the bars are full and the party fills out into the streets. Just a few streets further begins the multicultural Karoviertel, known for its trendy cafes and cocktail bars.

Between these two districts, you can find diverse bars from sophisticated to laid back venues. And under the Sternbrucke bridge, you`ll find some of the city`s best underground clubs.

The River Elbe is a nightlife location in its own right with numerous ships serving as swimming bars and clubs. Here you can find floating music clubs and harbor party tours with great DJs playing diverse music sets. Special events are always planned for the grand harbor birthday celebration every May, which are always worth a visit.

Hamburg is also a top European destination for exciting music festivals. The season is kicked off every spring by the opening of the Stadtpark Open-Air concert row, where local and international stars perform under the open skies in one Hamburg`s biggest parks. The Elbjazz Festival in June will host over 50 musicians from all genres of jazz, and in July the wild and colorful Schlagermove parade takes over the harbor area. In August, the Elbe flood plains of the Wilhelmsburg district are filled with rap, hip-hop, and electronic music during the SPEKTRUM festival and alternative, electronic, and rock music during the MS Dockville festival. The summer festival is concluded in September by the legendary Reeperbahn Festival, the biggest club festival in the country.

What is the Hamburg Card and what does it include?

The Hamburg City Pass includes the public transport system, museums, and other things. You can get the card at all ticket offices and from the bus drivers. The all-inclusive pass includes the following:

-Free admission to top attractions including the Hamburg Dungeons, St Michael`s Church and Tower and Panoptikum Wax Museum
-Free Bus and Boat Tours with Original Harbor Boat Cruises and a Hop on Hop off Bus Tour to see the sights
-Save money, as everything is included in one low price
-Save time with VIP skip the line priorities
-Free Travel Card to explore the city on public transport

The Hamburg City Pass is available for 1, 2, 3 or 5-days starting around €40.

What are the best areas for shopping?

Hamburg is a shopping heaven for any fashion lover. Its diverse districts offer everything from luxury brands to vintage. Hamburg is home to world-famous designers such as Wolfgang Joop, Karl Lagerfeld and Jil Sander. But an exploration of Hamburg`s lively fashion scene would not be complete without sampling the work of the city`s young up-and-coming fashion designers and fashion labels. There`s unique streetwear, high-quality feminine fashion and one-of-a-kind knitwear. Hamburg`s young and hip fashion scene will not disappoint.

The streets around Jungfernstieg and Neuer Wall are the best places to discover luxury brands and famous designers. Alsterhaus department store stands in the heart of this area, offering five floors of high-quality international fashion designers, as well as gourmet foods and a restaurant overlooking Lake Alster.

Situated next to the Alsterhaux is the Neuer Wall promenade that offers numerous luxury shopping boutiques. Here you can find everything from iconic fashion labels like Chanel, Gucci and Jil Sander to designer bags by Louis Vuitton and Michael Kors. You will also find more traditional Hamburg retailers here.

The shopping streets Spitalerstraße and Mönckebergstraßen in the Old Town are filled with international chains and large department stores. Another favorite location for Hamburg`s young fashion designers is the Karlinenviertel district, great for unique fashion items. The small streets of Ottensen and Altona districts are recognized for their unique designer boutiques and fun vintage shops.

Fashion lovers should not pass up the opportunity to visit Hamburg`s design markets. Der.Die.Sein Markt is a weekly market in the HafenCity that showcases the best of the city`s creative scene, from fashion and jewelry to artworks and furniture. Some other popular flea markets worth checking out are the weekly market Flohschanze and the monthly FlohZinn.

What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?

Important phone numbers in an emergency (dial without any local prefix all over Germany - always free of charge):

112 = Medical emergency and fire department
110 = Police

University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany, Tel +49 40 74100