HAMBURG - GETTING AROUND
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.By Public Transportation
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.)