Bustling Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany and one of the largest ports in Europe. Claiming to be ‘the gateway to the world’, Hamburg is proud of itself and for good reason. This busy city is full of history, culture, impressive landmarks and pulsing urban life.
Take in the wonders of impressive St Michael’s Church and Hamburg Town Hall, visit one of Hamburg’s many important museums and galleries or enjoy the city’s fantastic nightlife with an evening out on the town. Hamburg’s distinctive harbour on the River Elbe gives the city a unique character; it is home to an extensive maritime museum and a lively fish market that has been running since 1703.
Cruise companies such as Cunard, Celebrity, Silversea, Costa, MSC, Hurtigruten and Ponant, among others, call at Hamburg as part of their European itineraries.
The two principal ports for cruise ships are the Cruise Center Altona and the Cruise Center Hafen City. Hafen City is a new construction and work is still underway. It is located about 20 minutes from downtown Hamburg, although there is also a city bus that will take you into the centre.
The dock at Altona has cafés and shops within a short walk, and taxis and buses will take you into the city centre. There is also a train station, the Reeperbahn, which is 15 minutes away.
When these two ports are busy, cruises will occasionally dock at Berth Überseebrücke. Additionally, Terminal Kronprinzkai will be open from June 2015.
Cruise Center Altona and Hafen City have amenities to make your time in Hamburg as enjoyable as possible.
- Tourist information desk
- Taxi rank
Hafen City also has internet access available for visitors.
How to Get Around
Hamburg has an efficient and comprehensive transport system that makes it easy to get around to the major attractions in the city. It can be a good idea to buy a Hamburg Card, as it includes unlimited use of the transport system, including the underground, elevated lines, buses and even ferries. It also gives you discounts at various restaurants, theatres and museums.
There are also plenty of taxis in Hamburg; however, fares can be expensive.
Travel times from Hamburg Town Hall:
- It is a 16 minute journey to St. Michael’s Church
- It is a 23 minute journey to Cruise Center Hafen City
- It is a 47 minute journey to Cruise Center Altona.
- It is a 4 minute journey to St. Michael’s Church
- It is a 7 minute journey to Cruise Center Hafen City
- It is an 8 minute journey to Cruise Center Altona.
- Currency – The official currency of Germany is the euro (€). There are bureaux de changes in the city as well as many ATMs.
- Time Zone – Germany operates on Central European Time (CET), which is an hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The country switches to Daylight Saving Time (DST) at the end of March, when the clocks are set forward 1 hour. Daylight savings ends in October.
- Weather – Hamburg has a mild climate. Summers are pleasantly warm; August is the hottest month with an average high of 22 degrees Celsius. The coldest month is January, with an average low of -2 degrees Celsius. There is no dry season in Hamburg, with a fairly consistent level of precipitation all year round.
- St. Michael’s Church – The impressive baroque church is a distinctive Hamburg landmark that is well worth a visit. It was completed in 1762 and features a fascinating and opulent interior. Explore the church itself and its vaulted crypt, then climb the 132-metre tower for panoramic views over the city. St Michael’s Church is open from 9am to 8pm, May to October and 10am to 6pm, November to April.
- Miniatur Wunderland – Miniatur Wunderland is the largest model railway in the world. The incredibly detailed exhibit attracts visitors from all over the world. It’s easy to get to Wunderland, as it is right near the Hauptbahnof. The exhibit is open every day of the year; regular opening hours are 9.30am – 6pm daily.
- The Hamburg Kunsthalle – The Hamburg Art Hall is the largest art museum, housing a spectacular regular collection, including 17th century Dutch paintings, impressionism and Pop Art, as well as excellent temporary exhibitions. The museum itself is an attractive Italian Renaissance style building from 1869. The Kunsthalle is open 10am to 6pm, Tuesdays to Sundays, and open later on Thursday evenings. Admission to the entire gallery, including temporary exhibitions, costs €12 for adults and €6 for concessions.