Getting around in Hamburg: info, costs and advice

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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One of the most important city-states in Germany, second largest, Hamburg is located at the confluence of the Alster and Billie rivers that flow into the Elbe and is a place full of interesting places, beautiful parks and romantic canals, you will be enchanted by the beauty of the skyline of the city from the water, a cruise in Hamburg's illuminated harbor will leave you with one of the best memories of your trip!
With its cafes, shopping centers and many nightclubs, however, it is a place with strong contrasts and very poor neighborhoods coexist with extra-luxury ones.
Here is a guide on how to get around Hamburg: info, costs and advice.


  1. Useful Tips
  2. How to get from the airport to the center of Hamburg
  3. How to get around on foot
  4. Con i mezzi pubblici
  5. By car
  6. User questions and comments

Useful Tips

Hamburg is very extensive so it cannot be explored exclusively on foot. For a first approach to the city and get to know the most important places and attractions, the panoramic hop-on hop-off bus tour is recommended.
If you enjoy walking, take advantage of the free walking tour to get acquainted with the city, spot key landmarks and learn about history and key attractions.

To move from one neighborhood to another you need to use public transport. The transport network is vast and efficient, including trains, buses, subways and ferries, therefore it is useless to rent a car. The fares depend on the area, the touristic ones are the rings A and B. The cost varies from € 1,70 to € 3,00 and they are tickets for a single journey, but you can also buy passes.

Hamburg is full of cycle paths: during the summer it is recommended to ride it by bike. The bike rental system is called StadtRad, the first 30 minutes are free and a day pass costs € 12,00. Here too, to familiarize yourself with the routes and cycle paths, it is better to follow a guided bike tour first.
In the city there are many taxis available 24 hours a day; the official ones are ivory-white and the cost is € 24 at the start plus € 3,20 for each km traveled.

In the evening do not miss the suggestive and romantic evening cruise to admire the city skyline illuminated in the evening on board a ferry.

  • Recommended solutions and means: foot, bicycle, metro, tram, boat, taxi, hop-on hop-off bus
  • Solutions and means not recommended: cars and scooters
  • City cards and season tickets recommendedIn addition to transport, the Hamburg Card offers various discounts. It costs € 10,50 for 1 day, € 19,50 for 2 days, € 25,90 for 3 days, € 42,50 for 5 days. Day passes with unlimited rides on all vehicles for zones 1 and € 27,10; for all zones € 17,90, 3-day ticket € 16,80.

How to get from the airport to the center of Hamburg

Hamburg is served by the Fuhlsbuttel airport which is located about 9 km north of the city, and consists of two terminals that are connected through the Plaza airport, where there are shops and dining areas.
Perfectly connected to the city center by the S-Bahn S1 train which in less than 30 minutes, € 3,20, arrives at the Hamburg Hauptbahnhof. The private transfer is very convenient, a great way to start your holiday without stress!

Fuhlsbuttel airport

  • Distance from the center: 10 km, travel time: 15 min
  • By train: S-Bahn S1 / ticket cost: € 3,20
  • By bus: Airport Express (HVV 26 or 606 night line) / ticket cost: € 8,00 round trip
  • By taxi: average cost € 30,00 / travel time: 30 min
  • Private transfer: Hamburg Airport: private transfers to various destinations

How to get around on foot

Getting around on foot in Hamburg is not easy because the city is very large and dispersed. For a first approach, the advice is to take advantage of the free walking tour, to identify the landmarks and better orient yourself on the first day. Alternatively, the evergreen hop-on hop-off bus is convenient and practical.

It is pleasant to walk in the central area of ​​the Jungfernstieg, the avenue that runs along the city lake continuing towards the Rathausmarkt until you reach the port. This is the main area of ​​Hamburg, the neighborhood from which it all started. The advice is to visit it thoroughly with a tour of the port of Hamburg to discover in detail the exceptional contrast between tradition and modernity.
You will still be forced to take some public transport to get around: if you love being on the move, visit the most important sites with a nice half-day bike tour.

Con i mezzi pubblici

Public transport in Hamburg is very efficient and well organized; the most used are the trains of the underground line (the U-Bahn) and the suburban railway service, which includes buses and ferries (the A-Bahn). The city is divided into zones, each of which is served by a certain number of public transport and depending on where you go you have to buy a different ticket.
However, if you are in town for tourism, know that thereMost of the attractions you can see are in zone A and B of the city.

U-Bahn Metro

The subway is really huge. Moving around the city you will find it under the U-Bahn heading. Opened in 1912, it is one of the largest in Germany and owns 4 lines, which all meet at Hauptbanhof station: la U1 blue color, serves the Altstad area and the northern districts, la U2 red color crosses the city from east to west, the U3, yellow, stops near the major attractions of the city, the U4 green water color reaches the HafenCity district.

  • Downloadable map: map-metro-hamburg
  • in the center they are in operation from 6:00 in the morning until 1:00 in the morning, while in the suburbs until 23. The weekend works 24 hours a day
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from € 1,70 to € 2,50
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: day pass from € 7,10 (center) to € 17,90 (suburbs)

S-Bahn train

S Bahn trains are the main means of public transport you will use in Hamburg. Characterized on the legend by the green "S", the lines that compose it depart from the central station of Hauptbanhof. Each of these covers a specific area of ​​the city. The S1 runs from the airport to the western districts; the S2 covers the area between Altona and Bergedorf, but only during peak hours; the S3 is active in the areas along the Elbe, from the southern shores of the Altona. In addition to these there are the S11, which covers the same route as the S1, but with fewer stops and only during peak hours, the S21, which follows the pierced S2 but is always active, and the S31 which goes from Neugraben in Altona.

  • Downloadable map: S-Bhan map
  • in the center they operate from 4:30 am to 1,00 am, while in the suburbs until 23 pm. On weekends they work 24 hours a day
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from € 1,70 to € 2,50
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: day pass from € 7,10


The bus network, consisting of metrobus, express lines, night and regional buses, is also very widespread in Hamburg. Metrobus numbers are red on a white background, those of city and regional buses are white on a red background. As well as those of the SchnellBus, which however bear the inscription "SchnellBus".

  • from 4:30 am to 1,00 am, while in the suburbs until 23 pm. On weekends they operate 24 hours a day
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from € 1,70 to € 2,50
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: day pass from € 7,10


To complete the picture of public transport it is also important to mention the ferries that operate along the Elbe with 6 lines and all stop at Landungsbrücken docks. It is an instant way to get around while enjoying a beautiful view. Suggestive to move with the evening cruise that allows you to have a more panoramic and suggestive view of the illuminated city.

  • by 7: 00 20 to: 00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from € 1,70 to € 2,50
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: day pass from € 7,10

By car

Anyone arriving in Hamburg by car should know that this means it is not the most suitable for getting around the city. Traffic, some areas with little parking and poor knowledge of the roads often make tourists desist from using the car.
Also, finding rest stops in some areas of the city, such as the famous Reeperbahn, is extremely difficult.
The suggestion is to leave the car inside your hotel or in a garage.
To find the areas where to park, the Hamburg parking map is very useful, indicating areas, times and costs.


Since 2018, the city of Hamburg has imposed a driving ban for diesel vehicles on part of the Max-Brauer-Allee and on the entire Stresemannstraße.
The ban concerns the circulation of diesel cars and trucks that do not comply with the EURO 6 standard.
Except for Stresemannstraße where the ban applies only to trucks.

Stops and parking

The car parks are indicated with the letter P and the cost varies according to the area. In the center 1 hour of parking costs € 4,00 while for the whole day you pay around € 28,00.
Outside the central areas the parking areas are paid from 9:00 to 20:00 and you can stay for a maximum of 2 hours at a cost of € 6,00.

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