Visiting Hamburg Via Train
Yesterday we were in Copenhagen in Denmark. Today, we are moving towards Hamburg in Germany. Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and has a population of around 1.8 million. Also given the name of Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Hamburg is so called because it is seen as a free imperial city and one of the states of Germany.
Hamburg is seen as a major German tourist hotspot, with nearly 8 million people visiting here each year. The city is a major transport hub as well as being an industrial powerhouse and is located at the river Elbe.
Hamburg has an oceanic climate with the warmest months falling between June and August – a mere three months with a high of only 22°C. You can however visit any time between May and September and temperatures start at 17°C in May, which is very reasonable.
The winter months see the temperatures plummet to below zero, and isn’t a good idea if you have like me, an aversion to the cold. Always take warm clothing with you since even in summer the evenings can become relatively cool.
Travelling From Copenhagen to Hamburg
Travel times from Copenhagen directly to Hamburg via rail is 4hrs and 32 minutes and tickets cost from £80 one way. You can always call the station on Tel: +49 40 39 181 053 to find out any more information.
If you decide to travel hop all over Europe, then you should consider using an InterRail travel pass which allows you unlimited travel in unlimited European destinations for 22 days.
Staying in Hamburg
Hamburg has no shortage of good hotels that are near the train station. The Hotel Terminus is only 100 metres from the train station and costs just €40 a night for a single room which is around £35 a night.
The Eden hotel is directly opposite the train station and offers rooms from just €25 a night or £22 – making it one of the cheapest three star hotels you can find here.
Things to See and Do in Hamburg
Most tourists prefer to buy discount cards, like the Hamburg Card and the Power Pass. These give you huge savings on admission and public transport. You can buy these cards from any Hamburg Tourismus (tourist information centre) at the train station. If you are a traveller, you can also get discounted rates at the main youth hostels and hotels.
Hamburg has a huge 800 year old port, so it’s worth taking advantage of this and heading out on a boat trip around the harbour. You can take a leisurely stroll around this area as there are lots of restaurants and cafes located on the waterfront, making for happy meals! The restaurant Rive has beautiful views of the harbour and an excellent array of seafood dishes using freshly caught fish.
The Hamburg fish market is a huge market that opens every Sunday and has some of the most exotic fish and fruits available anywhere. You will also find nuts and specialty teas here, and the open air atmosphere is one that many tourists and indeed locals come for each week. Seafood is big in Hamburg and the selection is huge, so you won’t be disappointed.
If you prefer to know more about the history of the city, take a trip to the Emigration museum Ballinstadt. The museum charts the journey of more than 5 million people who emigrated to Hamburg from the rest of Europe before the second world war. The museum also contains a huge interactive English exhibition which will even help you trace members of your own family!
The Historic Warehouse district is located near the harbour. It is officially the largest warehouse complex in the world. The cobble stone streets house 100-year old warehouses, which are home to cocoa, silk, and exotic carpets. In the evening, light projections create a wonderful atmosphere and highlight the buildings here.
The church of St. Michaelis is the most famous landmark in Hamburg. Built between 1648-1661, this beautiful baroque style church is the most famed in North Germany. It seats around 3000 people and has a white and golden interior. You can even climb to the spiralled top of the church to see panoramic views of the city and its harbour.
If you love shopping, you will love Alster Arkaden. It is one of the most gorgeous places for shopping. With historical arcades built in Venetian architecture and lit up by iron lamps in the evening, this is one shopping trip you won’t forget that easily. The lamps continue to lead you along the canal side to main square in Hamburg and the opulent city hall.
If you prefer open air and green living, then the park ‘Planten un Blomen’ is definitely worth visiting. It houses a Botanical Garden including the largest Japanese garden in Europe. During the summer, you can enjoy free water-light concerts, festivals and theatre performances.
Hamburg has a host of other sights and sounds from the famous red light district of Reeperbahn to the art gallery Hamburger Kunsthalle. Whatever you want to see and do here, you can be sure Hamburg has something you will love.