Hamburg in detail

Flights & getting there

Hamburg is well connected to the rest of Germany and further afield by extensive air, bus and train connections. Numerous airlines fly to Hamburg from around Europe, with some intercontinental flights as well. If you're travelling by train and bus, Hamburg is an important hub for northern Germany, with a number of long-distance domestic and international services, as well as shorter regional bus and train services.

Flights, cars and tours can be booked online at lonelyplanet.com/bookings.

Air

Hamburg Airport

Hamburg Airport has frequent flights to domestic and European cities with Lufthansa and most other major European carriers. Low-cost carriers include Ryanair, Air Berlin, easyJet and Eurowings. There are also a handful of intercontinental flights, such as to New York and Dubai.

Transport Options

The S1 S-Bahn connects the airport directly with the city centre, including the Hauptbahnhof. The journey takes 25 minutes and costs €3.30. Taxis cost €20 to €30, depending on where you're going, although it's more likely to be the latter for the city centre; the trip into town should be around 30 minutes, longer during peak hour.

Boat

There are no international ferry services from Hamburg; the nearest departures are from Kiel.

Hamburg is a popular port of call for cruise ships. There are two main places they dock:

Hamburg Cruise Center Altona A popular dock for large cruise ships.

Hamburg Cruise Center HafenCity Many large cruise ships dock here, close to HafenCity.

Bus

The ZOB is southeast of the Hauptbahnhof. Domestic and international buses arrive and depart around the clock.

Domestic Buses

Flixbus (www.flixbus.com) is usually the cheapest of the companies serving domestic destinations. Services include:

DestinationDuration (hours)CostFrequency
Berlinfrom €10half-hourly
Bremenfrom €5half-hourly
Cologne7-11from €1812 daily
Flensburg2-3from €8up to 11 daily
Frankfurt7-10from €19hourly
Hannoverfrom €8hourly
Lübeck1from €5two daily
Stralsundfrom €20two daily

International Buses

Eurolines (www.eurolines.com) destinations include Aalborg, Aarhus, Warsaw and elsewhere, with onward connections to other European cities.

Car & Motorcycle

The major A1 and A7 autobahns cross south of the Elbe River. Three concentric ring roads manage traffic flow.

Train

Frequent trains serve regional and long-distance destinations from Hamburg. There are two mainline stations worth noting:

Hamburg Hauptbahnhof The main rail hub for northern Germany. In addition to domestic services, there are several trains daily to Copenhagen (from €80, five to six hours).

Hamburg Altona Many Hamburg trains, including some long-distance services, begin or end their journeys at this medium-sized station in the heart of its namesake neighbourhood.

Direct domestic services include:

DestinationDuration (hours)Cost
Berlinfrom €30
Bremen1from €20
Cologne4from €36
Flensburgfrom €20
Frankfurtfrom €34
Kielfrom €20
Lübeck¾from €14.50
Munich5¾-7from €68
Schwerin1from €20
Stralsund4-5from €30