Hamburg in detail

Getting Around

Hamburg is a big place, so you'll likely use more than your feet to explore the city. Thankfully there's an excellent public transport system in place to get you where you want to go.


Many hostels and some hotels arrange bike rental for guests. Zweiradperle is also a good source.

StadtRad Hamburg Run by Deutsche Bahn, operates from U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations and other key points across the city. Rentals are bright-red, seven-gear bikes. You can register online or at the rental sites.

Bikes are allowed free of charge aboard S-/U-Bahn trains and buses outside peak hours (6am to 9am and 4pm to 6pm) and on ferries any time.

Car & Motorcycle

Driving around town is easy: thoroughfares are well signposted (watch for one-way streets in the city centre) and parking stations plentiful. Most inner-city parking stations charge around €4 per hour or €28 per day. Ask if your hotel has private or discounted parking when making your reservation.

For on-street parking, you'll need to pay between 9am and 8pm, and there's often a two-hour limit. It usually costs €0.50 per 10 minutes, or €6 for two hours.

Public Transport

HVV operates buses, ferries, U-Bahn and S-Bahn and has several info centres, including at the Jungfernstieg S-/U-Bahn station and the Hauptbahnhof. Tickets start from €1.60.

Both bus and rail services run from 4am to midnight during the week and around the clock on weekends and the night before a public holiday; between approximately 12.30am and 4am Sunday to Thursday the night bus network takes over, converging on Rathausmarkt.


Public buses cover the city. Bus stops are well signposted and have route maps at each stop, but can be confusing unless you know where you're going.

There are three different types of buses:

MetroBus Around 25 different lines. They stop at all stops along a route.

SchnellBus Express buses with around 10 different routes; one useful express hop is between the Hauptbahnhof and Rathausmarkt (lines 35 and 37), with line 37 continuing on to St Pauli.

Nachtbus Night buses. Lines fan out across the city from Rathausmarkt once U-Bahn and S-Bahn trains have shut down for the night.


The ferry system is an excellent way to get around, and a much cheaper alternative to the tourist-oriented harbour ferries. Ferries operate all along the Elbe and between HafenCity and Teufelsbrück.

Ferries run between 5.30am and 11.15pm; for most of that time, there are departures every 15 minutes.

Tickets are the same as those for bus and U-/S-Bahn services and can be purchased at vending machines at most stops.


Easily the best way to get around the city, the U-Bahn (four lines) and S-Bahn (six lines) trains are easy to work out; maps of the system are found on all city maps and inside the stations.

There is little difference between the two types of service, although U-Bahn trains generally pass by more frequently (every two to 10 minutes) when compared to S-Bahn trains (every 10 to 20 minutes). U-Bahn and S-Bahn lines frequently intersect.


The city is divided into zones. Ring A covers the city centre, inner suburbs and airport.

Day passes cover travel for one adult and up to three children aged six to 14. Kids under six travel free.

Train tickets must be purchased from machines at stations; bus tickets are available from the driver. Ticket types include the following:

Ticket Grossbereich/Ring A & B regionCost
Short journey/Kurzstrecke (only two to three stops)€1.60
9-hour day pass/9-Uhr-Tageskarte (after 9am)€6.40
Day pass/Ganztageskarte (valid from 6am to 6am the next day)€7.70
Group day pass/Gruppenkarte (after 9am, up to five people of any age)€12.00

If you catch a Schnellbus (express bus), it costs an extra €2.20.

Please note that there are no barriers at S-Bahn and U-Bahn stations. Random ticket checks are conducted on board.

Taxi & Uber

Hamburg's cream-coloured taxis are easy to find – either flag down a passing taxi, catch one from a designated rank, or phone to have one pick you up. If doing the latter, Taxi Hamburg is one of the better companies.

Flagfall ranges between €3.50 and €4.20, depending on the time of day, with each kilometre charged at €1.50 to €2.50; the further you travel, the lower the per-kilometre tariff.

Uber ( is not widely used after a court ruled in May 2015 that traditional Uber services violated German transportation laws. Uber reacted by creating UberX, which uses only professionally licensed drivers. Trip costs tend to be between 3% and 12% less than regular taxi fares.