Hamburg, officially known as the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany after Berlin. Hamburg is home to over 40 theatres, 60 museums and a whopping 100+ music venues, meaning that you’re never far away from something to do.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 112 and 110
- Language: German
- Currency: Euro
- Country Code: DE
- Travel Visa: None required
- Population: 1,788,995
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- Hamburg has a big harbour - if you're looking for something to do then why not take a harbour tour on Ferry 62?
- Hamburg has lots of small and independent bars and shops. Be sure to carry some cash on you if you wish to make any purchases should the venue not accept card.
- Hamburg has great public transport - be sure to buy a 'Hamburg Card', which gives you unlimited access to all forms of public transport.
For the Emergency services just dial 112 for medical and fire services and 110 for police.
Where can I keep up with local news?
What are some useful safety tips?
Be alert at all times and be aware of your surroundings. Take the usual safety precautions so you do not become a targets for pickpockets. Don’t put your wallet or mobile phone in your back pocket. Put any valuables items in a dark colour shopping bag when going out to avoid attention.
If you feel like being adventurous and taking a swim in the Elbe make sure to stay near the bank and out of the boats path, during the summer months there are sections of the river that people can swim but do take care.
When withdrawing cash from ATM try to go inside the bank. Beware of withdrawing cash from cash points on pedestrian walkways. Try to withdraw small sums and don’t flash your cash around even in the bank.
What common crimes could occur?
Beware of pickpockets as they tend to operate in tourist areas, keep your belongings secure at all times and be careful if strangers try to make conversation or distract you as it could be an attempt to steal your valuables.
Car thieves normally target expensive cars but there are some exceptional situations where rental cars have been broken in to. Park the car in well lit areas and use car park with CCTV. Don’t leave valuables on your car seat as it could attract criminals, drive with the car door locked all times.
Are there any areas to avoid?
St Pauli is a known area of the city that experiences a higher crime rate, the red light district is also close and when travelling around the area take extra care and be prepared for what you might get offered.
Take extra care when travelling on the S-Bahn Stations and Reeperbahn, there have been known to have increased problems during the weekends with people drinking and getting carried away.
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
The Reeperbahn Festival is held around September each year and brings together a mix of contemporary music and arts at various venues around the city. It is one of the highlights for the younger generation in the city and attracts many big names and intentionally renowned artists, there is a great buzz to the city and people tend to get in the party mood.
The Hamburg Fair has been running for over 100 years and brings together many traditional aspects of German life is a beautifully presented fair. There are many stalls with games to play and locally grown and made produce to buy. Also many arts and crafts made by traditional methods are for sale, its a great experience and has a real cultural feel, well worth seeing if you are visiting the city during August.
The Haspa Marathon takes place in May each year, competitors race a plotted route that winds through the city passing many of the major landmarks. A lot of the runners choose to raise money for charity and run the 40 km course, the event has a very positive feel and a lot of the city turn out to support the event.
Are there any other city highlights?
HafenCity is located in the doc area of the city and brings together modern expos and trade shows in a newly designed exhibition space and different exhibitions about the city’s history and culture, its is on a stretch of docklands that has a great history in the city and when the project is completed will house around 40,000 workers and residents.
The Schmidts Tivoli Theatre is a great place for experiencing another world, the Tivoli puts on other shows and performances in a variety of different styles. Its a great place for the whole family, be careful though as some shows are not for the faint hearted.
What are some good places to visit?
Take a nice relaxed cruise along the Elbe from the Port of Hamburg. Whilst on this tour you can stop of at bars, theatres, museum ships and even experience a floating boat church. At the same time admire the modern culture that is all around with the increased industrialisation that’s taking place around the city.
The Hamburg Rathaus is hard to miss, a beautiful and large scale building is the city’s town hall. At night it looks totally different as it lights up and becomes astonishing. The building sets a tone with its powerful architecture and affairs of the city that happen inside behind closed doors.
The Hanseatisches Oberlandesgericht is the high court of the country, the building itself suggests authority and brings together German thought and precision for running the wonderful country. Its a very impressive building and well worth a look for the photo opportunity.