Hamburg, a major port city in northern Germany, is connected to the North Sea by the Elbe River. It's crossed by hundreds of canals, and also contains large areas of parkland. Near its core, Inner Alster lake is dotted with boats and surrounded by cafes. The city's central Jungfernstieg boulevard connects the Neustadt (new town) with the Altstadt (old town), home to landmarks like 18th-century St. Michael’s Church. The city is best known for its famous harbor area, the Port of Hamburg. In addition to being a major transportation hub, Hamburg has become one of Europe's most important cultural and commercial centers, as well as a major tourist destination. Hamburg has a population of approximately 1.84 million and is the second most populous city in Germany.
Currency: Euros (€)
Time Zone: Hamburg's timezone is Central European Standart Time (CEST) or GMT+1
Climate: The summer months (June to September) can vary between mild and warm and sunny, with the advantage of up almost 17 hours of daylight for visitors throughout the summer. Winters are colder, with a January average of 0.0°C - 4.0°C (32-39°F) and occasional snow. Spring (March – May) in Hamburg enjoys mild temperatures with the city’s parks and gardens filled with spring flowers.
Tipping: There are no hard and fast rules for tipping in Hamburg. The general custom is a nominal tip, as indicated by the German word for tip (Trinkgeld, or money for a drink). Many people simply round off the bill to the next euro or add a couple more, which is perfectly acceptable. Taxi drivers are not typically tipped in Germany. For excellent service, you can round up to the nearest Euro. Or tip 10% of the final fare, for instance, if the driver is helpful with bags.
Smoking: Smoking is banned in all public places. Please look for signage for designated smoking areas. Telephone codes The German country code is 49. To call abroad, dial 00 before the area code.
Safety: Hamburg is like any other big city and basic common sense rules apply. Hamburg is generally safe and you should not encounter any problems. Caution should be taken in red-light districts around the Hauptbahnhof and the Reeperbahn. Petty crime is rare but does occur in major tourist areas. During the day, Police Officers and Community Enforcement Officers should be able to assist you if needed.
Emergency Services: In case of an emergency the police, ambulance or fire brigade service can be contacted by telephoning 112.
Electricity & Conversions: The standard voltage in Germany is 230V AC, 50Hz.
To See and Do
A select list of sites to visit is below, and the Conference Chairs also recommend the following sightseeing activities:
- Take a water taxi (part of the public transportation system) for a nice trip along the Elbe River to Oevelgönne (museum harbour) and visit the beach restaurant for pizza and beer.
- Take a walk around Alster Lake (a 10 minute walk from the CCH), and stop for drinks or a meal in the Eppendorfer Baum area.
- Take a walk through the old (opened in 1911) Elbe tunnel (no charge!) to the other side of the Elbe river and enjoy a nice city view, this is a great place to cool down if it is hot outside.
- Visit the Sternschanze area, a hip part of Hamburg full of trendy restaurants, bars and music venues.
Speicherstadt (UNESCO Site)
Speicherstadt (literally 'warehouse city') is the world's largest complex of warehouses, spanning an area of 260,000 square metres. It was built into the Elbe river between 1883 and the late 1920s on thousands of oak poles as a free economic zone in Hamburg's port. Speicherstadt's beautiful neo-gothic brick architecture makes for an exciting contrast to the modern steel-and-glass constructions of neighbouring HafenCity.
Today, Speicherstadt is host to an array of leisure activities including the Miniatur Wunderland, an enormous model railway system, or the International Maritimes Museum Hamburg, which offers thousands of model ships and maps.
Every Sunday morning, the Hamburg Fish Market by the Elbe attracts thousands of visitors, night owls and early birds alike! Fish, fruit, flowers, clothing and souvenirs – you can find almost anything at the Hamburg Fish Market. To attract customers, the market barkers out-shout each other. This results in a loud and verbose crescendo that both locals and tourists enjoy on a weekly basis.
The magnificent Elbphilharmonie is the focal point of the revitalized Port of Hamburg and a Hamburg landmark. One of Europe’s most visited buildings, it is a must see when touring the city. You don't have to take in a concert to visit, the Elbphilharmonie Plaza is a publicly accessible observation platform that provides splendid views of the harbor and the city.
The impressive Rathaus (City Hall) is Hamburg's seat of government. Hamburg's parliament and senate assemble here. The eclectic, neo-renaissance building is open to the public, and visitors may join a guided tour or visit exhibitions housed inside.
St Michael's Church
The Michel is Hamburg's largest church and one of the city's must-see sights. Those who climb the 452 steps of the bell tower will be rewarded with a stunning view over the city including Germany’s largest seaport, the historic Speicherstadt and the future-oriented HafenCity. There is also a lift, but it is currently closed due to repair work.
City Tours and Day Trips
Get insider tips, learn the city's history, or take a tour geared towards your own interests. Hamburg offers an array of city tours from bike tours to nighttime tours or themed Beatles tours.
If you have a bit more time to explore, there is also no shortage on day trips from Hamburg, such as a visit to the Baltic or North Sea or visit one of Germany's beautiful Castles and Mansions.
Day Trip Information