Flight and hotel Hamburg
An overview of Hamburg
One of Europe's most strategic harbour cities, Hamburg traces its mercantile roots to the Middle Ages, when it joined the Hanseatic League. Nothing has changed several centuries later, as you'll discover. A flight to Hamburg gets you to Germany's 'Gateway to the World' in no time.
What to know before visiting Hamburg
Hamburg Airport (HAM) connects to the S-Bahn S1 train line, which links to Central Station (Hauptbahnhof). British citizens won't require a visa to enter Germany. Moreover, a flight from London or Manchester to Hamburg is easy.
The official currency is the euro, and Hamburg is an hour ahead of the United Kingdom. The most widely spoken language in Hamburg is, of course, German, but many people speak English.
When is the best time for a weekend in Hamburg?
If you're looking for warm weather, visit Hamburg between May and September. Package holidays in Hamburg are best booked in advance in peak season. Fall in Hamburg is charming, with changing colours and solitude. Winters, particularly January and February, are chilly, though you may be able to find deals on a flight to and hotel in Hamburg.
Hamburg's port anniversary (Hafengeburtstag), celebrated each May, attracts 1.5 million revellers as frigates, steamers and boats put on a dazzling spectacle at the harbour. It's an excellent time for city breaks to Hamburg! Hamburg Dom, a travelling carnival, comes three times a year to the city. Enjoy its roller coasters and neon lights. Christopher Street Day, in June, celebrates the LGBT community, while Hamburg's Christmas markets are an unending fiesta of mulled wine and good cheer.
What to do in Hamburg
Vacationers flock to the riverine powerhouse of Hamburg for its beautiful port, cultural activities and architectural legacies. There's so much to do and see.
- Did you know that Hamburg boasts more bridges than Amsterdam and Venice combined? Package holidays in Hamburg often include boat cruises – explore the city's waterways with a boat tour, which leaves from Jungfernstieg on the Inner Alster lake.
- Party until dawn on the Reeperbahn and St Pauli, Hamburg's top entertainment areas, which cover it all, with the glamorous Operettenhaus theatre, cabaret bars, strip clubs and live music venues.
- Hamburg, the unofficial 'Christmas Capital of the North', hosts seven Christmas markets from November until Sylvester (New Year's Eve). Check out the magical lights and mulled wine and watch Santa do his daily rounds on a sleigh.
- Don't miss the harbourside Fish Market (Fischmarkt) every Sunday morning during your weekend in Hamburg. It's a great time to watch the antics of the fishmongers and the good-natured haggling that follows.
- When the city gets to you, chill out at the Övelgönne Beach, north of the Elbe River. Sunbathe, play ball, read a book or organise a barbecue once dusk falls. It's best to keep away from the water due to strong currents.
Places to visit in Hamburg
A must-see is the Port of Hamburg, a port of call for over 13,000 ships! While here, consider a tour, grab a fish sandwich or feed the friendly gulls. Explore the Speicherstadt, whose red buildings and bridges are lit up magically once night falls. This atmospheric and intricate complex of warehouses is a must on your city breaks in Hamburg.
Particularly recommended is a night of theatre, opera or jazz ballet at the iconic Deutsches Schauspielhaus or Operettenhaus. Another fun twilight activity is a climb up the 106-metre platform at St Michaelis Church. Fabulous 360-degree views of the harbour and surrounding countryside reward visitors as classical music floats in the background.
What to eat in Hamburg
You can think beyond schnitzels, sauerkraut and pretzels while in Hamburg, and instead try a fischbrötchen (fish roll), best had from the vendors along the River Elbe. Choose from shrimp, crab meat or fish patty. Finkenwerder scholle, another popular dish, is made of North Sea shrimp, bacon and onion. Wintertime delicacy grünkohl comprises stewed kale served with potatoes and smoked pork. Satiate your sugar cravings with mouthwatering rote grütze, red berries served with fresh cream or vanilla.
What souvenirs can you find in Hamburg?
International chain stores line the main shopping area of Binnenalster. Meanwhile, the flea markets are a treasure trove of quirky souvenirs, with all sorts of lamps, trinkets, and charms. Popular takeaways from Hamburg include lighters, bottle openers and T-shirts displaying the city's coat of arms. Look out for figurines of Hans Hummel the water carrier, a city icon.
Purchase exquisite German Christmas decorations at Käthe Wohlfahrt, a Hamburg institution. Your gourmand friends will appreciate marzipan treats made from 100% almond paste and no sugar. The magical Hanseatic city of Hamburg beckons – consider a flight to and hotel in Hamburg on your next break.