Hamburg, Germany (HAM)
I was recently a guest of the Germany Tourist Board in the port city of Hamburg, Germany. As a results I had a chance to explore a bit more of the city that I did before. You can see some photos from myself and my friends on Instagram here. My first time to Hamburg was during the World Cup Football a few years ago. It was party central so it was good to be there on a normal day. Oh and if you are a James Bond fan, Pierce Brosnan starred in the 1997 hit Tomorrow Never Dies” parts of which was filmed in Hamburg.
Here are some things about the city you may find helpful on your next visit:
Condor (DE), Lufthansa (LH) and germanwings (4U).
Scheduled Service Airlines Serving Hamburg International Airport (HAM)
Aegean Airlines (A3), Aer Lingus (EI), Aeroflot (SU), Air Baltic, Air Canada (AC), Air China (CA), AerEuropa (UX), Air France (AF), Air Lituanica, Air Malta (KM), Air Via, ANA (NH), American Airlines (AA), Austrian Airlines (OS), bmi regional (BM), British Airways (BA), brussels airlines (SN), Bulgarian Air charter, Cathay Pacific (CX), China Eastern (MU), Condor (DE), Corendon Airlines (XC), Croatia Airlines (OU), Czech Airlines (CZ), Delta Air Lines (DL), easyJet (U2), Emirates (EK), Finnair (AY), Freebird (FH), Germania (ST), germanwings (4U), Iberia (IB), Icelandair (FI), InterSky (3L), IranAir (IR), Japan Airlines (JL), Jet Airways (9W), KLM (KL), Korean Airlines (KE), Lot Polish (LO), Lufthansa (LH), Luxair (LG), Meridiana, norwegian, Nouvelair, Onur, Pegasus, Rhein-Neckar Air, Rossiya, Ryanair, SAS (SK), Singapore Airlines (SQ), SkyWork Airlines, South African Airlines (SA), Sun Express, Swiss Airlines (LX), Sylt Air, tailwind Airlines, TAP Portugal (TP), Thai Airways (TG), TUIfly.com, Tunisair, Turkish Airlines (TK), United Airlines (UA), flyVLM, vueling Airlines and select charter airlines.
Cargo Airlines Serving Hamburg Airport (HAM)
Airport Web site
Hamburg International Airport (HAM) http://www.hamburg-airport.de/en/. Here is a Webcam of the airport activities, its delayed about 15 minutes or so. It’s pretty neat to watch the planes come and go. Here are also some social media links so you can keep in touch and communicate with them if necessary:
Airport To The City
You can find additional information here. Some highlights are below:
- Train – The S1 on the S-Bahn line is the best way into the city. You may have to change depending on where you are going though. Its about 25 minutes journey time. Use the kiosk at the airport or ask at ticket desk for a Day Pass or a 3-Day Pass if you need one. This will save you a bit of money. Once in the city, there are bicycle rentals to take you around. It’s really a fun city.
- Airport Taxi – Grab a cab to your hotel from the taxi stand just outside the terminal on arrival
- Airport Hotels: The closest hotel is the Radisson Blu located next to the terminals. Plus a Courtyard By Marriott, Motel One, Ibis and some local brands. Book your hotels here.
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
- Language: German, but English is spoken widely.
- Visa Information: No visa is required for U.S. citizens and you can stay up to 90 days. Plus your passport must be valid for at least three months after your departure date. Other citizens should check with the German consulate/embassy in your region for specifics. Alternatively, you can use the IATA Web site for visa/health requirements.
Places Worth Seeing in Hamburg
Most of you are airline geeks, so you MUST visit the world’s smallest operational airport. O.K. so its a model, but is super cool. Here’s a list of things to check out while you are there:
- Minatur Wunderland. – This is the largest model railroad in the world, its a complete city and it has its own airport with takeoffs and landings. Perfect for train geeks and avgeeks both. Yes, you have to go see it to understand how its done. Plus its in a really fashionable part of the city next to one of their famous coffee shop, the Kaffee Rösterei.
- Kaffee Rösterei – If you love coffee, this is the place for you. Even if you don’t the atmosphere is worth it. They have many different brands here. Not a coffee fan, but I did try some and its wonderful. Plus you can see how its all made, I mean they have the area where you can see the beans and what they do with them. Its kind of like you walked in the back office of a coffee plantation.
- The Beetles Tour – I normally don’t do tour guides, but this lady, Stefanie is really good and she sings Beetles songs as well and speaks English very well. Way cool. The tour I did was at night, not sure if they have day ones, but you feel like you are the boys going to different gigs. I learned a lot more than if I’d walked around by myself. You can also find her on Facebook here.
- The Reeperbahn – This is the party area of the city, lots of shops, food, people and its the red light district as well. It’s also where the Beetles hangout when they visited Hamburg as relative unknowns. The area pays very good homage to the boys. I recommend going during the day and then at night. It’s so different. Lots of little bars tucked away behind odd doors with cool decor inside is to be had. It’s a very busy area.
- Altes Mädchen – It’s Germany so its not complete without drinking beer. But would you think Craft Beer? this is what’s served up here. Plus they have a restaurant where the food is to die for, not literally of course :-).
- Visit the Schanze Area – This are is pretty hip. They make graffiti look good. Lots of shopping, historic buildings, restaurants, coffeeshops, a few hostels and people. It’s really busy. The homes and shops are all in a row, so its a pretty dense area with a lot of history. Take some time to check out the skate Park and just watch the young ones perform some stunts. It’s quite therapeutic as well as a great way to waste some time :-).
- The Speicherstadt Area – It’s very easy to recognize this area its where all the red brick warehouses are located in Hamburg. Its where the Minatur Wunderland is so once you’ve found that you are there. It’s amazing to see the gigantic warehouses that have all kinds of services today. This is the area where all the good from other countries arrived back in the olden days. Just close your eyes and imagine it all. There are many bridges and canals all around it as well. I did not get a chance to take a canal tour as I lost my tour ticket; it literally fell out of my pocket along with my train pass and my Wunderland ticket. But I really wanted to do it and I think you should too to get a different perspective. Pay attention to the tide and note how much it ebbs and flows from dawn till dusk. I was very amazed by it all. Oh, and ensure that you check it out at nights, its even nicer.
Recommend Hotels I’ve Stayed
Of course you need somewhere to stay right? Well, these are the two hotels where I stayed on my visit to Hamburg. My first time there we stayed at the Marriott which was also very nice. I highly recommend any of these three hotels. Check the ones out below or use the widget to search for additional hotels of your choice.
- EAST Hotel – Just off the Reeperbahn, this hotel is pretty hip with stylish rooms and a lobby to match as well. Even more cooler, my bed was in the middle of the room, which is a bit unusual, but still cool. It’s within easy walk of the trains as well as other central areas of Hamburg.
- AMERON Hotel Speicherstadt Hamburg – This hotel is along one of the canals in the Speicherstadt. here’s the coolest thing you may never know about this hotel. Take the elevator to the last floor, turn left and go outside on the terrace. You will get the best views of Hamburg. Trust me on this one. You can also watch the boats navigate the canal below. You can also take photos and/or watch the boats from the bridge between its restaurant and the hotel itself. The boats pass right under you in the enclosed bridge.