It's easy to take a train direct to Hamburg city center from the local airport. The train station is close to the airport terminals and easily reached via elevators or stairs. The journey to the city center takes about 25 minutes and trains leave every ten minutes. Buying a HVV ticket entitles users to access any public transport options in Hamburg, including trains, buses and passenger ferries. If you arrive at the ferry port you can take the U-Bahn U4 line into the city center or catch a bus.
Some of the most popular ways to see the sights of Hamburg include sightseeing buses and harbour or canal boat tours. There are a variety of popular walking trails through the city, with different distances to cater for people at any fitness level. It's possible to buy a Hamburg Card, rather than HVV tickets, for unlimited transport throughout the HVV area, as well as discounts off entry to a variety of local tourist attractions and money off deals at retailers in the city.
With a population of 1.8 million, Hamburg is the second biggest city of Germany and 8th in the EU. Hamburg was first mentioned in the 8th century and was also a member of the Hanseatic league until the 17th century, which was a trading alliance between the dominant cities along the north coast of Europe. The harbour, the biggest in Germany and 2nd biggest in Europe, has always been of great importance and remains a significant trading spot even today.
The public transport system in Hamburg is extensive and efficient. Travel like a local and use one of the many public transport options in Hamburg, including the subway, ferry, bus, and bikes. To travel on the public transport system in Hamburg visitors will need to purchase an HVV card or ticket. The tickets are available to purchase online or at a vending machine at any of the subway, ferry or bus stations. There are a number of ticket options available from a one day pass that includes discounts at major tourist attractions, to a three-month pass. A unique public transport option in Hamburg are the red Stadtrad bikes that can be picked up and dropped off at a multitude of stations all around the city center. The bikes are free for the first thirty minutes and after that, they incur a fee for every hour of use. There are six ferry routes in Hamburg and these are a wonderful way to see the sites of the city from the water. Those wanting to get to their destination quickly will find the four routes of the U-Bahn, or subway, to be very efficient and easy to navigate within the city center.
As Germany's second-largest city, Hamburg offers excellent opportunities for tourists to explore the city's historical attractions on foot. Especially during the warmer summer months, this is the best way to explore the Hamburg city center. With its history, culture, and size, Hamburg is hard to explore in a day. Thankfully, there are plenty of footpaths and meandering walkways to take you throughout the city. The Elbe Promenade route gives you a maritime tour of Hamburg, taking you to museum ships and across some of the city's most famous attractions. The Alster to Elbe route passes by stylish shopping outlets on Jungfernstieg and up to the majestic River Elbe. Along the route are monuments with a rich historical significance, including Alsterarkaden and the Alster swans. Other routes include the New Town route, which takes travelers through popular Hamburg cultural spots, and the Old Town Route that transports you to a historic age and even offers a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Outer Alster Route also makes for a scenic walk around Hamburg as it traverses the city's canals and passes by cozy cafes along the city's second-biggest river.