The ultimate guide to Hamburg neighbourhoods

Marle

Updated on Oct 21 • 11 minute read

The neighbourhoods of Hamburg are rich in beauty with beautifully rich areas; bustling urban districts in the midst of a historic architecture charm.

The vibrant port metropolis creates the flawless blend between bustling metropolis and historic flair.

To feel like a local in Hamburg in no time at all, picking your ideal neighbourhood is the be-all and end-all. We took a close look at the seven Hamburg neighbourhoods and explored four factors:

  • Residents: For whom is this Hamburg neighbourhood suitable?
  • Career & university: What career opportunities are there in this Hamburg neighbourhood?
  • Cost of living: How expensive is life in this Hamburg neighbourhood?
  • Safety: How safe is this Hamburg neighbourhood?

There's one thing that all seven districts have in common: their proximity to the water, the ease of escaping into nature or getting lost in the nightlife. See for yourself: every neighbourhood in Hamburg will make you fall in love with its charms.

The neighbourhoods of Hamburg

Hamburg offers seven unique districts for living, with each possessing its own individual charm, personality and unique residents. Hamburg is one of the most authentic German cities, so it’s the perfect place to find accommodation when you’re hoping to truly immerse yourself in the German culture. Regardless of exactly what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find a neighbourhood to suit your needs in Hamburg.

Find these seven districts in Hamburg:

  • Hamburg Altona
  • Hamburg Eimsbüttel
  • Hamburg Mitte
  • Hamburg North
  • Hamburg Wandsbek
  • Hamburg Bergedorf
  • Hamburg Harburg

And broken down again, each district has several small neighbourhoods.

1. The neighbourhood Hamburgs Altona

Situated northwest of the city centre and Mitte, Altona is a thriving area known for its culture and shopping options. It sports a pulsing nightlife scene, with plenty of late-night eateries for post-dancing fuel. If you really enjoy the outdoors and spaces with a view, this exceptional area is also close to the Elbe River.

Residents

The Schanzenviertel is an area that is right in the middle of Altona, and close to the train station. It's a popular residential area for students, internationals and artists. Plus, you can always find second-hand stores, vintage clothing shops and low-key local pubs. Bet our 10 spots in Hamburg-Altona will make you pack your bag and book a place in this district within a blink of an eye?

In the lively Ottensen district, the charm of the old buildings and the ample shopping venues make you thrive. Young families and academics in particular feel at home in Hamburg Altona.

Career & university

The rebellious, multicultural immigrant quarter of the 70s grew into a scenery district today. Even a number of companies are setting up offices here:

  • DB Services Nord GmbH
  • Carlsen Publishing House
  • Research International
  • Finanzcheck.de

Expats with families can also find numerous schools and kindergartens in Altona, though there are no universities.

Cost of living

Altona can be a bit on the pricey side, considering it’s right in the centre of the best restaurants and cultural hotspots. Ottensen and Blankenese take the lead when it comes to high rental prices in Hamburg. Altona-Alstadt, Altona-Nord, Iserbrook and Sternschanze all add up to make Altona an expensive area. However, you can find housing in some areas like Lurup that are priced a bit lower, but know that these flats won’t stay empty for long!

Hamburg NeighbourhoodPrice in €/ m2
Altona-Altstadt17.21€
Altona-Nord17.43€
Bahrenfeld15.18€
Blankenese17.35€
Groß Flottbek14.86€
Iserbrook14.99€
Lurup10.93€
Nienstedten14.54€
Ottensen am Teuersten17.13€
Sternschanze15.77€

Security

Upmarket neighbourhoods with scenery pubs and bars will inevitably attract crime, making Altona the second most dangerous area with 26,317 cases of crime. Despite this, there's no need to feel uneasy in Altona: Local residents do feel safe.

2. The neighbourhood Hamburg Eimsbüttel

This may be the smallest of the neighbourhoods of Hamburg, but it’s also the most densely populated, once again highlighting its popularity. This makes it a busy area with stylish buildings, some with lovely Art-Nouveau architectural details. But if you want to wind down with a gentle jog or try your hand at standup paddling, you could join the other young people heading to the relaxing Alster Lake and Eimsbüttel park.

Residents

This district in the borough of the same name boasts popularity that spans all generations. The locals of Eimsbüttel rave with pride about the charming historic flats, the park by the pond, the Kaifu, the world's best bread rolls from the Kleinen Konditorei and more.

Teeming with the historical appeal,

Eimsbüttel is a favourite residential area.

If you have the shopping bug, the Osterstraße shopping street will not disappoint, which is also home to the annual Osterstraße Festival. You’ll also find diverse dining options, including numerous delicatessens that are great for a young international’s budget.

Career & University

Eimsbüttel is the home of the University of Hamburg, right where its headquarters are located. Its convenient location allows you to reach your office in Hamburg in no time at all, as as well as the site for the Hamburg School of Music and Theatre.

Cost of living

You may still pay a premium for this magnetic neighbourhood, but not quite as much as the city centre.

Hamburg NeighbourhoodPrice in €/ m2
Rotherbaum18.88€
Harvestehude20.27€
Hoheluft-West17.01€
Eppendorf16.01€
Lokstedt14.50€
Niendorf13.94€
Schnelsen11.89€
Eidelstedt12.00€
Stellingen16.15€

Security

With 17,134 criminal cases, Eimsbüttel falls to third place among the most criminal neighbourhoods in Hamburg; however, this is no great surprise in the midst of chic old buildings in the wealthy district of Eppendorf and the scene district of Schanzenviertel.

3. The neighbourhood of Hamburg Mitte

Right in the city centre, you’ll find some of the reasons that tourists visit Hamburg, including trendy boutiques, popular restaurants, landmarks, museums and the Hamburg State Opera. If you’re ready to dance the night away, the area of St. Pauli is where you’ll want to meet with friends and go club-hopping into the early hours.

Residents

Hamburg-Mitte puts you right in the centre of it all: The Reeperbahn takes you to the heart of the nightlife scene just as the Hamburger Dom (Hamburg Cathedral) with its part-time amusement park offers you a fun place to be. The Millentor Stadium of the Fc St. Pauli hosts football matches as well as galleries and events from time to time.

However, Hamburg-Mitte can also play up its laid-back flair: Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city in Finkenwerder and Neuwerk with their maritime character.

Career & University

The port in the heart of Hamburg acts as the economic engine of the Hanseatic city. One part of Hamburg-Mitte is characterised by its very industrial character, not least because aircraft manufacturer Airbus is based in Hamburg Mitte.

In HafenCity, numerous offices have sprung up in recent years in the mixed residential and commercial district.

Hamburg Mitte is close to most of the campuses, so some people accept the higher costs of living as a trade-off for being able to travel to so many places on foot.

Cost of living

Due to its central location and proximity to attractions and nightlife, Mitte is typically expensive when it comes to rental prices. Hafencity takes the top spot for rental prices by far, at 6760 euros per square metre.

Hamburg NeighbourhoodPrice in €/m2
Billstedt11.32€
Borgfelde14.97€
Finkenwerder10.16€
St. Pauli16.73€
St. Georg18.04€

Security

When it comes to safety, Hamburg Mitte is as rich in contrast as hardly any other district: while there wasn't even one single crime on the mini-island of Neuwerk in the North Sea in 2018, the district of St. Georg with its bustling Hamburger Bahnhof railway station makes it the most dangerous place in the city, with 20,047 cases a year. And St. Pauli, with its red-light milieu on the Reeperbahn, draws enormous numbers of tourists from all over the world, resulting in an upsurge in criminal cases.

4. The neighbourhood of Hamburg-Nord

Just north of the city centre (as the name implies) Hamburg Nord is known as the place to go for a jog or to walk one of its many trails around the Alster Lake. With its proximity to the city centre and Hamburg City Park,

Hamburg North strikes the necessary balance between unspoilt nature and urban bliss.

It’s not too far from Mitte, but the prices are much more reasonable, especially for an expat’s budget.

Residents

There are large residential buildings in the southern portion of the area, while the most northern area is a little further from the city centre with a less urban vibe. Plus, Hamburg Nord is close to Hamburg Airport, so your arrivals and departures will be conveniently close.

Career & University

The University Hospital Eppendorf makes Hamburg North a hub for medical professionals and aspiring doctors.

Cost of living

Hamburg North is beautifully rich and richly beautiful. Characterised by tranquil historic and modern buildings and its villas in the south, Hamburg North shoots itself into the upper midfield for rental prices.

Hamburg NeighbourhoodPrice in €/ m2
Alsterdorf14.64€
Barmbek-Nord14.81€
Barmbek-Süd18.37€
Dulsberg12.21€
Eppendorf16.01€
Fuhlsbüttel13.50€
Groß Borste13.53€
Winterhude17.53€

Safety

Hamburg North is considered a safe place in Hamburg. Only the chich area Winterhude has a relatively high number of burglaries (138).

5. The neighbourhood of Hamburgs Wandsbek

Hamburg Wandsbek features sports stadiums and other forms of recreation, such as Outer Alster Lake, so it’s a favourite weekend spot for a lot of young people. You can also expect nature reserves, including Hamburg’s oldest – Wohldorfer Wald – dating from 1770.

Residents

Wandsbek is home to more residents than any other neighbourhood in Hamburg, boasting single-family houses and oversized apartment buildings for over 420,000. This means it’s a great area for those wishing to share a larger space with a few friends, colleagues or other students. It’s close to the city centre but definitely calls for a lower rent.

Career & University

Bustling Wandsbek combines both residential and business. At the junction where Wandsbeker Chaussee, Brauhausstraße, Wandsbeker Markstraße and Hammer Straße meet, two high-rise buildings with 18 floors each are to be created creating a blend of office space and residential accommodation.

Cost of living

With its rental prices, the urban and equally green district of Wandsbek sees itself in the middle range.

Hamburg NeighbourhoodPrice in €/ m2
Bergstedt13.77€
Bramfeld12.22€
Duvenstedt13.49€
Eilbek13.97€
Farmsen-Berne11.38€
Hummelsbüttel13.25€
Jenfeld13.69€
Lemsahl-Mellingstedt12.47€
Marienthal14.10€
Poppenbüttel12.99€

Safety

With 4,169 cases, Wandsbek tends to be one of the most unsafe districts.

6. The neighbourhood of Hamburg Bergedorf

Now, Bergedorf, in contrast, is Hamburg’s lowest-densely populated area, even though it’s geographically large. In fact, it’s very tranquil, with numerous options for biking through the woods or walking along the Elbe River. However, to balance it out there’s a railway station, a large shopping district and Schloss Bergedorf, a historic castle and popular tourist attraction.

Residents

Farming, tradition and an abundance of nature: for expats with families, local recreation right on the doorstep plays into their hands. It's a modern district with a historic core.

Career & university

Homes, medical care centres and care facilities for the elderly are being built in the new quarter at 'Bergedorfer Tor', as well as office space and Bergedorf's new main post office.

Cost of living

Since it’s a bit beyond the city centre, you’ll learn that rent will be a little lower. Yet, there are a number of public transport connections to get you where you want to go in mere minutes.

Hamburg NeighbourhoodPrice in €/ m2
Allermöhe10.45€
Altengamme11.15€
Bergedorf11.39€
Curslack9.98€
Kirchwerder9.79€
Neuengamme11.18€
Ochsenwerder11.16€

Security

Over the past few years, crime in Bergedorf has continued to decrease to the point where Bergedorf moves somewhere mid-table in terms of safe neighbourhoods in Hamburg.

7. The neighbourhood of Hamburgs Harburg

Home to the Hamburg University of Technology, Harburg used to be its own city. Now it’s close to the Elbe River and is a favourite amongst students, not least thanks to its convenient location with its own railway station. It’s also home to Harburg’s historic city hall and the location of the annual Binnenhafen Festival.

Residents

With its university in the heart of Harburg and relatively low rents, it's mainly students who settle here.

Career & university

Harburg is home to the TUHH, Hamburg's technical university making more and more students move to Harburg.

Cost of living

Due to its location across the river, you’ll get a break from the high prices of the city centre. Yet, it is well-connected by bus routes and S-Bahn stations. Hausbruch makes up the cheapest district in the whole of Hamburg!

Hamburg NeighbourhoodPrice in €/ m2
Eißendorf10.15€
Harburg12.91€
Hausbruch8.59€ (cheapest neighbourhood!)
Heimfeld14.20€

Security

With 6,301 cases, Harburg ranks in the top quarter of the crime ranking, mainly due to its drug-related crime. At the same time, however, the rural districts in Harburg such as Gut Moor, Francop and Cranz are among the safest areas in Hamburg.

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