Moving to Hamburg

Moving to Germany and finding student accommodation in Hamburg can be quite stressful. With so many things to do and prepare for, relocating to a new city is also a great adventure. The team at Housing Anywhere understands this, so we have prepared this helpful city guide to make sure that you are ready for your new life in Hamburg!

About Hamburg

Germany’s second-largest city is Hamburg, and for hundreds of years, it has been acknowledged as the "gate to the world." It is a lovely city to explore, boasting more bridges than the sum of those in London, Amsterdam and even Venice all put together. It is also home to one of the world’s busiest harbors, along with its infamous red light district, known as the Reeperbahn.

One important thing about the city of Hamburg is that its culture is still intact. Many other countries, especially throughout Europe, seem to change with the ebb and flow of its neighbors or its incoming international residents. However, Hamburg is unique in that it has not been standardized.

Also known as the "city on the water," Hamburg is surrounded by bodies of water, including Alster Lake, the Elbe River and the harbor. There are also plenty of green spaces, with many large parks close to the universities. You can also easily enjoy movies, festivals, galleries, museums, the opera and the theater, with most offering student discounts.

German Language

You may have already guessed that German is the official language of Germany, with over 95% of its residents speaking it, including the dialects of Northern Low Saxon, West Low German, Low German and North Frisian. This West Germanic language is also the most commonly used throughout the entire European Union. So, chances are that you may already know a word or two.

Weather in Hamburg

If you’re hoping for warm weather, but also with the most precipitation, July is your best bet in Hamburg, with average temperatures of 17°C (62°F), and June offers eight full hours of sunshine. The coldest month is January, with an average of 0°C (33°F). If you’re hoping to spend some time swimming in the sea, the average water temperatures are typically 19°C (67°F) during August.

When it begins to warm up, Germans waste no time in spending long afternoons at parks, outdoor cafes and sipping a cold drink at the biergartens. Of course, German weather can be somewhat unpredictable, so expect it to rain without much notice in April, or it can even snow in March.

September and October are the best months in Germany, and not just for the upcoming Oktoberfest celebrations. These final warm days of the year are known as Altweibersommer, or Indian Summer, saying farewell to sunny days before November and December bring in the snow and dropping temperatures.

Be sure to pack warm clothing and thick coats and boots. Temperatures can often be below zero, but at least the abundance of winter sports make up for the cold. The Bavarian Alps can be especially magical when it snows!

Public holidays in Germany

The following public holidays are observed throughout all of Germany:

  • New Year’s Day - 1 January

  • Good Friday - Friday before Easter

  • Easter Sunday/Easter Monday - At the end of March or the beginning April

  • International Labour Day - 1 May

  • Ascension Day - 10 days before Whit Sunday

  • Whit Sunday/Whit Monday - June

  • German Unification Day - 3 October

  • Christmas Eve - 24 December

  • Christmas Day - 25 December

  • Boxing Day - 26 December

  • New Year’s Eve - 31 December

Additional public holidays in NRW:

  • Corpus Christi- 2nd Thursday after Whitsun in June

  • All Hallows’ Day - 1 November

Day of German Unity in Germany

German Unity Day is held each year on 3 October, celebrating the anniversary of the country's unification. This is a commemoration of when the Federal Republic and the Democratic Republic merged to create one federal Germany. This occurred on 3 October, 1990.

Advent and Christmas

Many Germans celebrate Advent, which is the month leading up to Christmas Day. This is a time of happiness, mostly in part because it is the month of Christmas markets! Here you can find handmade toys, candles, crafts and delicious foods. You might be glad to know that the markets in Germany are some of the best throughout all of Europe, with the first one opening its stalls all the way back in 1393.

New Year’s Eve

New Year's Eve, also known as Silvester, is celebrated on the last day of the year and is a night full of parties, both public and private. As part of the tradition of the evening, German television stations show the same short films and sketches every year.

Facts about Hamburg

  1. You may remember reading that Hamburg has a lot of bridges, but the total count is 2,300, making this not only a fun fact, but a world record.

  2. Did you know that The Beatles actually started their musical career in Hamburg? They became rather well-known in the district of St. Pauli- Reeperbahn, which is now the center of Hamburg’s nightlife.

  3. Hamburg is twice the size of London and seven times the size of Paris.

  4. There are more rooms in Hamburg’s City Hall than at Buckingham Palace.

  5. Hamburg also boasts the world’s largest miniature railway, Miniatur Wunderland.

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