Public transport in Hamburg

Arriving in Hamburg

The public transport system in Germany is simple and easy to use. You can get to just about anywhere via a train, bus, tram or the underground. Cycling is also an option, with a network of bicycle lanes that make riding a bike even safer than ever before.

By car

Hamburg is one of the central hubs for the roadways in Germany, connected by Autobahnen - A and Bundesstrassen - B. If you’re coming from western Germany, the A1 goes straight through Hamburg. The A7 connects southern Germany to Hamburg, and the A24 comes in from Berlin. Plus, there’s plenty of parking offered in Hamburg.

By plane

The international airport in Hamburg is home to numerous airlines, which fly out to about 125 different destinations. To make it even more convenient, the Hamburg Airport is one of the few airports that you’ll find in Europe that is not only accessible via public transport but is also close to the city center. The suburban train station is situated right beneath the Airport Plaza, with trains going straight into the city center.

By train

In Hamburg, there are dozens of trains that offer both regional and long-distance service. There are two main stations: Hamburg Hauptbahnhof and Hamburg Altona.

Hamburg Hauptbahnhof - This is the most well-known station that offers the most service. However, some people visit just for the bustling views of the tracks from the concourse up above. The S1 S-Bahn also connects the airport to the city center and the Hauptbahnhof, so it’s easily accessible.

Hamburg Altona - This medium-sized station is often the start or end of journeys in and out of Hamburg. It is located in the neighborhood of west Hamburg.

By bus

Located southeast of the Hauptbahnhof, you will find the ZOB. Both domestic and international buses come in and out of this station 24 hours a day.

Moving around Hamburg

The Hamburg Public Transport Network, which is more commonly known as the HVV, offers residents of Hamburg rapid transit, railways and bus routes, along with services that use harbors to offer extended options. A monthly pass will cost you around €80.

Once you relocate to Hamburg, you’ll quickly find that the most used modes of public transport are the S-Bahn (with six lines), the U-Bahn (with four lines) and the regional rail offerings (with nine lines) through the HVV. Plus, they all work in tandem to ensure that you can link multiple types of transport to get to your destination.

By bus and tram

While the rail network is very popular, it is also complemented by metro buses, regional buses, express buses and sprinter buses. You can purchase tickets for the S-Bahn and U-Bahn at the stations. If you’re taking the bus, you can also pay the driver.


Of course, if you really want to save money while living in an apartment in Hamburg as a student, you can easily ride a bike back and forth to the university. You can purchase your own bike, but there is also a public system known as the StadtRAD Hamburg. With over 80 stations, having a bike when you need one is quite simple, especially when you can return it to any of the stations that are located throughout the city. Keep in mind that the initial half hour is always free, and you’ll just need a credit or bank card to pay for the rental.

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