Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city, with a population of 1.76 million in the city of Hamburg and 4.5 million in the Hamburg metropolitan area. Transportation in and around Hamburg is handled with an extensive, efficient public transportation system. The network of public transportation is by far the best way to travel around the city.
Tourists have the opportunity to purchase a Hamburg Card, which allows them unlimited travel on all public transportation for one day, and can also be used for admission discounts to Hamburg’s museums, lake cruises, and city tours.
The U-Bahn is a rapid transit system that services the entire city of Hamburg. It was opened in March of 1912 and was originally known as the Hoch und Untergrundbahn, or High and Underground Railway. The U-Bahn is comprised of three transport lines. Prior to World War II, there were four U-Bahn lines. One of these lines was destroyed during the war and has never been rebuilt. During the 1970’s, discussions regarding the rebuilding of the fourth U-Bahn line were started, and there is now a plan in place to reconstruct this line by 2011. Currently, the U-Bahn is a little less than sixty-three miles in length, with twenty-five of these miles underground.
Transportation to the suburban areas of Hamburg is supplied by the S-Bahn. The S-Bahn was first called the Stadtschnellbahn, which means “fast city train.” This railway interconnects with Hamburg’s U-Bahn, and is generally the quickest way to get around in Hamburg. The Hamburg Hauptbahnhof, Hamburg’s Central Station, is the central junction for the three U-Bahn lines, six S-Bahn lines, and the mainline railway, which travels to regions outside of the Hamburg metropolitan area.
Traveling by harbor ferries is another popular mode of public transportation in Hamburg. Hamburg is known as “The Venice of Northern Europe.” The Hamburg Harbor is the second largest harbor in Europe, and canals run throughout the city. There are six ferry lines, and residents of Hamburg, especially dock workers, use the harbor ferries on a daily basis. These ferries are also utilized for sightseeing tours.
Public transportation buses in Hamburg fill in any travel destination gaps. These buses are equipped for service to handicapped patrons, and the downtown Hamburg buses are available twenty-four hours a day. Normally, a bus will arrive at a bus stop every two minutes in the busier sections of the city. The time between buses at the suburban area stops is approximately thirty minutes.
© Hamburg 2009. All rights reserved.