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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Hamburg

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Hamburg each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year - (Neujahrstag - national)

March or April: Good Friday (Karfreitag - national event)

March or April: Easter Monday (Ostermontag - national holiday)

May 1: Labour Day (Tag der Arbeit - national holiday)

On the first of May, it is customary to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley to close ones. Many vendors occupy the pavement on that occasion!

May 5-8: Hamburg Port Anniversary (Hafengeburtstag - local)

The world's biggest port festival, paying tribute to the city's emblem founded in 1189. The event includes many cultural and historical celebrations on land and water.

October 3: Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Ein-heit - local)

On this holiday, the inhabitants of Hamburg commemorate, as elsewhere in the country, the reunification of Germany in 1990. It is the only common state holiday fixed by federal law—all other holidays are governed by regional law.

December 25: Christmas (Weihnachtstag, national)

Like the rest of Germany, Hamburg has several traditional Christmas markets during the Christmas season. The atmosphere is especially magical in the historic market at town hall square with, among other events, Santa's sleigh thrice-a-day flyby. Children will enjoy the fairy-tale boats, which sail on the Binnenalster, one of the city's two lakes.

December 26: Boxing Day (Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag – national)

In Hamburg, December 26 is an officially recognized Christian holiday.

December 31: New Year's Eve (national)

The best place to ring in the new year is at the port of Hamburg, which is lit up by a giant fireworks display along the Elbe.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Hamburg

With its oceanic climate, Hamburg is subject to winds that bring frequent rains. Although cold, winters are milder than in eastern and southern Germany. The summer heat is often tempered by breezes and showers. Spring is the best time to visit the city, as it enjoys more than 600 seasonal hours of sunshine.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January -2/28 3/37 61/2.4 Not the best period to go
February -2/28 4/39 41/1.6 Not the best period to go
March 0/32 7/44 56/2.2 Not the best period to go
April 3/37 12/53 51/2.0 Not the best period to go
May 7/44 17/62 57/2.2 Not the best period to go
June 10/50 20/68 74/2.9 Good period to go Good period to go
July 12/53 21/70 74/2.9 Good period to go Good period to go
August 12/53 22/72 70/2.7 Good period to go Good period to go
September 9/48 18/64 70/2.7 Good period to go Good period to go
October 6/43 13/55 63/2.5 Not the best period to go
November 3/37 8/46 71/2.8 Not the best period to go
December -1/30 4/39 72/2.8 Not the best period to go
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Hamburg Helmut-Schmidt International Airport

The Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel airport is 8.5 kilometres (5 miles) north of the city centre.

The Hamburg Helmut-Schmidt International Airport is located 8.5 kilometres (5 miles) north of the city centre.

  • 2 terminals, linked by free shuttle service
    • T1 (Air France, Level 1)
    • T2

Getting from the airport to Hamburg and back:
  • By car
    • The airport is situated between the R2 and R3 ring roads on the B433 highway. You can reach Hamburg via the A7 motorway. To return to the airport from Hamburg, take exit 23 Schnelsen-Nord from the A7.
    • Six parking facilities are available at the airport: four short and long-term near the terminals, and two further away yet cheaper.
    • Car rental companies are located in Terminal 2.
  • By train:
    The fastest and cheapest way to get downtown is the commuter train or S-Bahn (line 1), which will take you directly to Hamburg Hauptbahnhof, the main station, in 25 minutes. Make sure to board cars at the front of the train (the cars at the back go in a different direction). Departures every 10 minutes, in front of the terminals. Price is EUR 3.30, one way.
  • By bus:
    Several buses connect the airport to the city centre in about 30 minutes: lines 39, 274, 292, 392, 605 and the 606 night bus, which stops at the main railway station. One way: EUR 3.30.
  • By shuttle:
    A free shuttle connects the two terminals every ten minutes.
  • By taxi:
    Taxis are parked in front of each terminal. Allow EUR 25 and 30 minutes for a ride downtown.
  • Services: Shops, bars and restaurants, banks, currency exchange, ATMs, post office (T2), tourist info, casino, access for disabled passengers, children's area (T1), dry-cleaning service, and free internet access (Wi-Fi) in the airport.
  • Telephone: +49 (0)40 507 50
  • Website: www.hamburg-airport.de/en

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GETTING AROUND Hamburg

Hamburg is fairly spread out but has an extensive and well organised public transport network composed of U-Bahn (underground), S-Bahn (suburban trains), buses, and water buses that run down the Elbe river.

By car

Traffic is generally very fluid in Hamburg, but it is often difficult to park in the centre or the port-especially at Teufelsbrück. If you manage to find a parking space, it will cost you EUR 2.50, limited to 1 hour. In limitless parking lots, price varies from EUR 2.50 to EUR 4.50 per hour. Traffic jams are common in the city centre: avoid peak periods (morning, late afternoon, and festival periods). The best solution is to park outside the city and use public transport.

By bike

Hamburg's self-service StadtRAD bicycle system and many bike paths make cycling an enjoyable way to explore the city. Bikes are free for the first 30 minutes and EUR 0.10 per minute after that, with a maximum fee of EUR 15 per day.

By metro/train/bus

Four subway lines (U-Bahn) run from 4:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. U-Bahn, S-Bahn and buses run all night on weekends. A one-way ticket is EUR 3.30.

By ferry

Six ferry lines cross the Elbe. It's a nice ride: you can, for example, start at St. Pauli Landungsbrücken and reach the pontoons. Public transport tickets are valid on board. In high season, a ferry line also runs on Alster Lake.

City pass

The Hamburg CARD provides unlimited travel by bus, train, and public boat:

1 day EUR 10.50; 2 days EUR 19.90; 3 days EUR 25.90; 4 days EUR 34.50; 5 days EUR 41.90. The card also offers discounts on some museums, restaurants, and guided tours.

By taxi

Taxis are easy to hail in Hamburg and cost around EUR 2 per kilometre.

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Visitor information

Once you arrive in Hamburg, don't hesitate to get in touch with tourism professionals for information and help in organising your stay.

Hamburg Tourist Board

Offers sightseeing recommendations, tourist information and brochures.

The tourist office has several branches in the city:

The head office is inside Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Sundays and holidays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)

Another branch is located on the harbour at Landungsbrücken, between pontoons 4 and 5 (Sunday to Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Thursday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.)

The third is at the airport in the Airport Plaza, between terminals 1 and 2 (daily from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.)

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Germany is the Euro (EUR).

JPY1 = €0.01

€1 = JPY100

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Hamburg counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Germany. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Food safety: There are no food safety risks in Hamburg.

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Hamburg.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for Germany

For stays of less than three months, travellers from the Schengen area, as well as those from the countries of the European Union not included in the area, need only be in possession of a national identity card or a passport valid for the duration of their stay.

As a general rule, travellers from all other countries are subject to visa requirements, although foreign nationals from certain countries may enter Germany for up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.

For further information, visit the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees: www.bamf.de

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Hamburg, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic German phrases that will make your stay in Hamburg a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Guten Morgen (morning) / Guten Tag (during the day)

Good evening: Guten Abend

Goodbye: Auf Wiedersehen

Yes: Ja

No: Nein

No, thank you: Nein, Danke

Thank you very much: Vielen Dank

Please: Bitte

I don't understand: Ich verstehe nicht

Could you repeat ?: Können Sie bitte wiederholen?

What time is it ?: Wie spät ist es?

Sorry: Entschuldigung
Excuse me:

Airport: der Flughafen

Train station: der Bahnhof

Taxi: das Taxi

Hotel: das Hotel

Hospital: das Krankenhaus

Bank: die Bank

Telephone: das Telefon

I'm (…): Ich bin (…)

I'm looking for (…): Ich suche (…)

How much is (…)?: Wie viel kostet es?

Do you have (…)?: Haben Sie (…)?

Where can I find (…)?: Wo kann ich (…) finden?

Where can I buy (…)?: Wo kann ich (…) kaufen?

I'd like (…): Ich hätte gerne (…)

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Good to know

+49
+ phone number (without 0)
-7 : 00
of time difference with
Tokyo
Start of daylight saving time: last Sunday in March

End of daylight saving time: last Sunday in October

BANKS
Usually open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES
Usually open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday. Friday closing time is usually 2:00 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
In Germany, leaving a tip is recommended and always appreciated. An appropriate tip in this case is anywhere between 5 and 10% of the bill at restaurants or bars. Do not leave the tip on the table, but give it at checkout.

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