Facts about Hamburg

Things you may not know about Hamburg

There are many things you might read about our beloved city of Hamburg. But there are also many other things that only people from Hamburg will be able to tell you.

Exits all over the Jungfernstieg

The Jungfernstieg metro station is located 20 metres beneath the Inner Alster Lake and has over 20 exits and entrances in total. So if you get lost, don’t hesitate to ask for help.


Read while you travel

There are 130 book stops in the greater Hamburg area with second-hand books on board buses that are free for you to borrow and even keep. And if you have a book you don’t need anymore, you can leave it on one of the buses for others to enjoy later!


An island in the city

Europe's biggest river island, Wilhelmsburg, is located not far from Hamburg’s city centre. It is the largest of Hamburg’s 104 Boroughs.


Far away yet almost close

The westernmost territory belonging to Hamburg is a tidal island known as Neuwerk, which spans some 3 square kilometres in the North Sea. It is about 120 km away from the centre of Hamburg.


Somehow pretty Irish

Hamburg’s greater metropolitan area has a larger population than the whole of Ireland (5.3 million).


And somehow pretty green

14 percent of Hamburg’s inner-city surface area is made up of green open spaces and recreational Areas.


We just outdid the Queen

Hamburg’s grand neo-Renaissance City Hall (or “Rathaus”), which is the official seat of the First Mayor of Hamburg and the city’s Senate, has 647 rooms in total. That’s six more than Buckingham Palace, the London residence of Queen Elizabeth II.

Sightseeing with the metro line U3

21 kilometres in length and the oldest metro line in the network, the U3 gave the company HOCHBAHN its name – as the majority of it runs high above the ground along bridges and embankments. The U3 runs all along and around the city centre, passing by the harbour and many other attractive sights.

Unbeatable whatever the era

In 1907, Carl Hagenbeck Jr., the son of a fishmonger-turned-animal collector, founded the Tierpark Hagenbeck. At that time it was unlike any zoo in the world as there was not a single cage in sight.

A Christmassy invention

The Advent wreath was invented in Hamburg by Johann Hinrich Wichern, who was constantly asked when Christmas was finally going to arrive. He took a carriage wheel and attached as many candles to it as there were days left until Christmas.

Old and golden

Hamburg is home to the oldest public opera house in Germany. The Hamburg State Opera, known as the Hamburgische Staatsoper in German, was founded on 2 January 1678 by the city’s arts-loving citizens.

We love organic

Every week in Hamburg more than a million people visit one of more than 100 weekly markets. With this grand total, it has more weekly markets than any other city in Europe.

Somehow pretty Danish, too

The borough of Altona in the city of Hamburg was part of Denmark between 1640 and 1864, so the border between Germany and Denmark ran through St. Pauli for almost two centuries. You can still see the old demarcation line in the streets today if you look closely!

A different kind of workout

The district of Blankenese, west of the city centre on the banks of the River Elbe, includes a neighbourhood known as the “Treppenviertel” (= “staircase quarter”), which is traversed by more than 5,000 steps! It’s certainly a lovely area to visit and if you happened to live here you’re likely to be quite physically fit simply from carrying the weekly grocery shop home.

Under the bridge

Hamburg has more bridges than Amsterdam, Venice and London put together, with around 2,500 in total. Some people say that we need so many bridges to take cover under when it rains.

We also surpassed King Ludwig II

Hamburg’s new landmark, the Elbphilharmonie, attracted more visitors in 2017 than Germany’s all-time favourite tourist destination – Neuschwanstein Castle.


I grew up in Liverpool but I came of age in Hamburg

That’s what John Lennon said about his time in Hamburg. Contrary to popular belief, the Beatles had their big break in Hamburg and not in Liverpool. The iconic band played an estimated 273 gigs in the city from 1960 to 1962 where they honed their skills and developed their distinctive sound, which helped them go on to achieve their iconic Status.


A musical hello and goodbye

Downriver from Hamburg lies the “Willkomm-Höft” or “Welcome Point” which welcomes and bids farewell to every ship coming in and out of Hamburg’s harbour. Each vessel is welcomed with a rendition of the national anthem of the country in which it is registered.


A city of beginners

Nearly 40 percent of Hamburg’s learner drivers fail their first driving test. Meaning we have the highest failure rate in the whole of Germany. This could be one reason for the amazing number of people we transport through the city every day.