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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Hamburg

Every year, numerous holidays are celebrated in Hamburg.
Below are the main dates for these festivities :

From 18 March to 17 April, 29 July to 28 August, and 4 No-vember to 4 December : Hamburger DOM (local)

Organised three times a year, Hamburger DOM is the biggest fair in northern Germany, with many attractions, including fireworks displays, a Ferris wheel, and the ghost train.

9 April : Night of Museums (national)

Nearly 60 museums and galleries welcome you from 6:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. for guided tours (in several languages), lectures, films, readings, dance, and more. Tickets (15 EUR, 10 EUR reduced price) let you ride free on public transport and the event's shuttle buses.

From 5 to 8 May : Hamburg Port Anniversary (Hafengeburtstag) (local)

The world's biggest port festival, founded in 1189. The event includes many cultural and historical celebrations on land and water.

From 15 to 16 July : Schlagermove Music Festival (local)

A full-on ‘Flower Power' event replete with floral floats parading through the St. Pauli district to the sound of pop music. To get the most out of this giant hippie parade dedicated to the 1970s and free love, don't forget your sequined vest and your bellbottoms.

From 1 to 4 September : Alster Festival (Alstervergnügen) (local)

This annual festival on the banks of the Alster offers dozens of attractions and performances as well as a festival of international fireworks.

From 2 to 4 September : Rockspektakel (local)

A free rock festival with outdoor concerts on the beautiful Town Hall Square (Rathausmarkt).

From 21 to 24 September : Reeperbahn Mu-sic Festival (local)

On the long Reeperbahn avenue in the St. Pauli district, you can attend some 400 indie, pop, rock, folk, electro, jazz, and hip hop concerts featuring artists from around the world. The events are held in clubs, bars, and on street stages. Exhibitions, literary events, and conferences are also part of the festival, which is a staple of the Hamburg cultural calendar.

From 29 Sep-tember to 8 October : Filmfest Hamburg (local)

A large film festival showing both big-budget and art-house films.

3 October : 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.

From 29 Oc-tober to 6 November : Hanseboot (local)

An international boat show with some 12,000 vessels, yachts, and other sailboats on display.

25 December : Christmas (Wei-hnachtstag, na-tional)

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.

26 December : Boxing Day (Zweiter Wei-hnachtsfeiertag) (national)

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

31 December : 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 3 61 Not the best period to go
February -2 4 41 Not the best period to go
March 0 7 56 Not the best period to go
April 3 12 51 Not the best period to go
May 7 17 57 Not the best period to go
June 10 20 74 Good period to go Good period to go
July 12 21 74 Good period to go Good period to go
August 12 22 70 Good period to go Good period to go
September 9 18 70 Good period to go Good period to go
October 6 13 63 Not the best period to go
November 3 8 71 Not the best period to go
December -1 4 72 Not the best period to go
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INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IN HAMBURG

Hamburg Airport (Flughafen Hamburg- Fuhlsbüttel ) is 8.5 kilometres north of the city centre.

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

Travelling between the airport and Hamburg :
  • By car
    Car rental companies are located in Terminal 2.
    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.
  • 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 are every 10 minutes, in front of the terminals. Price is 3.20 EUR, one way.
  • Bus
    Several buses go to the city centre in about 30 minutes: the 26, the 39, the 274, the 292, and the 606 night bus, which stops at the main railway station. One way: 3.20 EUR.
  • Shuttles
    A free shuttle runs between the two terminals every ten minutes.
  • Taxi
    Taxis are parked in front of each terminal. Allow a minimum of 25 EUR 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), laundry, and pay internet access (Wi-Fi).
  • Website: www.hamburg-airport.de/de
  • Tel: +49 (0)40 507 50

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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.

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 1.50 EUR per hour and 12 EUR for the day. 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.

Bicycles

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 0.08 EUR per minute after that, with a maximum fee of 12 EUR per day.

Subway/Trains/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 3.20 EUR.

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.

Card

The Hamburg CARD provides unlimited travel by bus, train, and public boat: 1 day 9.90 EUR; 2 days 18.90 EUR; 3 days 25.5 EUR; 4 days 33.90 EUR; 5 days 40.90 EUR. The card also gives discounts on some museums, restaurants, and guided tours.

Taxi

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

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 11:30 p.m.).

Tel : +49 (0)40 300 51 701

www.hamburg-tourismus.de

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Medical information

LIST OF OBLIGATO-RY AND RECOM-MENDED VACCINATIONS

No vaccination is required to enter Germany.

AIR FRANCE VACCINATION CENTRE

For more information, contact the Air France Vaccination Centre:

DRINKING WATER

Hamburg tap water is potable.

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Administrative formalities

Most people visiting Germany do not require a visa and are allowed to stay in the country for 90 days, if they have a valid passport.

To find out if you need to apply for a visa, see this chart. Residents of countries marked with a « no » can enter Germany without a visa and stay for up to 90 days. If you need to apply for your visa or Germany before coming to Germany depends on your country of origin. Please check the exact conditions here. List price for visa is 60 EUR, with some exceptions.

For more information, visit the website of the Office of the German Federal Foreign Office : www.auswaertiges-amt.de/EN/

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Essential phrases

Good morning : Guten Tag

Good evening : Guten Abend

Good bye : Auf Wiedersehen

Yes : Ja

No : Nein

No, thank you : Nein, Danke

Thank you very much : Vielen Dank

I don't understand : Ich verstehe nicht

Could you repeat that ? : Können Sie bitte wiederholen ?

Please : Bitte

What time is it ? : Wie spät ist es ?

Excuse me : Entschuldigung

Airport : Der Flughafen

Train station : Der Bahnhof

Taxi : Das Taxi

Hotel : Das Hotel

Hospital : Das Krankenhaus

Bank : Die Bank

Telephone : Das Telefon

I am (…) : Ich bin (…)

I'm looking for (…) : Ich suche (…)

What is the price of (…) : 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 would like (…) : Ich hätte gerne

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Good to know

00 49
+ phone number without 0 (calls to Hamburg)
0 : 00
of time difference with
Hamburg
Daylight Savings Time start date : 29 March
Daylight Savings Time end date : 26 October

Banks

Generally open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Government offices

Generally 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, as in France and Italy, when the service is good, tipping is welcome and recommended. Count between 5 to 10% of the bill in a restaurant or bar. Don't leave the tip on the table, but give it at checkout.