Hamburg has got 3 stations, these are the main station, Hamburg Dammtor and Hamburg Altona, so it might be sometimes recommendable to check if your hotel/hostel is closer to another than the main station. Nevertheless the public transport system is Hamburg works quite well, with subway and bus transport, so you will reach easily all ends of the city.
The third and last station where the long-distance trains stop is Hamburg-Altona, which is well-known in Germany because it is always listed as the final destination of all these trains.
In Altona I naively went walking around looking for the front of the station so I could take a photo. It took a while for me to realize that there isn’t any front or rather that this is the front – a shabby concrete façade of shops and advertizing.
Second photo: An underground entrance to the station.
Third photo: This is their idea of a railroad station: a shopping center and a parking garage for cars.
Fourth photo: But when you get past all the shops and the parking garage there are actually some tracks and trains, so it is a working railroad station after all.
GPS 53°33'6.53" North; 9°56'7.38" East
StadtRAD stations 2121 (Bahnhof Altona Ost/Max-Brauer-Allee) and 2122 (Bahnhof Altona West / Busbahnhof)
Back to my first Hamburg review: The Hamburg State Opera
Back to my Hamburg intro page
The InterCityExpress (ICE) trains coming in from the south stop at three different stations in Hamburg. The first is the Central Station. I don’t usually get off here, but I have changed trains here several times, for instance on my way to Kiel, Rendsburg, Rostock or Copenhagen.
The Hamburg Central Station is said to be the busiest station in Germany and the second busiest in Europe (after the Gare du Nord in Paris).
Second photo: The clock tower of the Central Station.
Third photo: A white ICE train approaching the Central Station and a red suburban train (S-Bahn) going the other way.
Next: Dammtor Station
My recommendation for travelers coming into Hamburg from the south is to stay on the train at the Central Station and get off a few minutes later at the second stop, Dammtor.
The Dammtor station is near the university, near the opera house, near the convention center and not far from the Adult Education Center. There are several small, pleasant and reasonably priced hotels near the university, and on the other side of the station is the SAS Radisson Hotel for those who are travelling on an expense account.
GPS 53°33'38.80" North; 9°59'22.49" East
Additional photos: People on bicycles near Dammtor station.
Next review: Altona station
Hamburg has 4 trainstations - the Hauptbahnhof being the most important one. From here you can go EVERYWHERE!!
The other trainstations are Hamburg Harburg, Hamburg Dammtor and Hamburg Altona - and they are included in your ticket even if it only says: destination Hamburg!
The Hauptbahnof is a well maintained and clean central train station connecting Hamburg with other leading cities in northern Germany. I came here to catch a train for Luebeck - just 45 minutes to the northeast.
The train station is also the hub for a number of local and regional buses. The main airport bus drops its passengers off here.
Inside the terminal are many shops, and a stunning central atrium which well captures the historic spirit of the great trains of Europe. Be sure to check out the station arcade - just behind the main shed. It's a beautiful piece of wrought-iron architecture.
As our flight arrived in Lubeck, we spent a day exploring here before travelling on to Hamburg. There are regular trains every hour between the cities, it costs only 9.50 for a singl ticket and the journey takes 45 minutes.
With one of Europe's most efficient and effective train services, Germany is highly accessible for travelling via train.
Hamburg's main train station is its Hauptbahnhof, centrally located in the city.
Services from Hamburg run to locations throughout Germany.
Hamburg's main station handles nearly half a million passengers a day, making it the busiest in Germany, and the second busiest in Europe after Paris Gare du Nord. It has direct high-speed ICE express links with many German cities, including Berlin and Munich. It's also a fast four hour journey away from Copenhagen, a journey that will shorten further if the German land link to Denmark's islands is ever built.
The German train system enjoys a good reputation outside of Germany, but somehow many Germans do not share this opinion. They are notorious for running late and for missed connections. Hamburg (together with Cologne) ranks the top of the most unreliable stations in the network regarding punctuality. It even happens quite often that trains going south and southwest (via Bremen and Hanover) skip the central train station and run to/from Hamburg-Harburg. Same case with Berlin and Hamburg-Bergedorf, both cases can be a mess for people unfamiliar on how to get to these other train stations on the outskirts of Hamburg.
The price system is probably the worst, there are many tickets and many fares that you can easily lose an overview. Laender-Tickets and Quer-durchs-Land - tickets are cheap, but can not be used before 9 am on weekdays. You need special tickets or a regular ticket with a supply to use ICE and IC trains. Special offer tickets booked in advance can only be used for the train you specified. And than there are private train companies which usually share their fares with Deutsche Bahn, but have some extra tickets valid on their trains only. At least the vending machine have improved, back from the barcode days where you chose your ticket on one machine and had to pay on another one. Counter service is still available, but buying a ticket at a counter costs more than at the vending machine....
If you want to inform yourself about the train company's prices or routes, use the website stated below. But if you are travelling longer distances within Germany, visit one of following pages ( www.airberlin.com / www.germanwings.com / www.tuifly.com / www.ab9euro.de ) and take a flight or a bus. For some places in southern Germany, I have even used a combination of two Ryanair flights flying through Stansted! I am aware that I do this at my own risk, but I still consider it more relaxing than having to quarrel with Deutsche Bahn. If you book early enough in advance, a flight or a bus trip can be cheaper and not nearly as annoying. For a trip to Berlin (www.berlinlinienbus.de), the coach is a little slower than the train, but always wins on price.
I wish I had a pound for every time I have sat on one of these benches waiting for a train. Hamburg has direct trains to Berlin, Munich, Copenhagen and much more so getting here by train couldn't be easier. The station is quite impressive, having the biggest roof of all German stations. You also have a good station to eat at as it has a big food court, should you be in need to kill an hour but not your wallet.
When you go to Hamburg keep in mind that there are 3 stations around town. The Hamburg Hauptbahnhof is the most central of all of them. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century on the site of the former historic city fortification wall and cemetery "Vor dem Steintor". It was opened on the 6th December 1906 and replaced a number of older railway stations dispersed throughout the city area that no longer met the demands of the growing long-distance traffic.
I got to Hamburg by the cheaper but longer Regionalzug from Hannover. A return was €42.
In the morning, I got the train from Hamburg to Copenhagen. The train is run by Danish rail and you must reserve a seat & pay both german and danish international supplements. When you get to Puttgarten (i took a pic of the German coast from here), the train loads on to a Ferry to take you across to Roedby. You do not have to pay extra for this, it's included in the ticket. It's faster to do this rather than going up through Jutland & Island hopping. There is no passport control on the boat.
Hamburg has great rail links with the rest of Germany and much of Europe. The Hauptbahnhof (main station) is worth a visit even if you're not travelling just to watch the activity and the food court is pretty good too.
If you want to see the vicinites you better buy a Niedersachsen or Schleswieg-Holstein pass. It's 40DM for 5 persons anywhere in that certain bundesland for the whole day. And the conductors are funny.