Spend some time out on St.Pauli-Landungsbrücken and the " Übersee-Brücke". Landungsbruecken is a giant, swimming platform with various shops, restaurants and most of the boats offering tours through the port of Hamburg or to Helgoland will start there, just as well as the HVV-boat-line #62, that will take you to Finkenwerder, passing by Ovelgoenne.
The difference between ebb and tide can be up to 1,60 meters here in Hamburg, that is why they needed a swimming platform.
At landungsbruecken you will find the most fish-restaurants and souvenir-shops of Hamburg and so it is easy to compare prices, that vary in fact a lot from one shop to the other, for exactely the same things...
Hafenstrasse used to be a synonym for militant students back in 1968. They illigeally took posession of several empty houses in Hafenstrasse and succeded in all of the fights they had with the local police. A few years later the city of Hamburg made a contract with them and so they are living there now legally, with a great view over the port at one of the most beautiful places in the city.
Many of these buildings have colorfull grafities, and it might be worth to walk through it.
Many smaller details may still show that this is rather a fortification than a normal building... a place, that was not entered by police, firebrigades or any other legal representatives since 1967...
Even if Hamburg is not situated directly at the coast it has a huge harbour that creates a maritime atomosphere in the city. I love to spend time there ever again. Just to sit on the boardwalks in the evening at sundown. There are many kiosks where you can buy a "Fischbrötchen" – kind of a hamburger with fish that are pretty good and a cool Astra beer - that's a must snack in Hamburg!
There are many things to do:
The best view on the harbour you get from the hill just over the subway station Landungsbrücken. When you arrive go through a small open door on the right before you enter the bridge to the harbour. There is a staircase that leads you up to a view point terrace. Those staying in the Youth Hostel "Auf dem Stintfang" book that view. It is really great.
Another great view that you do not think of as a tourist is from the other side of the harbour. Go through The old tunnel beneath the river Elbe. Today this tunnel is mainly used by pedestrians but you also can enter an elevator with your car. This definately is an experience. I really love that old tunnel with its ceramic walls. And it's for free. Anyway - maybe it's raining so this is a good thing to do while waiting for sun...
Of course, you should do a harbour tour on a barge. It does not matter if you do not understand German because the guides tell jokes that rather are annoying. So here it really is an advantage not to understand! But get close to the huge transport and container ships. If you do not want to spent about 9 EUR for that boat trip you also can take a ferry - which you can take with the bus and underground tickets. The 62 goes to Finkenwerder and a nice stop is Neumuehlen/Oevelgoenne (more infos see transport).
See also museums ships Cap San Diego, Rickmer Rickmers and the Old English Lightship (Feuerschiff).
The best place for beer? Look my tip under nightlife (maybe restaurants would have been better? Whatever: "Strand Pauli: In the summertime..." to see the big ships passing by and a sundowner cocktail you'll find in the bar 20up on top of the Riverside Hotel that recently opened. There's also tip on that. Really a cool view!
Go and visit Rickmer Rickmers - an old sailingboat docked permanently in the port of Hamburg. This great ship is a museum nowadays and has also a great restaurant onboard !
SS Rickmer Rickmers was built in 1896 in Bremerhafen/Germany. It is made of steal.
Since 1987 the ship may be visited daily The ship is 97 metres long, 12,20 metres wide and is 6 metres below the water, the ship was run with a crew of 23 and the captain. At first the Rickmer Rickmers sailed regularly to Hongkong and brought rice and bamboo to Bremerhafen. Lateron it was a school-ship for Portugal, beeing called "SAGRES"
In 1958 this ship could win a big regatta against the norwegian school-ship "Christian Radich" but it was finally set out of service in 1962.
In 1983 the ship was bought by a group called "Windjammer für Hamburg" and restored completely !
Feuerschiff / Fire-ship is an interesting sight, docked close to the ships "Cap San Diego" and "SS Rickmer Rickmers". The Feuerschiff was built in 1952 and used as a swimming light-tower in Great Britain. In 1991 it was sold to a group of people in Hamburg, who restored and rebuilt it as a perfect restaurant, bar and even hotel.
I was lucky to be able to walk around the ship in the morning before all the visitors arrived.
My favorite part was the engine-room that was transfered into a perfect bar - see my pics under the restaurant-tips !! Some of the rooms may be rented by tourists as hotel-rooms !
The Feuership is open to the public free of charge
every sunday they offer a breakfast-buffet between 09.30a.m. and 01.00p.m.
in the engine-room there is a Jazz-Frühschoppen 11.00a.m.-02.30p.m.
The restaurant is open for lunch & dinner between noon and 10.00p.m.
"Cap San Diego" is the last classic cargo freighter that was built in 1960, shortly before Container-ships took over the business much more efficiently. Today this ship is a museum and you may walk around the ship freely and without restrictions. See the big cranes and look down to the many floors of the cargo-halls. Walking through this ships will give you an idea, what life onboard was like - for sure it was a lot less romantic than going on a cruise... on one of the decks you may watch an old film about this ship sailing between South-America and Europe back in 1960.
Onboard of "Cap SanDiego" you may rent several cabins, all of them are comfortable and have their own bath-tub and facilities.
The museum-ship is open daily 10.00a.m.-06.00p.m.
entrancefee is 6 euros (Hamburgcard 5 Euros)
Singlerooms are 65 euros (NO breakfast available)
It is an absolutely must do in Hamburg to visit the harbour. You get some impressions already from St. Pauli Landungsbrücken or crossing by car one of the bridges connecting the north and the south part of the city. But the most interesting impression you get during a boat tour through the harbour. You pass by big storage ships very close, you get a lot of info by the captain of your boat and you "feel" Hamburg life.
The official beginning of the Port of Hamburg was in 1189, when Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa gave the right to hold markets to Hamburg. Now Hamburg is not only the biggest port in germany but also number 9 of all container-harbours in the world.
This is a great way to have a look at the sights of the harbour. I am glad I went on this cruise.
The boat we were on was quite cramped up (as it was full capacity) but everyone was in a nice relaxed mood, so no one really bothered about that minor inconvenience. The narrations was in German (of course) but I was lucky to get some information translated by my guide (who was very amused by the narrations).
All in all, we managed to take so many pictures as the weather was just so incredible then :-) Have a look at my travelogue below to see what I saw.
Hamburg is getting more and more attractive to cruiseships. Hamburg itself offers a lot as for example good shopping, great museums and friendly people. Cities like Berlin or Luebeck can easily be reached in a day-trip.
For 2006 the following cruiseship will spend some time in Hamburg:
- Queen Mary 2
- Silver Cloud
For dates and names: Calendar of Cruiseships in Hamburg
Hamburg Harbour on the River Elbe, founded in 812 for the importance of its location close to the North Sea, has been Central Europe's main port for passengers and freight for centuries. It is the largest sea port in Germany and the second largest in Europe, with over 7 million containers being handled here in 2004.
The history of the famous windjammer "SS Rickmer Rickmers"(the boat in the photo) which is moored in Hamburg Harbour can be found here:
100 years ago there were only big warehouses and storerooms here. Hafencity was a place of hard work and of trade with the whole world. Now Hafencity is developing here with luxurious appartments and the Elbphilharmonie, a big concert hall.