2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: European Geography

Coordinates: 53°33′N 9°59′E

Coat of arms of Hamburg Location of Hamburg in Germany

Country Germany
Population 1,746,893 source (2006)
Area 755.16 km²
Population density 2,310 / km²
Elevation 3-90 m
Coordinates 53°33′ N 9°59′ E
Postal code 20001–20999,
Area code 040
Licence plate code HH
Mayor Ole von Beust ( CDU)
Hamburg's motto: May the posterity endeavour with dignity to conserve the freedom, which the forefathers acquired.
Hamburg's motto: May the posterity endeavour with dignity to conserve the freedom, which the forefathers acquired.

Hamburg (German pronunciation: [ˈhambʊʁk]; Low Saxon: Hamborg, ['haˑmbɔːχ]) is the second largest city in Germany and with Hamburg Harbour, its principal port, Hamburg is also the second largest port city in Europe, no. 9 in the world-ranking of ports and the largest city of the Union which is not a capital. A large part of the port is a fenced-in duty-free area.

The official name Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (German: Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg; Low Saxon: Free un Hansestadt Hamborg) refers to Hamburg's membership in the medieval Hanseatic League and the fact that Hamburg is a City State and one of the sixteen Federal States of Germany.

Hamburg is situated on the southern tip of Jutland Peninsula, geographically centred (a) between Continental Europe and Scandinavia and (b) between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The city of Hamburg lies at the junction of the river Elbe with the rivers Alster and Bille and the city centre is beautifully set around two lakes, the Binnenalster ("Inner Alster") and the Aussenalster ("Outer Alster").

Hamburg is an international trade city and the commercial and cultural centre of Northern Germany.

Politics and Administration

The Bürgerschaft (City Assembly) is the parliament of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, which is elected by the citizens of Hamburg every four it wasent dumbo

The Erster Bürgermeister (First Mayor with first in the sense of primus inter pares, first among equals) is head of the senate (which forms the executive branch of government) and gets elected by the city assembly and is thus head of the city state. The current mayor is Ole von Beust (see also List of mayors of Hamburg). He is, after Klaus Wowereit in Berlin, the second openly homosexual mayor of a city in Germany.

Hamburg Rathaus (Town Hall)
Hamburg Rathaus (Town Hall)

The state and administrative city cover 750 km² with 1.8 million inhabitants, while another 0.8 million live in neighboring urban areas. The Greater Hamburg Metropolitan Region (Metropolregion Hamburg) includes some districts in the adjacent federal states of Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony and covers an area of 18,100 km² with a population of just over 4 million.

Hamburg is organised into seven districts (Bezirke) comprising 104 suburbs (Stadtteile):

  • Altona
  • Bergedorf
  • Eimsbüttel
  • Harburg
  • Mitte
  • Nordthis is fun
  • Wandsbek

Three small islands in the North Sea also belong to the City State of Hamburg: Neuwerk, Scharhörn and Nigehörn.

February 29, 2004 state election

Ole von Beust was able to form a majority CDU government without the support of partners. His former coalition partners FDP, Offensive and Ronald Schill, who split with several friends from the Offensive, failed to return to the Bürgerschaft.

Party Party List votes Vote percentage Total Seats Seat percentage
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 389,170 47.2% (+21.0) 63 (+30) 52.1%
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 251,441 30.5% (-6.0) 41 (-5) 33.9%
Green-Alternative List (GAL) 101,227 12.3% (+3.7) 17 (+6) 14.0%
Pro Deutsche Mitte (Pro DM/Schill) 25,763 3.1% (+2.9) 0 (+0) 0.0%
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 23,373 2.8% (-2.2) 0 (-6) 0.0%
Rainbow - For a new Left (Regenbogen) 9,221 1.1% (-0.6) 0 (+0) 0.0%
Grey Panthers Party of Germany (GRAUE) 8,862 1.1% (+0.8) 0 (+0) 0.0%
Law and Order Offensive Party (Offensive) 3,041 0.4% (-19.1) 0 (-25) 0.0%
All Others 12,030 1.5% (-0.5) 0 0.0%
Totals 824,128 100.0% 121 100.0%



Hamburg 1800
Hamburg 1800

The city takes its name from the first permanent building on the site, a castle ordered to be built by Emperor Charlemagne in 808 AD. The castle was built on some rocky ground in a marsh between the Alster and the Elbe as a defence against Slavic incursion. The castle was named Hammaburg, where "burg" means "castle".

The "Hamma" element remains uncertain. Old High German includes both a hamma, "angle" and a hamme, "pastureland." The angle might refer to a spit of land or to the curvature of a river. However, the language spoken might not have been Old High German, as Low Saxon was spoken there later. Other theories are that the castle was named for a surrounding Hamma forest, or for the village of Hamm, later incorporated into the city. Hamm as a place name occurs a number of times in Germany, but its meaning is equally uncertain. It could be related to "heim" and Hamburg could have been placed in the territory of the ancient Chamavi. However, a derivation of "home city" is perhaps too direct, as the city was named after the castle. Another theory is that Hamburg comes from ham which is Old Saxon for shore.

In 834 Hamburg was designated the seat of a bishopric, whose first bishop, Ansgar, became known as the Apostle of the North. In 845 a fleet of 600 Viking ships came up the River Elbe and destroyed Hamburg, at that time a town of around 500 inhabitants. Two years later, Hamburg was united with Bremen as the bishopric of Hamburg-Bremen.

In 1030, the city was burned down by King Mieszko II Lambert of Poland. After further raids in 1066 and 1072 the bishop permanently moved to Bremen. Hamburg had several great fires, notably in 1284 and 1842.

The charter in 1189 by Frederick I "Barbarossa" granted Hamburg the status of an Imperial Free City and tax free access up the Lower Elbe into the North Sea. This and Hamburg's proximity to the main trade routes of the North Sea and Baltic Sea quickly made it a major port in Northern Europe. Its trade alliance with Lübeck in 1241 marks the origin and core of the powerful Hanseatic League of trading cities.

In 1529 the city embraced Lutheranism, and Hamburg subsequently received Protestant refugees from the Netherlands and France. Hamburg was at times under Danish sovereignty while remaining part of the Holy Roman Empire as an Imperial Free City.

Briefly annexed by Napoleon I (1810-14), Hamburg suffered severely during his last campaign in Germany. The city was besieged for over a year by Allied forces (mostly Russian, Swedish and German). Russian forces under General Bennigsen finally freed the city in 1814. During the first half of the 19th century a patron goddess with Hamburg's Latin name Hammonia emerged, mostly in romantic and poetic references, and although she has no mythology to call her own, Hammonia became the symbol of the city's spirit during this time.

Hamburg experienced its fastest growth during the second half of the 19th century, when its population more than quadrupled to 800,000 as the growth of the city's Atlantic trade helped make it Europe's third-largest port.

Hamburg's central promenade Jungfernstieg on River Alster in 1900
Hamburg's central promenade Jungfernstieg on River Alster in 1900

With Albert Ballin as its director the Hamburg-America Line became the world's largest transatlantic shipping company at the turn of the century, and Hamburg was also home to shipping companies to South America, Africa, India and East Asia. Hamburg became a cosmopolitan metropolis based on worldwide trade. Hamburg was the port for most Germans and Eastern Europeans to leave for the New World and became home to trading communities from all over the world (like a small Chinatown in Altona, Hamburg).

After World War I Germany lost her colonies and Hamburg lost many of its trade routes. In 1938 the city boundaries were extended with the Groß-Hamburg-Gesetz ( Greater Hamburg Act) to incorporate Wandsbek, Harburg, Wilhelmsburg and Altona. The city counts 1.7 million inhabitants.

During World War II Hamburg suffered a series of devastating air raids which killed 42,000 German civilians ( Bombing of Hamburg in World War II). Through this, and the new zoning guidelines of the 1960s, the inner city lost much of its architectural past.

The Iron Curtain—only 50 kilometres east of Hamburg—separated the city from most of its hinterland and further reduced Hamburg's global trade. On February 16, 1962 a severe storm caused the Elbe to rise to an all-time high, inundating one fifth of Hamburg and killing more than 300 people.

After German reunification in 1990, and the accession of some Eastern European and Baltic States into the EU in 2004, Hamburg Harbour and Hamburg have ambitions for regaining their positions as the region's largest deep-sea port for container shipping and its major commercial and trading centre. Hamburg 2020


Landungsbrücken (“Jetties”), in St. Pauli district
Landungsbrücken (“Jetties”), in St. Pauli district

The most significant economic basis for Hamburg in the past centuries has been (and still is) its harbour (see: Hamburg Harbour), which ranks 2nd in Europe and 9th worldwide with transshipments of 9 million standard container units ( TEU) and 115 million tons of goods in 2004. International trade is also the reason for the large number of consulates in the city. Although situated several kilometres up the Elbe, due to its ability to handle sea ships it is considered a sea harbour.

Hamburg follows third after Seattle and Toulouse in the list of the most important locations of the civil aerospace industry worldwide. Airbus, which has one of its two assembly plants in Hamburg, and related companies employ over 30,000 people in or near the city.

Other important industries are media businesses, most notably three of Germany's largest publishing companies, Axel Springer Verlag , Gruner + Jahr and Heinrich Bauer Verlag . About half of Germany's national newspapers and magazines are produced in Hamburg. There are also a number of music companies (the largest being Warner Music Germany) and Internet businesses (e.g. AOL, Adobe Systems and Google Germany).

Heavy industry includes the making of steel, aluminium and Europe's largest copper plant , and a number of shipyards like Blohm + Voss .


Hamburg is connected by four Autobahnen (motorways) and is the most important railway junction on the route to Northern Europe. Hamburg's international airport is Hamburg Airport, which is the oldest airport in Germany still in operation. There is also the smaller Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport.

Though large cities in Germany normally only have a one-letter prefix (e.g. B for Berlin), Hamburg's vehicle licence plate prefix is "HH" (Hansestadt Hamburg, English: Hanseatic City of Hamburg), which underlines Hamburg's historic roots and allows the city of Hanover to use the prefix "H".

As in most larger German cities, public transport is organised by a fare-collection joint venture between transportation companies. Tickets sold by one member company in this Hamburger Verkehrsverbund (HVV) are valid on all other HVV companies' services.

Nine mass transit routes across the city are the backbone of Hamburg public transport. Three lines comprise the U-Bahn and six the S-Bahn system. U-Bahn, short for Untergrundbahn (underground, subway), is a standard German term for a municipally owned, electric mass transit system. Approximately 41km of 101 km of the U-Bahn lies underground; most of the U-Bahn tracks are on embankments or viaducts or at ground level. Older residents still speak of the system as the Hochbahn ("elevated railway"). The Hamburg S-Bahn has a total length of 115.2km (8km single-track, 10km underground) with 59 stations, of which 10 are underground. A light rail system, the AKN, connects to satellite towns in Schleswig-Holstein. Gaps in the mass-transit network are filled by bus routes, plied by single-deck, two-, three- and four-axle diesel buses. Hamburg has no trams or trolley-buses, but has hydrogen fuelled buses operating pilot services.

Finally, regional trains of Germany's major railway company Deutsche Bahn AG and the regional Metronom trains may be used with a HVV public transport ticket, too. Except at the three bigger stations in the centre of Hamburg, the regional trains hardly stop again inside the area of the city.

A 24-hour bus network operates as frequently as every 2 minutes on busy routes (30 minutes in suburban areas). There are six ferry lines along the river Elbe, operated by the HADAG company. While mainly needed by Hamburg citizens and dock workers, they can also be used for sightseeing tours at the (relatively) low fees of a HVV public transport ticket.

Hamburg harbour on the river Elbe
Hamburg harbour on the river Elbe


View of Hamburg
View of Hamburg

Bridges and Tunnels

Hamburg has a number of prominent buildings from the past and present. Speicherstadt,

The many canals in Hamburg are crossed by over 2300 bridges — more than Amsterdam (1200) and Venice (400) combined.

  • Köhlbrandbrücke
  • Freihafen Elbbrücken
  • Old Elbe Tunnel (Alter Elbtunnel)
  • New Elbe Tunnel (Elbtunnel)


The skyline of Hamburg features the high spires of the five principal churches (Hauptkirchen) covered with green copper plates.

  • St. Michaeliskirche (Saint Michael’s Church, nicknamed “Michel,” like “Mickey”)
  • St. Nikolaikirche (Saint Nicolas' Church, memorial)
  • St. Petrikirche (Saint Peter’s Church, 11th century)
  • St. Jakobikirche (Saint Jacob’s Church, 13th century)
  • St. Katharinenkirche (Saint Catherine’s Church, 14th century)

Other churches are also visible in the inner city:

  • St.Johannis, Harvestehude, Hamburg (Saint John’s) at the Außenalster

Towers and masts

  • Heinrich-Hertz-Turm
  • Transmitter Hamburg-Billstedt


The smaller Alster lake at dusk
The smaller Alster lake at dusk


  • Altonaer Theatre
  • Theatre Allee
  • Schauspielhaus
  • Ernst-Deutsch-Theatre
  • Hansa Theatre
  • Theatre im Zimmer
  • English Theatre
  • St. Pauli Theatre
  • Schmidts Tivoli
  • Hamburger Kammerspiele
  • Imperial Theatre
  • komödie - im Winterhuder Fährhaus
  • Thalia Theatre
  • Thalia Gaußstraße
  • Monsun Theatre
  • Theatre Imago
  • Kampnagel Fabrik
  • Theatre für Kinder
  • Neues Theatre am Holstenwall
  • Theatre in der Basilika
  • Schilleroper
  • Theaterschiff am Mäuseturm
  • Ohnsorg-Theatre—a theatre in which the actors speak Low Saxon (but they speak Missingsch-infused German for national television broadcasts, since Low Saxon is not comprehensible to most German speakers)

Dance clubs

  • Angie's Nightclub (Soul/Jazz/Livebands) website
  • Change (Gay)(Electronica) website
  • China Lounge (House) website
  • Docks (Trance/Latin/RnB/Mixed) website
  • Cult Club (70s, 80s, Classics) website
  • Echochamber (Reggae/Dancehall/Electro) website (CLOSED)
  • Funky Pussy Club (HipHop/R&B) Info
  • Golden Pudel Club (Electronic/Dancehall/left-wing political events) website
  • Große Freiheit 36 (Mixed) website
  • Grünspan (Mixed/Livebands) website
  • Hafenklang (Mixed/Liveacts) website (CLOSED, building destroyed)
  • Kaiserkeller (in the basement of Große Freiheit 36)
  • Kir (Alternative/Mixed/Wednesday=Gay) website
  • LeVip (Mittelweg 141 20148 Hamburg)
  • Logo (Mixed/Livebands) website
  • Lounge (House/Soul/Latin/Lounge) Info
  • Molotow (Livemusic/Clubnights/Rock) website
  • Pit (Gay)(Electronica)(Bondar) website
  • Pacha (House) website
  • Rutsche (Dancehall/Techno/Pop/Rock)
  • Superfly (House/HipHop/Mixed) website
  • Tanzhalle (DJs/Liveacts) website
  • Thomas Read (House/Pop/R&B) website
  • Waagenbau (Electronica/Techno/HipHop) website
  • Rote Flora (Mixed-Liveacts/Djs/Left-wing political discussions) website
  • Übel und Gefährlich (Mixed/Livebands/Liveacts) website



  • Famous organ built by Arp Schnitger (1648-1719)
  • Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra
  • North German Radio Symphony Orchestra (NDR-Symphonieorchester)

Famous Composers:

  • Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767) died in Hamburg.
  • Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach (1714-1788, a son of Johann Sebastian Bach) died in Hamburg.
  • Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) was born in Hamburg.
  • Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was born in Hamburg.

Contemporary: Hamburg is known for giving the Beatles a start in their musical career in the early 1960s. They played at the Star-Club, which was located in the district St. Pauli near the perhaps most famous street of Hamburg, the Reeperbahn.

Sascha Konietzko the frontman and founder of KMFDM is from Hamburg and visits reguarly.

More recently it is known for some of the most popular German hip hop acts, such as 5 Sterne Deluxe, Samy Deluxe, Beginner, Fettes Brot, Ian o Brien, Anette Louisan and wir sind Helden. There is also a quite big alternative and punk scene which gathers around the Rote Flora, an occupied former theatre located in the district of Sternschanze. Some of the musicians of the famous electronic band Kraftwerk also came from Hamburg.

Hamburg is also famous for an original kind of German alternative music called Hamburger Schule ("Hamburg School"), a term used for bands like Die Sterne, Tocotronic, Blumfeld and Tomte.

Hamburg was one of the major centres of the heavy metal music world in the 1980's. Many bands such as Helloween, Running Wild and Grave Digger got their start in Hamburg. The influences of these bands and other bands from the area were critical to establishing the subgenre of Power metal.

Hamburg is also one of the most important global centres for psychedelic trance music. It is home to many record labels such as Spirit Zone, Mushroom Magazine, the world's best known and longest running psy-trance magazine, as well as many parties, club nights. During the summer people from all over the world flock to the countryside surrounding Hamburg to attend massive festivals such as Voov Experience, Shiva Moon, Tshitraka and Fusion Festival.

The Lion King theatre in Hamburg’s harbour
The Lion King theatre in Hamburg’s harbour

Since the German premiere of Cats in 1985 there are always a number of musicals being played in the city. Among them have been Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King or Dirty Dancing ( before there was Dance of the Vampires). This density, which is the highest in Germany, is partly due to Germany's major musical production company Stage Entertainment being located in Hamburg. One of the musical theatres is a large tent in the harbour, guests either arrive by boat or through the historic Old Elbe Tunnel.


Museums in Hamburg include:

  • Altona Museum and North German State Museum
  • Art Gallery ( Kunsthalle Hamburg)
  • Brahmsmuseum
  • Bucerius Kunst Forum
  • Hamburg Museum for Archaeology and the History of Harburg
  • Neuengamme concentration camp memorial
  • Speicherstadt Museum
  • Museum of Hamburg History (Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte)
  • Museum of Art and Design (Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe)
  • Museum of Ethnography (Museum für Völkerkunde)
  • Museum of Labour (Museum der Arbeit)


Although Hamburg is jokingly said to be the birthplace of the Hamburger, this might just be a myth. But the beef patties, a German immigrant from Hamburg sold in the 1850s in New York allegedly were named after that Hamburgian butcher and then became a generic term, so the myth goes.

Original Hamburg dishes are Bohnen, Birnen und Speck ( Low Saxon Bohn, Peern un Speck, green runner beans cooked with pears and bacon), Aalsuppe ( Low Saxon Oolsupp, often mistaken to be German for "eel soup" (Aal/Ool ‘eel’), however the name probably comes from the Low Saxon allns [ʔaˑlns], meaning “all”, “everything and the kitchen sink”, not necessarily eel. Today eel is often included to meet the expectations of unsuspecting diners.), Bratkartoffeln ( Low Saxon Brootkartüffeln, pan-fried potato slices), Finkenwerder Scholle ( Low Saxon Finkwarder Scholl, pan-fried plaice), Pannfisch (pan-fried fish), Rote Grütze ( Low Saxon Rode Grütt, related to Danish rødgrød, a type of summer pudding made mostly from berries and usually served with cream, like Danish rødgrød med fløde) and Labskaus (a mixture of corned beef, mashed potatoes and beet root, a cousin of the Norwegian lapskaus and Liverpool's lobscouse, all offshoots off an old-time one-pot meal that used to be the main component of the common sailor’s humdrum diet on the high seas).

Hamburg is the birthplace of Alsterwasser (a reference to the city’s river Alster with two lake-like bodies in the city centre thanks to damming), a type of shandy, a concoction of equal parts of beer and carbonated lemonade (Zitronenlimonade), the lemonade being added to the beer. Hamburg is also home to a curious regional pastry called Franzbrötchen. Looking rather like a flattened croissant, the Franzbrötchen is somewhat similar in preparation but includes a cinnamon and sugar filling, often with raisins or brown sugar streussel. The name may also reflect to the roll's croissant-like appearance -- franz appears to be a shortening of französisch, meaning "French," which would make a Franzbrötchen a “french roll.” Being a Hamburg regional food, the Franzbrötchen becomes quite scarce outside the borders of the city; as near as Lunenburg ( Lüneburg) it can only be found as a Hamburger and is not to be had in Bremen at all.

Ordinary bread rolls—without which a leisurely weekend breakfast in Hamburg is unimaginable—tend to be oval-shaped and of the French bread variety. The local name is Rundstück (“round piece” rather than mainstream German Brötchen, diminutive form of Brot “bread”), a relative of Denmark’s rundstykke. In fact, while by no means identical, the cuisines of Hamburg and Denmark, especially of Copenhagen have a lot in common. This also includes a predilection for open-faced sandwiches of all sorts, especially topped with cold-smoked or pickled fish. The American hamburger seems to have developed from Hamburg’s Frikadelle (or Frikandelle): a pan-fried patty (usually larger and thicker than the American counterpart) made from a mixture of ground beef, soaked stale bread, egg, chopped onion, salt and pepper, usually served with potatoes and vegetables like any other piece of meat, not usually on a bun. (Many Hamburgers consider their Frikadelle and the American hamburger different, virtually unrelated “creatures.”)


The most popular sports team in Hamburg is Hamburger SV (which currently plays in the Champions League), a football team in the 1st division of the German football league. They play at the AOL Arena, as do the Hamburg Sea Devils, an American football team of NFL Europe. The Hamburg Blue Devils are another American football team in Hamburg, playing in the domestic league. The Hamburg Freezers represent Hamburg in the DEL, the highest ice hockey league in Germany. The HSV Handball represents Hamburg in the German handball league. Both teams play in the ultra-modern Colour Line Arena. Additionally FC St. Pauli is a highly regarded third division (formlerly 1st division) football club with a large fan base. They play at the Millerntor-Stadion. Hamburg is the nation's hockey capital and dominates the men's as well as the women's hockey leagues with teams like Der Club an der Alster, Grossflottbeker THGC, Harvestehuder THC, Klipper THC or Uhlenhorster HC.


80 % German, 20 % Other ( mostly Turkish, Russian and Polish)


38 % Protestant, 10 % Catholic, 8 % Muslim, 40 % none


As elsewhere in Northern Germany, the original language of Hamburg is Low Saxon, usually referred to as Hamborger Platt (German Hamburger Platt) or Hamborgsch. It is still in use, albeit by a minority and rarely in public, probably due to a hostile climate between World War II and the early 1980s. Since large-scale Germanisation beginning in earnest with in the 18th century, various Low German-coloured dialects have developed (contact-varieties of German on Low Saxon substrates). Originally, there was a range of such Missingsch varieties, best known being the low-prestige ones of the working classes and the somewhat more “posh” bourgeois Hanseatendeutsch. All of these are now moribund due to the influences of “proper” German propagated by education and media, perhaps also because of gradual erosion of the erstwhile independent spirit and local pride of Hamburg’s population.

In addition, immigration brought numerous dialects from all over the German-speaking world used to Hamburg, also a large number of foreign language communities, such as Turkish, Kurdish, Italian, Arabic, Berber, Persian, Spanish, Portuguese, Serbo-Croatian, Polish, Russian, English, Scandinavian, Finnish, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Filipino and numerous sub-Saharan African languages. Furthermore, Hamburg has a sizeable population of Sinti and Roma (“Gypsy”) people, some of them sedentary (mostly Sinti) and some of them nomadic or semi-nomadic (mostly Roma), camp grounds being set aside by the state and municipal governments. Hamburg is thus one of the few locations in the world in which both Sinti and Romany are spoken, and it is also one of the major headquarters of international Roma organisations.



Currently, up to 27 institutions of tertiary education are located in Hamburg:

  • AMD - Akademie für Mode & Design website
  • BAH - Berufsakademie Hamburg website
  • BLS - Bucerius Law School - Hochschule für Rechtswissenschaft website
  • EBC - Euro-Business College Hamburg website
  • EFH - Europäische Fernhochschule Hamburg - European University of Applied Sciences Hamburg website
  • EvFH - Evangelische Fachhochschule für Sozialpädagogik, Soziale Arbeit und Diakonie website]
  • FHÖV - Fachhochschule für Öffentliche Verwaltung Hamburg website
  • FOM - Fachhochschule für Oekonomie und Management Studienort Hamburg website
  • FüAkBw - Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr website
  • HAW - Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften - Hamburg University of Applied Sciences website
  • HCU - HafenCity University for Architecture, City Planning, Structural Development and Geomatics website
  • HfBK - Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg website
  • HfF - Hochschule für Finanzen (website not available yet)
  • HFH - Hamburger Fern-Hochschule website
  • HfMT - Hochschule für Musik und Theatre Hamburg website
  • HH - Hotelfachschule Hamburg website
  • HMS - Hamburg Media School website
  • HSBA - Hamburg School of Business Administration website
  • HSU - Helmut Schmidt Universität / Universität der Bundeswehr Hamburg - Helmut Schmidt University / University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg website
  • HWP - Hamburger Universität für Wirtschaft und Politik website
  • JAK - Akademie JAK Modedesign website
  • NIT - Northern Institute of Technology website
  • SSH - Stage School Hamburg website
  • TUHH - Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg - Hamburg University of Technology website
  • UHH - Universität Hamburg - University of Hamburg website
  • UKE - Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf - University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf website
  • WAHH - Wirtschaftsakademie Hamburg website


Hamburg was generally not considered to be a tourist magnet, not even by locals. Nevertheless, tourism plays a significant role in the city's economy, and according to the magazine Travelhouse Media even two of the most visited sites in Germany are located here: the harbour (8 million visitors per year) and the Reeperbahn (4 million), compared to famous sites like the Cathedral in Cologne (6 million) or the castle Neuschwanstein (200,000) unexpected high numbers to most people. Hamburg has the fastest growing tourism industry in Germany (2005 and 2006 approx. 15%) and will most probably reach rank 10 of Europe's most visited tourist destinations by 2008.

Hamburg is best visited in spring or summer. A typical Hamburg visit includes a tour of the city hall and the grand church St. Michaelis (called the Michel), and visiting the old warehouse district (Speicherstadt) and the harbour promenade (Landungsbrücken). Sightseeing buses connect these points of interest. Of course, a visit in one of the world's largest harbours would be incomplete without having taken one of the harbour and/or canal boat tours (Große Hafenrundfahrt, Fleetfahrt) which start from the Landungsbrücken. Many visitors take a walk in the evening around the area of Reeperbahn, considered Europe's second largest red light district and home of many theatres, bars and night clubs. It was in the Reeperbahn that The Beatles began their career with a three month residency in 1960. Others prefer the laidback Schanze district with its street cafés or a barbecue on one of the beaches along the river Elbe. And not to forget: Hamburg's famous Hagenbeck's Tierpark (Zoo) with the great artificial rocka and the first moated, barless enclosures ever to be built (1907). A friend of Hagenbeck's, the illustrator Heinrich Leutemann made some illustrations here.

Quite common is a tour through Northern Germany with Hamburg as a starting point or stop-over.

However, most people visit Hamburg because of a specific interest, notably one of the musicals, a sports event, a congress or fair. Therefore, in 2005, the average visitor spent two nights in Hamburg. The majority of visitors come from Germany (80%); most foreigners are European, especially from the United Kingdom and Switzerland, and the largest group from outside Europe comes from the U.S. An interesting footnote is the high number of rich guests from the Arabian peninsula, who seek treatment in one of Hamburg's hospitals.

Regular events

For the interested visitor, some events held every year:

  • Sports (Note that a registration, usually months in advance, is needed for public races.)
    • Hamburg Marathon - marathon, open to the public: April
    • Tennis Masters Series Am Rothembaum : May
    • HSH Nordbank Run, open to the public. Race through the HafenCity (HarbourCity): May
    • Hamburg Masters - Hockey 4 Nations Trophy: August
    • Dragon boat race, open to the public: August
    • Cyclassics - UCI-ProTour bike race, open to the public: August
    • Hamburg City Man Triathlon - triathlon, open to the public: August
    • American Football - A part of NFL Europe, the Sea Devils are based in Hamburg. They play 10 games against 4 other teams in Germany and one in Holland between April and June, to contend for a place in the World Bowl. The team used to be the Scottish Claymores up until 2004.
  • Film festivals
    • Filmfest Hamburg : September
    • Fantasy Filmfest : April
    • Kurzfilmfestival - International Short Film Festival : June
    • Lateinamerika-Filmtage - Latin-America Days : December
    • Spanische Filmtage - Spanish Days : July
    • Lesbian & Gay Film Festival Hamburg : October
  • Arts & Exhibitions
    • International Fireworks Festival: August
    • Kirschblütenfest - Grand fireworks and Japanese culture: May
    • Lange Nacht der Museen - one ticket, 40 of Hamburg's museums open until midnight: May
    • Theme nights (jungle, romantic, Asian) at Hagenbeck's zoo : Saturdays in summer
  • Music
    • Fleetinselfest - Music and international artists open air : July
    • G-Move - Techno parade: June
    • Schlagermove - German 1960's / 1970's music parade : July
  • Fun / Street Festivals
    • Alstervergnügen - Alster fair: August
    • Christopher Street Day (Gay Pride Parade) : June
    • Hamburger Dom - considered the largest funfair in northern Germany: three times a year
    • Hafengeburtstag - Hamburg's harbour birthday: May
    • Motorradgottesdienst - Biker's divine service in Hamburg's largest church St. Michaelis: June

Twin cities

More information: Hamburg Twin Cities (in German only)

Notable Hamburgians

Actors / Actresses, Filmmakers and Directors

  • Fatih Akın
  • Jan Fedder
  • Hans Albers
  • Hark Bohm
  • Ida Ehre
  • Heinz Erhardt
  • Uwe Friedrichsen
  • Helmut Griem
  • Gustaf Gründgens
  • Evelyn Hamann
  • Karl-Heinz von Hassel
  • Jason Hawke
  • Horst Janson
  • Heidi Kabel
  • Dietrich Kuhlbrodt
  • Wolfgang Menge
  • Harry Meyen
  • Jürgen Roland
  • Andreas Schnaas
  • Reinhold Schünzel
  • Douglas Sirk
  • Gyula Trebitsch
  • Jürgen Vogel

Architects, Designers, Photographers, Artists, Painters and Sculptors

  • Ernst Barlach
  • Bill Brandt
  • Hans and Oskar Gerson
  • Franz Gustav Joachim Forsmann
  • Meinhard von Gerkan
  • Fritz Höger
  • Arthur Illies
  • Horst Janssen
  • Hugo Lederer
  • Martin Haller
  • Karl Lagerfeld
  • Alfred Lichtwark
  • Herbert List
  • Harro Magnussen - sculptor
  • Meister Bertram
  • Carl Julius Milde
  • Anita Rée
  • Philipp Otto Runge
  • Jil Sander
  • Franz Bernhard Schiller
  • Fritz Schumacher
  • Gottfried Semper
  • Hadi Teherani

Musicians and Composers

  • Hieronymus Praetorius (1560 - 1629)
  • Johann Schop (approx. 1590 - 1667)
  • Arp Schnitger (1648 - 1719)
  • Vincent Lübeck (1654 - 1740)
  • Reinhard Keiser (1674 - 1739)
  • Georg Philipp Telemann (1681 - 1767)
  • Johann Mattheson (1681 - 1764)
  • Carl Philip Emanuel Bach (1714 - 1788), a son of Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Karl David Stegmann (1751 - 1826)
  • Fanny Hensel (1805 - 1847)
  • Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809 - 1847)
  • Hans Guido von Bülow (1830 - 1894)
  • Johannes Brahms (1833 - 1897)
  • Wolf Biermann (* 1936)
  • Samy Deluxe (* 1977)
  • Jan Eißfeldt (* 1976)
  • Achim Reichel (* 1944)

Poets, Writers and Journalists

  • Rudolf Augstein
  • Wolfgang Borchert
  • Barthold Heinrich Brockes
  • Matthias Claudius
  • Marion Dönhoff
  • Ralph Giordano
  • Heinrich Heine
  • Hans Henny Jahn
  • Hans Massaquoi
  • Walter Jens
  • Helmut Heißenbüttel
  • Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock
  • Brigitte Kronauer
  • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
  • Carl von Ossietzky
  • Hans Erich Nossack
  • Jan Philipp Reemstma
  • Peter Rühmkorf
  • James H. Schmitz
  • Uwe Timm
  • Peter von Zahn


  • August Bebel, founder of the SPD
  • Max Brauer, former mayor
  • Lord Ralf Dahrendorf, former parliamentary secretary of state and govenor of the London School of Economics
  • Klaus von Dohnanyi, former mayor and federal minister
  • Theodor Haubach, resistance fighter in Nazi Germany
  • Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
  • Helmut Schmidt, former Chancellor of Germany
  • Adolph Schönfelder, chairman of the committee, which drafted Germany's constitution, the Grundgesetz
  • Ernst Thälmann, leader of the KPD during the Weimar Republic
  • Alma Wartenberg, early feminist activist
  • Herbert Weichmann, former mayor and senator


  • Heinrich Albers-Schönberg (1865-1921), radiologist
  • Emil Artin (1898 – 1962), mathematician
  • Heinrich Barth (1821–1865), geographer, ethnologist and linguist
  • Johann Bernhard Basedow (1723 - 1790), educational reformer
  • Ami Boué (1794 – 1881), geologist and physician
  • Erwin Bünning (1906 – 1990), biologist
  • Otto Paul Herrmann Diels (1876 – 1954), chemist
  • Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (1857 – 1894), physicist
  • Walter Kaminsky, (* 1941), chemistry professor
  • Niklot Klüßendorf (* 1944), numismatician
  • Agathe Lasch (1879 – 1942), German studies specialist
  • Max Nonne, (1861 - 1959), neurologist
  • Heinrich Pette (1885 - 1960) experimental virologists, polio researcher
  • Werner Rolfinck (1599 – 1633), physician, scientist and phytologist
  • Matthias Jacob Schleiden (1804–1881), phytologist
  • Amalie Sieveking (1794 - 1859), philantropist
  • Tom Stonier (1927 – 1999), biologist, information scientist and philosopher
  • Jürgen Voß (* 1936), chemist
  • Aby Warburg (1899 – 1929), art historian and iconologist
  • Albert Krantz (approx. 1448 - 1517), humanist und historian
  • Oskar Troplowitz (1863 - 1918), chemist

Sportsmen and -women

  • Greta Blunck
  • Andreas Brehme
  • Gert "Charly" Dörfel
  • Stefan Effenberg
  • Tommy Haas
  • Peter-Michael Kolbe
  • Human Nikmaslak
  • Ricki Osterthun
  • Josef "Jupp" Posipal
  • Max Schmeling
  • Uwe Seeler
  • Michael Stich
  • Ilse Thouret
  • Michael Westphal


  • Albert Ballin
  • Paul Carl Beiersdorf
  • August Bolten
  • Albert Darboven
  • John T. Essberger
  • Adolph Godeffroy
  • Lorenz Hampl & Mirco Wolf Wiegert
  • John Jahr jun.
  • John Jahr sen.
  • Kurt A. Körber
  • Ferdinand Laeisz
  • H. J. Merck
  • Michael Otto
  • Jan Philipp Reemtsma
  • Axel Springer
  • Alfred Töpfer
  • Henry Trefflich
  • Herbert Wempe
  • Carl Woermann

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