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If you're planning a campervan tour of Germany or Europe, chance are the you'll be including the wonderful city of Hamburg in your itinerary. Whether you're starting or ending your motorhome travels in Hamburg, or just passing through, you'll find plenty of useful information here about Hamburg for campervan travellers. Enjoy!
Hamburg is a Heavenly Holiday Stop
Hamburg’s epic music scene, exciting nightlife and cultural attractions make it a not-to-be-missed hot spot.
Its many museums will keep lovers of history and the arts delighted for days. But don’t miss taking one of the many river cruises for views of the city that you won’t see from land.
Tierpark Hagenbeck, Hamburg’s unique zoo, lets animals roam freely in corrals and will particularly delight younger visitors.
After a trip to the zoo, families will want to linger in the gorgeous greenery of the Planten un Blomen (plants and flowers). This sprawling park stretches alongside the city centre down to the harbour, and incorporates the Wallringpark. There is a Japanese garden, an apothecary’s garden and intoxicating tropical greenhouses.
Kids will love the skating rink and can play crazy golf before conquering the massive playground. Pony rides are available on Sunday afternoons; providing an ideal photo-op for the family album.
Hamburg’s culinary scene is one of the best in the country. Whether you are craving traditional German dishes or more exotic fare, there is something for every palate.
Hamburg’s jazz clubs, cocktail lounges and beer halls are packed every night. Its nightclub scene rivals that of Berlin.
If you came to Hamburg to shop, you may want to spend several days here. But stop for a moment and look around and you’ll be taken aback by the city’s natural beauty, stunning architecture and its vibrant dockyards.
How far are campervan depots from Hamburg airport?
Hamburg is quite small and compact, and depots are not too far from the airport. Ask if your rental company allows for pre-arranged complimentary pick-up from the airport.
Because there are a limited number of places that are RV-friendly in the city, you may want to consider staying outside the city and commuting in each day.
When are the best times to visit Hamburg?
Yes, tourists pour into this popular destination but since you have your awesome campervan you won’t have to worry about fighting for accommodation. But you’ll want to visit Hamburg during the summer months as off-peak travel here means frequent rain and wind.
The months between May and September bring pleasant, comfortable sunny weather. January-March means freezing temperatures, and you’ll need to pack your warmest winter clothes. October- December is also chilly but the magical Christmas markets in November and December may make your visit worth your while (so long as you remember to bring your cold weather gear).
Dec - Feb: Low -3°C, High 4°C
Mar - May: Low 0°C, High 17°C
Jun - Aug: Low 10°C, High 22°C
Sep - Nov: Low 3°C, High 18°C
Places to Visit in and around Hamburg
The Red Light District in Hamburg (the Reeperbahn) is one of the most popular attractions in Hamburg but will have more conservative visitors blushing. Yes, it certainly is a sight to behold but you’ll also find some regular bars where you can hear some music if that’s more to your taste. Avoid this area if you have the kids along.
Marvellous Music Scene
You will want to dive right into Hamburg’s music scene. Well-known performers from the Beatles to Lenny Kravitz and everyone in between have played here. The jazz and blues clubs are legendary and, like Berlin, the city has a vibrant electronic music scene. Queues form fast to hear resident and visiting DJs at the most popular nightclubs. But, while you are walking around, Hamburg’s buskers are also worth your stopping to listen.
Ridiculous Retail Therapy
Home to over 1.8 million people, you will quickly realise that Hamburg’s residents enjoy a rich lifestyle. There are fancy boutiques, luxury retailers and pricey high-end stores that can be fun to window shop while holding out for the deals you’ll find in department and chain retail stores. Mönckebergstraße is one of Hamburg’s main shopping streets, in the heart of the old city. Also, worth a walk through is the Antik-Center, selling old memorabilia, period furniture, fine china and more.
Hamburg’s canals are a key feature and rival those of Amsterdam. You can experience them up close in any number of ways, by renting a canoe, kayak or paddleboard. Afraid to get wet? There are publicly available bikes all over the city, and the registration fee is only 5€. The first 30 minutes of your ride is always free!
Fabulous Fish Market
A popular destination for tourists, this fish market sells much more than fish. A traditional open-air market held near the fish auction hall that’s open every Sunday from 5am to 9.30am, it attracts an eclectic crowd, including drunken partiers still out from the night before. Booths are brimming with bargains, and live music will soon have you dancing. Grab a beer and join in the revelry.
6 Tips for Visitors to Hamburg
- Hamburg is an active place and you can bike, paddle or run your way through the city and join the locals exercising in city parks.
- The city has its fair share of tourist traps that are not worth the expense or trouble. Instead, book a guided walking tour to take in the architectural highlights.
- Tourists attract pickpockets and muggers, especially at night. Make sure you never walk by yourself and take a taxi if you fear for your safety in any area.
- Take a quirky brewery, coffee or fish sandwich tour for a flavourful introduction to the city.
- Hamburg is home to Germany’s largest sea port, and is used by over 10,000 ships a year. Those with a maritime bent will want to be sure to visit this impressive port.
- Book everything at least two months ahead if you are visiting during the peak summer months.
MAJOR EVENTS IN HAMBURG
- Haspa Marathon Hamburg – April
- Hafengeburtstag Hamburg (Port anniversary) – May
- German Open Tennis Tournament – July
- Alstervergnügen (Summer Festival) – September
- Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas Market) – November – December
- Hamburger Dom (Frühlingsdom) – Three times a year in March-April (Spring Festival), July-August (Summer Dom or Bumblebee Festival) and November-December (Winter Dom or Dom Market)
What are the best ways to get around Hamburg?
As is true for other old cities in Europe, driving your campervan into the city itself presents challenges with regard to parking and narrow streets. Opt to camp elsewhere and then take public transport into the city to save yourself unnecessary trouble.
Hamburg is well-known for its great public transport system. Buses run 24/7 and at night, a special “Nachtbus” (night bus) service connects the outlying districts and the city centre. Try to avoid using the transport system during rush hour.
Taxis are ample and never hard to find. Note that a taxi meter starts at €2.80 and a trip within the city area will run you €6-€12. For a trip from the city to the airport, expect to pay around €25.
If you are looking to take a train, Hamburg has six S-Bahn (commuter railway) lines and four U-Bahn (subway) lines, including the line U4. But don’t overlook your chance to bicycle around the city, a favourite way for locals to get around.
Where Can You Camp in Hamburg?
Your options to stay in the city itself with your RV are limited but there are wonderful places just outside the city. You can easily get yourself into the city on public transport each day, allowing you to enjoy a local brew or two without having to worry about driving.
Don’t go rogue and park in residential areas or on public streets – your vehicle will be ticketed or towed and fines often have to be paid on the spot. Instead try one of these campervan parks:
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