Good to know

St. Michaelis Church
The Landungsbrücken at the harbour

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is a city-state and it has the third-largest international harbor in Europe with a total area of over 750 square kilometers.

Like no other big city, Hamburg is molded by water, the harbour, and sea-faring. A huge number of canals which join the Alster and other tributaries including the Elbe and Bille rivers criss-cross the city. With over 2.300 bridges (Venice: 45), Hamburg has more bridges than any other European city. The two inner-city lakes – the Binnen- and Außenalster give Hamburg its unique flair. International trade, import, export and seafaring make Hamburg a world-open metropolis. Right now Hamburg is home to 10,000 businesses, over 100 consulates and 255,0000 foreign citizens from 182 countries. Hamburgers proudly call their harbour “Germany’s gate to the world.”

Harbour City houses

The new Harbour City

This new 155-hectar city section is located on the ever-growing harbour.  Upon completion, it will have its own subway line, philharmonic concert hall, a variety of new hotels, museums, parks, and lots more.

Weather in Hamburg

Northern Germany has a continental climate which means the winters are cold and the summers are warm. Student from abroad should carry appropriate clothing for the season.

Public Transport

Public Transport is very reliable and safe. Hamburg public transportation offers three subway lines (with another starting in 2011), nine commuter train lines, 12 regional train lines and 795 bus lines.

The Franzbrötchen

Certain German expressions, food and beverages are found only our beautiful hanseatic city. Words like “Alster,” “Fleet,” or “Franzbrötchen” are also surprising to many Germans and there are some interesting stories behind many of these typical Hamburg terms. We’ve put together a little catalogue to explain them.

The Hansekogge

The Hanse

Free and Hanseatic City Hamburg is actually Hamburg’s official name. The term hanseatic city come from membership in the former Hanseatic League of cities, or Hanse, as it was also known, that was an alliance of trading cities until the late middle ages. Membership gave many cities prestige and wealth. The Hanse comprised about 200 cities including Lübeck, Rostock, Bremen, Gadansk and Riga. The term Hansa itself is derived from the old German word for team, association or group.

The growing trade from the 13th to 15th centuries had a strong influence on the architecture and culture in the Hansestadt. Very little of the cityscape of that time remains today, compared with Lübeck, Rostock and Bremen. However, the one thing remaining from so long ago is the heanseatic merchant who is conscious of tradtion, honest and direct, but never indiscrete.

The Fab-Four return to Hamburg

The Beatles’ second home is definitely the Reeperbahn in Hamburg. The beginning of the sixties, the then-unknown band played in small nightclubs like the famous Star Club, the Indra Club and Kaiserkeller. While playing their Reeperbahn gigs, they met their future drummer Ringo Starr who replaced Pete Best in 1960. In a later interview, the Beatles reported how they got their famous haircut, the mop-top. They were inspired by their friend, Jurgen Vollmer, a German photographer who had the same hairsyle.

A few days after the Beatles left Hamburg in 1961, their song, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” became their first number one hit in the UK.

Forty years later, the radio station Oldie 95 and the City of Hamburg build a monument to the Beatles at the corner of the Reeperbahn and Große Freiheit. In the form of a giant 29-metre record, a sculpture in the center depicts the Beatles.