The largest port city in Germany, Hamburg (pop. 1,700,000) radiates an inimitable recklessness. Hamburg gained the status of Free Imperial City in 1618 and proudly retains its autonomy as one of Germany’s 16 Lander and one of only three German city-states. Restoration and riots determined the post-WWII landscape, but today Hamburg has become a haven for contemporary artists and intellectuals as well as party-goers who live it up in Germany’s self-declared “capital of lust.”
Flights: Fuhlsbiittel Airport (HAM; 507 50) is a hub for Lufthansa (0180 380 3803) and Air France (0180 583 0830). Jasper buses (22 71 06 61) run to the airport from the Kirchenailee exit of the Hauptbahnhof (25min. every 20min. 5am-llpm, 5). Or take Ul or SI to Ohlsdorf, and then an express bus to the airport (every lOmin. 4:30am-llpm, then every 30min. llpm-lam; 2).
Trains: The Hauptbahnhof has hourly connections to: Berlin (212hr. 37); Copenhagen (4‘2hr. 67); Frankfurt (5hr. 57); Hanover (2V4hr. 25); Munich (6hr. 96); and runs frequently to Amsterdam (5%, 65). Two other stations, Dammtor (near the university) and Altona (to the west) service the city; frequent trains and the S-Bahn connect the 3 stations. 24hr. lockers available for 1-2 per day.
Buses: The ZOB is on Steintorpl. across from the Hauptbahnhof, between McDonald’s and the Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe. To: Berlin (3V4hr. 8 per day, 23); Copenhagen (5V2hr. 2 per day, 42); Paris (12Vhr. 1 per day, 61). Open M-F 9am-8pm, Sa 9:30am-l:30pm and 4-8pm, Su 4-8pm.
Public Transportation: HW operates an efficient U-Bahn, S-Bahn, and bus network. Most single tickets within the downtown cost 1, but prices vary depending on where you go and what transport you take. 1-day ticket 5, 3-day ticket 13. Tickets can be bought at Automaten, but consider buying a Hamburg Card instead (see below).
Bike Rental: Fahrradiaden St. Georg, Schmilinskystr. 6, is off Lange Reihe towards the AuSenalster. (24 39 08. 8 per day, 40 per week. Open M-F 10am-7pm, Sa 10am-lpm.) Campusrad, von-Melle-Park 8, is run by students but rents to all at the best price in Hamburg ( 41 33 95 59. 2 per day or weekend. Open M-F 9am-5pm.)