Student Life

Transport and Travel

Hamburg: Going green

Hamburg, and most of Germany in fact, can be easily explored using only public transportation. Hamburg's public transportation system is outstanding and the city is well-connected to the rest of Germany and Europe via trains and planes. A car is only necessary in the rarest of circumstances.

Public transport

Getting into and getting around Hamburg are both relatively easy and straightforward. Hamburg has an excellent public transport system. The U-Bahn and S-Bahn system of under and above ground subway trains, as well as the city buses, cover the city center extensively and the outlying areas quite thoroughly as well. The public transportation system includes boats that take commuters to the large Airbus plant just south of the Elbe as well as to numerous other points of interest and neighborhoods on the river and canals.


Perhaps the easiest way to get from one place to another is by bike. It may be worth investing in a used bicycle for daily use in the city. Bikes are cheap and environmentally friendly and as Hamburg is a relatively flat city, they are quick and efficient. While the weather will occasionally make a bike less attractive, bikes can also be loaded on public transportation outside of rush hours.

The City Bike rental system allows riders to rent a bike to get from point A to point B and then return the bike to one of the numerous stations around the city. If the trip takes 30 minutes or less, the trip is free.

Planes, trains and automobiles

Hamburg’s main train station, or Hauptbahnhof, is centrally located downtown. Regional, national and international trains depart the main station continuously. Train travel can be pricy but students can find better deals when they buy tickets in advance or by purchasing a BahnCard, which provides discounts of up to 50% for a one-time fee. Bus companies also offer less expensive alternatives for travel throughout Germany and Europe. One important point to note: BahnCards must be cancelled in writing six weeks prior to their expiration date. If this cancellation letter is not submitted on time, the card will be automatically renewed for the upcoming year.

Hamburg’s International Airport is located in the city’s northeast and has several transportation options into town including public transportation options like the S-Bahn and city buses. Taxis are also readily available. Uber and other ride sharing companies are not legally allowed to operate in Germany. With so many feasible transportation options in and out of the city, an extensive public transportation system and flat, bikeable terrain, it is not necessary or even advisable to have, bring or rent a car. 

And on the rare occasion that one really can't get by without a car, cars and scooters are also available for rent at low rates through phone apps like Car2Go, DriveNow and emmy (scooters).

Did you know?

Did you know that Master of Law and Business students receive a public transportation ticket at discounted rates?

The Hamburg subway runs partially above ground (Horst Schmidt/Adobe Stock)
Bikes for rent (danr13/Adobe Stock)
Trains take you all over Germany and Europe
Taking off to explore Europe