Student Life

Weather and Climate


In all honesty, the weather is not what brings people to Hamburg. The city’s northern position and maritime climate means that the winters are cold and wet, the summers are mild and wet with occasional bouts of warmth and sunshine, and everything in between is a variation on these themes. This type of weather is referred to as Schietwetter in the Hamburg dialect, which is not quite as crude as its obvious English translation.

Hamburgers know to dress in layers and carry a pair of sunglasses in addition to a compact umbrella. Just because it’s cloudy, however, doesn’t mean it will still be in 20 minutes. Strong maritime winds mean that the weather changes continually. Sporting events, school recess and other outdoor activities often take place rain or shine in Hamburg. Determined to not let the weather stand in their way, Northern Germans suit up, shrug it off and say, “There is no bad weather, there is only bad clothing.” 

Taking long walks, particularly on Sundays when all shops are closed, is a beloved tradition in Hamburg – in any weather. And ducking into a warm café for a hot coffee and a slice of cake, the favored afternoon pastime also referred to as Kaffee und Kuchen, makes the cold, rainy weather tolerable and even, gemütlich, or cozy. Many cafés even provide blankets for those customers who want to soak up the rare ray of sunshine in spite of low temperatures.

A true Hamburger heads outside at the first glimpse of the sun, regardless of the temperatures.

Inner Alster Lake in the sunshine
Hamburgers don't let the weather ruin their cheerful disposition
Hamburgers enjoy the sunshine even when it's cold