Hamburg is a beautiful city, with many parks and nature surrounding it. The city has a vibrant and exciting environment, with a rapidly growing economy and a balanced lifestyle. Over the past years, it has attracted many international professionals, making it one of the top destinations for expats.
What to expect
- Hamburg’s weather lets you experience all the seasons to the fullest. The weather is sometimes sunny and sometimes rainy. During summer, it is warm, and there are casual rainy days. The winter is mild and in the city center it hardly ever snows, with a quite large amount of rain, but also some beautiful sunny days. Hamburg’s weather might not be the best, however, there is much that the city has to offer that makes the rainy days worth it.
Average Daylight: 17 hours in summer and 8 hours in winter.
Average weather: 23º C in summer and 1º C in winter.
Average rainfall: 190 days.
Cost of living
- The cost of living in Hamburg is reasonable for a major European city, with rent being the highest expense in your budget, apartments in the city center, and near it are quite affordable and nice.
Finding an apartment
- There are many websites where you can find an apartment that suits your needs and adapts to your lifestyle and budget. You can also opt for a real estate agency, as there are many that speak English, that can guide you on finding an apartment. It is recommended that you find a flat near the city center or in the center itself, as the public transportation works best in these areas.
- Getting around in the city is easy thanks to the extensive public transportation network Hamburg offers. The U-Bahn, the S-Bahn, and buses make it very easy to travel around the inner city and the areas around it. The trains and the buses are frequent and reliable, and they run all night on the weekends. Moving from one side of the lake to the other will take longer because you usually have to go around the Alster.
- Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany, valued as a national center of commerce. It is famous for its seaports and other sectors, such as the service and trade, as well as tourism, education, and health. The city is a major startup hub, with a visionary future in technology and environmental solutions.
- The international community is very large. Finding friends is easy through social media and if you join groups for Expats and international professionals. There are a lot of networking events annually and meet-ups to join that make the experience smooth and interesting. Also, Hamburg is international but not everybody speaks English. So, it is highly recommended to take German classes. There are many options, and one of the best German courses in the Community College, where the classes adapt to your schedule. This way you will also meet people on the same track as you!
- Hamburg is all about nature, with plenty of parks and canals, lakes, and rivers that flow through and around the city. The “Alster”, Hamburg’s lake is located in the center of the city, and the “Elbe”, the famous German river that flows to the North Sea. The large amount of water makes Hamburg very green. The flora and fauna are always well-nourished and beautiful, making the city itself a nice place to walk around and bike even.
- Hamburg’s International Airport is easily accessible as it is very close to the city center, with connections to other European cities. It is small but very active. It also has some international flights overseas, but they mostly fly to New York, other international destinations pass through Frankfurt.
- The city’s nightlife is unique, and it has one of the biggest and most famous party streets in Europe. It’s called the “Reeperbahn”, which is the name of the street where the festival takes place. The area has hundreds of bars, pubs, clubs, and plenty of restaurants. If you are looking to meet people from all over the world, this is the street for you. Yet, there are other quieter areas to go for a drink and a bite around the city like St. Pauli, Sternchanze, Neustadt, among others.
- Aside from the nightlife, Hamburg’s leisure comes with a love for nature. Most activities involve the beautiful green areas and water around the city. For example, Bootshaus Silwar is Hamburg’s oldest boathouse, where you can hire an Alster canoe, paddle boats, or traditional rowboats in Haynspark.
- Or, if you are more of an adventurous type of person, and enjoy the adrenaline, in Hamburg you can go bungee jumping while enjoying the great views of the harbor, jumping from the Hamburg harbor crane at about 50 meters.
- You can also go ice-skating at Eisland in Farmsen, regardless of the weather, and on weekends the rink is reserved for children, if you’d like to go with the family. Rock climbing is popular among visitors and locals alike, as there is a range of ways to climb some walls. There are many places where you can engage in this exciting activity.
- There are a number of traditional and modern theaters that offer all kinds of performances. From classic drama to outstanding comedy shows, there is something for everyone. One of the most famous music halls in Hamburg is the Elbphilharmonie, a modern concert hall and it is one of the most advanced concert halls in the world. It seats on top of an old warehouse building, and has an artistic design with an all-glass facade.
- Hamburg has many traditional dishes unique to the city and other dishes that you can find around Germany. When visiting the harbor city, try some of these foods to taste the best traditional North German cuisine.
- Fischbrötchen: fish roll is a simple snack, typically made with pickled herring, onion, pickles and remoulade sauce. You can have fried fish, fish patty, shrimp, or crabmeat. You can find these in almost every food stand and restaurant for a quick snack.
- Finkenwerder Scholle: a traditional fish dish named after the district of Hamburg that was once a fishing village. It is baked or pan-fried with bacon, onions, and shrimp from the North Sea.
- Labskaus: made from corned beef, mashed potatoes, and onion, with beetroot, gherkin, herring, and topped with a fried egg, the Labskaus is a traditional sailor and seamen dish.
- Grünkohl: in winter kale is served across North Germany. It is stewed for hours and served with smoked pork, or sausages, as well as with boiled eggs or fried potatoes.
- Rote grütze: if you are looking for a sweet delicacy, try the Rote grütze, cooked from red summer berries, and served with milk, vanilla sauce, or ice cream.
- There is a wide range of athletic games and competitions that make the city a great destination for sports lovers. Some sports include hockey, handball, marathons, cycling, and equestrian. One of Germany’s most historic soccer teams is the Hamburger SV, hosting their games in the Volkparkstadion. Aside from the city’s sports teams, there are also plenty of sporting activities you can join in the nature, like watersports such as wakeboarding, paddleboarding, among others. You can also go to the beach on good weather days and spend the day sunbathing or playing games on the sand, like volleyball!
- Bremen: just a one-hour trip by train from the city center is Bremen, the fairy tale town. Admire the Renaissance Town Hall, stroll through Schnoor, walk through the small streets along the charming houses, and relax in the sun on the Schlachte riverside. Visit the town’s great museums and take a tour of Bremen’s famous Beck’s beer. And don’t forget to rub the donkey’s legs on the Bremen Town Musicians sculpture for good luck!
- The Wadden Sea: a unique coastal area stretching from the Netherlands to Denmark. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. The ecosystem if dunes and tidal channels, sandbars, and mudflats, seagrass meadows, and salt marshes, lets you experience nature at its best. It’s one hour and 45 minutes away from the city center!
We hope that you have found this guide useful.
Find more details, information, and KPIs about Hamburg in our Expat Guide.
The Fut-Ure Team will likewise be happy to help you to set up in the city if you are looking for a job in the region, or give you more information about the local Talent market (including details and advice in topics like Taxes and legal) if you are planning to open an office in Hamburg.
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