Hamburg Hbf

Hamburg, (Germany)

Journeys from Hamburg

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About the station

Hamburg Hbf, the main train station in Hamburg, is a fabulous location for train and people watching, but for first time users it can be a somewhat confusing station to navigate.
Hence this guide to using the station, which should be a help when arriving in, or departing from Hamburg by train.

It's easy to reach Hamburg by train, five routes taken by express trains lead to the city - and its also a gateway when travelling between Germany and Scandinavia by train.
However, despite most of these trains terminating in the city, Hamburg HBf isn't a terminus station.

Five Things Worth Knowing About Hamburg Hbf:

(1) The express and Regio trains arrive at and depart from platforms/tracks (gleis) which are below ground level.
But a unique feature of Hamburg Hbf, is that despite the platforms/tracks (gleis) being below street level, an arching glass roof spans the station - so it doesn't resemble an underground station.

(2) Two different concourses span the tracks, providing a multitude of entrances/exits and access to/from the trains below.

(3) Because Hamburg Hbf is not a terminus station, most of the trains don't spend a lot of time in the station, so each gleis (platform/track) has multiple departures per hour.

(4) Unusually for a hauptbahnhof (a central station in Germany) the gleis (platforms/tracks) in the main station, are also divided in half along their length.
Two separate trains can be using each half of the gleis (platforms/tracks) at the same time.

But instead of an A and B 'numbering system', platform 7A or 9B etc, the gleis (platforms/tracks) are divided into zones - as they are at other stations in Germany.

Therefore what is unusual about Hamburg Hbf is that the zone information isn't solely a guide as to where to wait on the gleis (platform/ track) for easy boarding.
Instead the zone info can indicate which end of the gleis that a train will be departing from.
Therefore at Hamburg Hbf, when a train is only departing from one end of a gleis (platform/track), the specific zones are included along with the numbers, on the departure screens throughout the station.
So if you do see zone info also listed, you'll need to head to these specific zones in order to catch your train.

(5) Another unique feature at Hamburg Hbf is its observation deck from where you can look down on the platforms and trains.


Hamburg's multiple stations:

Hamburg Hauptbahnhof/Hamburg Hbf is one of three major train stations in central Hamburg - it is the main station and is closest to the city centre.
It actually has particularly convenient location in the heart of the city, minutes away from the main shopping area.

However, before leaving the train at HamburgHbf, check whether your final destination is closer to the other two city centre stations.

(1) The majority of long distance trains TO Hamburg call at Hamburg Hbf before going on to Hamburg-Dammtor.
This is the closest station to the university and The Congress Centre.

(2) Hamburg-Altona station is located on the far western edge of the city centre.
When boarding many long-distance trains to Hamburg Hbf - the final destination shown on departure indicators will be Hamburg-Altona.
That's because many IC and ICE trains to the city finish their journeys at this station.
Trains heading to Hamburg-Altona call at Hamburg Hbf and Hamburg-Dammtor.


Many trains to the city also call first at Hamburg Harburg station before they arrive at Hamburg hbf.
However, this station is in the suburbs, some distance from the city centre.
So take care NOT to leave the train here if you're heading to central Hamburg.


If you would like help with planning a train journey to or from Hamburg, or want to include the city on a European train travel itinerary, take a look at ShowMeTheJourney's new Concierge Service.

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Useful links

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Arriving by Express and Regio Trains At Hamburg Hbf

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Departing By Express and Regio Trains from Hamburg Hbf

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To The Airport By S-Bahn Train from.Hamburg Hbf

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Accessing the main tourist sites from Hamburg Hbf

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Convenient Hotels/Hostels

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Our General Guide To Using German Stations

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City Guides

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