You arrive at Hamburg Airport and wonder if there is a cheap and fast Airport Shuttle to get to the center of the city? Yes, indeed! The S1 rapid transit railway has its station directly underneath the terminals and brings air travelers both ways every 10 minutes from 6 am till 11 pm on Monday – Friday and from 8 am till 11 pm on Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays. The first train to Hamburg Hauptbahnhof, our central railway station, departs from Hamburg Airport at 4:34 am and the last one leaves the Airport at 00:14 am – operating only every 20 minutes during these very early/late hours.
Unlike other cities you might know, we have no surcharge for the train connection to or from Hamburg Airport. The trip to Hamburg Hauptbahnhof takes only 25 minutes and costs 3,20 € for adults and 1,20 € for children between 6 and 14 years if you choose one-way single tickets. Children under the age of 6 years can use the HVV services free of charge! You can reach the platform by stairs, escalator, and elevator. Tip: Hamburg Airport offers special services for passengers and visitors with reduced mobility.
Just look out for the green “S”-sign
When I arrived at Hamburg Airport, I remembered to take the following pictures to show you how the green “S”-sign looks like that guides you to the train track and the ticket vending machines. In case you wondered: the machines do change money and also accept bank notes and credit cards. There is no need to have the right amount of coins with you. Compared to other cities, you do also not need to stamp your ticket somewhere, just take it with you and be able to show it if there happens to be a ticket check.
Once you reach the platform, you don’t need to worry that you could choose the wrong direction. Hamburg Airport is a terminal station so that all departing trains will take you to the inner city.
When your vacation comes to an end and you want to travel from the city center back to Hamburg Airport, you need to board one of the first three cars, because the S1 trains split up at Ohlsdorf. The front section of the train runs to the airport, the last three cars go to Poppenbüttel. Signs at the train stations are indicating this split and you will also hear an announcement in English once you arrive in Ohlsdorf to remind you to switch cars if necessary. The layout of Hamburg Airport is simple: Depending on your airline, you will need to check in at either Terminal 1 or 2. Both are connected by the Airport Plaza, which is the common security controls area:
In case you arrive hungry, I always prefer to buy a sandwich before the security controls because they are way cheaper and better there. If you leave the S1 train and walk in the direction of Terminal 2, you will directly arrive at the Edeka supermarket, which has a good bakery at the entrance. If you need to go to Terminal 1 instead, you will also come across a nice bakery / coffee shop named Scoom close to the escalators to the Check-in counters that offers fair trade and organic products wherever possible.
Keep in mind that you cannot bring any liquids with you through the following security controls, but in the Duty Free area you will find bottled Viva con Agua water (0,5l for 2€). You might wonder why I am highlighting the brand Viva con Agua – it is a network of people and organizations committed to establish access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation for all humans worldwide and was founded in 2006 by the former FC St. Pauli football player Benjamin Adrion. He visited Cuba for a training camp in 2005 where he experienced a poor drinking water supply at first hand, which inspired him to realize this great initiative:
Tip: Hamburg Airport offers one hour of free internet access. Simply choose HAM AIRPORT FREE WIFI and agree to the terms and conditions.
Hamburg City Pass: Free public transport & sightseeing
If you plan to visit various of Hamburg’s attractions and to use public transport, it can pay off to oder a Hamburg City Pass for 1, 2, 3 or 5 days online. It combines free travel by bus, train and harbour ferries with free entrance to cooperating museums, sights and sightseeing tours in Hamburg. You receive the Hamburg City Pass directly after payment via e-mail, so you can print it at home or download it on your mobile device:
It is also valid for travels from and to the airport. However, if you arrive in the afternoon/evening it makes sense to purchase a regular HVV ticket and to buy a Hamburg City Pass only for those days where you have enough time to enjoy the included attractions.
Images © Toedti2000 (1) / PIXELIO; Travel to Hamburg (2+3); Flughafen Hamburg GmbH (4)