The southern bank of the river Elbe in Hamburg is dominated by the city's massive port. You will find the Finkenwerder airport, the site of the Airbus aircraft assembly plant there, which is a planespotter's favourite, and further south the district of Harburg, which used to be a separate city and has a long history.
With the river between the South and the rest of the city, public transportation options are fewer compared to other parts of Hamburg. S3, S31 and regional trains connects the South to central Hamburg, moreover Harburg is an important stop for intercity trains between Hamburg and central and southern Germany. Southern Hamburg (actually just south of Hamburg) is also where A1 and A7, the major motorways to Hamburg, meet.
- 1 Container port. Hamburg's massive container ports line the southern bank of the river Elbe. They are most spectacular at night, and the best place to view them from is by driving north along the A7 highway (heading into the Elbtunnel tunnel). They are not freely accessible to the public, but there are bus tours (only in German, about €35 per person, must be booked in advance) which depart from Hamburg's city centre and, over the course of several hours, drive through the container terminals, with informative commentary.
- 2 Aussichtspunkt Steinwerder, Schanzenweg 12 (Walk through the Alter Elbtunnel). 24h. A viewing platform at the southern end of the Alter Elbtunnel, with great views on Landungsbrücken, the Elbphilharmonie, and Hamburg's harbourfront. free.
- 3 Pfarrkirche St. Pankratius in Neuenfelde, Organistenweg 6. 17th century church, famous for the biggest organ Arp Schnitger built.
Situated just across the Elbe river, 4 Finkenwerder Airport (XFW IATA) would be the most convenient airport for travellers visiting Hamburg. Because it is associated with an Airbus aircraft plant, use is restricted to Airbus employees only, for security reasons. For them, two daily flights are available to/from Toulouse, but most of the time the runway is used for freight (up to complete sections of passenger planes using the oversized Airbus Beluga aircraft) or the delivery of new planes.
The runway and the aircraft parking lot can be observed from the public street Neß-Hauptdeich. The parking lot is on the other side of the street, so a few times a day planes actually cross the street, including the world's largest passenger aircraft A380.
There are public tours of the Finkenwerder plant of about 2½ hours. Tickets cost €14, reservations are required at least 4 weeks in advance, payment has to arrive 14 days in advance. You must bring your passport, leave cameras and mobiles at your hotel. Visitors must be at least 14 years old. Security is tight: follow the rules carefully.
The plant is not far from the centre, however, it's on the other side of the Elbe. Using public transport, Airbus is accessible by harbour ferry 68 from Teufelsbrück. The express bus E86 takes you without stop from Altona's train station to Teufelsbrück (and back). You can also take a ride with your bike to the ferry, transport of the bike is without charge on the harbor ferries. Ferry 62 from Landungsbrücken 3 will bring you to the town of Finkenwerder, from there take the number 150 bus to the Airbus bus stop. Bus 150 starts at Altona's train station and uses the Elbe tunnel (not spectacular, but still one of the longest river tunnels in the world), that'd be your third option. To observe the runway, exit bus 150 at stop Neuenfelde, Rosengarten (next one after stop Airbus).
5 BallinStadt Auswanderwelt Hamburg (BallinStadt — History of Emigration), Veddeler Bogen 2 (For a visit take S-Bahn S3 to Station "Veddel". Leave at its southern exit, cross the bus station and the street "Veddeler Straße". Then you stand in front of it.), ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. It was built in 1892 under the guidance of Albert Ballin to provide medical care and accommodation to migrants, who were emigrating to the United States on HAPAG ships. The complex was converted into a museum, though its original design and layout is not the same because parts of the complex were destroyed. The museum is dedicated to the 5 million people who emigrated via Hamburg. It has a computer terminal where visitors can look up information on their emigrant ancestors. At €12 (children: 5-12: €7, family: €25), it's pricey, and the English translations can be sparse and superficial. Unless they can read the German documents, American visitors who have been to museums such as Ellis Island will find much of the content familiar.
Harburg contains some exquisite historic buildings, such as the former town hall (Rathaus), as well as some civic and residential buildings ranging from 15th to 19th century, including some timber-framed houses, rare in the historic centre of Hamburg due to numerous raids, fires and urban reconstructions.
- 6 Archaeological Museum Hamburg (Helms-Museum), Museumsplatz 2. Museum presenting prehistorical and early historical northern Germany as well as the history of the city of Harburg.
- 7 Sammlung Falckenberg, Wilstorfer Strasse 71, ☏ . The Falckenberg Collection of the Cultural Foundation Phönix Art is a notable collection of modern art. Public tours Saturday on afternoons, you can also visit other times by calling ahead.
- 8 Freilichtmuseum am Kiekeberg, Am Kiekeberg 1 (Rosengarten-Ehestorf (across the state border in Lower Saxony), take bus line 340 from S3 station Neuwiedenthal), ☏ . Tu-Su 10:00-18:00, closed Christmas and New Year. Open air museum showcasing rural life with a historical alcohol distillery, teaching kitchen, museum shop.
- 9 Wildpark Schwarze Berge (bus 340 from Neuwiedenthal S-bahn station). Zoo.
Admittedly, there isn't that much to do in this part of Hamburg except watching a musical. You can go planespotting at Finkenwerder or admire the large container ships and Burchardkai cranes, most spectacular in the night when some are lit up decoratively.
- 1 Theater im Hafen Hamburg, Norderelbstraße 6 (by boat), ☏ . Watch The Lion King here. For many Germans this is the must-do when visiting Hamburg.
- 2 Stage Theater an der Elbe. Another musical venue. Mary Poppins is showing here until Aug 2019, then Pretty Woman will take the stage in Sep 2019.
- 3 CinemaxX Hamburg-Harburg, Moorstraße 1, ☏ .
- 4 Harburger Berge (S-Bahn S3 Hamburg-Neuwiedenthal). At the city (state) border and continue in to Lower Saxony, the part in Hamburg is classified as a natural park. Viewpoints offer good views over the Elbe valley all the way to Altona. One of them is at Opferberg, where according to a legend a treasure is hidden.
- 5 Fischbeker Heide (S3 towards Stade until Neugraben, then bus 250 to Fischbeker Heideweg). Nature reserve.
Shopping opportunities also pale in comparison with the northern bank of Elbe. In Harburg, you can go along the pedestrianized Lüneburger Straße, with some retail outlets. There is a shopping centre in Harburg called Phoenix Centre, built upon a part of the massive industrial complex of Phoenix AG, a large rubber manufacturer. The other two shopping centres are Marktkauf-Center and Harburg Arcaden.
In Wilhelmsburg, the district encompassing the cargo part of the port of Hamburg, as well as in Finkenwerder, you can find surprisingly many restaurants interspersed among the industrial buildings. Many of them specialize in fish served in many ways, often influenced by particular cuisines from around the globe.
- 1 Rollercoaster Restaurant (schwerelos), Harburger Schloßstraße 22, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. This "Rollercoaster-Restaurant" is somewhat of a gimmicky place. Your food arrives through a "rollercoaster" in a closed pot. Some of it even does a loop in front of you. Portion size is on the small side and prices are normal. mains €9-16.
The nightlife in the district is severely limited to a few oddball cocktail bars and some clubs in the port area, far less popular than the ones across the Elbe.
Accommodation options are limited and advisable perhaps only to those arriving by car, who want to take advantage of relatively lower prices resulting from the quite remote location.
- 1 B&B Hotel Hamburg Harburg, Theodor-Yorck-Straße 1, ☏ , email@example.com.
- 2 Privathotel Lindtner Hamburg, Heimfelder Str. 123, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 3 Panorama Hamburg Harburg, Harburger Ring 8 - 10, ☏ , email@example.com.