The conference program will be held in the Emporio (Address: Dammtorwall 15, 20355 Hamburg, Germany). That’s quite a landmark, formerly from the 60’s era, now beefed up into a modern building. It’s 23 stories high and since Hamburg is not Manhattan, you won’t miss it if you’re somewhat close by.
Trainings and University Challenge will be both in the Scandic hotel and in the Emporio. We will decide later where each training will be.
Hamburg has a well developed public transport system, named HVV. There’s info online at geofox.de / hvv.de on the schedules available as well as the entire line plan for subway (in Hamburg: U-Bahn), and S-Bahn (not a tram), railway (A/R) and HVV ferries in the harbor.
- In Hamburg you don’t have to stamp the tickets after purchase, they are valid immediately. This implies that you can’t purchase them in advance. You need to purchased them at the vending machines or on the buses.
- If you plan to take two (non-short distance) rides (each 2.95 €) during the day you are already better off with a ticket for the whole day: 9-Uhr-Tageskarte is valid after 9 am until the end of service (~1am) and costs 5.80 €. (9 am until 6 am next day the following day, all day on Sat and Sun).
- With a group of two or three – if you stick together all day – purchase a 9-Uhr-Gruppenkarte for 10.40 € in order to get unlimited rides for the whole day after 9 am. On Saturday or Sunday a 9-Uhr-Gruppenkarte is valid for up to 5 persons.
- There are two short distance tickets one way which cost 1.90 € or 1.40 €. It’s not obvious which ticket is valid for which distance. You have to look this up online or the vending machine instructions. In the bus the driver will tell you which ticket to buy.
- The ticket vending machines, likely even at the airport, won’t accept credit cards. You need either an ATM card or cash (€).
- Buses go around the clock. At night, a special “Nachtbus” (night bus) service connects the outlying districts and the city center.
- Trains run from approximately 5 am until 1 am and on weekends — starting on Friday — all night.
Parking is difficult, as we are in the center of the city. The Scandic hotel has garage however and there are others around. Price details on that to follow. You just need to direct your navigation system to Dammtorwall 15, 20355 Hamburg, Germany
or 53.556702, 9.982955.
As said Hamburg has an excellent public transport system, you’re better off using this one.
Arriving by Train
If you’re coming by train and want directly to go to the venue there are two alternatives:
- Get off at Hamburg’s main railway station (Hauptbahnhof). Be careful to pick the right one, Hamburg has four major railway stations (others are Harburg, Altona and Dammtorbahnhof). Leave the railway station to the north and hop on the U2, direction Niendorf. Then get off at Gänsemarkt (2 stations) and leave the station in the direction of the driving direction of the U-Bahn (exit Caffamacherreihe/Valentinskamp). If you didn’t book the city option with Deutsche Bundesbahn you have to pay 1.40 Euros for the trip.
- Get off at railway station Hamburg Dammtor which is for most folk approaching not from the north the station after Hauptbahnhof. Then have a relaxed walk to the venue through the park Planten and Blomen.
Arriving by Plane
You can either hire a cab (~30 €, credit cards are not always accepted) or use public transport. Each ride is ~35 minutes.
The S-Bahn departs directly underneath the airport, in the middle of both terminals (T1, T2). The schedule is once every 10 minutes.
- You need to change from the S1 to the U2 at Hamburg’s main railway station, direction Niendorf. More: see above (arriving by train)
- Or get off one station later at Jungfernstieg and walk for 8 minutes.
Departing by Plane
If you don’t want to take a taxi, probably the option Jungfernstieg is faster, assuming you don’t mind walking a bit.
Please note that the S1 train will be separated one station before the airport. You have to be in the first three cars in order to not miss your destination.
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany with about 1.8 million inhabitants. There’s lot of stuff to do and to see. Not only people from Hamburg say it is the most beautiful city in Germany. What probably creates this atmosphere are two things: Lots of green space and water, i.e. the Alster lakes in the center of the city and the harbor located at the broad river Elbe. The harbor is also something special as up to 400m (1200 ft) container or cruise ships are coming almost into the center of the town.
For more information on Hamburg see e.g.
What is worth seeing: The Emporio is close to the Planten and Blomen Park. There’s a nice greenhouse (no fee), and another thing worth mentioning are the “Wasserlichtspiele”, every day during summer @ 10pm! Also if you’re interested in history of Hamburg the Hamburgmusuem is closeby (you learn where the name Reeperbahn comes from and the story about German’s famous pirate, Klaus Störtebeker).
Harbor / Port
No visit to Hamburg is complete without a good look at the harbor. It is the second biggest in Europe after all. The public transport ferries van be used with a whole day ticket, it’s a cheap opportunity experience the cities harbor. Line 62 is the one which takes you from Landungsbrücken (get there with line U3 or S3/S1) to Finkenwerder and back.
A better choice are the small boats cruising into the historic warehouse district (Speicherstadt) or the ones which go to Altenwerder where the fat container ships are loaded/unloaded. They last 1.5h or longer. We have rented a boat on Saturday, August 24, for a private tour, more soon TBA.
Probably Schanze/Schanzenviertel is the closest. As a tourist you probably might want to go to St. Pauli too. Besides red light clubs (be careful about rip offs in table dance bars) there are lot of other bars, discos and so on. Be careful on the streets there! Stay away from any clashes and leave knives etc. in your hotel as otherwise the police will come after you.
- The tourist info center is located at Central Station (Hauptbahnhof). You can get a free map of the downtown and neighborhood surroundings there.
- Credit cards are not widely accepted. Make sure you always have cash with you.
You better have a thorough look at the forecast before you pack your bag as we can have sun and temperatures in the upper 30′s (~100 F) in August but if things will go really wrong it’s raining and we’ll be around 15 degrees Celsius (~60 degree F).
We’ll cross our fingers for the first, Hamburg will be present itself as the most awesome city then!