Even though it’s Germany’s second largest city, Hamburg is overshadowed by Berlin’s and Munich’s tourism draws. Hamburg is actually a very modern city (it was completely destroyed in WWII), so it has a much different vibe than the stereotypical “quaint” Germany — although is does have plenty of old-world charm.
Hamburg is also home to the second largest port in Europe, so the people are very open and the city boasts an excellent night life… and no port city could be complete without a Red Light District. Hamburg is also near many quaint small towns, so it makes a great home base for exploring. Like most of Germany, Hamburg skews towards the expensive side, but this up-and-coming city can still be experienced affordably.
This article is part of our City Price Guide Series — Click here to see all our city price guides.
Average Daily Costs for Visiting Hamburg
Below is our breakdown of how much you can expect to spend on an average day for the budget-conscious traveler. These prices are based on what you’ll need to visit the city comfortably — they don’t include things like big nights out at the bar/pub, club entry fees, souvenir/clothing shopping, tours, random purchases, nicer food, etc. Don’t forget to budget extra for those “non-essentials.”
Average daily costs for budget travel in Hamburg: €61 (Approx. $67)
- Attractions: €10 (one paid attraction + any free sights)
- Food: €24
- Breakfast: €3
- Lunch: €6
- Dinner: €10
- Treat (dessert/beer/wine): €3.50
- Transportation: €3.10
- Accommodation (hostel): €24
Daily cost of frugal travel in Hamburg: €36 (Approx. $40)
- Attractions: €5 (free walking tour + visit one of the free sights)
- Food: €14
- Breakfast: €0 (free hostel breakfast)
- Lunch: €4.50 (street food or takeaway shop fare)
- Dinner: €8 (make your own meal in the hostel or grab something cheap)
- Beer: €1 (chill out at the park and have a cold one)
- Transportation: €0 (walk)
- Accommodation (cheap hostel): €17
Hamburg Attraction and Museum Prices
- International Maritime Museum: €12.50
- Dialog im Dunkeln: €17-€21
- MiniaturWunderland: € 13
- Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg: €10
- Hamburg Museum: €9
- Prototype Car Museum: €10
- Walking & Tours: Free- €30
Tours emphasize the history of Hamburg and its cultural institutions. Expect to pay a little more for bicycle tours (€26), which will show the sites and markets of Hamburg.
Hamburg Food Prices
Hamburg offers a variety of traditional German foods alongside ethnic cuisine. Fish is a common staple, with the city situated on the Elbe, and is available from stands and restaurants. There are a number of expensive restaurants, but you can find plenty of budget options if you seek them out.
Budget Breakfast: Free – €4
- Many hostels will offer a free simple breakfast of that normally consists of cereal, bread/croissant, and maybe milk, coffee, tea, or juice (some hostels will offer more and some less). Hotel breakfasts tend to be overpriced, so skip these in most cases.
- Coffee and a pastry will set you back €1.75-€3.
Budget Lunch: €3–€7
- Super budget travelers can make a super cheap lunch of bread, cheese, and fruit from any grocery store for a few euros.
- Kebabs from a stand run €2.50-€4.
- Currywurst and bratwurst are popular and cheap options at fast food/takeaway, and run around €2.50-€4.50.
- The Hauptbahnhof (main train station) is full of cheap take-away and fast food options, and will run €3.50-€6 for a full meal from an ethnic establishment (Middle Eastern, Indian, or pan-Asian).
- Cheap sandwiches run €2-€3.50 at stands throughout the city; especially recommend are fish sandwiches in the harbor area.
Budget Dinner: €6–€12
- Pretty much all the options from the ‘Budget Lunch’ section above will also apply for dinner.
- Brauhaus (brewhouses) offer beer and a meal for €5-€7.
- Traditional German schnitzel is common and inexpensive: €4.50-€6 for dinner at a brewhouse or stand.
- Ethnic food and vegetarian options are plentiful and cheap: falafel, grills, and Indian all run €4-€8 for a meal as take-away or sit-down.
- Cafés are more informal, and a meal of a sandwich or burger runs €3-€6.
Drinks and Alcohol:
- Expect to pay €3-€3.50 for a beer out.
- At a grocery, beer runs €.95-€1.10, and a bottle of wine about €5.50
Hambrug Transportation Prices
Public transportation in Hamburg includes S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains and buses. Bicycle rentals are common in the city and inexpensive. There is a ferry system as well which provides access to the harbor and the Elbe river. HVV administers the city’s transit system in and around Hamburg.
Tickets on the HVV system are purchased by duration and distance. Ticket vending machines are available at transit stations. The machines dispense the correct ticket after you enter your destination.
1 fare within greater Hamburg area: €3.10
1 fare within city center: €1.50
Day ticket within greater Hamburg area: €7.50
1 week pass within Hamburg city center/outside city center: €12.90/€16.90
Airport transit from city center:
via taxi: €30
via bus: Single-journey fare on S-Bahn direct train is €3.10 from airport to city center.
Bicycle rental: First 30 minutes are free. After is €.08/minute for use or €12/day.
Hamburg Hostel/Hotel Accommodation Prices
You shouldn’t have any trouble finding accommodation in Hamburg. However, there aren’t a ton of hostels, so the prices are a little higher than in a city like Berlin. Airbnb is also popular in the city, so that’s a good option if you want a little more space and privacy.
Hostels: €17-€30 (bed in a shared dorm room)
You should budget about 23€/night per person for a nice hostel — although many hostels raise their prices on the weekend. Remember, these prices are for a bed in a shared dorm room. If you want a private room, expect to pay €55-€70 total (for two people), so it might be a better deal to rent an apartment.
We book our hostels through Hostel World.
Budget Hotels: €90-€150
A decent budget hotel that is in the city center will cost around €100/night. You can find cheaper hotels if you want to stay farther away from the center of the city or if you don’t mind staying in a junky place.
Rental Apartment (Airbnb): €50-€80/night
From my experience, rental apartments (via Airbnb) tend to be much bigger and much nicer than similarly priced hotel rooms. Plus, you’ll get a kitchen so you can save more money by cooking your own meals — click here to get $30 off your first stay.
There are quite a few nice Airbnb options available in Hamburg — you should be able to find a highly rated studio or 1-bedroom for around €65/night, but I’ve seen some as cheap as €38/night. If you want to rent a room in someone’s place, expect to pay around €27-€40/night.
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Thanks! — Susan and James