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Explore Hamburg

Explore Hamburg with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!

Expedia car hire in Hamburg comes with No Hidden Fees

Why rent a car at Hamburg Airport?

The port city of Hamburg is situated near the mouth of the river Elbe in northern Germany, giving it the nickname ‘gateway to the world’. Hamburg was a member of the medieval Hanseatic League and continued to play a central role in international trade in the 19th and 20th centuries, making it into one of Germany’s wealthiest cities and second largest after Berlin. The city features hundreds of canals, lakes, attractive parks, a wide variety of architectural styles, a well-known fish market that sells far more than just fish, and a gloriously seedy red-light district, Reeperbahn.

Hamburg is bordered by the provinces of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, with a multitude of day trip attractions, which you can best enjoy by getting a rental car at Hamburg Airport.

How to get to and around Hamburg?

International flights arrive at Hamburg Airport, seven miles from the city centre. From the airport’s station you can hop on the S1 line of the S-Bahn to reach Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (central railway station) in 25 minutes. There is one train every 10 minutes.

You can also fly in via Lübeck Blankensee Airport, 45 miles northeast of Hamburg. Take a train from Lübeck Flughafen station to Hamburg Hauptbahnhof, changing at Lübeck Central (71 minutes) or Büchen (65 minutes). Trains run once an hour.

Car rental companies are available at both airports. With a car hire at Hamburg Airport, Hamburg’s city centre can be reached in 40 minutes. You can also get a rental car from other locations, such as Seevetal, 35 minutes south or Norderstedt, 50 minutes north of the centre.

Hiring a car in Hamburg Airport

Car hire desks at Hamburg Airport are at Arrivals Terminal 2. Check the opening times below. To return your car to the airport, drop it off at the dedicated multi-storey hire car park opposite P5.

  • Buchbinder/Dollar/Thrifty: Mon-Sun 06.00 – 23.00
  • Avis/Budget: Mon-Sun 07.00 – 23.00 (opening hours on public holidays may differ)
  • Enterprise Rent-a-Car: Mon-Sat: 07.00 – 23.00 Sun: 08.00 – 23.00
  • Europcar: Mon-Sun: 07.00 – 23.30
  • Hertz: Mon-Sat: 07.00 – 23.00 Sun: 08.00 – 23.00
  • Sixt: Mon-Fri: 06.00 – 24.00 Sat-Sun and public holidays: 07.00 – 24.00
  • What brands are available?

    There are a number of on-airport car rental providers at Hamburg Airport, the best known ones being Avis, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt. You can also find car hire companies at the Hauptbahnhof and other locations throughout the city.

    Must-sees within an easy drive of Hamburg

    Bremen, under an hour and a half southwest of Hamburg, is never too crowded making it a perfect day trip destination. Its main sights are in the Marktplatz (main square) in the Old Town: the magnificent cathedral and town hall, the statues of Roland and of the Brothers Grimm’s Bremen Town Musicians.

    An hour northeast is Lübeck, an ancient hanseatic city and one of Germany’s major ports. The city was designated a Unesco World Heritage Site due to the wealth of its Brick Gothic architecture buildings. One example is Lübeck’s imposing gate and city emblem, the Holstentor. Lübeck’s marzipan is well known – do sample some.

    Under an hour and a half east, you can visit picturesque Schwerin to see the once home of the Duke and Duchess of Mecklenburg, a fairytale castle standing on an island in the city’s main lake.

    Tips and tricks for driving in Germany

    Germans drive on the right-hand side of the road. You must be over 18 to drive in Germany and hold a full driving licence. Licences issued in EU or EEA countries are accepted. Carry your driver’s licence, ID (passport) and proof of insurance at all times.

    Carrying a warning triangle and headlamp beam deflectors in the vehicle is compulsory. It is recommended you also carry a first aid kit. It is illegal in Germany to use speed camera detectors, including a GPS device. The speed limit in built-up areas is 62 mph, but there is no speed limit on autobahns.

    Look out for the many red-light cameras at intersections in Hamburg, which capture licence plates of cars that drive through red lights. Parking in Hamburg is fairly easy. The city has three parking areas, red, yellow and green, an automated guided parking system and information signs to direct drivers before they reach the centre.

    Ready to plan your Hamburg city break?

    Feeling inspired to start planning your trip to Hamburg and other parts of Germany? The Expedia search tool can help you find the best