Pioneering role here, European champion there.
7 things you didn't know about Hamburg:
Europe's funniest one-way street
Sierichstrasse in the Winterhude district is unique in the whole of Europe. Not because of the villas that stand there - but because of its direction of travel. This changes depending on the time of day. From 4 a.m. to 12 a.m. you can drive into the city, then out of the city from 12 noon - until the oncoming traffic comes back at 4 a.m.. Who comes up with something like this? A building director in the 1950s. His original idea of widening the road to accommodate the heavy traffic was strongly criticised by local residents. Too many trees would have had to be felled. So he invented an unusual one-way street tactic that is still practised today.
Germany's first tarmac road
Hamburg has a lot to offer when it comes to roads: In 1838, construction workers poured asphalt on the Alster - and made the Jungfernstieg the first asphalted road in the country. What was a sensation back then is quite normal today: around 95% of all road surfaces in Germany are made of asphalt. Incidentally, the Jungfernstieg got its name from a bourgeois ritual: the street used to be a sort of "dating mile" where families would "take their unmarried daughters for a walk" on Sundays. Jungfernstieg was officially given its current name in 1931.
Hamburg's first public transport system was powered by animals: the first horse-drawn omnibuses were introduced in the city in 1839. For a fee, they could be used to travel fixed routes. This made Hamburg one of the pioneers in the country: Only Dresden was earlier in Germany with this innovation. Incidentally, omnibus stands for "for all" - which is why buses are called coaches today.
Child at the steering wheel
The very first car was driven into the Hanseatic city in 1894. At the steering wheel: the 14-year-old son of the buyer Friedrich Hermann Faerber, owner of Germany's first wax museum, the Panoptikum. Faerber had bought the "Patent Motor Wagen" from Benz & Cie. Mannheim, but was ill on the day of delivery. So the junior had to take over, accompanied by a factory engineer.
Few cars in a nationwide comparison
A lot has happened in the city since the first car: there are now over 800,000 cars in Hamburg - in 2023 there were 442 cars per 1,000 Hamburg residents. This is rather low in a nationwide comparison. The average in Germany is 586 (Source: Federal Motor Transport Authority). According to a recent study, around 30 per cent of people in Hamburg hardly ever use a car.
The longest underground line in the country
Almost 56 kilometres long and 47 stations: The U1 is the longest underground railway line in Germany. Its first section was built over 100 years ago: from Ohlsdorf to Kellinghusenstraße in 1914. Today, the U1 runs from Norderstedt to Ohlstedt (76 minutes journey time) or to Großhansdorf (84 minutes journey time). So charge your mobile phone well or take a book with you!
Largest charging capacity in Germany
E-cars are on the rise in Germany. And nowhere in Germany is it easier to charge them with electricity than in Hamburg: with almost 60MW, the city has the highest charging capacity in the country - although there are significantly more e-cars in Berlin.