My GUIDE - The gateway to your german university

Link switches to other language version

Hamburg harbour with the Pegeltum Tower and the jetties in the foreground
©Sina Ettmer –

Studying in Hamburg

Hamburg offers you 96 degree programmes in English at 29 higher education institutions.

Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city, has a maritime flair. Walk along the “Landungsbrücken”, picnic at the river Elbe or take a boat trip in the “Speicherstadt”. At night, stop at the bars and clubs in the legendary nightlife district “St. Pauli” or the “Schanzenviertel”, visit the “Elbphilharmonie” or watch musicals. Thanks to 18 higher education institutions you will meet students everywhere.

One thing in advance: regardless of the time of day, people in Germany's second-largest city usually greet each other with the words "Moin moin".

Many Hamburg residents live around and near the Elbe River, which, together with the shipping traffic of the Port of Hamburg, characterise the overall image of this northern German metropolis. The easy access to the North Sea helped Hamburg to raise its economic profile and status as early as the Middle Ages. As a member of the so-called Hanseatic League, an association of northern European merchants, the city profited enormously from marine transport routes.

Even today, Hamburg is one of the most important economic centres in Germany and Northern Europe. For example, many companies in the fields of basic materials processing, aircraft construction, the energy industry or IT are based in Hamburg. However, Hamburg's economic success also has its price. Hamburg is one of the most expensive cities in Germany. If you find it difficult to find affordable accommodation in the city centre, you can also look towards Hamburg’s suburbs for flats or available rooms in shared flats. You can check with one of the many dormitories and get on the waiting list – which is usually a long one.

Life in Hamburg

1,892,000 residents

  • High-speed train connections

    In close vicinity

  • International airport

    Hamburg airport in close vicinity

  • Coast

    North Sea in 70 km distance

  • Mountain range

    Harz in 195 km distance

  • Other countries

    Denmark in 145 km distance

  • Attractions within 100 km

    • Lüneburg Heath in 40 km distance

    • Lübeck in 55 km distance

    • Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park in 90 km distance

29 higher education institutions in Hamburg

Map of Germany

Activate map

To activate the map, please click on the "Show map" button. Please note that data will be transmitted to OpenStreetMap after activation. You can find more about this in our .

Subject groups of degree programmes in Hamburg

There is a wide range of degree programmes in Hamburg. Here you can see the main subject groups. Currently, degree programmes in Hamburg are mainly offered in the subject group Economic Sciences, Law, followed by Teaching Degrees and Humanities and Social Sciences. Find out more information here about the subject groups and degree programmes offered in Germany.
  • 0

    Agricultural and Forest Sciences

  • 143

    Humanities and Social Sciences

  • 97

    Mathematics, Natural Sciences

  • 65

    Art, Music, Design

  • 101

    Language and Cultural Studies

  • 66

    Medicine, Health Sciences

  • 306

    Economic Sciences, Law

  • 102

    Engineering Sciences

  • 201

    Teaching Degrees

Many people gather at the stalls of the flea market on Lattenplatz square.
©Mediaserver Hamburg / ThisIsJulia Photography

More than just a flea market: the Flohschanze is part of Hamburg's culture.

With 2,500 bridges, Hamburg has more than Amsterdam and Venice combined.

One of Hamburg's best-known highlights is the Reeperbahn, a central street in the nightlife and red-light district of Hamburg's St. Pauli neighbourhood. It is the first port of call for many night owls. During the day, the "Kiez" (quarter) is rather quiet, so you can sit comfortably in a café. But after sunset, the Reeperbahn and the neighbouring streets come to life.

In addition to the countless clubs, bars (and erotic shops) beneath bright neon lettering, the quarter also holds quite a bit of history. The Reeperbahn was originally a place for outcasts just outside the city gates.

Another sight you should visit is Hamburg's Speicherstadt, right on the waterfront. The world's largest historic warehouse complex is now home to many museums and other leisure activities such as restaurants, bars and shopping.

And if you're in the area anyway, you should take a tour of the famous Hamburg harbour. There you can admire the huge container ships up close or explore the port and Hamburg's attractions from the water.

Apart from the many cultural attractions, Hamburg also offers plenty of culinary highlights. But beware: if you don't like fish, traditional Hamburg cuisine may not always be your thing. Hamburgers on the go often pick up a fish sandwich. You usually have a choice between Bismarck herring, herb matjes or North Sea prawns. Another typical Hamburg dish is the Franzbrötchen, a puff pastry filled with sugar and cinnamon. You will often be served this in cafés or at breakfast.

Throughout Germany, the people of Hamburg are considered to be rather Hanseatic and reserved. They are often said to be a little slower to open up to strangers. Jokingly, many justify the initial reticence of Hamburgers with the supposedly bad Nordic weather. What they don't consider is that other German cities like Munich have significantly more rainy days than Hamburg!

A young woman walks through the city
A young woman walks through the cityJan von Allwörden / DAAD

You can find more information at

For more information on living and studying in Hamburg, visit the city portraits at