Are your legs tired, but you still want to see more of Hamburg? Then hop onto the city’s oldest and most beautiful subway lines: the yellow circle line U3! With the majority of the stops (18 out of 26!) above ground it offers beautiful views of the northern and western districts of town (e.g. the Gründerzeit buildings in Eppendorf, the harbor, the city center, and former working-class areas). If you’re curious to learn more about these different areas, you can download a free audio guide (German, on bottom page “Komplette Tour”) on the HVV website and print out a map as well. Wherever you choose to start, just find the corresponding track on the plan and hit play! A roundtrip takes approximately 38 minutes (check schedule). In September, the annual “jazz train” takes over the U3 for a day. It’s a free festival on rails that was first introduced in 1998.
Although I’ve taken this route a million times, the view still fascinates me every single time. Hence, you won’t be surprised to find that most of my spots are located along this historic line that was first opened in 1912. Generally, the U3 is served by older “historic” but modernized trains (DT3E) from the late 1960s creating feelings of nostalgia. In 2013, the HVV (Public Transport Association) introduced, as a stark contrast, the most recent generation of trains: the DT5. So now locals alternate between riding in the past and in the future. And it’s exciting as you never know which train will arrive next!