Hamburg: Did You Know?

20 Interesting Facts About Hamburg, Germany & its Sport Culture

Hamburg is on the rise as a favorite destination among tourists. See why by learning some fascinating history and facts about Hamburg’s history, culture and sport traditions.


1.  The Beatles actually began their music career in Hamburg! In the 1960’s, the band played multiple sets a night at Hamburg’s Indra Club. When John Lennon was asked about growing up in his birthplace of Liverpool he responded, “I didn't grow up in Liverpool. I grew up in Hamburg".


2. Hamburg has over 2,400 bridges – more than Venice, London and Amsterdam combined!

3. Hamburg has long been known as “The Gateway to the World”, welcoming around 15,000 ships annually from 100 countries. The Port of Hamburg is Germany’s largest, and is the second largest and business In Europe behind Rotterdamn in the Netherlands.

4. Hamburg is the second largest populated city in Germany behind Berlin.

5. The world’s first modern zoo was founded in Hamburg in 1907, when Carl Hagenbeck Jr. created a zoo with moats instead of cages so visitors could view the animals in their more natural habitat.

6. Children’s inflatable armbands were invented in Hamburg.

7. 14% of Hamburg is made up of green spaces and recreational areas. Planten un Blomen, located in central Hamburg and 47 hectares in size (116.1 acres), is known for having the largest Japanese garden in Europe and for its water light shows taking place at night in the summer.


8. From food markets to flea markets, Hamburg has more weekly markets than any other city in Europe.

9. Hamburg’s City Hall has 647 rooms, making it bigger than Buckingham Palace.

10. Elbphilharmonie, which opened in Hamburg in 2017, is one of the largest and acoustically most advanced concert halls in the world. It’s made of brick-and-glass and resembles an ocean liner docked in the city’s harbor. 



1. Hamburg is known as Germany’s capital for sports!

2. FC St Pauli, one of Hamburg’s football clubs, is known for its punk and techno fans who make up one of the western world’s most politically and culturally engaged fanbases. You’ll see them holding signs encouraging more females to play football!

St Pauli FC.jpg

3. The Hamburger Sport-Verein Club (commonly referred to as Hamburger SV or HSV) was originally founded in 1887 as SC Germania, but in 1919 it merged with two other clubs forming the current Hamburger SV.

4. Until last season when it was relegated for the first time, HSV had played in Germany’s top tier league, the Bundesliga, since 1919.


5. Hamburger SV’s field, the Volksparkstadion, hosted five matches during the 2006 World Cup.

6. Some notable German athletes currently playing in Major Leagues in the United States include Dirk Nowitzki (NBA - Dalles Mavericks), Dennis Schroder (NBA - OKC) and Max Kepler (MLB - Minnesota Twins).


7. Germany has won the second joint-most FIFA World Cups, tied with Italy (four), and behind Brazil’s five.

8. The first German rowing club opened in Hamburg and was part of the first official German rowing race in 1837 against an English club.

9. The Hamburger Renn-Club for horse racing was founded in 1852, and the North German Derby first ran in 1869. To this day, the most important German horse race of the year (the annual IDEE derby) takes place in Hamburg the first Sunday in July. The derby is culturally and historically very important as it survived two World Wars.


10. Other popular sports in Hamburg outside of football include golf, handball, ice hockey, cycling, equestrian sports and the Hamburg Marathon, among others.

Interested in joining the Living Sport team traveling to Hamburg in July? Check out more information on the Hamburg International Sport Business Program and apply today!