Hamburg, Germany - Buying tickets at the Airport Commuter Train Station machines

Willkommen in Deutschland
Welcome to Germany

Once you arrived at Hamburg Airport you need to buy tickets to get on the train towards Hamburg Central Station (Hbf = Hauptbahnhof), City Center/Town Hall/Shopping District (Jungfernstieg) and Cruise Terminal (HafenCity Marco-Polo-Terrassen)

On your way to the platform of the commuter train (S-Bahn / white S in a green circle) you will find the ticket machines which looks like this.

The newest generation accepts cash but also credit cards - but credit cards are not accepted for all kind of tickets.

To get the English menu press the "Union Jack" (UK-Flag)

Express ticket selection: Top 5 tickets in Hamburg
All DB offers: Nationwide Railways Tickets
further tickets: All Hamburg Region tickets (incl. places like Lüneburg)
Schleswig-Holstein tickets (SH-Tarif): All tickets if you want to go to places like Kiel or Lübeck

As you will find also these ticket machines at Central Station or Jungfernstieg these instructions might be helpful for you to get your tickets.

For you the most important information is on this sticker if you want to go to the Cruise Terminal (or City Center): Single Ticket Zone 3.

So press "Single Ticket Greater Hamburg Area [3]".

Now you can get one single ticket for 2.75 EUR which you can pay cash or credit card.

If you need a ticket for a child press "Single Ticket Child (aged 6-14)".

There is no 1st class in the S-Bahn commuter trains and there are no rapid buses on the way to the Cruise Terminal, so you can ignore "Rapid bus/1st class".

But if you are not travelling alone you might need additional tickets so you can press "+ Another ticket".

Now you see that the price for two tickets appeared: 5.50 EUR instead of 2.75 EUR before.

If you do not want to go directly to the Cruise Terminal you can go first to Central Station and store your bags there. It's better for you to buy a day pass so you can move all the day around and doing sightseeing and return to Central Station to collect your bags and to continue to the Cruise Terminal. You can also go to the Cruise Terminal and try to drop-off your bags before you are checking-in and do some sightseeing and return then to the Cruise Terminal.

If this is your plan you should better buy a day pass which is only 5.40 EUR for rides after 09.00 am. Press "9 o'clock all-day ticket Greater Hamburg Area [T3]" like on a previous screen.

If you are not travelling alone but have a party of 5 or less you better buy a Group-Day Pass for 9.20 EUR for rides after 09.00 am. Press "9 o'clock collective ticekt 5 Greater Hamburg Area [F3]" like on a previous screen.

If you want to go to places like Kiel or Lübeck you need to buy tickets which you can find if you pressed Schleswig-Holstein tickets (SH-Tarif) (see above screen) at first.

You need to press "Destinations A...Z".

If you need to go to Kiel you press "Kiel" (same with Lübeck accordingly):

If you are going by train the route will be "via Elmshorn, Wrist, NMS 19.70 EUR" which need to be pressed. (The Kielius Bus will you take directly to Kiel for just 17.50 EUR... so if you want to kill time and spend a little time in Hamburg on the way to Kiel you go by train. if you need to go as cheap and as fast to Kiel to catch your ship you better go with the Kielius-Bus).

"Single Ticket" = 19.70 EUR

"BahnCard" = annual national discount ticket - does not make sense to buy if you are just for one day in Germany and have only a regional train ride.
"Tageskarte / Kleingruppenkarte" = Day Passes or Mini-Group Passes - will be explained later.
"Übergang 1. Klasse" = Usage of 1st class if you have already a vaild 2nd class ticket - (just as reference 29.55 EUR in 1st in total).
"Fahrradtageskarte" = Bike Day Pass

"Child" = 6 years upto 14 years (included)
"SH Card" = annual regional discount ticket - does not make sense to buy if you are just for one day in Germany and have only a regional train ride.
"1st class" = if you like to use 1st class
"Season tickets" = does not make sense for your one day use.

So if you just are travelling alone you could buy 19.70 EUR in cash. Machine will change.

The price for Lübeck from Hamburg will be: 11.90 EUR on the direct route via Bad Oldesloe.

If you are going alone to Lübeck and coming back on the same day you better buy a day pass - 22.80 EUR. Here it's shown for Kiel for 30.00 EUR.

If you are going in a party of 5 persons or less you can also buy a mini-group day pass (in German: Kleingruppenkarte - translated as collective ticket):

For Kiel it's 30.70 EUR and for Lübeck it would be 22.80 EUR.

The Mini-Group-Ticket is valid after 09.00 hrs on weekdays.

The first connection after 09.00 hrs from Hamburg Central Station to Kiel would be 09.20 hrs (arrives Kiel at 10.36 hrs)

If you want to go earlier which means before 08.30 hrs from the airport you better contact me personally as this will become more a specific issue than a general one.

If you want to go to Kiel and you are a party of 5 or less but you are not travelling alond and you do not need any public transport in Kiel (like to the cruise terminal) you can save 0.70 EUR by buying an all day regional train pass which is valid after 09.00 am on weekdays.

It costs 30.00 EUR but you can also book it in internet as an online ticket:

Advantage of online-ticket you can do it at home and have all you need ready out of your printer.

Disadvantage: no change - no refund

But if you want to buy it at the machine it works with pressing All DB offers (see previous screen):

If you want to go to Lübeck the regular day pass of SH-Tarif is cheaper!!!

Here you choose RED: special offers / Collection (Bahn-Tix Rail&Fly) / Laender Tickets and further offers.

Choose either between "Leisure and special offers e.g." or "Collective tickets e.g."

Press "Laender Tickets"

Press "Schleswig-Holstein und Hamburg" (but this ticket is also valid for Schwerin which is in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Western Pommerania))


Press "today"

Press "No bike ticket"

And this ticket is also available with your credit card... so if you have problems to buy the mini-group-tickets for Kiel in cash - just buy this ticket which is also valid for the journeys to Kiel.


The prices for going to Schwerin by Länderticket Mecklenburg-Vorpommern:

18.00 EUR for one person
26.00 EUR for a group of max. 5 persons
28.00 EUR for one person in 1st class
48.00 EUR for a group of max. 5 persons in 1st class


  1. Hi,

    will be going to Kiel this June.We are 4 in a group (2 adults + 2 kids). Can we get Länderticket Mecklenburg but the return date is not the same day?

    Thank you

    1. Kiel is in Schleswig-Holstein and offers an integrated ticket system. Therefore I need information where you want to go!

  2. I am traveling between hamburg airport to Lubeck-Travemunde Strand. Can i purchase one ticket all the way through using the airport kiosk or do i have to buy the central station to travemunde ticket portion when i arrive at hamburg central station? Thank you!!

    1. No problem: you can a through-ticket from Hamburg Airport to Lübeck-Travemünde. But there is also a coach service directly from the airport to Lübeck and you can change there. But you need for this seperate tickets. So if you like to take the trains you are fine with one ticket.

  3. Wonderful! Thank you so much for your quick reply. I am traveling alone and don't speak any German, so I am very nervous about this trip! I appreciate your help!!

  4. Hi We are party of two adults arriving in Hamburg before 9 am and need to travel to Hamburg central station from airport and then have all day in Hamburg. What would you suggest.

    Thank you.

    1. You arrive by plane and what are you doing later? Are you going on a cruise? If yes - from which terminal. This information might influnce the answer.

  5. My wife and I are flying into Hamburg via London. We subsequently plan to take a train to Husum, returning to Hamburg 4 days later for a flight to Chicago O'Hare. I gather we can utilize the S1 train at the airport to the Hauptbahnhoff, catching a train from there to Husum. Leaving Husum, we would go in reverse order. Is this doable?

  6. my wife and will be travelling from hamburg airport to ahrensburg.what will this cost us and what ticket do I ask for

    1. Sorry - but this is a help for cruisers. But your answer can be found here:

  7. hallo, Can I get one week ticket that cover most of going around in Hamburg area with train,buses and ferries??? coming to morrow to Hamburg airport.

  8. Kiel has a few cruise ship terminal. I will go to Ostuferhafen terminal for MSC cruise lines next May 2017. Look like there is no train from Hamburg airport. Can you advise the fastest and reasonable transport costs. thanks


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