Length: 12.2 km (7.6 miles), terrain flat, with moderate hills at Jenisch Park
Hamburg running routes:
Alster lake loop
Altona Elbe River run
Planten en Blomen downtown park
Elegant Eppendorf and Stadtpark
Klein Flottbek and eastern Elbe
For other running routes, see the Route List.
I've lived just outside Hamburg, Germany for almost 30 years, and I've only written-up one Hamburg route so far: shame on me! (See Alster Loop route description.) Hamburg is a great place to run, with beautiful, large parks (Stadtpark, Planten un Blomen, Wallanlage, Volkspark, etc.), lakes and rivers, lots of tree-lined streets and elegant old neighborhoods. It's amazing that a city that was half bombed-out in the war offers so much.
|Neptune fountain in Platz der Republik|
Here's a route that will take you through the west side of town, in the Altona neighborhood. Altona was a separate town until the 1930s. It was part of Schleswig-Holstein, built by the Danish king to compete with the Hamburg harbor. And it offers a wonderful stretch of riverside paths for some fine, scenic runs.
This route is an out-and-back, starting at the Altona train station, heading to the Elbe River and then downriver through a lot of varying, interesting scenery.
So, ready to start? Let's go!
At the white town hall (Rathaus) building, stay on the right side, with the beautiful old church to the right, the Christianskirche (named after Danish King Christian VI). In the big churchyard, one of Germany's classical poets is buried, Friedrich Klopstock.
Behind the town hall, you have to cross the busy street, Palmaille, which turns into the Elbchaussee to the right. Cross to the other side, then also cross Kaistraße, which goes downhill diagonally from the same corner. You are now in a little park high up on a bluff overlooking the river, with the harbor behind. This is Altona's Balkon (balcony). There are several such parks along the bluff.
|View from the Balkon|
At the bottom of the hill, Kaistraße runs into the riverside street, Neumühlen, where you keep running straight ahead. You now have a choice of either running along the street, or cross it to the left to run behind the waterfront buildings, to jog directly along the water. This part of the river is lined with new office buildings and some older warehouses.
After half a kilometer, Neumühlen enters the beautiful Övelgönne neighborhood. Övelgönne is full of old houses built by sea-captains, with a museum harbor full of old Elbe sailing freighters and lighthouse-ships.
|The museum harbor at Övelgönne|
|Old houses in Övelgönne|
|Along the Elbwanderweg|
After about 2 more kilometers, the path comes to a small yacht harbor, and past it, a ferry landing, at Teufelsbrück. The path turns to the right to go around the harbor. At this point we will leave the river to cross the street, Elbchaussee, and do a loop through the park across the street, Jenisch Park. There are zebra-stripes at the crossing.
NOTE: The buildings across the river past Teufelsbrück are the Airbus aerospace factory, where they build the A320 and A380.
When you cross the street, take the path to the left side and follow it as it goes uphill above the small valley. Jenisch Park was once a private park around a classical mansion. The land surrounds a stream valley, with a nature preserve around the stream, and wide lawns all around.
|In Jenisch Park|
|Mansion on Elbchaussee|
|Another Elbchaussee house: not every house is classical!|
NOTE: If you want to do even more distance, you could leave out the Jenisch Park loop and just continue along the Elbe past Teufelsbrück. In 3 kilometers you come to Hamburg's most scenic neighborhood, Blankenese, with its hillside houses connected with a maze of stairways and little lanes: truly charming!