Wednesday 11 July 2012

Hamburg Planten un Blomen Running Route

Click here for route map
Length 6.4 km (4 miles), terrain has gentle hills

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. 
NOTE: I lucked-out with the pictures, and caught the parks in their full springtime glory, hence the extra amount of pictures!

Planten un Blomen
Hamburg is a runner's paradise: a city with some huge, beautiful parks, panoramic riverfront and a large lake right in the center, with lots of trees and quiet streets to make any run a memorable experience.

Here is one of the nicer runs in the heart of the city. Two big parks blend together here to make up a sprawling greenbelt right downtown: Planten un Blomen (Plants and Flowers in Plattdeutsch, the local dialect), and the Wallanlage, a park laid out in the old moats of the former city walls that stretches down to the Elbe River. After the walls were torn down, the whole stretch was turned into a park bordering the west side of downtown.
Wallanlage, courthouse in background
NOTE: see the Destinations Tips page for tips about spending your free time in this great town!
Planten un Blomen incorporates the old botanical gardens, and it was extended and turned into a breath-taking park for several national garden shows, right next to the Dammtor train station.

The Planten un Blomen Running Route
We'll start the run at the main Planten un Blomen entrance at the Stefansplatz U-Bahn station.

The park entrance at Stefansplatz
Go into the park entrance, right next to the little book store at the U-Bahn. There's a little artificial stream there and a nice garden hugging the stream.
The stream just past the park entrance
Turn right and follow the path that curves along the right side of the stream area, heading west.
What a wonderful park!
After passing a little waterfall at some boulders on your left, keep heading west, past the tall Radisson Blu Hotel on the right. You just need to head towards the huge white television tower in the distance.

Just follow the main path as it goes by the rose-garden on the right. There is a lake in the middle of the park on your left side. The path keeps going west towards the TV tower, where the park ends.
Heading towards the TV tower
There's a little café there, where you turn left and then turn left again to run southeast along another water-course-cascade, with a lot of outdoor seating.
Along the water-course
Now keep going south, staying on the west edge of the park. You'll pass the lake again to your left, and then run to a wonderful playground full of great stuff for kids to climb-around on. You're guaranteed to wish you were a kid again.
The Planten un Blomen playground
Just on the far side of the playground, you'll see a glass-roofed walkway going to the left. Take that sidewalk. It will go past a beautiful Japanese Garden on the left side, with a tea-house over the pond.
The Japanese Garden
At the end of the glass-roofed walkway, turn right, and you are on the same path you were on before, at the beginning of the run. But in just a few meters, when you pass the all-glass green-house on the right side (tropical house of the botanical garden), turn right and then run down the steps of the nice sun-terraces there.
The sun-terraces at the Wallgraben
There is another curved lake here, Wallgraben, filling the valley of the old city moat.
Wallgraben: Follow this path all the way to the Elbe River
Turn right at the lake and run southwestwards. It will go uphill first, with a man-made waterfall to your left. Then it will go under a street and continue into the Wallanlage, the greenbelt filling the old city wall moat, heading all the way down to the river.
Cypresses along the Wallanlage
You'll pass by ponds, fountains, and then pass an ensemble of classical courthouses on the right. The elegant stone building with the green-copper dome is the Hamburg Supreme Court.
The Hamburg Supreme Court from the Wallanlage
You'll then go by another playground and the ice-skating rink on the left side. You will run past the back side of the Hamburg History Museum and then the path exits the park to the right side.

You need to cross the busy street ahead of you, Budapester Straße, to the St. Pauli U-Bahn station. This is the beginning of the notorious St. Pauli neighborhood, with the Reeperbahn beginning straight ahead, past the new, crooked office tower.
At St. Pauli U-Bahn Station and Reeperbahn: turn left at the corner
But you'll have to explore St. Pauli later, on your own time. This route turns left here to continue downhill towards the river in the next section of park to the south.

Run on the sidewalk next to Helgoländer Allee as it curves downhill towards the left, with parkland on the left side. You'll go under an old bridge. Right past the bridge, take the path as it goes uphill through the bushes on the left side. You are now running up past Hamburg's main youth hostel at Stintfang.

Run another 100 meters and you reach the turn-around point of the run at the lookout point at Stintfang. Ahead of you is the Elbe, with the Landungsbrücken to the right, where tour-boats constantly come and go, and you'll see the windjammer, the Rickmer Rickmers to the left.
View from Stintfang of the Landungsbrücken
Now you just turn around and follow the way back to the start. The only difference is that, instead of looping through Planten un Blomen again, you take a short-cut back to Stefansplatz. At the curved lake in the moat, instead of running up the steps at the sun-terrace, keep curving to the right along the little Wallgraben lake.
Wallgraben: at the end, turn left, and you're back at the start
At the end of the lake, turn left and run the last 100 meters back to the park's main entrance.


  1. I love this run. Used to live "just across the road" in the Hamburger Neustadt for several years. The run is great during every season, amazing during spring time as pictured but also peaceful and magic when snow covered in winter!

  2. Glad to hear from someone else who loves this running route! I can imagine how nice it must be with snow... --Keith