Hamburg has a network of very convenient cycling paths perfect for saving you time, money and stress: the Veloroutes. They help commuters and hobby cyclists alike avoid the often crammed car traffic along the city's main roads. Veloroutes allow Hamburgers to travel without getting bogged down at rush hour. And swapping your car for a bike to get through town has the positive side effects of improving your health and well-being, supporting urban development plans and saving the environment as well as money.
What is a Veloroute?
Veloroutes are cycling paths forming the backbone of Hamburg’s urban bicycle traffic. Not to be confused with Hamburg’s many scenic routes and the free-time bike rides through the surrounding areas, the city's fourteen Veloroutes are designed to be used for bicycle commuting on a daily basis. These paths connect the different boroughs and quarters of the city, spanning a total length of 280 kilometres.
The Veloroutes are designed to help cyclists move about the entire city in the quickest and most comfortable way possible. That’s why they mostly run along quiet and well-paved side streets off the noisy and crammed car traffic routes and some of them even include hot spots and sights along the way.
Where do the Veloroutes run?
Twelve out of the fourteen paths have their starting point at Rathausmarkt and spread radially through the suburbs and outskirts while the other two paths connect the suburbs to each other by forming inner and outer circular paths.
Since in many areas the Veloroutes avoid running directly on the busiest main roads, cyclists are allowed, where possible, to ride in the street, rather than the outer edge of the sidewalk. The Veloroutes pass through green areas, wind along quiet 30 kph zones and Fahrradstraßen (literally ‘bike streets’), granting cyclists priority rights, and run on standard bike lanes along larger streets.
How can I find my Veloroute?
Keep your eyes open for convenient red-on-white fingerpost signs along Hamburg's standard cycling paths. You may have already already seen them on street corners. These signs point in the direction of the next Veloroute and tell you how far it is in kilometres. When two or more paths cross, little white-on-red numbers tell you which path to follow. When there is no junction but only a change in direction, you can find a square red-on-white sign of a bicycle with an arrow pointing you in the right direction.
It’s also always useful to plan ahead. Below you can find a list with details to all the cycling paths, along with an interactive map illustrating the routes of all paths as they make their way from the centre to the edges of the city.
Veloroute 2: City - Eimsbüttel - Stellingen - Eidelstedt
Ride your bike from the city centre all the way to Eidelstedt. Spanning 11 kilometres, this path leads through Kleingärten settlements and Gründerzeit quarters.
Veloroute 3: City - Rotherbaum/Uni - Niendorf
Discover the university and Grindel quarters and pass historic mansions on your 13-kilometre tour to Niendorf. The last section runs through quiet residential districts until you reach the Tibarg shopping centre.
Veloroute 4: City - Harvestehude - Winterhude - Alsterdorf - Fuhlsbüttel - Langenhorn
Covering a distance of 18.5 kilometres, this path leads from the city centre and past the Helmut Schmidt Airport to the far north of Hamburg – a mix of picturesque lakeside rides along the outer Alster lake and quiet residential areas.
Veloroute 5: City - Uhlenhorst - Barmbek - Bramfeld - Poppenbüttel - Duvenstedt
This path spans almost 23 kilometres from the city centre to the northeast outskirts of Hamburg. Sights to be visited along the tour include Kunsthalle Hamburg, the Labour Museum and the vast Ohlsdorf Cemetery.
Veloroute 6: City - Hohenfelde - Dulsberg - Farmsen - Berne - Volksdorf
This tour takes you from the city all the way to Volksdorf 20 kilometres away in the northeast of Hamburg. Ride along the eastern banks of the Alster lake and enjoy the quiet roads of the suburbs.
Veloroute 7: City - St. Georg - Eilbek - Wandsbek-Markt - Jenfeld - Rahlstedt
The tour from the city to Rahlstedt offers various detours: ride past the vibrant cafés and bars of St. Georg or swing by the Alster swimming pool.
Veloroute 8: City - Borgfelde - Hamm - Billstedt - Bergedorf
Covering shopping streets and spacious green areas equally, this path leads from the city through the Mitte quarters well into the eastern part of Hamburg. There’s a junction at Möllner Landstraße in Billstedt: it’s up to you whether to hop off at Mümmelmannsberg or go all the way to central Bergedorf.
Veloroute 9: City - Hammerbrook - Rothenburgsort - Moorfleet - Allermöhe - Bergedorf
This route takes you 19 kilometres from the city directly to central Bergedorf through commercial areas and lovely scenery along the northern course of the Elbe river.
Spanning the distance of 25 kilometres, this path runs through the historic Speicherstadt warehouse district and across the Elbbrücken bridges all the way to Neugraben in the southwest, including winding historical lanes, residential areas and rural countryside.
Crossing the port of Hamburg, this cycling path brings you under water through the impessive Old Elbe Tunnel, then through gardens of Wilhelmsburg and all the way to the Hamburg University of Technology in Harburg.
Veloroute 12: City - St. Pauli - Altona
At only 4.8 kilometres in length, this route offers cyclists the best views over Hamburg harbor along the St. Pauli Landungsbrücken piers. Whether resident or bike tourist, you won’t regret a quick stop at the Fischmarkt markets.
Veloroute 13: Inner Ring Route: Altona - Eimsbüttel - Winterhude - Barmbek - Eilbek - Hamm
Crossing the routes 1 through 8 in many places, the inner ring of the cycling paths leads through the suburbs surrounding downtown Hamburg: Altona, Eimsbüttel, Winterhude, Barmbek, Eilbek and Hamm.
Veloroute 14: Outer Ring Route: Othmarschen - Schnelsen - Niendorf - Poppenbüttel - Billstedt
The longest of all of Hamburg’s cycling paths, the outer ring path stretches 42 kilometres connecting Othmarschen, Schnelsen, Niendorf, Poppenbüttel, Bilstedt and other outskirts of Hamburg and taking ambitioned cyclists about 2 hours to complete.