When people think of German films, Wolfgang Petersen’s 1981 war film Das Boot is sure to be one of the first that comes to mind. Those who have seen it won't soon forget the claustrophobia of the titular submarine. If you're eager to experience that sense of claustrophobia first-hand, then a visit to U-434 in Hamburg's harbour is a must.
Docked in front of the Fischmarkt market hall, the Soviet-built submarine from the mid-1970s is still fully operational. But its days of stealthy underwater missions are behind it, having remained in Hamburg since 2002 serving as a museum dedicated to the horrors of war.
This Tango-class sub is a lot bigger than the U-91 from Petersen's film. In fact, at 90.16 metres in length, it is among the longest non-atomic submarines in the world. However, considering that it was built to accommodate up to 78 men, those 90.16 metres don't seem so roomy, and on your tour you can witness the crew's cramped quarters for yourself, along with the officers' mess and the engine and torpedo rooms. If you want to see the ship's bridge, then a guided tour is a must. Your tour guide will also ensure you get all the background information necessary to get as much out of your visit as possible.
U-Bootmuseum Hamburg GmbH
St. Pauli Fischmarkt 10, 20359 Hamburg
0049 +40 3200 4934
Mon ─ Sat 9 a.m. ─ 8 p.m.
Sun 11 a.m. ─ 8 p.m.
Individuals with claustrophobic conditions may do well to skip this attraction, and those with physical disabilities should be aware that wheelchairs cannot be used due to a lack of space.
For more information please see the website of Hamburg Travel.