The St. Pauli Elbe Tunnel also known as the old Elbe tunnel with its approx 425 meters long, tiled tunnels invites you to a journey into the past. Ever since a native of Hamburg showed me the tunnel, I have visited this impressive site on my visits to Hamburg for walking and shooting.
Completed in 1911, the Elbe tunnel connects the city center of Hamburg, at the landing bridges (Landungsbrücken), with Steinwerder. The tunnel was in answer to the (even then) increasing traffic on the Elbe. It would also ensure that the shipyard workers could arrive to work on time, even in bad weather, without having to take a 12 km long detour. Despite several upgrades, the appearance of the Elbe Tunnel has not changed. At both entrances to the tunnel, vehicles are transported by car lifts 24 meters into the depths. Pedestrians can choose between stairs and the elevator.
Once you’ve reached the bottom, you can see the entirety of the approximately 425 meters long tunnel tube.
It is tiled, and at regular intervals, you can find small glazed terra cotta reliefs. There are images of mussels, crabs, fish, rats, and discarded objects, all objects found above the tunnel in the river.
Once in Steinwerder, you should find a nice spot to look out onto Hamburg!
The Elbe tunnel is always open for pedestrians and cyclists. Vehicles can can only travel the tunnels on Mondays through Fridays from 5:30am to 8:00pm. Use is free for pedestrians and cyclists.
At the St.Pauli Landungsbrücken, 20359 Hamburg
S-Bahn: S1, S3: St. Pauli Landungsbrücken
U-Bahn: U3: St. Pauli Landungsbrücken