Old Elbe Tunnel, Hamburg

A journey into the past through Hamburg’s Old Elbe Tunnel.

The Old Elbe Tunnel, or Alter Elbtunnel in German, opened in 1911 and extends for 426 metres (1,398 ft) under the Elbe River from St. Pauli to Steinwerder in the Port of Hamburg. Historical monument it may be, but even today it is still used by thousands of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists as the quickest route under the Elbe.

Old Elbe Tunnel Entrance

Old Elbe Tunnel, North Entrance / Image:

Pedestrian access is free, with a lift or stairs bringing you 24 metres down into the tunnel. You can then walk through to the other side of the Elbe having nearly 24 metres (80 ft) of water over your head. The tunnel itself is decorated with ceramic arts of maritime motifs (e.g. fish, mussels, seals, dolphins etc).

Elbe Tunnel Stairs

Head for Heights? The Old Elbe Tunnel Stairs / Image:

It only takes about 30 minutes to go down into the tunnel, walk under the river, and come out on the other side (giving you ample time to take some very pretty pictures of Hamburg).

Elbe Tunnel Car Lift

Elbe Tunnel Car Lifts / Image:

Old Elbe tunnel car lift



Old Eble tunnel ceramic friezes

Examples of the Tunnel’s Decorative Ceramic Friezes.




Hamburg Port Authority Website

Hamburg Tourismus

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