Hands-on, exciting, and rich with history
Ballinstadt Emigration Museum
For about five million European emigrants from 1850 to 1939, Hamburg was the "Gateway to the World." At the Port of Hamburg they left their homeland to head off to the New World seeking their fortune. The Ballinstadt museum is dedicated to those emigrants.
Opening times: April – October, 10am – 6pm; November – March, 10am – 4.30pm. (Note: final admittance is an hour before closing time.)
Price: Adults - 12 Euros entry fee; Children (up to 12 years) - 7 Euros. Families and groups pay a special reduced entry fee.
Address: Veddeler Bogen 1, 20539 Hamburg
Getting there: S3 or S31 from Hauptbahnhof to Station 'Veddel/Ballinstadt'; or with Ferry 10 from Landungsbrücke (Maritime Circle Line, including a harbour discovery tour).
Phone: 040 319 79160
Fax: 040 319 791620
Homepage: Ballinstadt Austwanderwelt Hamburg
The adventure of emigration
The history of the Ballinstadt originates about a hundred years ago, when Albert Ballin, director-general of the HAPAG shipping company, built the largest guest house in the world: the legendary Emigration Halls (Auswandererhallen). Sleeping and living quarters, dining rooms, baths, a church, a synagogue, a music pavilion and a room for medical examinations make up more than 30 buildings.
Many thousands of people from all over Europe arrived here every week to await the departure of their ship. For approximately five million people, between 1850 and 1934, Hamburg was the gateway to a new life. To these people the Ballinstadt Emigration museum is dedicated.
The lives of the emigrants
In three faithfully reconstructed living and sleeping pavilions, visitors can relive the diverse lives of the emigrants – from their socioeconomic and political backgrounds to their escape to a fresh start in distant America. The combination of interactive displays, historical documents and exhibits opens up a very personalised and human viewpoint of the historical events. Accompanying the visitor throughout all the main exhibition areas is their own personal emigration story. At the stations of the multimedia game 'Simmigrant' visitors experience through their own eyes all the stages of emigration and have to overcome many obstacles themselves.
Finding your roots
Those interested can access computers to find out about the emigration history of their ancestors. The information in the computers comes from passenger lists from 1850 to 1934 and databases of US census lists.
Ballinstadt is an adventure for the whole family – hands-on, exciting, and rich with history.