Welcome to Hamburgs first emigration museum BallinStadt on the historic landsite.

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To the museum
years BallinStadt Hamburg!

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To the museum

In our exhibition you will come face to face with the fate of individual emigrants. The combination of interactive elements such as living picture and talking figures with more than 1,000 historical docu- ments and exhibits is deeply moving.

The BallinStadt bridges the gap between past, present and future and takes you on a journey of living memories and grasping history.

The award-winning concept begins with living pictures, which depict the emigra- tion from 1850 until 1934. Learn more about the reasons why the emigrants left their homeland and how they ex- perienced the ship passage to the New World.

After arriving at Ellis Island, you will fol- low the emigrants to their new home and find out where they finally settled.

More than 100 years ago the Emigration Halls in Hamburg were the last home- stead shelter to the European emigrants. Shortly before the departure, when the New World was within the grasp of the emigrants, the Emigration Halls were renowned as the “port of dreams”.

Located on historic ground, the Ballin- Stadt Emigration Museum is dedicated to these five million emigrants who made Hamburg - their gateway to a NewWorld.

Why do people leave their homes?

In times before and during the emigration over the Emigration Halls in Hamburg, reasons to leave ones home did not strongly contrast with present-day causes to search new homeland.

The most common reason for emigration was the wish for a more stabile economy, which did not exist in the country emigrants currently lived in.

Bad harvests and famines did not lead to people leaving their homes, but strengthened their desire to seek for new homeland, with more promising future prospects.

Hundred thousands of people in Germany suffered from a great

business depression after the foundation of the “Deutsche Reich” in the year 1870, which had the effect that twelve years later, in the year 1882, 250.000 people emigrated from Germany – a matchless record.

Political or religious persecution often resulted in emigration, due to rays of hope, that their religious or political beliefs get tolerated in foreign countries.

The BallinStadt is a place telling stories of millions of people walking on uncertain ways to find a better life in the New World.

About five million people emigrated over Hamburg and have set their goals to achieve their hopes and dreams abroad.

If you wish an individual advice please get in contact with us via email (info@ballinstadt.de) or by telephone (+49 40 31979160). The fee will be 15€ per half an hour.

The award-winning conception of the BallinStadt revives the world of emigration. The BallinStadt is a lively place on ancient grounds, for the Emigration Halls from 100 years ago where built on the exact same space here on the Veddel Island.&#10;&#10;The BallinStadt bridges the gap between past, present and future and takes you on a journey of living memories and grasping history.

In our in-house research center it is not only possible to search the unique Hamburg passenger lists, you also have access to the world’s largest genealogical database including e.g. U.S. censuses and address books.

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In the main building you will find our information desk and the cash register.

As well our unique game “Simmigrant©” about a virtual emigrant starts here. Please note that the game is only available in German.

The great emigration exhibition is the core of the BallinStadt. There you can explore the minds and backgrounds of emigrants, who left their homeland and set off for a new and uncertain future.

You will get to know Albert Ballin, the founder of the Emigration Halls, former director of HAPAG and eponym of BallinStadt.Learn more about the ship passage, the arrival at Ellis Island, the large immigration center – and the final destination of the emigrants.

In our third building you walk through the reconstruction of the reception in the Emigration Halls as well as a large dormitory from 1910.

Our museum shop, restaurant and family reserch center is also located in house no. 3. Enjoy our meals based on recipes which were used in the canteens of the Emigration Halls.

This service is supported by our partner ancestry.com. It is open daily and is free of charge. Monday to Friday between 1.30pm and 3.30pm staff will be available to assist you with your research.

@ Kontaktmailto:verwaltung@ballinstadt.de?subject=Betreff%20der%20E-Mail


The historic place

The experience

The research centre

The BallinStadt is an experience where people of all ages can feel the spirit of emigration, which was tailwind for people of numerous nations 100 years ago.

Living pictures revive the everyday-life of emigrants and touch everybody who also has hopes and dreams.