Hamburg steals title as Germany’s traffic jam capital

Hamburg steals title as Germany’s traffic jam capital

Drivers in Hamburg spent an average of 74 hours tapping the driving wheel in frustration in 2023 - the port city has now been declared as the most congested in Germany.

Hamburg declared Germany’s most congested city in 2023

According to the 13th annual TomTom Traffic Index, Hamburg was Germany’s most congested city in 2023. Considering 387 cities across 55 international countries, TomTom’s index assesses each location based on average travel times by car, CO2 emissions and free access to information about roads and traffic.

Using information about the city’s infrastructure, speed limits, traffic congestion and flow and which routes are suggested for optimal time travel, Hamburg was determined as the most traffic-jam-ridden German city, overtaking Munich in 2022

In 25 other cities across the world, locals have it worse when it comes to traffic, but Hamburgers still spent an average of 74 hours waiting in line during the past year. And of the average 720 euros spent on fuel, 141 euros of this was used in a jam. Of the 365 days of 2023, December 5 was deemed as the busiest for car travel in Hamburg, the week when heavy snowfall hit much of Germany.

Within Germany, Berlin and Leipzig followed Hamburg to make up the top three worst cities for congestion. In the two eastern cities, it took locals an average of 22 minutes to travel 10 kilometres in 2023. Things weren’t much better in Frankfurt or Munich either, where it took an average of 21 minutes per 10 kilometres.

Londoners spent 148 hours in traffic jams during 2023

But all of this must sound like a dream to Londoners. In The Big Smoke, it took locals an average of 43 minutes to travel 10 kilometres, and of the whopping 338 hours that they spent driving in 2023, Londoners spent 148 of those hours in congested traffic. To make everyone feel extra guilty, TomTom calculates this overall driving time as the approximate amount of time it would take to read 67 books.

In Dublin, the city where drivers spent the second-highest number of hours driving, an average of 295 hours. 158 of these hours were spent in traffic, otherwise calculated as the approximate time it takes to read 59 books or to read and properly understand Ulysses once.

In the city where congestion hours were the third-longest in the world, Toronto, things were bad but considerably better than in Dublin. In Toronto, locals still spent a lot of 2023 driving, an average of 255 hours, but only 98 of these, compared to Dublin’s 158, were thanks to congestion.

Thumb image credit: Canetti /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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