Welcome to the Literaturhaus!

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Tickets and Vouchers

Our events are mainly held in German. If a foreign author is our guest, the event will be held in their original language and German.

You can purchase tickets in advance on Reservix. Advance Booking starts from the 15th of the preceding month. Tickets are available online as well as on the Reservix booking offices, the free Reservix hotline (+49 761.88 84 99 99), the bookshop Samtleben and at the evening box office.

The doors to the hall will open 60 minutes before the event starts. Seats in the Literaturhaus are not numbered, so please understand that your seat is no longer guaranteed once the event has started.

More information here.


Barrier-free access to all events, the Samtleben bookshop and the Literaturhauscafé is particularly important to us. You can also join many of our evening events via livestream. Our house has a lift and an accessible toilet. At our events you can use the Sennheiser hearing assistance system, if needed.

More information on accessibility is available here.

About us

Since 1989, the white villa next to the Außenalster has been home to Nobel Prize winners and upcoming authors, artists, theatre people and philosophers. Not only authors from all over the world, but also the audience love the hospitality and the sophisticated literary events in the wonderfully restored house with its late-classical style.

Founded in 1985 by literature loving Hanseatics, the Literaturhaus Hamburg became the centre of literary life in the Hanseatic city and attracts attention beyond Hamburg’s borders with its reputation. The Literaturhaus team organises around 150 readings, panel discussions, talks and literary evenings every year. Series such as the »Philosophisches Café«, »März & Moritz & 1 Gast« or the »Gemischtes Doppel« take place regularly. There are also festivals such as »Nordische Literaturtage« or »Hamburger Graphic Novel Tage«.

The Junges Literaturhaus focuses on young readers. In order of the monthly series »Spaß mit Büchern« and »STA*-Club«, prominent writers such as Peter Rühmkorf and Siegfried Lenz have answered questions, the rap poets Timo Brunke and Bas Böttcher have performed their poetry and young authors have read from their debuts. Also, »Schreiblabor« is an event for young people who have their own first writing ideas and dream of becoming writers. Other projects are »Schulhausroman«, a novel written by pupils, and »Gedankenflieger«, where children philosophise about the big questions in life.

With its magnificent hall and the Beletage, the inviting gastronomic offer, the cosy Lesecafé, the bar and the excellent bookshop Samtleben, the Literaturhaus is a cultural oasis where you easily feel at home.


The Literaturhauscafé provides bar service at our events. Please direct table reservations and rental inquiries directly to the Literaturhauscafé. T 040. 2 20 13 00 or online via OpenTable.


The white villa at Schwanenwik 38 has been home to the Literaturhaus Hamburg for 20 years. But its history goes back a long way: merchant families lived here, later an orthopaedic surgeon and a dance school used the hall for medical gymnastics and dance. For many years, the building was home to a state girls‘ home, the »residential home for female apprentices, transit home for at-risk young women and protective custody centre for those taken into custody«, until the Literaturhaus Hamburg opened its doors in September 1989.

In the second half of the 19th century, the neo-classical villa that is now home to the Literaturhaus was built. Its first residents were families of bankers and merchants. At the beginning of the 20th century, the house became a doctor’s office and a dance school run by the Hungarian dancer and choreographer Rudolf von Laban. In 1937, Laban fled from the National Socialists to England. From the Second World War onwards, the house became a location and residential home for disciplining »socially conspicuous« girls. After the end of the war, the house continued to function as a home for young women with social problems until 1985. In 1987, the Literaturhaus e.V. moved into the building, saving it from decay. Gerd Bucerius buyed the building for the ZEIT Foundation Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius in 1989 and the Literaturhaus e.V. can use it rent-free. The ZEIT Foundation, the City of Hamburg and the Bremerhaven merchant Eddy Lübbert supported the extensive renovation and restoration work. The grand opening of the Literaturhaus Hamburg took place on 12 September 1989. The Samtleben bookshop, which has been located in the Literaturhaus ever since, also opened its doors.

Association and Membership

Literature comes alive at the Literaturhaus. Here you can get to know the people behind the stories, discuss philosophical and political issues, gain insights into the literary world, and witness interesting, moving and unique moments. If this is what you are looking for, then become a member or sponsor of the Literaturhaus.

Since 1989, the Literaturhaus has been bringing the big names in contemporary literature to the Hanseatic city and therefore became famous for its exceptional, innovative and varied literary events. Currently, around 700 members support our work, both financially and in terms of ideas.

We offer various sponsorship models with which you can support the Literaturhaus. Membership is the basis of our commitment and comes with exclusive benefits, e.g. reduced ticket prices, earlier access to tickets, access to the Mara-Cassens-Preis jury and our program booklet delivered to your home free of charge. And a membership also makes a wonderful gift.

With your donations, you make an important contribution to communicating and experiencing literature in Hamburg and to cultivating cultural values and intellectual exchange.