The man, thought to be about 45 years old, entered the Haspa bank on the Spitalerstrasse in the centre of the city wearing a headscarf, glasses and a long coat, according to police information.
He pulled a pistol on the bank teller and then in classic form, handed over a note which read, ‘This is a robbery', the Hamburger Morgenpost reported.
After being given several thousand euros in cash, the man stormed out of the bank and ran up the street along the famous Jungfernsteig and into town.
Armed police soon swarmed through the city centre, at one point searching a brothel in their hunt for the man.
At least five members of the public were searched as they walked through town, and one man in a car was stopped and checked.
Dozens of police cars and the police helicopter were called out, while metro trains were stopped and searched, but to no avail.
Police are now appealing for any information about the man who they say is around 170cm tall and about 45 years old. He was wearing a dark, long coat, a light-coloured headscarf and a pair of glasses.