The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog

How To Spend 2 Days Hamburg! Perfect Weekend in Hamburg Itinerary!

Categories Europe , Germany , Itinerary

On a very cold February weekend, I visited Hamburg with my best friend. Although tourists have been visiting Hamburg for a long time I feel that Hamburg is a bit of an ‘up and coming city’ thanks to it having a bit of edge and coolness! There are plenty of things to do in Hamburg to keep you busy for 2 days in Hamburg at least, making it a great weekend city break destination.

Here is my Hamburg itinerary and Hamburg travel tips that I recommend you follow for your 2 days in Hamburg too!

2 Days in Hamburg

2 days in Hamburg

Hamburg Itinerary

Day one in hamburg.

We arrived late on a Friday night so we were ready to explore on Saturday morning and spend 2 days in Hamburg!

Hamburg is very walkable and if you’re in the centre and happy to walk you probably won’t end up even using the transport apart from getting to and from the airport, however if you are staying further out or like to use public transport, I would recommend getting the Hamburg Card which will cover all transport and give discount on sight-seeing trips, museums etc.

You can find out about the Hamburg card here ! Also, there are no barriers to any of the stations so if you do get on remember to buy a ticket, we didn’t get our ticket checked but it would be typical that you forget to buy a ticket, jump on a train because you can, and then get fined!

Hamburg Town Hall

We got off at Jungfernstieg Station which is right in the City and I was pleased to see the very impressive Town Hall building sticking out above the other, more corporate buildings I, of course, headed there to get some snaps of this very German architecture!

2 days in Hamburg, town hall

The water was what had really drawn me to want to visit Hamburg, I love being by water and Hamburg has so many canals and rivers and actually feels like it’s right on the ocean, so we naturally drifted away from the Town Hall and down towards Hafen City , an area of the city that sits by the river and many canals and one of the popular places to visit in Hamburg.

I also found myself heading towards the red brick buildings , I had seen so many photos of these online, and I do love a red brick building, so pretty soon we were in the area I had seen so many photos of on Instagram and whilst crossing a bridge and looking down between the buildings and a long the canal I even said out loud ‘ooh I think this is the famous Hamburg Instagram spot!!’ What do you think??

2 days in Hamburg, canals

I was also really surprised by just how many bridges there were! Every few meters there seemed to be a cast-iron bridge, and I later found out that Hamburg has over 2,500 bridge which is more than Amsterdam, Venice and London combined and more than any other city in Europe! Crazy!

2 days in Hamburg, bridges

Elbphilharmonie Building

We walked around Hafen City, spotted the very impressive Elbphilharmonie Building which we had tickets for the next day and generally just took in the beautiful blue skies and the atmosphere of a very chilled city!

Tip: You can get a guided tour of the Elbphilharmonie Building  during your 2 days in Hamburg which is a very popular thing to do and way to see this really impressive building. Buying a ticket like this will also save you trying to reserve one as you do need to get one in advance.

2 days in Hamburg

We were in need of coffee so headed back across the canals and back towards the city centre, it’s as if the coffee gods were on our side as I saw a place called Nord Coast Coffee Roastery on my phone and thought it sounded cool so we headed there.

On arrival, with people queuing out of the door we realised that this must be one of Hamburg’s popular coffee and brunch spots! Luckily the queue was just for brunch so we grabbed a coffee and sat outside with the blankets provided and planned our next step.

Tip: I would really recommend adding  Nord Coast Coffee Roastery  to your Hamburg itinerary for a coffee or brunch in Hamburg! If you go on the weekend and want brunch, book a few days in advance as the waitress said they book up quick!

Hamburg Boat Trip

I was really keen to head out on the water so after our very good coffee we headed towards the harbour and enjoyed walking a long the promenade.

I visited Hamburg with Come to Hamburg which is a blogger initiative to show off what Hamburg has to offer and their recommended boat trip partner was Barkassen Meyer which is on bridge 6, just up from the Hard Rock Cafe.

We got to their pier just before 1:00pm which was perfect as the boats depart every hour, on the hour. A ticket is €18.00, the boat was really nice, the windows were nice and big and even the ceiling was see-through so we had lots of light and heat, however the only down side was that the whole tour was in German!

We were given phones with English audio but the guy doing the tour in German was very loud and drowned out the sound of the audio a bit, plus he seemed to talk a lot more in German than what our English audio guide was so I felt like I wasn’t getting the best of what a tour can offer.

Tip: I would definitely suggest doing a boat tour on your Hamburg itinerary and during your 2 days in Hamburg as it was amazing to see the city from the water, it was so good to see all of the container boats on the other side of the river too as its something we just don’t see in day to day life, but make sure that you do a tour with an English guide or a tour where everyone has an audio guide and can switch it to their preferred language! If you have a Hamburg Card, see where you can get discounts with that.

These boat tours around Hamburg look great:

That being said, I did learn a lot about Hamburg from the tour, for example –

Hamburg is the largest city for musicals after New York and London!

The Elbphilharmonie was estimated to cost 75 Million Euros but ended up costing 789 Million Euros!

The area of Reeperbahn, known as the sinful mile is where The Beatles started their world career!

And the City of Hamburg dates back to the 9th Century!

2 days in Hamburg, boat tour

Our next stop of the day was Lunch and it was well needed by 2:00pm. I had been told about Ban Canteen , a Vietnamese place with Vegan options so we headed there via the St Pauli area. St Pauli is where the Reeperbahn is which is now the red light district part of the city.

It was pretty strange seeing sex shops and bars in the middle of the day but once we came off the main street and further into St Pauli we were so surprised by this side of the city. It felt cool, rundown, up and coming but safe, which is a weird combination! We liked it anyway and past lots of cool bars and places to eat!

Tip: To help understand the Reeperbahn, check out Man Vs Globe’s post – Don’t Fear the Reeperbahn !

I actually wish I had done a tour of the Reeperbahn area  on my Hamburg itinerary, I didn’t know they were a thing until I got back, these tours sound really intriguing!

2 days in Hamburg, reeperbahn

Ban Canteen is only a small restaurant but its menu and its portions are huge! We shared the Summer Spring Rolls to start, followed by a huge bowl of Tofu Pho each, finished by sharing the Mango & Coconut Panna Cotta.. all of it was Vegan and all of it was delicious!

Tip: Ban Canteen may seem like a bit of a walk away depending on where you are in the city as its to the top of St Pauli but I really recommend going! If you’re not Vegan, don’t worry, it’s meat based too, if you are Vegan, check it out as there are lots of options! Also check out these Vegan places in Hamburg by Veggie Visa!

2 days in Hamburg ban canteen

Tip: For more great places to eat in Hamburg check out this Hamburg Food Guide .


After our late lunch, we slowly walked back towards the Reeperbahn but at this point we felt a bit stuck with what to do next. We wanted a drink but the bars in St Pauli all looked a bit too dingy for this time of day so we headed back to the River where we came across StrandPauli . We were drawn in because of its beach bar vibe which in 0° which seemed very random but also very cool!

We were so surprised to see an outdoor deck area with sand on the floor and lots of people huddled in blankets, looking over the water and I couldn’t believe that we had found another gem which I recommend adding to you 2 days in Hamburg and Hamburg itinerary!

2 days in Hamburg strandpauli

I was sooo happy to see that the bar is pretty much West facing and the sun was due to set in about an hour so we sat outside with a glass of red wine, a blanket covering our legs, music in the background and watched the sun slowly go down. We headed inside afterwards and the bar tender mentioned that come Summer this place is so busy!

Obviously, it will be a lot more pleasant in the Summer weather wise but I felt lucky that we got to sit in peace and watch an incredible sunset without the crowds and it reminded me that often, the random places you find in new places are the best!

Tip: You have to go to StrandPauli, no matter what the weather is like and ideally for sunset!

2 days in Hamburg strandpauli

Dinnertime came round quickly, once again we ended up on the Reeperbahn which was a lot busier now, we snuck off into the streets of St Pauli though and found an Italian place to eat. We did struggle with finding somewhere for dinner and kind of wished we had stayed in StrandPauli as they serve food too but the pizza’s were good!

Day Two in Hamburg!

The best thing to do on a Sunday morning in Hamburg is to go to the Fischmarkt aka the Fish Market ! I have woken up many times on a Sunday morning to look on Instagram Stories and see someone I follow at the fish market in Hamburg. I’ve seen live music, people dancing, drinking beers and all before 9:00am, so I knew I had to go!

The Fish Market starts at 5:00am and finishes up at around 9:30am. We got to Landungsbrucken train station for about 8:30am which was the perfect time  (considering the weather, more on that soon). Lots of people were heading to the markets at this time, although we noted that most of them seemed like tourists and that the locals were the people passing us leaving with baskets full of fruit and veggies!

We walked through an area of outdoor stalls selling lots of fish and fish sandwiches of course, but also cakes and fruits and clothes. It would have been really easy to get caught up in this and stay out here but I knew we needed to head further down to the inside market and I wasn’t disappointed when we got there!

2 days in Hamburg fish market

Live music was blaring, people were dancing, the beers and Jaeger were out, some people looked like they had been up since last night, but luckily there was coffee on offer and seats for us who were still feeling sleepy from a night in bed! We didn’t get inside until about 9:00am so we only listened to about 30 minutes of music before it stopped and everyone slowly started leaving. For us this was a good amount of time, especially as it was a very cold morning and it had just started snowing, and settling!

Tip: I would recommend getting to the fish market for about 8:00-8:30am for a fuller experience, especially if you are visiting in Spring or Summer!

2 days in Hamburg

St Nicholas Church

We headed back towards the City Centre, passing St Michael’s and St. Nicholas Church . Both of these churches have viewing platforms which I had hoped to go up, however it was really snowing by this point and the visibility was terrible so I knew there was no point.

Tip: I would recommend going up at least one of these churches, both cost €5.00 to enter the viewing platform. I saw that St Nicholas Church (second photo below) has a lift all the way to the top!

2 days in Hamburg church

International Maritime Museum

We were booked in for the Elbphilharmonie today so we headed back towards Hafen City however first we visited the International Maritime Museum . I’m not a huge museum fan but I did find this museum really interesting, we read a few bits about slavery which was awful to read but a good reminder, and on a more fun note we saw a huge lego cruise ship which was impressive!

2 days in Hamburg international maritimes museum

Hafen City seemed very quiet on the weekend, I assume its busier during the week and office hours (or maybe it was because it was seriously snowing now as you can tell by my photos!). However across the canal and street from the International Maritime Museum is Wildes Fraulein Cafe so we popped in here for a coffee and once again, we came across a gem!

The cafe is Alpine style I believe and has a gondola car inside it which proved fun for the children, we had a good coffee but most importantly they offer awesome brunches and food in general!

Tip: If you’re in Hafen City and looking for a cool cafe, head to Wildes Fraulein for coffee, brunch or lunch!

2 days in Hamburg cafe


Finally we headed towards the very impressive Elbphilharmonie ! We took the ‘Tube’ aka a cool escalator towards the top and then headed out onto the balcony. The balcony runs all the way around the building. Due to the weather we didn’t get to see much but luckily we had had the blue skies the day before so we had an idea of what was hiding behind the cloud! I really enjoyed going in here, its such an iconic building of Hamburg and Europe now its kind of a must visit!

Tip: Tickets are free however they are limited to a number of slots each day so it is advisable to book online, you can book here . There is a €2.00 booking fee and the tickets are emailed. The ticket says to print it out but I forgot and no one even looked at the ticket anyway so try to print it out but if not, you should be ok!

2 Days in Hamburg, Elbphilharmonie

Lunch time called for a Burger at Better Burger Company , another place I had been recommended by Come to Hamburg. We headed back towards the Town Hall which we had seen the morning before, it really surprised us how quiet the city was, all the shops were shut which I guess is still normal for a lot of Cities (living in London for makes me forget that Sunday should be a quiet day!) and the snow was probably keeping people inside too!

Better Burger Company offers a few different types of beef burgers, a veggie burger and a vegan burger. You choose the burger, choose up to 5 toppings or sauces, add a side of fries and you’re in for a pretty awesome meal!!

Tip: Better Burger Company is a great place for lunch as its quick and relaxed so I would recommend heading there for lunch over dinner.

2 Days in Hamburg better burger company

With the cold really setting in and the city being so quiet we decided to retreat into a bar.. again! We had searched beer tasting the day before and Barley & Malt had appeared. This is another thing that surprised me about Hamburg, we thought there would be a lot more pubs and we would see steins of beer everywhere but so far we really hadn’t, I guess this isn’t as common in Northern Germany?

Barely & Malt turned out to be an Irish Bar (trust us to find an Irish Bar!), but we were still tempted by its €7.00 craft beer tasting and I’m really glad we did head inside. It was quiet but we enjoyed sitting with a window view of the street, tasting 5 different beers!

Tip: I would really recommend doing the Craft beer tasting in Barley & Malt, especially if you’re on a budget as €7.00 for 5 small beers is good! It probably gets quite busy later on but they don’t allow stag parties which is good. Barley & Malt is also on the same street as Nord Coast Coffee Roastery!

2 Days in Hamburg barley and malt beer tasting

Soon it was dinner time (we definitely lived for meals in Hamburg), the city was still very quiet so we headed randomly in the direction of Landungsbrucken station where we had started the day.

Around St Michael’s church we noticed that a lot of restaurants seemed open. We really wanted a true German meal since we hadn’t had one yet, but all of the restaurants seemed to be Portuguese, Spanish, Brazilian and Italian which we thought was strange but as it was so cold we decided to jump into one that looked good. Luigi’s on Ditmar-Koel-Straße street caught our attention for some reason but I’m so glad it did!

Luigi’s is an Italian restaurant, it’s quite dark inside and has pumping music which seemed very out-of-place, especially on a Sunday considering we had experienced such a sleepy Hamburg all day!

The rooms weave all the way back and the walls are full of graffiti and art and it’s all very random! The staff were so good and fun – cheeky and charming comes to mind, and the food was rally good, so all in all, we found another gem!

Tip: As I mentioned, we find it really hard to come across what I think of as German food (me being Vegan probably doesn’t help), so I would suggest embracing food from other Countries whilst in Germany, for example Vietnamese from Ban Canteen and Italian from Luigi’s!

2 Days in Hamburg luijis pizza

And that was the end of our 2 days in Hamburg! We headed back to the hotel, relaxed in the spa for a bit, went to bed and flew back to London Monday morning!

Hamburg Travel Tips

Because Hamburg is on the water, it does get cold! If you can, I would suggest going outside of Winter!

As I mentioned, Sunday was so quiet in the City so heading to Hamburg during the week or a Friday and Saturday might provide a fuller experience. If not, a weekend is fine and maybe its busier on a Sunday when it’s not snowing!

Flights to Hamburg can often be so cheap! We flew there with Ryanair from London Stansted and back with Easyjet to London Luton, our flights were about £50.00 return in total but I have seen flights much cheaper on Skyscanner !

Staying in the centre of Hamburg is best, 25Hotels Hotel in Hafen City is a really good central hotel in Hamburg I have heard!

  • Posts you may also like:
  • A First Timer’s Guide to Visiting Berlin!
  • What I Pack for a European Winter City Break!
  • How to Plan, Book and Have a European City Break on a Budget!

I visited Hamburg with Come to Hamburg but all thoughts and opinions are my own! 

travel tales hamburg

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Mark & Glenda

Wednesday 3rd of July 2019

Thanks very much for your tips for two days in Hamburg

Sunday 1st of July 2018

Love your post! Thanks for this. Great itierary.


You’re welcome, thank you for reading and commenting! :)

Hamburg Travel Guide: Top Things to Do and See

Hello Hamburg, you beautiful city! For us, it was love at first sight with this northern port city of Germany. Over the years, we visited this Hanseatic city on several occasions. Now it’s time to collate all our tips and recommendations for Hamburg into this detailed travel guide .

In this travel guide, we will share with you what to expect on a city trip to Hamburg and where to find the best things to do and see. Plus, you’ll find our best tips for cafes, restaurants and things to do. At the end of the travel guide, you will also find an interactive map with all the recommendations we’ve mentioned here.

1. Hamburg: Things to Know when Planning your Trip

2. the most beautiful sights and places in hamburg: what to see, 3. tours & activities in hamburg: our tips, 4. cafes and restaurant tips in hamburg, 5. our hotel recommendation in hamburg.

Hamburg Travel Tips

Interesting facts to know about Hamburg

Honestly, we don’t think we have ever met anyone who did not like Hamburg. If you like Port Cities and maritime scenes , then you will love Hamburg. There is water everywhere around and throughout the city: whether it’s by the harbour on the Elbe, or the very pretty Speicherstadt, or at the Alster.

  • Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city after Berlin . Around 1.8 million people live in Hamburg.
  • Hamburg is very large and a rather sparsely populated city . You can get around the city rather quickly and many of the highlights are either within walking distance or can be reached via the U-Bahn and S-Bahn trains.  
  • Although Hamburg is not located by the sea (the North Sea is about 100 kilometers away), its location on the Elbe gives Hamburg a maritime flair.
  • Hamburg is actually the city with the most bridges in Europe! There are 2,500 bridges in Hamburg – more than in Venice or Amsterdam.
  • The weather in Hamburg can be quite variable with a lot of rain. There are about eight to ten rainy days per month.

How much time should you spend Hamburg?

Hamburg is a great city for a weekend trip. You can explore most of the important sights in Hamburg in about 2 nights (3 days).

However, if you have more time to spend, then we would certainly recommend you stay longer. In our opinion, 3 to 4 nights is the ideal period to really experience Hamburg for the first time. That way, you will also have enough time to explore more local places off the beaten track.

When is the best time to visit Hamburg?

We ourselves have visited Hamburg in each of the four seasons and can confirm that no matter which season, Hamburg is always worth a trip. Good to know: the weather here is heavily influenced by its geographical location, therefore, it experiences quite a large amount of rainfall. We would suggest bringing an umbrella or a rain jacket with you just in case.

Personally, we love summer in Hamburg: the temperature is super nice and the days are long. It’s usually not too hot, but you do get the odd exceptions now and again. (Even we got caught in a decent heat wave during one of our visits.) Spring and Autumn are also very beautiful seasons for a trip to Hamburg.

Hamburg Bucket List: What shouldn’t I miss?

For those who want it short and sweet, here is a small best-of list for Hamburg. (Of course, more detailed tips about these things to do will follow throughout this travel guide.)

  • Enjoy the view from the Michel, Hamburg’s most famous church.
  • Admire the Elbphilharmonie – and ideally even attend a concert.
  • Take a harbour tour and marvel at the large container ships.
  • Eat a fish sandwich.
  • Stroll through the Speicherstadt or, even better, take a boat trip through the canals.

Hamburg Tipps

Jungfernstieg & Town Hall: Hamburg’s Old Town

If this is your first time in Hamburg, then a good starting point would be the area around the Jungfernstieg. You will find yourself by the Binnenalster – an artificial lake, which is fed by the river Alster. There are some magnificent buildings along the shores of the Binnenalster.

Just a few minutes walk from the Jungfernstieg is one of the most beautiful buildings in Hamburg: the town hall . This Neo-Renaissance building is not only surprisingly large, but also incredibly beautiful. The courtyard of the town hall is also very worth seeing if you’re in the area.

Hamburg Travel Tips

Main Church of St. Michaelis: The Michel

The most famous church in Hamburg is nicknamed the Michel . You can get here from the town hall in about 15 minutes by foot. The inside of the church is well worth seeing, but the Michel is best known for its church tower: high up at the observation deck of the 132-meter-high tower, you can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the city.

You can either walk up the tower (453 steps) or choose to go up with the lift – the price is actually the same for both options. The 360-degree view from high above Hamburg is just stunning and although you are behind safety bars, you can easily photograph through them .  

For a super unique experience, you could also visit at night. They call this Nachtmichel (or Night Michel in English) and you can visit in the evenings, past regular opening hours, on many days of the year. However, the prices are a little higher.

Information about the lookout point from the Michel Church

Price: 8 Euros (during the day) or 11.50 Euros (at night) Opening hours: November to March from 10am to 6pm, April and October from 9am to 7pm, May to September from 9am to 8pm (last admission half an hour before closing time); The opening times for the evenings can be found here: Nachtmichel

Hamburg Michel


Since November 2016, Hamburg has a new landmark: the Elbphilharmonie – a modern concert hall enthroned on the banks of the Norderelbe. Despite the many controversial opinions, we think that the Elbphilharmonie fits in very well with its surrounding cityscape.

The dream would be, of course, to attend a concert in the famous Great Hall . We were able to experience that on our last visit to Hamburg. Coveted concerts are usually sold out within minutes, so it’s not that easy.

Alternatively, you still have the opportunity to visit the Elbphilharmonie as part of a public concert hall tour , where you also get access to the Great Hall. This tour takes about an hour and costs 20 Euros per person. Important to know: If you want to see the Great Hall, then we would strongly recommend you book your tour through the official website of the Elbphilharmonie (or at the actual ticket office). This is because most guided tours booked through other sites won’t include access to the concert halls!

The cheaper alternative is to visit the viewing platform , which is located 37 meters high between the brick base and the glass structure – this viewing platform is called Plaza. If you go to the Elbphilharmonie visitor centre, you can receive a ticket for the same day free of charge (if there are still enough tickets for that day). If you want to buy your ticket online in advance, it costs an extra 2 Euros.

Information about the visit to the Elbphilharmonie

Price for official concert hall tour: 20 Euros Price for the Plaza (viewing platform): free or 2 Euros (for tickets in advance)

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Speicherstadt & HafenCity

Nearby the Elbphilharmonie is the very unique and photogenic Speicherstadt . This historic brick ensemble is indeed the world’s largest historic warehouse complex. The Speicherstadt is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in our opinion one of the coolest places in Hamburg.

Thanks to the numerous bridges, you can explore the Speicherstadt by foot. It is also very worthwhile to see the Speicherstadt from the water and you can do this as part of a harbour tour. There are countless tour providers, each with different routes – some even offer trips in the late evening. We will share with you more information about these harbour tours later in this travel guide.

One of our highly recommended stopovers in the Speicherstadt would definitely be the Speicherstadt Kaffeerösterei , where you can enjoy delicious coffee from their special house-roasted coffee beans. Incidentally, one of the most famous photo opportunities in the Speicherstadt is at the intersection of the moated castle , which you can see in the first photo.

The Speicherstadt is bordered by the modern HafenCity . This district is also home to the Elbphilharmonie and there is no other place in Hamburg, which evolves as fast as the HafenCity. New buildings are constantly being constructed and the HafenCity is said to be completed by 2025.

Hamburg Speicherstadt Tipps

Landungsbrücken & Old Elbe Tunnel

The so-called Landungsbrücken on the Norderelbe are your starting point if you want to explore the port of Hamburg. This is where the countless harbour tours start. The Landungsbrücken are generally a very touristic place but also really worth seeing in Hamburg.

One of the most famous things to see at the Landungsbrücken is the Old Elbe Tunnel. Opened in 1911, this tunnel crosses the Norderelbe at a depth of 24 meters and connects the Landungsbrücken with the Elbe island of Steinwerder.

The Old Elbe Tunnel is exactly 426.5 meters long and can be used both on foot and by bike (although no longer by car) free of charge. It’s a cozy 15 to 16 degrees down here – a pleasant cooling off in summer.

Landungsbrücken Hamburg

Nikolaifleet & Deichstraße

A so-called “Fleet” is a canal and there are a lot of them in Hamburg. One of the most famous canals is the Nikolaifleet. Here you will find Hamburg’s oldest preserved town houses and with them probably the most beautiful building ensemble in Hamburg. You have a nice view of the houses from the High Bridge.

Of course there were many more of these characteristic houses in Hamburg. Unfortunately, countless of them fell victim to the great fire in 1842 that destroyed two thirds of downtown Hamburg.

Deichstraße, one of the most picturesque streets in Hamburg, runs along the back of the town houses. You should definitely not miss this street.

Hamburg Nikolaifleet

Memorial St. Nikolai

Another well-known thing to see in Hamburg is not far from the Nikolaifleet and can be seen from afar: the St. Nikolai memorial. If you are thinking of a church, you are absolutely right.

The ruins of the main church of St. Nikolai now house a memorial dedicated to the victims of the war between 1933 and 1945. Large parts of the church were destroyed during World War II. Only the tower, part of the southern outer wall and the walls of the chancel have survived.

The memorial is free of charge, but there is a fee for the museum on the lower floor. If you want, you can also take the glass panorama elevator to the viewing platform at a height of 76 meters.

Memorial St Nikolai

Hamburger Kunsthalle (Art Museum)

The perfect tip for rainy weather! The Hamburger Kunsthalle is one of the most famous museums in Hamburg. It is home to works from the Middle Ages to modern and contemporary art. Art from seven centuries can be admired here.

One focus is on works from the 19th century and paintings by the old masters. Because the Kunsthalle is really spacious and the collection is extensive, we recommend a stay of at least two to three hours.

Information about the visit to the Hamburger Kunsthalle

Price: 16 Euros Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm, Thursday from 10am to 9pm

Hamburger Kunsthalle

Karolinen- and Schanzenviertel: Hipster District of Hamburg

Together, the Schanzen and its neighbouring district – Karolinenviertel (or Karoviertel as it’s often called) come to form one of our favourite areas in Hamburg. They are both considered the trendy, hipster districts of Hamburg and you will find plenty of great boutiques here, as well as nice cafes and restaurants.

A good starting point to explore this area would the S-Bahn or the underground station Sternschanze . Should you feel like it’s time for a coffee hit, then you should stop by Café Elbgold. In our opinion, the coffee here at Elbgold is one of the best in Hamburg. You will also find nice restaurants and shops along Susannenstraße and the Schulterblatt. (Café Herr Max is another cafe worth visiting – although it’s not exactly a secret.)

From the Schanzenviertel district, you are just a stone’s throw away from its neighbouring district of Karoviertel . There you will come across some amazing street art . Just walk along the market street and perhaps peep into the odd courtyard here and there.  

Hamburg Sternschanze

Fish Market Hamburg

A visit to Hamburg’s Fish Market is quite an experience and it takes place every Sunday on the banks of the Elbe. Unfortunately, you have to get up rather early : In winter, the market starts at 6 am, and even earlier than that in the summer – 5 am. By 9:30 am, the spectacle is already over.

You will see sellers fighting for the attention of the buyers. Many stalls also sell fruits and vegetables, so don’t expect just fish and seafood as the market offers much more than that.

Every Sunday, there is a huge brunch offered with live music in the Fish Auction Hall. The price per person is 22 Euros and the brunch goes until 12 pm / noon. If that’s something you would like to experience, then we would highly suggest making a reservation. You can find more information here: Fish Auction Hall (website in German only).

Hamburg Fischmarkt Tipps

Reeperbahn in St. Pauli

We weren’t sure whether or not to include the Reeperbahn in our list, but somehow it just belongs to Hamburg and we couldn’t leave it out. The Reeperbahn is a synonym for the Red Light District of Hamburg in St. Pauli. This notorious street is the number one entertainment district in Hamburg.

You will find countless bars and nightclubs along the Reeperbahn (and in the back alleys) – most of them are not what we would personally call “inviting”. But if you really want to party hard, then this is a place to consider.

Reeperbahn Hamburg

Harbour Cruise

A typical sightseeing activity for Hamburg usually includes a harbour cruise. We ourselves have experienced this several times. Exploring Hamburg from the water is such a unique and special experience – we can only highly recommend you experience it for yourselves.  

There are countless providers offering harbour cruises with a variety of ships and routes. Most ships depart from the Landungsbrücken and when you get there, be prepared to be overwhelmed by the amount of harbour cruise offers.

The classic cruise is the socalled “Große Hafenrundfahrt” which takes two hours. As the name suggests, you will get very close to the harbour and you will see the gigantic container ships, for example.

Depending on the water level (and of course the chosen route), the big harbor tours also lead through parts of the Speicherstadt. However, if you are primarily interested in the Speicherstadt or the canals in Hamburg, you are better advised to take a canal trip. (We’ll tell you more about that in a moment.)

Our tip: Make sure to be at the Landungsbrücken preferably 30 minutes before departure. You have to find your way around the many docks and find the right boat.

You can book the tour here: Harbour Cruise

Hamburg Harbour Cruise

Tip # 1: Fleetfahrt from Jungfernstieg

The centre of Hamburg is intersected by several canals, known as the “Fleete” and these historic canyons can be explored as part of a cruise. The journey takes about two hours and unlike most other harbour cruises, they actually start on the Jungfernstieg (Binnenalster). From there it goes through the canals in the centre of Hamburg and towards the Speicherstadt. After that, you will get to see the port of Hamburg and go past the Elbphilharmonie. You usually won’t get close to the container ships.

However, the Fleetfahrten are tide dependent – meaning they can only take place when the water level is at an appropriate level. The route may also change depending on the tide and you might pass through several locks or channels. It’s quite an exciting experience, but you have to be prepared to wait a while.

You can find more information about the prices and the departure times here: Fleetfahrt . We recommend that you check the departure times directly at the Jungfernstieg ticket counter the day before and book the ticket for the next day.

Speicherstadt Cruise Hamburg

Alsterrundfahrt Tour

After the harbour cruise, the second most popular boat tour in Hamburg would be the Alsterrundfahrt Tour – along the Alster River. Personally, we found the harbour cruise more exciting, but can nevertheless recommend a boat tour along the Alster.

The classic Alsterrundfahrt starts at the Jungfernstieg and takes you across the Binnenalster and the Außenalster for about 1 hour . As you cruise along the shore, you’ll learn some background information about Hamburg and specific individual buildings along the tour.

You can buy your ticket in advance here: Alster Boat Trip

Hamburg Travel Blog

City Tours in Hamburg

We had a fantastic city tour a few years ago in Hamburg and although we often like to explore cities on our own, we have to admit that this city tour made quite the impression on us. So if you want to know a little more information about Hamburg, we can highly recommend you to take part in a city tour.

Free Walking Tours in Hamburg

There are several providers for free city tours in Hamburg and one of the more highly recommended (and entertaining) tours can be found by SANDEMAN’s New Europe Tours. You’ll get a guide that takes you through Hamburg for about 2.5 hours and shows you the most important sights. The tour is free, but of course you should give a reasonable tip.

You can find more information here: FREE Tour from Hamburg

Extra City Tours in Hamburg

In addition to these free walking tours, there are countless other offers for city tours in Hamburg. Most focus on a specific topic (for example, Reeperbahn or Speicherstadt).

With the Hamburg CARD you can get a discount on certain city tours. To find out exactly which ones, you can find the information on the official website of the Hamburg Tourism Board: City Tours with the Hamburg CARD .

Hamburg Free Walking Tour

Herr Max:  Very nicely furnished café in Schanzenviertel. Our recommendation: Try the cheesecake, which is ridiculously good. The breakfast is also said to be very delicious here.

Café Elbgold : In our opinion, the best coffee in Hamburg can be found at Café Elbgold, with special house-roasted beans. The Café Elbgold actually has several locations in Hamburg, but the largest café (and where they roast their beans) is located in Schanzenviertel.

Kaffeerösterei Speicherstadt: This coffee roasting house is located in a historic brick building in the Speicherstadt. Not exactly a secret, but can definitely recommend for a quick coffee break.

Nord Coast:   Very popular café that supposedly serves amazing breakfasts. Unfortunately, the queue in front of the restaurant was a bit too long for us, so we did not get the chance to try it out.  

Hoppe’s Restaurant: A popular fish restaurant by the water with fair prices. The restaurant is located outside the center at the Elbe beach. We recommend you to take the ferry (line 62) from Landungsbrücken.

NENI Hamburg:   No matter which NENI you go to, you just know what you’re going to get – high quality Israeli cuisine with nice chill vibes. We really liked it here and can definitely recommend you stop by too!  

Cafe Hamburg

25hours Hotel HafenCity

This very hip, individual boutique hotel is located in HafenCity. We love the design of the rooms. They are designed as ship cabins, which are very comfortable and well equipped – as you would expect from 25hours hotels. The breakfast is excellent, albeit a little expensive.

The location of this hotel is very central: you can reach the Elbphilharmonie in just 10 minutes by foot and the subway station is right on the doorstep. Conclusion: If you want to stay in a young boutique hotel, you are in good hands here.

You can view and book the hotel here: 25hours Hotel Hamburg HafenCity

AMERON Hamburg Hotel Speicherstadt

This design-hotel is located in the middle of the Speicherstadt. The rooms are quite small, but very cozy and we found the atmosphere very pleasant.

The location is amazing: The Speicherstadt is one of our favourite places in Hamburg, it just has so much character. Many of the hotel rooms here also overlook the canals of the Speicherstadt. If you are looking for a stylish, exceptional hotel, then this is the right choice for you.

You can view and book the hotel here: AMERON Hamburg Hotel Speicherstadt

Hotel Tips Hamburg

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This travel guide contains our personal recommendations in the form of affiliate links. If you book or buy something through these links, then we will receive a small commission. But this does not change the price for you at all – it’s just an awesome way for you to support this blog. A million thanks from the both of us!

Have you ever visited the beautiful Hanseatic city of Hamburg? What did you think of it? What are your top things to do and see in Hamburg? If you have any personal tips for Hamburg, we would love to hear them! See you in the comments down below!  

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18 Best Things to Do in Hamburg, Germany

Updated February 11, 2021

Most of Hamburg's attractions, such as the  Hamburger Kunsthalle ,  Miniatur Wunderland  and the trendy HafenCity neighborhood, are clustered in the city center and Harbour districts. But you should explore Hamburg's other neighborhoods to experience

  • All Things To Do

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Elbphilharmonie Elbphilharmonie free

A stunning architectural marvel often compared to Sydney's opera house , the Elbphilharmonie is a concert hall and performance space designed by the Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. As soon as it opened in 2016, it became an instant architectural icon thanks to its wave-like rooftop and glass façade. Luckily, you don't need tickets to a show to enjoy the striking space.

A public viewing platform is open to everyone and offers breathtaking, 360-degree views of the city and the harbor – a particular highlight for recent visitors. While admission to the viewing plaza is free, you do need a ticket to enter. Advance booking is available and recommended by recent visitors, though a booking fee of 2 euros (or about $2.25) applies. Reviewers also recommended taking a harbor cruise to admire the building from the water.

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Alter Elbtunnel Alter Elbtunnel free

The  Alter Elbtunnel  (also called the Old Elbe Tunnel, St. Pauli Elbe Tunnel) is a pedestrian, bike and motorist tunnel (though cars are not permitted), which travels underneath the River Elbe. It connects central Hamburg to the southern side of the river. Opened in 1911, the tunnel was built to serve the port and shipyard workers as a connecting route between the Landungsbrücken and Steinwerder piers. It became a tourist attraction when the "new" Elbe tunnel opened in the 1970s. It has been undergoing renovation for the past several years.

While walking through the quarter-mile-long tunnel, take time to look at the tile reliefs that line the walls, which portray starfish, dolphins and other creatures. Past travelers enjoyed the experience of walking beneath the river and taking in the great view from the opposing side. Others said it provides an interesting photo opportunity, though there is little else to do.

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Planten un Blomen Planten un Blomen free

Planten un Blomen , which translates as the very imaginative Plants and Flowers, spans over 100 acres and is a favorite among locals and travelers. Referred to as "Hamburg's green lung," it is home to various themed gardens, including a rose garden, Mediterranean terraces and one of the largest Japanese landscaped gardens in Europe. Planten un Blomen offers much more than the eponymous "plants and flowers." There are playgrounds, mini-golf, an ice rink in winter and a roller rink in summer, and even life-size chess games. There are also several cafes and food kiosks.

Many past visitors said the park is a relaxing place to unwind and highly recommend touring the Japanese garden. Others said the park is well-maintained and a worthy stop even in the offseason.

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Hamburg Boat Tours Hamburg Boat Tours

No visit to Hamburg is complete without getting out on the water. The easiest, not to mention one of the least expensive, ways to enjoy Hamburg by water is via a public ferry. Head to the Landungsbrücken piers and hop aboard one of Hamburg's many public transportation options.

One of the most popular ferry trips is aboard the No. 62 toward Finkenwerder island, which takes 30 minutes and allows you to see some of the city's most important waterfront sights. You can also hop on a guided tour, many of which also operate from the piers at Landungsbrücken. You'll enjoy an overview of the industrial docks, the historic Speicherstadt warehouses and modern architecture highlights such as HafenCity Hamburg and the  Elbphilharmonie . Rainer Abicht Elbreederei and Barkassen-Centrale Ehlers GmbH earn high marks from recent tour-goers. You can find more information about available harbor cruises on the city's tourism website .

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Fish Auction Hall and Market Fish Auction Hall and Market free

All-night revelers finish up their partying at the Sunday morning St. Pauli  Fischmarkt  (Fish Auction Hall and Market) and early morning shoppers get a head start on the day. Not only are there stalls brimming with fresh fish and other goods, there's also steaming hot bratwursts, free-flowing beer and even an energetic band to keep the jovial atmosphere alive. It's also one of those uniquely Hamburg attractions, one which has been an institution since 1703. If you sleep in (or you're just getting to bed after bar hopping), you'll miss out on the Fischmarkt; it's open on early Sunday mornings only.

Recent visitors who knew what they were in for say the scene is fun and festive, while those looking for a traditional market were a bit disappointed. Reviewers described the scene as merry, with many comparing it to Oktoberfest.

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Miniatur Wunderland Miniatur Wunderland

Self-described as the world's largest model railway, the more than 10,000-square-foot Miniatur Wunderland takes visitors around the world to admire models of miniature-sized countries and cities, including Southern Germany, Hamburg, USA, Scandinavia, Switzerland and Venice. Across nine different sections are more than 1,000 trains, 130,000 trees and nearly 250,000 figures.

Recent visitors offered rave reviews for Miniatur Wunderland, saying it was appealing to both kids and adults alike. Others were in awe of the attention to detail. However, a few warned that since this is a popular attraction, it can get very crowded. Miniatur Wunderland advises timing your visit in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the largest crowds.

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St. Michael's Church St. Michael's Church

St. Michael's, Hamburg's largest church, is actually the third church to be built in the same spot and was constructed in 1912. Visitors flock to the landmark church to see its five different organs, its 65-foot altar, its crypt and the amazing views from the nearly 350-foot-high observation deck. The church's 433-foot-tall tower, home to Germany's largest clock bell, is visible from all over the city. In the crypt far below, about 2,000 people have been laid to rest.

Views from the top are not to be missed, according to recent visitors. Others described the church's interior as "ethereal." What's more, travelers were pleased with the affordable admission fee.

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Hamburg Zoo (Tierpark Hagenbeck) Hamburg Zoo (Tierpark Hagenbeck)

The Tierpark Hagenbeck (or Hamburg Zoo) is owned by the Hagenbeck family; Carl Hagenbeck, Jr. (who founded the zoo in 1907) was a wild animal trader and merchant. One of his innovations was to use moats instead of cages to enclose animals, a practice still used to this day. Today, visitors can encounter thousands of animals at the zoo, including one of the largest elephant herds in Europe. Of special note is the four-level Tropical Aquarium, an artificial habitat comprising more than 14,300 animals, including Nile crocodiles and around 13,000 fish. There are also several restaurants, playgrounds for kids, feeding demonstrations and a recreation park, among other attractions.

Recent visitors advised allowing plenty of time to check out all of the exhibits (some said they spent the whole day at the zoo) and said it's a great family-friendly activity. Reviewers were particularly fascinated by the walruses and polar bears. According to travelers, the zoo provides food to feed select animals (donations are encouraged).

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Emigration Museum BallinStadt Hamburg Emigration Museum BallinStadt Hamburg

Just as compelling and moving as Ellis Island, this museum and ancestral research center conveys the story of European emigration to the United States and elsewhere. The museum occupies the land originally used by the Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Aktien-Gesellschaft (HAPAG) shipping company for the city's Emigration Halls, which were built 120 years ago to accommodate people from all over Europe hoping to sail across the Atlantic. To lessen the likelihood of immigrants being sent back from the United States due to illness or other reasons (at the shipping company's cost), HAPAG offered medical examinations. Millions of people passed through the complex, which at one point included a hospital, a church, a music hall, housing and even hotels.

There are several halls that detail why people were emigrating, their journey across the ocean and what happened when they reached America, with interactive exhibits, displays, photos and artifacts. For an even more immersive experience, consider grabbing a bite to eat at the on-site restaurant Nach Amerika (or "To America"), which serves meals based on recipes used in the canteens of the former Emigration Halls. Visitors can also search complete passenger lists of all the ships that left the harbor in the family research area.

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Hamburger Kunsthalle Hamburger Kunsthalle

One of Germany's great art museums (and one of its largest in terms of exhibition space), the Hamburger Kunsthalle boasts an extensive collection of paintings and sculptures – both old and new. The permanent collection encompasses art from eight centuries – with some pieces dating back to the Middle Ages. In the modern and contemporary sections, artists like Andy Warhol, Max Beckmann and Bruce Nauman are represented; in the older sections, you'll find works by Rembrandt and Anthony van Dyck, as well as a noted collection of works by German Romantic painters.

The museum is a highlight for many recent visitors, who rave about the excellent collection, especially the representation of German painters. Others were impressed by the building.

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City Hall (Rathaus) City Hall (Rathaus)

The  Rathaus  (City Hall) is big – bigger than  London's immense  Buckingham Palace  – and according to travelers, it's one of the best sights in Hamburg. Resting on a square, inspired by  Venice's   Piazza San Marco , the neo-renaissance building's formidable exterior opens into a lavish interior, which is peopled by Hamburg's city council and state government officials. English-language tours take about 45 minutes and wind past the opulent state rooms, a mere fraction of the 647 rooms located on-site.

Recent visitors called the building "beautiful" and recommended taking the tour if you can.

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International Maritime Museum International Maritime Museum

Located in a former warehouse, the International Maritime Museum offers a look at 3,000 years of maritime history across nine floors, with a stunning number of exhibits, artifacts and more, including thousands of model ships – a highlight for many recent visitors. Others were pleasantly surprised with the interesting and informative exhibits. One of its most treasured pieces is a copy of the "Atlantis Majoris" from 1657, the first nautical atlas printed in the Netherlands. Other exhibits include medals and uniforms from navies around the world, displays of commercial and passenger shipping and works by well-known maritime painters. One way to tackle the massive museum is by taking a 60- or 90-minute tour, which is offered in English, and costs 70 euros (about $77) and 80 euros (around $88), respectively. Audio guides are also available for a much smaller cost.

Recent visitors called the museum "fascinating" and said you should be prepared to do a lot of walking throughout its various levels and set aside several hours. However, some reviewers expressed disappointment that a few exhibits did not offer English translations. 

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Speicherstadt Speicherstadt free

The red brick buildings of the  Speicherstadt  (Warehouse District) used to shelter the city's imports – coffee, spices, silks – which were carried fresh off the boats in the harbor. In 2015, Speicherstadt became Germany's 40th UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, this area full of neo-Gothic buildings, mostly constructed between 1883 and the late 1920s that are fun to see on foot. Though there are a few attractions within the area, including Miniatur Wunderland and the International Maritime Museum , it mostly attracts visitors in search of photo ops and a picturesque stroll. Popular photo spots include the Wasserschloss (or "water castle") at the end of Holländischer Birdge and Fleetschlösschen, a former customs booth.

Recent visitors call the area magical and recommend taking a canal tour if you can. A few reviewers said it's worth visiting at night when the area is beautifully illuminated.

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Reeperbahn Reeperbahn free

Hamburg's Reeperbahn once rivaled  Amsterdam's Red Light District for its sex trade, but times have changed (slightly). Located in St. Pauli, the Reeperbahn is a nightlife hub, still notorious for its corridor of sex shops, strip shows and brothels, though there are plenty of other non-X-rated activities and sights, from dive bars to the Beatles monument (the Beatles made their mark in Hamburg). St. Pauli is now almost better-known for its huge live-music scene, with clubs, bars, theaters and music venues. The annual Reeperbahn Festival in September brings in around 25,000 people to hear live music.

Recent Reeperbahn visitors found the area interesting to see, with plenty of music and pubs to check out. Others warned of potential pickpockets.

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Hamburg Planetarium Hamburg Planetarium

Head to the Hamburg Planetarium to see everything from children's films to 3D trips through the solar system. The art deco building dates back to 1912 and is considered one of the world's oldest observatories. Visitors can also enjoy concerts and other musical shows in the enormous domed hall. The high-tech planetarium claims it's the most modern planetarium in the world. Previous shows include "Night Flight through the Galaxy," "Laser Zeppelin," and the "Green Planet 3D." After your show, head up to the rooftop terrace for unparalleled city views.

Recent visitors were impressed with the planetarium and highly recommend seeing a show there. Others suggested taking a stroll through the lovely Stadtpark City Park, where the planetarium is located, before or after a show.

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Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe

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Schmidt Theater Schmidt Theater

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The Essential Guide to Hamburg

Formerly known as the “gateway to the world” for its historic harbor, coastal location, and prominent role in the hanseatic league, hamburg is germany’s second-largest city and generally regarded as one of its finest. in addition to an alluring maritime atmosphere, it offers trendy districts like the schanzenviertel and st. pauli and natural highlights like the planten un blomen botanical gardens and sparkling alster lakes, plus impressive architecture, top-notch restaurants, and famously vibrant nightlife..

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Hamburg Fish Market, Hamburg Germany

Tales from the Campsite and Beyond

Tales from the Campsite and Beyond

Exploring Life's Paths as a Family

Germany Hamburg for families Elbphilharmonie

11 Things to Do in Hamburg, Germany for Families

If you are like me, your vacation planning tends to revolve around your children. This can be a bit unfair for adults at times, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right balance, everyone in the family can have a great time on vacation, especially in Hamburg, no matter the weather or season. To prove it, I’m going to be sharing my list of 12 Things to do in Hamburg, Germany for Families.

See what are the best places to visit and things to do in Hamburg for families , Bridge in Hamburg, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie

When we decided to spend two days in Hamburg, Germany with our kids, my husband and I wanted to get the most out of the experience. This also meant that we made sure that downtime and even meals were fun! This is what we managed to squeeze into our weekend trip to Hamburg, Germany that pleased our family and is sure to please yours!

This page may contain affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, I may make a commission if you click on a link and make a purchase. Thanks for supporting Tales from the Campsite!

1) Visit Tierpark Hagenbeck and Tropen Aquarium

If you want to know what to do in Hamburg that is the best thing for the entire family, you want to visit Tierpark Hagenbeck and Tropen Aquarium . Though it may sound like two places, both are located together in the northern part of Hamburg.

Tierpark Hagenbeck

Here, you can experience a Japanese garden, climb the Himalayas, discover the dinosaurs and even feed the elephants.

Seeing the elephants at the Hagenbeck Tierpark in Hamburg, Germany

This unique park shows animals in more of their natural habitats without the limitations of cages. You really get the feeling that you are in the forest or on a safari when you walk through and visit the animals.

The beautiful, Japanese Gardens at the Hagenbeck Tierpark in Hamburg

My boys loved the Polar World the most, since we were in time to watch the trainers feed the walrus. This is more of a show than a simple meal.

The walrus show at the Tierpark Hagenbeck in Hamburg, Germany

See more of our trip to Tierpark Hagenbeck and Tropen Aquarium in this video HERE !

Tropen Aquarium in Hamburg

The Tropen Aquarium in Hamburg is designed to give you the feeling of being in a remote village near the jungle. You go from being in a hut overlooking a nearby waterfall to deep within a submarine to see sharks and stingrays.

Tropen Aquarium should not be missed in Hamburg, Germany (great activity in Hamburg for families)

The entire tour of the aquarium is much like being on a tropical exploration, and one might even begin to forget that they are really in a building in northern Germany. The cafe just before the exit offers a great view of the beautiful “village scene” and has great options for a hungry/thirsty group of explorers.

Tropen Aquarium should not be missed in Hamburg, Germany

My family had a fantastic day and made lots of new memories, which is why I know that both the young and young-at-heart can find excitement in Hamburg’s best zoo experience.

Getting in Touch with Tierpark Hagenbeck and Tropen Aquarium

Address : Lokstedter Grenzstraße 2, 22527 Hamburg, Germany

Website :

Telephone : +49 40 5300330

Looking for a great campground in southern Germany? Check out the Strandcamping Waging am See !

2) Explore Miniatur Wunderland

Miniatur Wunderland is a really fun place that lets you travel all around Europe and even see some cool places in the US without ever leaving Hamburg. Not only are there moving trains, but there are also airplanes taking off and landing, knights jousting, singers performing concerts and cruise ships sailing.

Castle, village and mountain landscape at the Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany

If you are looking for one of the best experiences to have for a one day trip to Hamburg, you really want to visit the Miniatur Wunderland. My boys loved how the lights were set on timers so that you could see the different places in both daylight and at nighttime. We also enjoyed seeing places that we recognized from movies or places where we had actually been.

Model train set and mountain landscape at the Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany

One fun place was their mini version of the Hamburg, which gave us new ideas for what do see on our trip. Not only that, but they allowed you to see inside of mountains and under the water.

Check out a video that shows you the wonder at Minatur Wunderland by clicking HERE !

With every turn, we found new and exciting things and were entertained from beginning to end. It was definitely a “must do” activity in Hamburg, if not in all of Germany.

In addition to their cafe and gift shop, they also had a section where you could watch the behind-the-scenes work going on, from the train controllers to the workers creating new landscapes. Miniatur Wunderland truly offers an experience to remember.

Getting in Touch with Minatur Wunderland

Address : Kehrwieder 2/ Block D, 20457 Hamburg, Germany

Website :

Telephone : +49 40 3006800

3) Experience Spicy Gewürzmuseum

Whenever we travel to a new place, we like to try to find unique experiences like this one in Hamburg for families. We like to cook with a variety of spices, and we also like to go off the beaten path a bit. This place offered something for both of these interests. Welcome to the Spicy Gewürzmuseum!

Smelling different spices at the Spicy Gewürzmuseum

But to keep things honest, when I heard that they gave out a free spice sample to all adults and a free candy sample to all children who paid admission to the museum, I was sold. I wasn’t sure my boys would be entertained enough by this type of place, but I thought that the small bribe of gummy bears would win them over.

A nice museum at the Spicy Gewürzmuseum

Not only were they very happy to get a snack, but they were also really interested in smelling all of the spices. The museum really had a lot of information about spices, and there were many bowls all around the museum. With so many types of spices, we really found it interesting to see and smell the flavors that we often like to eat.

A nice museum at the Spicy Gewürzmuseum

I personally loved the variety of items for sale both at the entrance and in the shop across the hall.  This was also located close to the Miniatur Wunderland, which was an added bonus. It was fun to do something different in Hamburg to make the trip much more memorable.

Getting in Touch with the Spicy Gewürzmuseum

Address : Am Sandtorkai 34, 20457 Hamburg, Germany

Website : https://www.spicys . de /

Telephone : +49 40 367989

Did you know that Hamburg is close to Denmark? Check out the best places to camping Denmark!

4) Play at Grasbrook Playground

Whenever we are traveling to Germany with kids, we first check out the “ playground website ” to see if there will be any playgrounds around where we want to go. We want to make sure our children are entertained, but we don’t want to go out of our way to find a playground or place for them to burn off some energy.

This website is great because it allowed us to search for playgrounds via a map. This way, we could plan a trip to see the places that interested us, and the kids could enjoy themselves on a nearby playground.

Playing at the Grasbrook Playground in Hamburg, Germany

We chose Grasbrook for its location, but also for its look. It was a great place for a break in Hamburg for families. The equipment was both for little children and bigger children, and since my kids are somewhat in the middle, it allowed them the choice of where to play. I just loved that it was mostly all wood and allowed the children lots of climbing and exploring options.

Playing at the Grasbrook Playground in Hamburg, Germany

My boys really had a lot of fun, and if we had more time to spend there, I’m sure we would have. It was also very easy to get to this playground. Traveling by bus in Hamburg is very easy, so we took a bus to a stop that was at the entrance to the park.

The buildings around the part were also very new and interesting to look at. This was the perfect place for my husband and I to relax in the sun and have a chat while we watched the boys play.

Finding the Grasbrookpark in Hamburg, Germany

Address: Am Grasbrookpark, 20457 Hamburg, Germany

5) St. Pauli Landungsbrücken and Hamburg Harbor

Since Hamburg is known for being a harbor city, you will want to check out the boats at the St. Pauli Landungsbrücken. This is a great place to find a restaurant while you sit and watch the ships sail by. The architecture of this building would be reason enough to visit, and it is easy to get to with subway and local trains making stops right in front.

St. Pauli Landungsbrücken in Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg’s “Love Lock” Bridge

If you are wanting to add a bit of romance to your trip, head over to the Love Lock Bridge, which is right next to the St. Pauli Landungsbrücken. Just write the name of the two lovers on the lock, attach it to the bridge and throw away the key. Some say that this will make your love last forever. I say it is a fun reason to return to Hamburg to find your lock! 🙂

Love Lock Bridge at St. Pauli Landungsbrücken

Finding the St. Paulis Landungsbrücken

Address: Port of Hamburg, 20359 Hamburg, Germany

See why we loved our time at the Baumwipfelpfad Schwarzwald in Southern Germany!

6) Journey through the Elbe Tunnel

If you’d like to see a different side of Hamburg, try out the Elbe Tunnel. At the St. Pauli Landungsbrücken at the harbor, you will find a building just off to the side. If you aren’t looking for it, you might miss it. In here, you will find stairs and elevators down to the Elbe Tunnel. Did I mention that it is a free attraction in Hamburg?!

Entrance to the Elb Tunnel in Hamburg, Germany

Walkers, bikers and even automobiles can travel down to the tunnel and across the Elbe River to the other side of Hamburg’s harbor. The elevators alone are something quite unique. This part of Hamburg history was opened in 1911, and is almost 1,400 feet long!

My boys really liked the idea of walking underneath the water in this tunnel, and it didn’t feel that it took a long time to reach the other side. Once we reached the end and came back up the elevator, we had a perfect view of the St. Pauli area of Hamburg.

Walking under the Elb River in Hamburg, Germany

To add an extra bit of excitement to this excursion, we decided to take the ferry back across the water. This is a much cheaper alternative to taking a boat ride on the river, which was also something we didn’t have much time for.

View of Hamburg from the end of the Elb Tunnel

Before you return with the ferry, take a break at an outside table of one of the may places for a drink or snack and watch the boats. I would recommend this inexpensive way to see the harbor as a family-friendly activity and a one-of-a-kind way to explore hidden parts of Hamburg.

Finding the Elbe Tunnel in Hamburg, Germany (Alter Elbtunnel)

Address : Bei den St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken, 20359 Hamburg, Germany

7) Eat at the Schwerelos Roller Coaster Restaurant

Because you need to eat at some point during your trip doesn’t mean that you have to settle for just any restaurant in Hamburg. Schwerelos Roller Coaster Restaurant in Hamburg offers something for everyone. They have a vast menu with everything from pasta dishes to different meat and vegetarian options. In our opinion, this is one of the best restaurants in Hamburg for families.

Schwerelos Roller Coaster Restaurant in Hamburg Germany (best restaurants for families in Hamburg)

The dessert and drink menus are also quite large, and everything is ordered via computer tablet. The best part is that that food drives straight to your table via a cart on a roller coaster track. Instead of dealing with restless and hungry children after a long day of sightseeing, we sat and enjoyed the roller-coaster display with our children while we waited for our food.

If you want to see the roller coasters at Schwerelos Roller Coaster Restaurant in action, see this VIDEO !

My boys were also thrilled when their meals came to them equipped with a sparkler. While mom and dad were enjoying an extra cold beverage at the end of the meal, the boys went up the stairs to a place that had kid-sized chairs. Here, they watched the workers load up the carts and start the roller coasters. There are so many reasons why I would consider this one of the best restaurants in Hamburg for families.

Schwerelos Roller Coaster Restaurant in Hamburg Germany

The boys still name this as one of the highlights of their trip to Hamburg. 

Getting in Touch with Schwerelos Roller Coaster Restaurant in Hamburg

Address : Harburger Schlossstrasse 22, 21079 Hamburg, Germany

Telephone : +49 40 89721310

Website :

8) Have Fun at Planten un Blomen (Park and Playground)

An alternative to going to a playground would be going to the Planten un Blomen park in the northern part of Hamburg. This area is well-equipped with walking paths with beautiful views of the TV tower (Fernsehturm). It is a peaceful stop for the whole family that happens to have a very nice playground that is large enough to cater to any elementary school field trip.

Beautiful view of the Planent un Blomen park with the TV tower in the distance in Hamburg, Germany

There is a wooden climbing area, a rope climbing area, a section for the smaller children, a balance area and a mountain. The mountain is quite impressive and unlike anything we have seen before on a playground. If you want to know what is worth adding to your itinerary, this is a great place to visit in Hamburg for families.

Playing at the playgrounds at the Platen un Blomen park is a must-do activities in Hamburg for families

In my opinion, this playground is worth a detour if you are on your way to nearby restaurants, cafes or shopping.

Playground at the Planten un Blomen Park in Hamburg, Germany

My boys had a wonderful time, and it was a great way for us to add a bit of rest for me and my husband in the middle of a long day of sightseeing in Hamburg. If you plan on staying for few days, visiting Planten un Blomen is a great place to visit in Hamburg for families!

Finding Planten un Blomen in Hamburg, Germany

Address: Narseukker Strassem 20355 Hamburg, Germany


Telephone: +49 40 428280

Do your kids love playgrounds? Check out the Playmobil Fun Park in Germany!!

9) Take a Break at the Hamburger Rathaus

Truly a sight to see, the Hamburger Rathaus is one of the most beautiful buildings in Hamburg. Built in the late 1800s in the neo-Renaissance style of architecture, this 17,000 square meter structure is hard to miss with its amazing green roof and tall, central clock tower.

Though the home to governmental offices, the lobby is open to the public, and the square in front of the building is a great place to sit and eat a snack or drink a coffee.

Ice cream break at the Hamburger Rathaus (Townhall in Hamburg, Germany)

Snack Time in Hamburg for Families

Many people might choose a hotel with breakfast, lunch and dinner options, but we like to keep our options open on short trips. However, it is always a good idea to pack snacks and water bottles for the hotel room. However, it is fun to try and eat like a local when we travel.

This almost always includes an ice cream (or some other local tasty snack) break, so why not make that break be in front of one of the more famous places of Hamburg?! This way, the kids can get a little bit of food to satisfy a mid-day hunger, while the adults can marvel over the places they really came to Hamburg to see.

Tip for how to make “boring” buildings a fun experience for children when sightseeing.

We also like to leave a bit of room in our schedule for exploring. If there are specific sights that you would like to see, like the town hall, a special church, a main train station, a museum, historical monument or statue, discuss it with your children and tell them that you are going on a hunt to find these places.

You could even have a checklist created before you leave of all the places you would like to see and have your children be in charge of crossing off the places as you find them. This will add some excitement to what they might normally think of as “boring buildings”.

Finding the Hamburger Rathaus in Hamburg, Germany

Address: Rathausmarkt 1, 20095 Hamburg, Germany


10) Navigate through Hamburg with Public Transportation

If you have to get around somehow, why not make a game out of it. Looking at maps is always something my kids love to do, so we made sure to use them on our trip. We showed them where we were and where we wanted to go. Then, we encouraged them to look for specific signs (U3, S4) when we reached the train stations or bus stops. They really liked feeling that they were helping us navigate.

Walking in the Hagenbeck Tierpark in Hamburg, Germany

It was nice that both boys could help with this, since our youngest couldn’t read, and since they both didn’t understand German. Simple subway or train signs made things easier for them to understand their way around Hamburg. They also helped count how many stops we had before we needed to get off the train or bus.

Riding the public transportation in Hamburg, Germany (bus)

By letting your children be a part of the navigating, it helps to avoid stressful situations with you children constantly asking “are we there yet”? Who knows: maybe one day, they’ll actually remember these instances and be a better traveler for it. One can only hope!

11) Enjoy a Meal at the Hofbräu Hamburg Restaurant

What trip to Hamburg, Germany would be complete without going to a German restaurant for some good food? That is why I suggest making the Hofbräu Restaurant a part of your Hamburg experience.

Now, I know that this is somewhat of a chain restaurant that serves typical southern German food (Bavarian, to be exact), but if you only have two days to spend in Germany, it is well-worth the visit and a “must-do” for the food, in my opinion.

Hofbräuhaus Restaurant, a great family restaurant in Hamburg, Germany

Not only does it offer a great atmosphere with lederhosen-wearing waiters and dirndl-wearing waitresses, but it also has some really good German specialties.

My husband was happy to have his German beer and schnitzel, I couldn’t wait for my vegetarian Spaetzle dinner, and the boys loved trying all of the desserts. Having mostly large tables and benches, created a very cozy and friendly feeling within the restaurant, and the beautiful decor entertained my boys as we waited for our food. 

Drinking a Beer at the Hofbrauhaus in Hamburg, Germany

Though there are plenty of wonderful restaurants to try in Hamburg, I recommend giving your children a truly “German” experience by eating at the Hofbräu.

Finding the Hofbräu Restaurant in Hamburg, Germany

Address: Esplanade 6, 20354 Hamburg, Germany

Telephone: +49 40 34993838


Tips for Visiting Hamburg for Families

A) If you plan to see lots of the sights while in Hamburg, you may want to consider buying a the Hamburg Card, which gets you free transportation and discounts to many places. Click  here for information.

B) Another option for discounted travel would be to get a one-day transit ticket. This is if you feel that you won’t be seeing many of the places that offer a discount with the Hamburg Card. This will pay for itself after two uses. The “group” ticket costs 12,20 Euros (2019 prices) for a family of 4. It can be used for an entire day on buses, trains and ferries. You can find prices here .

C) Most public bathrooms will also ask that you pay to use them. It will save you an embarrassing situation if you are prepared for this! Make sure to carry coins with you when you are visiting any German town.

If you have taken a family trip to Hamburg, I’d love to hear about your favorite places in the comments.

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Privacy Overview

1 Day in Hamburg, Germany: As Recommended by a Local

Back in 2015 in Thailand , I met a fellow blogger at a travel conference in Bangkok. Her name was Sarah (blog is Journey To Design ) and she was from Hamburg, Germany. Sarah and I got along really well kept in touch after parting ways in Thailand. We met again in Prague in 2017 and then, a couple of years later, I found myself in Germany (on another European Christmas Market adventure) and decided it was time to visit Sarah in her home of Hamburg.

Given that Sarah was a Hamburg local, I didn’t do any research. I let her decide what I should see and do during my time there. We got up to some interesting adventures including visiting a sex-themed Christmas market and trying my first ever European (aka naked) sauna. However,  Sarah was also working at the time of my visit so she gave me the following itinerary to explore the touristic parts of the city on my own. I followed her itinerary as recommended and had a great time, so I figured I would share it with you. If you only have a short time in this German city, here’s a Hamburg itinerary for how to spend 1 day in Hamburg- as recommended by a local.

travel tales hamburg

Hamburg Itinerary: 1 Day in Hamburg

Put on some comfortable shoes because you will be doing a lot of walking today! Of course, Hamburg does offer public transit including metro, bus, and ferry (which you will ride!). So if you aren’t too keen on a lot of walking, check the MoovIt app for public transit options.

Morning: Scenic Views, Interesting Architecture, and a Boat Ride

Breakfast Start your 1 day in Hamburg early because there is exploring to be done! Ideally, you’ll have a bakery somewhere nearby and you can stop and pick up a Franzbrötchen which is essentially a local type of cinnamon roll. It’s delicious and will give you the energy you need for your busy one day in Hamburg.


travel tales hamburg

Elbphilharmonie opens at 10 am and is free if you just walk up. I suggest going for opening time so you can just walk up and avoid crowds. You can also pre-book a skip-the-line ticket online for 2 euro if you are worried. You probably won’t spend too long here, but definitely go for the views!

Take a Ferry Ride

travel tales hamburg

From Elbphilharmonie you can walk to Landungsbrücken (St. Pauli-Pier). In Hamburg, ferries are a common form of public transit. For tourists, it’s a fun and relaxing way to see the port area of Hamburg and the small villages along the shore. You’ll want to take Ferry number 62 which does a loop of the pier. When I visited, you could find it at bridge 3.

You can get off at any stop you want to explore. I got off at Ovelgonne as recommended by Sarah for a little exploring. There is a cute beach there and Sarah told me if you walk for about 20 minutes you can find a café called Elbperle with food, coffee, and even gluhwein in the winter.

Lunch: Try a Famous Fish Sandwich

travel tales hamburg

After the boat ride around the harbour, it will be time for lunch. Lunch is a traditional Hamburg favourite: fisch brotchen, aka a fish sandwich. According to Sarah, the best ones are at the little shack/restaurant at pier 10. I’m pretty sure every other local agrees because this was definitely the busiest. But it was worth the wait.

There are several options. I just asked what the best/most traditional one was. The man who served me was very kind and warned me that it doesn’t look pretty but it tastes good. He was right. If you feel up for it, you can also grab a beer with lunch. They sell some local German options.

Afternoon: Check out Hamburg’s Red Light District

travel tales hamburg

Once you have finished lunch, walk away from the water and head to Reeperbahn. This is Hamburg’s red-light district. It is an incredibly fascinating place quite similar to the red light district in Amsterdam . Its, obviously, much more lively at night but as a solo woman, I liked going in the day to be able to truly explore and take photos without worrying that I was getting any working girls (or guys) in my photos. That being said, I did come back at night with Sarah later for a completely different experience.

Prostitution is legal in Germany so yes, like in Amsterdam, you will find women (and men) selling sex. There are also plenty of sex shops and even sex hotels. The most notable part of Reeperbahn is a small street with a huge sign in front of it that declares no women and no men under the age of 18. This is Herbertstraße; the only place where you will find sex workers in windows like Amsterdam. However, as the sign says, only men over the age of 18 are allowed in and for those wondering, yes, the entryway is monitored. The women who work on this street are the city’s most expensive sex workers.

The street was originally blocked off in 1933 by Nazis who were unable to stop prostitution so decided they would ‘hide’ it. The ban on women and men under 18 as we today were actually put in place by police. The working women had a tendency to turn violent against any female passerby’s plus it was believed that those under 18 needed to be shielded by the influences. Today, the gender barrier is a big problem but it still remains. While I would have loved to walk down the street to see, I didn’t even dare to try. Rumours of urine and dirty “penis water” being thrown at me was enough to convince me that it was close enough to what I saw while exploring the red light district of Amsterdam.

Late Afternoon/Evening: Explore the Old Town

travel tales hamburg

After exploring Reeperbahn area (and probably taking a lot of photos of funny signs) hop on the metro and head towards Altstadt. This is the Old Town area of Hamburg. There is a metro station at City Hall (Rathaus) which is good to get off at. Take your time and explore this part of the city. The architecture here is very different than what you will have seen in the morning- more traditional old European. There are lots of shops in this area- boutiques and big global brands as well as museums, cafes, and bakeries. Take a break and grab a coffee if you need or just sit on a bench and people watch. It’s a really pretty part of the city and shouldn’t be missed during your 1 day in Hamburg!

Dinner: A German Favourite

Despite the breakfast pastry and fish sandwich, you will probably be pretty hungry for dinner. I tried a couple of spots in Hamburg but if I had to recommend one it would be Zum Spaetzle which makes, as you might have guessed spaetzle.

For those who don’t know what spaetzle is, it’s an egg noodle dish with various sauces/gravies/toppings depending on what you want. The dish isn’t native to Hamburg, but this restaurant specializes in it and it was the best spaetzle I have had in Germany (I recommend the cheese with onions on top).

It’s a small restaurant so I suggest making reservations and make sure you go in hungry because it is a very filling meal!

Night: A Night out? Or a Night in?

If you are not dead on your feet yet, you can always head back to Reeperbahn and experience that neighbourhood at night. It comes alive and is quite different than during the day. If that’s not your thing, you can also cozy up in a café somewhere or grab a glass of wine/beer somewhere in the Altstadt area. Or, if you are wiped from this 1 day Hamburg itinerary, you can always just head back to your hotel. After all, you’ve done quite a lot on your mission to see Hamburg in a day! 

Where to Stay in Hamburg

travel tales hamburg

Hamburg has plenty of different neighbourhoods to stay in. The old town is obviously nice. St. Pauli’s area, which is closer to Reeperbahn, is popular with the younger crowd who want to go out and party. Personally, I stayed near the train station because it meant less worrying about getting around with all my luggage in tow. The train station also serves as a central metro station which made it really easy to get around.

Looking for recommendations? Try:

Hostels: Generator Hamburg or Backpackers St. Pauli Midrange hotels: I bis Hamburg or Boutique 020 Hamburg City Luxury Hotels: Barcelo Hamburg  

Final Tips for Hamburg in a Day

Hamburg is a really cool city and I’m so glad I had Sarah as my guide. I never would have thought to take a ferry ride to explore the port area and, of course, having local food recommendations is always best. If you only have 1 day in Hamburg I absolutely recommend following this Hamburg itinerary. You’ll get to see different parts of the city (and get your steps in!). I visited Hamburg in December and it was pretty chilly, so be mindful of the temperatures and dress warmly if you aren’t visiting in summer!

Ready to Book Your Trip?

Don’t forget travel insurance!

Please do not travel without travel insurance! I’ve had to use it multiple times throughout my travels and it has saved me thousands of dollars. You can learn more about travel insurance  here . If you are looking for a provider I love and recommend  SafetyWing . For Canadian readers, take a look at  SoNomad.

Book your accommodation

I love and recommend  for accommodation. They have a range of hostels, guesthouses, hotels, and resorts. Plus, the platform has a great loyalty program that means the more you book, the more you can save. 

Book your tours

My go-to tour provider that I love to recommend is  GetYourGuide . They have options all over the world and partner with local companies for everything from day trips to food experiences and even airport transfers. 

Get connected

If you want to have data while travelling for online maps or any other needs, an esim is one of the easiest solutions. I’m a big fan of Airalo and have used their sim cards around the world from Brazil to Uzbekistan, Greece to the USA. It’s really easy- you download the app, pick what country you want an esim for, and after you purchase it follow the installation instructions. You can use promo code HANNAH3326 to save $3USD on your next esim purchase. 

Not sure what to pack?

I have destination-specific guides for some countries but you can also check my  travel essentials  and  camera gear  if you are looking for some ideas. 

Looking for a travel buddy?

Check out my group trips!

travel tales hamburg

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Travel Guide To Hamburg

Free travel guide to Hamburg Germany

Hamburg is the centre of Germany's insurance, internet and newspaper industries and is its second fashion capital (as the birthplace of Karl Lagerfeld). Boasting ritzy shopping streets and lively areas such as the infamous Reeperbahn , the city is also surprisingly beautiful.

Where to stay in Hamburg


Paul-Dessau-Strasse 2, Hamburg (00 49 40 855070; Why miss out on Living Divani daybeds, Brionvega televisions and special-edition Sixties-style lamps by Flos? You can have it all here, although you will have to do without room service, mini-bars and toiletries. The curved walls of the mirrored reception flow between the Esszimmer bar/restaurant and a multi-functional 'Wohnzimmer', or living room, with an open fire. Lighting allows for mood changes throughout the day: brighter for breakfast, darker for the evening. The bedrooms are mainly white, with cushions and throws in pale blues and greens, matching the Seventies-style patterned wallpaper. The bespoke bedroom and bathroom furniture, in white MDF, is mixed with string curtains beneath bare concrete ceilings. 25hours was featured in The Hot List 2004. £


An der Alster 72-79, Hamburg (00 49 40 288 8817; ). Overlooking the Alster, the city's huge city-centre lake, the Atlantic Kempinski is located just a few minutes' walk from the exhibitions at the Kunsthalle (see What to See ). Its ambience is pleasantly old-fashioned and palatial: it was built for first-class ocean liner passengers departing for the USA. The 252 rooms and suites are traditionally furnished in an elegant, understated style, and the restaurant serves modern continental cuisine from pioneering chef Sven Buttner. Service friendly and efficient, but the buffet breakfast is a bit pricey at €33. ££

Simon-von-Utrecht-Strasse 31, Hamburg (00 49 40 309930; ). East is in a former steel foundry in Pauli, on the edgier side of Hamburg near the Reeperbahn. It is the first hotel from the restaurant-bar group Gastro Consulting, and the emphasis is very much on the Asian-fusion food, Asian-influenced cocktails (in Yakshi's Bar) and partying. The bedrooms are on five floors named, colour-coded and scented after oriental spices and flowers, and are categorised from S to XXL. The decor is a tour de force for the hotel's Chicago-based architect and designer, Jordan Mozer, who has fashioned curvaceous headboards out of resin to resemble oversized wing-back chairs and placed polished cast-aluminium sculptural basins centre stage between the bed and the open-plan bathrooms. The spa on the top floor has an unusual urban terrace looking on to the bold mosaics and curvilinear wood trim of the sauna. East was featured in The Hot List 2005. ££


Bernhard-Nocht-Strasse 91, Hamburg (00 49 40 311190; ). A brand new hotel built on the site of an old brewery, the contemporary Empire Riverside Hotel is located between the River Elbe and the Reeperbahn. Designed by British architect David Chippenfield, it is housed in a spectacular skyscraper that is sunlit and spacious. The 328 bedrooms include 12 junior suites and are decorated in a stark, modern style; 85 per cent have river views. The fine international restaurant serves dishes from Spain, Japan and Cuba, and the popular penthouse bar is great for cocktails. ££


Neuer Jungfernstieg 9-14, Hamburg (00 49 40 34940; ). An impeccably maintained hotel dating from 1897, with stunning public areas full of marble, tapestries and chandeliers. There are 156 rooms and suites on five floors: the good-sized, individually furnished rooms are traditional without being fusty. Restaurants include the Michelin-starred Restaurant Haerlin, Art Deco Jahreszeiten Grill, Euro-Asian Doc Cheng's and the elegant Café Condi. The spa offers European and Asian treatments, including hot-stone massage. £££


Magdalenenstrasse 60, Hamburg (00 49 40 414040; ). Three white Edwardian villas form a smart, quiet hotel in the leafy, chi-chi district of Pöseldorf. Epic breakfasts but no restaurant. £

Beim Alten Gaswerk 3, Daimlerstrasse, Hamburg (00 49 40 890620; ). This Design Hotel masterpiece of industrial chic is located in a Victorian gasworks in Ottensen, a half-dozen S-bahn stops from the city centre. There are 141 spacious rooms, including 14 suites and 46 lofts. ££


Abteistrasse 14, Hamburg (00 49 40 442 905; ). A refurbished Grunderzeit (late-19th-century) villa with a grand staircase, smoky mirrors, candelabra, paintings and grandfather clocks. There are 11 rooms and suites, most with a terrace or conservatory. There is a pretty garden where breakfast is served in the summer. The locally renowned Prinz Frederik restaurant serves nouvelle cuisine ; breakfast is served in the basement café or the garden in summer. £££


An der Alster 52-56, Hamburg (00 49 40 21000; ). The glass-and-steel façade sets the tone for this contemporary business hotel, with high-speed Internet access in every room. 284 bright, colour-coordinated rooms (blue, pink, green or red) and suites are arranged on eight floors. The restaurant Le Ciel on the ninth floor has a Mediterranean menu and great views but lacks atmosphere. Most of the rooms have panoramic views of the Alster. Make sure you request one. ££


Elbchaussee 401-403 Hamburg (00 49 40 822550; ). Overlooking the River Elbe on the Elbchausee, Hamburg's grandest boulevard, Louis C Jacob is near the pretty village of Blankenese. It was built in 1791 and, despite a recent update and tasteful renovations, the style remains timeless and discreet. The hotel has 85 rooms, including 19 suites; the wood-panelled walk-in dressing rooms are a particular delight. German chef Thomas Martin combines traditional local ingredients with French cuisine at the popular restaurant, and the hotel has an impressive art collection. ££££


Bugenhagenstrasse 8, Hamburg (00 49 40 3332 1234; ). The Park Hyatt is located on the top seven floors of an Art Deco warehouse, refurbished with acres of cherry wood, and is popular with media types. There are 252 rooms and suites and 30 apartments. Apples restaurant serves Mediterranean fare, the Park Lounge is for traditional high tea and there is 24-hour room service. This is a business hotel with a leisurely vibe: a great cocktail bar and Hamburg's biggest swimming pool. ££

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The best new hotels in the world: 2024 Hot List

Drehbahn 49, Hamburg (00 49 40 309 990; ). This 12-floor, glass-fronted hotel, designed by architect Jan Störmer, has restrained bedrooms with dark-wood floors and crisp white linen sheets. The 'wellness' area comprises a swimming pool, sauna, aromatherapy steam room, gym, solarium and massage/treatment room. SIDE's Fusion bar has established itself as one of Hamburg's coolest hangouts and is usually packed at weekends. SIDE was featured in the ). A designer hotel with in-house spa in the city's swankiest shopping district. Orange, yellow and turquoise glass panels and muted beige predominate. £££

Where to eat out in Hamburg

Neuer Jungfernstieg 9-14, Hamburg (00 49 40 34940; ). This decidedly gemutlich café in the Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten is the place to go for a filling breakfast and sumptuous cakes. Read more about the hotel in Where to Stay .



City Sporthafen, Vorsetzen, Hamburg (00 49 40 362 553; ). Das Feuerschiff is a bar and restaurant on a converted Channel lightship moored near the Free Port. Watch the river traffic pass by over a bowl of fish soup washed down with good Bavarian Weissbier.


Simon-von-Utrecht-Strasse 31, Hamburg (00 49 40 309933; ). The flamboyant restaurant at East hotel has soaring ceilings and huge sculptural pillars, and is overlooked by a two-tier bar that juts into the space like a Dalíesque cartoon. The menu features Euro-Asian dishes such as tuna tartar with avocado and crispy lotus roots, and springbok medallions on a chickpea ragout with pandan jus. Late at night, DJs are installed in the bar and the entire space becomes an enormous club. Read about East hotel in Where to Stay .


Grosse Elbstrasse 143, Hamburg (00 49 40 381 816; ). On a sunny day, a table overlooking the River Elbe can offer an alfresco experience as good as any in southern Europe. Located in a converted warehouse in the former fishing port, this restaurant serves up fine seafood to the burghers of Hamburg, who like to dine on the outside terrace, weather permitting, and watch the container ships glide gracefully past. Try the excellent fresh fish (especially codling and flounder), cured herrings and smoked eel. Start your meal with a dozen oysters from the very popular oyster bar.


St Pauli Fischmarkt 14, Hamburg (00 49 40 314 053; ). A popular old place packed with families in their best knitwear, the Fischerhaus scores highly for its mighty helpings of no-frills local food (pickled herrings, fried plaice with sautéed potatoes and Labskaus: beef, herrings, potato and beetroot), friendly service and the fact that you won't find anywhere like it outside Germany.

Neuer Pferdemarkt 6, Hamburg (00 49 40 439 7823; ). Fashionable bar and restaurant in a converted shoe shop. The food - potato soup with white truffles, venison with baby turnips and potato cakes - is smartly executed and the wine list seems designed to convince sceptics that not all German whites are sweet. Booking is advised for dinner.


Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten, Neuer Jungfernstieg 9-14, Hamburg (00 49 40 34 943310; ). Michelin-starred restaurant at the Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten. Choose from the Haerlin menu featuring classic French dishes or the 'Sea menu'. Read more about Fairmont Hotel in Where to Stay .

Van der Smissenstrasse 1, Hamburg (00 49 40 380 5919; ). Trendy oyster bar and fish restaurant with a menu that mixes local favourites with Mediterranean flavours. Its location, halfway up an extraordinary glass-and-steel building, offers commanding views of the harbour.

Neuer Wall 13, Hamburg (00 49 40 345 021; ). Smart Syrian café that serves good cakes, excellent mint tea and a range of light Levantine meals.

What to see in Hamburg

If you are feeling brave, then the 600m long Reeperbahn, the infamous Red Light District, warrants a visit. This is where The Beatles kick-started their career in the early 1960s.

Stroll down to the port, one of the busiest in the world, and take in the fischmarkt (fish market). Hamburg's oldest market, it dates back to 1703 and is popular with locals and visitors alike.



Englische Planke 1a, Hamburg (00 49 40 376 780; ). Located in the Altstadt (the Old Town, see above), the red brick, baroque church, dating back to the 1760s, has sweeping views of the city and port from its lift-accessible tower.

Rathausmarkt 1, Hamburg (00 49 40 42831). The neo-Renaissance Rathaus (Town hall) is one of the most interesting city halls in Germany and has more than 647 rooms.


Stiftung öffentlichen Rechts, Glockengiesterwall (00 49 40 428 131200; ). The Kunsthalle has a superb collection of paintings from 1400 to the 20th century, including important works by some of Germany's greatest painters, from Lucas Cranach to Lovis Corinth.

Things to do in Hamburg

Take to the water

Hamburg is a city surrounded by water. Three rivers, the Elb, the Alster and the Bille, traverse it, as does a grid of narrow canals. And the large, picturesque Alster lake, dotted with yachts and ringed by leafy banks, pretty parks, villas and waterside cafés, accentuates the maritime feel. Explore the city by boat, on a ferry or steamer, or rent your own boat. For more information, visit .

Where to shop in Hamburg

For designer stores, head to oldest and most prestigious shopping streets in Hamburg, Grosse Bleichen and Neuer Wall, Jungfernstieg and Ufer Strasse. Less expensive shopping streets, housing the big department stores, are Spitalstrasse and Mönckebergstrasse.


Jungfernstieg 16-20, Hamburg (00 49 40 359 010; ). Alsterhaus, located on one of the most prestigious shopping streets in Hamburg, is a recently renovated elegant shopping destination. The department store stocks everything from cosmetics by Acqua di Parma to fashion by Max Mara and china by Wedgwood. Open Mon-Sat.


Poststrasse 33, Hamburg (00 49 40 36 17 43 50; ). The glass-roofed Hanse Viertel Galerie is some 200m long and filled with boutiques - including Lacoste, Falke and Stefanel - and a scattering of upscale cafés. Open Mon-Sat.

Neuer Wall 32, Hamburg (00 49 40 363 296; ). Escada, a German fashion label, was created by Margaretha and Wolfgang Ley in 1976, and has been known for its high-class collections and perfumes ever since.

Neuer Wall 43, Hamburg ( 00 49 40 374 1290; ). German fashion house Jil Sander's Hamburg shop is beautifully minimalist, and worth a visit even if you can't afford the clothes. The decor is black, white and grey, and compliments the clothes perfectly.


Hardenstrasse 9, Hamburg (00 49 40 789 9880; ). A very cool shop for a very cool crowd, Thomas-i-Punkt sells trainers and clothes to suit young boys and men.


Jungfernstieg 12, Hamburg (00 49 40 34 61 03; ). Brahmfeld & Gutruf is a classic German jewellery house, which has been in business since 1743. The style is classic and the prices are high.

How to get to Hamburg

Hamburg Fuhlsbüttel ( ) is the city's international airport, located 9km north-west of the city centre.


bmi (0870 6070 555; )

British Airways (0870 850 9850; )

easyJet ( )

Lufthansa (0871 945 9747; )

Take the Eurostar train from London St Pancras to Brussel (08705 186 186; ), a Thalys (00 32 2 528 28 28; ) train to Cologne, and finally the InterCity (08718 80 80 66; ) to Hamburg. Railbookers (0844 482 1010; ), the train tour operator specialist, can organise the trip for you.

Tourist information for Hamburg


(00 49 40 300 51 300; ) There are tourist offices at the central railway station (Kirchenallee main entrance), at the airport (at arrivals in terminal 1 and 2), and at the harbour (St Pauli Landungsbrucken, between jetty 4 and 5). The tourist offices sell the Hamburg CARD, which grants free or discounted admission to many museums and free use of public transport. You can also buy it at hotels, at Hamburg Transit Authority customer offices, and through your travel agent.

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Top 10 Hamburg Travel Tips

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Hamburg – the city you greet each other with “Moin! “and not “Hello. ” Hamburg is one of my favorite cities in Germany, so it’s about time to finally give you some Hamburg Travel Tips.

Located in the north , it’s filled with so much charm and maritime flair . The city has one of Europe’s largest ports , and the Hanseatic style can be found in every corner. Its rivers and canals spread through every part of the city and make it the city with the most bridges (2500!) in Europe! Who would have thought that? Forget about Venice – go to Hamburg!

So let’s dive into those Hamburg Travel Tips together and trust me, you’ll love Hamburg  (*ok, maybe not the weather. It changes a lot and goes from sunshine to rainy and windy in only a second. But hey, that’s what we love about the North, right?)

Travel Tip 1 | Speicherstadt

Since the Speicherstadt is my favorite place in the whole city, we’ll start our little travel guide here.

The Translation for Speicherstadt would be “The City of Warehouses,” which describes the area’s use quite well. It is the world’s largest warehouse district built on timber-pile foundations, making it one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites . The Speicherstadt buildings are still used as warehouses and handle 1/3 of the world’s carpet production and goods like Cocoa, Coffee, Tea, and Spices. It’s also a major tourist attraction housing many museums, like the Miniatur Wunderland, which is my next tip. 

(You can also explore it by boat, but we’ll come to this later!)

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Travel Tip 2 | Miniatur Wunderland

This Museum is an absolute MUST SEE in Hamburg. The “Miniature Wonderland” is the largest miniature exhibition in the world and an attraction for visitors of every age. There’s a model railway, a miniature airport, and replications of some famous cities. The 15,715m long tracks run through 9 differently themed areas with 1,040 trains and 4,340 buildings! There are so much love and devotion in every single piece. The number of hours they invest in precisely building the littlest details is breathtaking.

The entry fee is 20€, and I’d recommend buying your tickets online in advance to avoid the queues! 

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Travel Tip 3 | Chocoversum

My second favorite Museum is the Chocoversum, a Chocolate Museum by Hachez. It’s located in the Kontorhausviertel district, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. (You’ll see, the buildings are insanely pretty.)

The Chocoversum can be visited with a guided tour and let me tell you: it’s worth every single cent. They take you through the whole process of chocolate production and, the best thing, you can try everything! Every other step, you’ll be given a chance to try the product in its current development stage. My personal highlight, though: At the beginning of the tour (after indulging in the chocolate fountain, yum!), you will craft your own personal chocolate bar to take home with you as a souvenir! 

Tickets are available for 19€ or, if you book online in advance, for 13€. If you love chocolate, you can’t miss this one. 

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Travel Tip 4 | Go on a Harbor Tour

Hamburgs port is the third-largest port in Europe and offers space for cargo and passenger ships. I can only recommend booking a harbor boat tour to see the container and cruise ship terminals, the Hafen City, and the Speicherstadt. 

When booking a tour, you can do so online or at the port itself. Many different companies are providing those kinds of tours. The classic 1hr tours range from around 15€ to 20€. If you feel extra fancy: there are also other tours like a sunset tour or brunch tours. 

Important: Not every ship can go through the Speicherstadt. If you want to go on a tour that includes the Speicherstadt, make sure to book a tour on a “ Barkasse .” These ships are flat-bottomed enough for the “Fleets,” which is what you call the canals in the Speicherstadt. Still, if the water level is too low, they might not be able to ride through the Speicherstadt.

I’d recommend booking your tickets at the harbor to avoid going on the “wrong” boat and get information on whether the boats can ride through the Speicherstadt at that time. The boats are leaving multiple times a day at the Landungsbrücken . 

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If you’re interested, you can also visit two museum ships: The Rickmer Rickmers and the Cap San Diego . BUT – let’s twist this up a little – visiting a ship is for everyone. Did you know both ships have escape rooms ? Such a cool activity to not only see the ship but also have some fun with your friends. If you’re a little more adventurous : Every Saturday, you’ll be able to climb up the mast on the Rickmer Rickmers and enjoy the view from up there! Such cool bucket list activities, right?!

Travel Tip 5 | Watch a Musical

Hamburg offers various musicals to visit, just like Pretty Woman or Mamma Mia (Starting 2021). The most known must be The Lion King, though: The theater on the harbor had seen over 11 million visitors since 2001 when the show started running. Watching The Lion King in Hamburg is truly a spectacular experience. As soon as you hop on the boat to go to the theatre, you’ll dive into a magical night and an amazing show. I’ve already watched it twice, and it’s been great every single time (i might even have cried a little, lol).

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Travel Tip 6 | Spend a night out at Reeperbahn

It’s not too often when you can justify a night out with the simple fact that it’s a tourist attraction, and you HAD to hit that bar, right?

The Reeperbahn can be found in the Red Light district of the St Pauli area and basically offers everything for a wild night out. Clubs, bars, bawdy houses – you’ll find all of that. There’s even a street, the Herbertstraße , that’s not accessible for women. What you’ll find there? Well, I only know it’s one cathouse after another. It might sound weird for someone not familiar with the city that seeing a street full of bars and prostitution is an actual attraction. I totally understand that, though it’s a classic with a lot of history . You can also go on a guided tour and learn more about the “Kiez,” its people, and its stories. 

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Travel Tip 7 | Walk around the Old Town

Strolling around the old town is another must-do in Hamburg. Its city center welcomes you with the Hamburg City Hall and the Rathausmarkt in front, where you’ll find seasonal markets if you’re lucky. From here, you can walk through the Alsterarkaden – a shopping arcade beautifully located along the canal. After this, you’ll reach the Jungfernstieg , the area along the Binnenalster. From here, you can go on a boat tour on the Alster or simply enjoy the view, have some coffee and check out all the stores. 

Restaurant Tip : There is an “ALEX “Restaurant directly on the Jungfernstieg with a really nice view of the water. The overall prices are fair, and on Sundays, they offer a great Brunch buffet with a view. I can only recommend it!

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Nürnberg –  Most unique and best coffee places

Bastei Bridge – Tips for your visit

Travel Tip 8 | Walk through the Elbtunnel

The Elbtunnel is an underwater tunnel connecting St Pauli with Steinwerder. It’s been the first river tunnel ever built on the continent and is still open to the public. You’ll find it’s entry at the Landungsbrücken (the area where all the boat tours are leaving) in a Building with a dome. From here, you’ll need to take an elevator down the 24 meters. After walking 426m underneath the ground , you’ll reach the other end from where you can enjoy the panoramic view over St. Pauli and the harbor. 

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Travel Tip 9 | Elbphilharmonie

The Elbphilharmonie is probably one of the most spectacular buildings in Hamburg. Its outstanding architecture will catch your eye right away. The Elbhilharmonie is a concert hall, which gained a lot of fame even before it opened. The construction took a while and cost 11 times more than expected – a total of 866 Mio.€. That’s a lot, right? 

After “Elphi “opened its doors in 2017, it definitely lives up to its reputation as one of the most spectacular concert halls ever built. It attracts millions of visitors from all around the world.

You don’t necessarily need to book a concert ticket to see “Elphi “from the inside: The Plaza is open to the public and offers a great view of the harbor and the Speicherstadt. Tickets to the Plaza are free.

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Travel Tip 10 | Fischmarkt

The Fish Market is one of the most prominent attractions. Well, it’s not only an attraction, but it’s also an experience! The Fish Market takes place every Sunday on the harbor starting at 5 am . From there on, you can buy fresh fish, eat brunch, buy plants, and listen to the sellers advertising their fish. You’ll even get to listen to live music in the auction hall, which is where you can also go for brunch. 

If you want to visit the Fischmarkt like the locals : Go to the Reeperbahn, party until 5 am, go to the Fishmarket, get some fresh fish in a bread and head home. Is this the best thing to do? Probably not. Is it a once-in-a-lifetime experience? Hell yes!

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Hamburg has so much more to offer. You can’t even sum it all up in one article. Since the weather can change fast (for the worse), you should definitely have some To-Dos for rainy weather.

Some more Hamburg Travel Tips would be…

travel tales hamburg

Talking about rainy weather: If you’re in the city for a few days, you might want to consider getting the Hamburg Card. It doesn’t only offer discounts for many attractions but also free public transport . If you plan on taking the metro more than once a day, it might save you some money.

Here’s a map with all the Travel Tips I’ve talked about for a better overall view.

some more Germany travel guides

Dresden | Weimar | Leipzig | Frankfurt | Rothenburg

I hope my “Top 10 Hamburg Travel Tips” tips were helpful. If you’re reading this before leaving for the city, I hope you’ll have the best time! As always, feel free to leave me a comment on whether you liked it or about your personal experience!

See you soon,

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Hi there, I'm Julia. I am a german native travel blogger and content creator showing you the world through my eyes. Welcome to the page!

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10 Hidden Gems In Hamburg

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January 31, 2020

10 Hidden Gems In Hamburg

Edited by Jessica Wright

Among my group of friends, Hamburg is referred to as the “Pearl of the North”. It’s a title given in endearment, and a bit of tongue in cheek because though you might encounter the nickname in Hamburg, its also a title many other northern countrymen bestow on their respective countries. In my opinion, Hamburg is the only city truly worthy of the title, a waterborne gem offering everything you might expect from a large and populated trade center, stunningly clean and shining with contemporary architecture. I don’t exaggerate when I say there is simply water everywhere. This gives the whole place the illusion of being by the sea. This green city is best traversed on foot or by bicycle, meaning that you are at the best advantage to experience Hamburg off the beaten path. The locals of Hamburg will happily point out some of Hamburg’s secret spots. To help you get a head start I have outlined my favorite 10 hidden gems in Hamburg!

Park Fiction

Park Fiction

First on the list of 10 hidden gems in Hamburg and a firm favorite is a place dubbed “ Park Fiction ” by the locals . It's an evergreen grassy terrace overlooking the harbor, full of plastic palm trees and a spirit of resistance. Quirkier than the average park, this tiny patch of astroturf is always busily attended by the local crowds that gather for a drink or perhaps to enjoy a bit of live music. Embodying a spirit of revolution against the city’s development plans, this park epitomizes the collective efforts of St. Pauli residents. Grab a beer and find a soft patch in the artificial park to be entertained by bike and skateboard performers. Watch your kiddies play among tulips in the little playground or simply enjoy a beautiful harbor sunset while experiencing the sense of community that saturates St. Pauli.

Golden Pudel

Golden Pudel

It’s no accident that Golden Pudel comes as number two on my list, saved from demolition by the same protests that saw the realization of Park Fiction. Situated close to the Landungsbrücken piers, the club offers spectacular views of the historic waterfront buildings and this major public transport hub. This publically-preserved club was also once a bootleggers' jail. Nowadays, it maintains that dedication to a good party with prices kept low by a loyal local patronage. Where you might expect to pay around 12 euros for a drink, here you can expect to pay a reasonable 4 euros. This late-night classic is run by a legendary ex-punk band and promises a party that will leave you headbanging into the next day. Then you can enjoy the view of dawn breaking over the harbor while you fulfill the tradition of drunken revelers stumbling into the Fischmarkt for a Sunday morning sandwich of considerable quality!


The basement club is a secret Hamburg musical delight, located in the Eimsbüttel district on Gärtnerstraße. One of the best-hidden spots in Hamburg, Birdland was entirely unknown a few years ago and is still only really found with insider information. A real treat for jazz-cats like me! This tiny atmospheric club only accommodates a small audience of roughly 150 people. Catering to all sorts of jazz from mainstream to Avante-Garde (and even jazz-karaoke) the venue hosts several live-jazz concerts weekly with local and international artists. Every Thursday there's a free jam session where students and amateur musicians can perform. The hip venue has a self-service bar with delicious, artfully made cocktails and offers tiered seating that promises a good view of the stage for everyone in the house. The artwork of famous jazz musicians lines the walls, lending a retro feel and fantastic atmosphere to the basement club. Be sure to arrive early to the improv sessions hosted on Thursdays to secure a seat and avoid the considerable disappointment of not getting in!

Altonaer Balkon (Altona)

Altonaer Balkon (Altona)

A terrace sharing some of the characteristics of Park Fiction – including a wider view of the harbor and River Elbe – this popular park provides a relaxing space to chill and catch your breath after busy sightseeing and travels. Unwind while overlooking the harbor activities of boats passing and the loading and unloading of gigantic cargo ships, and perhaps enjoy the spoils of Fisch & So just short trip down the stairs. You could even do as the locals do and get involved in a game of boule. Of course, this is an activity best enjoyed in summer when you can lie in the grass afterward enjoying the sunshine. Altonaer Balkon is the perfect spot for a family barbecue or picnic; equipped with children’s playground, art installations, and benches to relax on, it is also easily accessible from the Altona train station. This green and grassy terrace with iconic fisherman sculpture also happens to be quite a romantic spot, widely agreed upon as one of the best places to enjoy a sunset in Hamburg .

Badshah Restaurant

Badshah Restaurant

Definitely, on the list of non-touristy things to do in Hamburg , this one might surprise you, being Indian in origin. To find the best food in Hamburg , you need to eat where the locals do. This tiny, ambient Indian restaurant in the middle of Hamburg is a local favorite. If you are a fan of Indian food or vegan, you're probably craving a break from typical German food. If so, this place will knock your socks off with unbelievably delicious food. When exploring Hamburg off the beaten path, this is an absolute must. The fragrant flavors engulf you the minute you walk through the door. The authenticity of the experience continues throughout the meal, down to the metal trays upon which the food is served. The ever-popular mango lassi is a must-try!


This industrial district and engineering factory turned cultural hotspot and theater, Kampnagel has plenty of exciting things going on – art, plays, and well-known international and local musical acts; this affordable venue is certainly worth a visit . Home to several festivals such as the “Internationales Sommerfestival” (International Summer Festival) and Live Art Festival, Kampnagel is one of Germany’s largest production and performance facilities for freelance artists and one of the most important stages for the performing arts. Founded in 1984, the year Kampnagel was converted into a multi-functional theater complex, it now boasts six stages, a cinema, rehearsal space, restaurant and bar and is close to bus stops and the train station. Catering to a diverse crowd, including classic theater lovers and a younger, trendy crowd, you might be able to catch anything from ballet and symphony to edgy rock and experimental shows drama shows.

Canoeing And Kayaking In The Alster Lakes

Canoeing And Kayaking In The Alster Lakes

Right at its center and forming the heart of Hamburg is the manmade Lake Alster, around which the city was built. During the warmer months, the locals flock to the inner and outer Alster lakes, paddles in tow to enjoy the opportunity to sail and row. This is an excellent time to take up kayaking, and as a resident of Hamburg, I cannot recommend this enough. Experiencing the water this way allows unparalleled views of the magnificent buildings along the banks that cannot be spotted from the street. For the even more adventurous water-sport lovers, there is also stand-up-paddling and a wide range of boats to rent. The shore of Outer Alster offers a luxurious walk, surrounded by ancient trees, leafy parks and the mansions of the Winterhude, St. Georg and Rotherbaum districts. Maps of the lakes and canals can be purchased at many of the boat-rental places.

Luicella’s Ice Cream

Luicella’s Ice Cream

This local brand creates ice cream that is not only exceptional in taste but exceptional in how they are working for sustainability! Another great activity for warmer months, and equally as Insta-worthy. With a few branches already full-steam ahead in Hamburg, the friendly, English-speaking staff offer trial scoops of the wide range of ice-cream flavors including all the favorites, as well as more unusual ones like avocado and basil, all of which are to die for! Using natural products only, the quirky flavors also come in dairy-free vegan alternatives. While Luicella’s might be a little more costly than your average ice-cream truck, the thought, and craft that goes into each flavor are more than worth the cost. If it just so happens that you discover a flavor you simply cannot part with, there is the option to buy a bucket to stash in your hotel freezer for future cravings.

The Old Elbe Tunnel

The Old Elbe Tunnel

The dim, old-world feeling of the Old Elbe Tunnel is appealing to even the more alternative among Hamburg’s visitors, particularly those with a flair for photography. The art-deco tunnel which stretches a whopping 426.5 meters 24 meters under the Elbe river connects the Landungsbrücken piers in St. Pauli with the port, and is free to pedestrians, only occasionally allowing cars through. The other-worldly underwater tunnel, once an impressive technical innovation, now offers a direct route for city-dwelling pedestrians and cyclists wishing to cross below the river to Wilhelmsburg or Altes Land, and a peaceful walk for visitors. Make your way up to ground level at the observation platform south of the river to enjoy panoramic views of the city.



In the very center of the city is what once existed as a living quarter with narrow winding streets, and is today a proud creative space. Though possibly too well known to remain a secret amongst Hamburg hidden gems, it is certainly considered one of the more alternative things to do in Hamburg. This quirky UNESCO Heritage Site claimed the title of a “site of cultural diversity” and remains even after the threat of nearby cholera outbreaks and city development plans threatened to have it demolished. In 2009, in the face of said development plans, the site was occupied in an attempt to preserve the historic building. After many protests by dedicated activists and artists, Gängeviertel was saved and began to host artistic events such as film screenings, drawing sessions and live music. Today it provides a diversely cultural and artistic space for anyone looking to relax. The area also offers under-the-radar nightlife with a variety of events and underground club nights frequented by locals. For similar experiences of a strange persuasion, take a look at this guide to unusual Hamburg finds !

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  • The Best Day Trips From...

The Best Day Trips From Hamburg

Visit historic Luneburg and stroll around the pretty medieval town centre

Hamburg may be a diverse and exciting destination to visit but there’s no reason to limit yourself to one city when there are so many exciting places nearby to explore. These Hamburg day trips will let you discover charming historical towns, magnificent castles and breathtaking natural landscapes. Most are just an hour away and all are accessible by public transport.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips , compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips .

Lüneburg – the salt town

The 1,000-year history of Lüneburg is closely tied with the production of white gold (salt) that brought wealth and prosperity to the town. Having survived World War II virtually unscathed, Lüneburg boasts a medieval charm few can rival. Stroll through the beautiful Old Town and browse the speciality shops, cafes, and restaurants housed in gabled buildings. You will also find lovely green areas, saltwater thermal baths and, thanks to the town’s student population, one of the highest concentrations of pubs in Europe.

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Lübeck – Queen of the Hansa

On the coast of the Baltic Sea lies Lübeck, the former capital of the mighty Hanseatic League. The Old Town is best explored on foot, its historic buildings and narrow lanes a mix of architectural styles from 13th century onwards. Visit the Town Hall and the magnificent Gothic Church of St Mary and don’t leave without trying the marzipan – it’s a speciality. Lübeck is known as the marzipan city.

Distance: 45 minutes by regional train. Price: €28 (£24) per person, round-trip; €40 (£35) for a group of five with a regional day ticket.

Bremen – the fairy tale town

travel tales hamburg

Medieval Bremen is home to the Bremen Town Musicians (bronze statue) featured in the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Admire the Renaissance Town Hall, stroll through Schnoor, a maze of small streets lined with charming 15th- and 16th-century houses, and relax in the sun on the Schlachte riverside promenade. Visit a museum or take a tour of the Beck’s beer factory. Whatever you do, don’t leave before rubbing the donkey’s legs on the Bremen Town Musicians sculpture to secure some good luck.

Distance: One hour 10 minutes by regional train; Price: €23 (£20) per person, round-trip; €39 (£34) for a group of five with a regional day ticket.

Schwerin – the city of seven lakes

The city of Schwerin is a picture-perfect combination of natural and architectural beauty. Its most famous landmark is the majestic Schwerin Palace, situated between two lakes and surrounded by luscious gardens. The nearby market square and cobbled streets are filled with historic buildings housing shops and cafes. Schwerin has a number of excellent museums and hosts a variety of arts and cultural festivals throughout the year.

Distance: One hour 25 minutes by regional train. Price: €23 (£20) per person, round-trip; €39 (£34) for a group of five with a regional day ticket.

Altes Land – largest fruit growing area

travel tales hamburg

Elbe marshlands downstream from Hamburg are home to Altes Land. This fertile land, regained from the river between the 11th and 15th centuries and protected by dykes, is Germany’s largest fruit growing area. In between the large orchards you’ll find villages with half-timbered farm buildings. The best way to enjoy the scenery is to cycle along the bicycle paths. Admire apple blossom in spring, pick fruit in the fall and enjoy delicious cake from the local produce all year round.

Distance: One hour by Hamburg public transport (metro and bus to Jork, or ferry to Cranz). Price: €10 (£8.70) per person, round-trip.

The Wadden Sea

travel tales hamburg

The Wadden Sea ( Wattenmeer) coastal area, which stretches from the Netherlands to Denmark, is the largest unbroken system of intertidal sand and mud flats in the world. The ecosystem of dunes, tidal channels, sandbars, mudflats, seagrass meadows and salt marshes is undisturbed nature at its best. Don’t miss the opportunity to go mudflat hiking ( wattwandern) during low tide, when you’ll be able to walk from the mainland to nearby islands.

Distance: 1h 45 min to either Cuxhaven or Büsum. Price: €28 (£24.37) per person, round-trip; €40 (£35) for a group of five with a regional day ticket.

Heligoland – the island of breathtaking cliffs

travel tales hamburg

Heligoland is a little further away but is a wonderful day trip destination. The speedy journey across the North Sea is an adventure in itself. The island may be small but it has something for everyone. Nature lovers will enjoy the fresh air, the breathtaking red sandstone cliffs and getting up close with seals. Bird watching enthusiasts will love spotting rare seabirds. Gourmands will enjoy the island’s great restaurants and fresh seafood, while bargain hunters will make the most of its duty- and VAT-free status.

Distance: 3.5 hours by catamaran Halunder Jet from Hamburg. Price: €71 (£62) per person, round-trip.

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

travel tales hamburg

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Culture trip spring sale, save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips limited spots..

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Hamburg Subway Map 4+

Hamburg metro map, yaroslav mykolaienko, designed for ipad, screenshots, description.

Effortlessly navigate Hamburg metro: Get quick route planning, station details, and fare information all in one convenient app Introducing the innovative "Explore Hamburg Metro" app, your indispensable companion for navigating Hamburg's public transportation system. This app is designed to meet the needs of both locals and tourists, offering a wide range of features and capabilities for convenient and comfortable travel in the dynamic city of Hamburg. We understand that both residents and tourists have unique needs when it comes to public transportation, and our app caters to them all. For locals, it offers a reliable source of real-time information, helping you streamline your daily commute and save time. For tourists, it provides a tourist-friendly interface, highlighting nearby attractions and ensuring that you make the most of your visit to Hamburg. "Hamburg Metro Map" is not just an app; it's your dedicated travel companion, ensuring that your metro experience is seamless, efficient, and enjoyable. Whether you're heading to work, exploring the city's cultural landmarks, or visiting friends, our app will be there to guide you every step of the way. Key Features: - Detailed Station Information: Get all the details about metro stations, including accessibility for mobile devices, the presence of elevators, nearby attractions, and much more. This is useful for both local residents and newcomers to the city. - Schedules and Fares: Access the full train schedule and up-to-date fare information. You can find out the cost of your trip and the exact departure time of the train. - City Map Integration: Seamlessly switch between the metro map and the city map. Understand how the metro lines connect with the streets and neighborhoods of Hamburg, making it easier to plan your overall journey and explore the city. - Tourist-Friendly Interface: If you're a tourist, the app offers special features to meet your needs. You can quickly find tourist attractions and interesting places conveniently located near metro stations. Why Choose "Explore Hamburg Metro"? - Ease of Use: Our app features an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it accessible to everyone. - Reliability and Accuracy: We provide reliable and up-to-date data, so you'll always stay informed. - For Everyone: Whether you're a local resident or a tourist, our app provides you with the necessary information for comfortable travel. - Offline Use: After downloading data, the app can work offline, making it available everywhere and at all times. - Time and Money Savings: Travel more efficiently and effectively manage your expenses.

App Privacy

The developer, Yaroslav Mykolaienko , indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy .

Data Not Collected

The developer does not collect any data from this app.

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More


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More From Forbes

Brazil explored: immersive trips, diamond trails and long-lost tales.

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There’s never been more interest in actual, genuine off-the-beaten-path travel than now. More and more tourists are searching out escape from the everyday—trips with fewer people, less (or preferably no) technology, and an opportunity to recalibrate and experience something authentic and life-affirming.

Stepping into the market with an offering that undoubtedly fits that definition is Gift of Go , who have launched an inaugural series of explorations into Brazil’s most remote and extraordinary regions for 2024.

Disappear into one of the planet's most biodiverse and least visited places.

Kicking things off is An Exploration of the Highlands of Brazil . A 14-day, 125-mile journey into the majestic Serra do Espinhaço departing on May 6th, a maximum of eight travelers and 10 expedition crew will trek, horseback ride, boat, bike, bushwack and overland their way across a labyrinth of lost historic trails and backroads in one of the planet’s most ecologically diverse places.

The trip promises Seussian landscapes, colonial villages and quilombos (former slave settlements), white sand beach fringed waterfalls, cola-colored rivers, bubbling hot springs and barely-visited UNESCO World Heritage sites. It will culminate at a famed Vesperata celebration in Diamantina, the UNESCO “city of diamonds.”

Journeys will lead to places of tranquility and solitude and beauty.

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The Serra do Espinhaço was once the epicenter of the world’s diamond trade but has been abandoned and largely forgotten about by the outside world for close to 200 years. It’s home to three UNESCO destinations and two globally-renowned biodiversity hotspots in the Brazilian Savanna and Atlantic Rainforest. Yet despite this, its largest conservation unit at the Sempre Vivas National Park receives only a handful of visitors each year, and most of those are from the scientific community. What that effectively means is that, from a tourist perspective, you’ll have the place to yourself.

Experiences are broken up into four chapters. The Serra take visitors on an epic trek through the mountains. The Garden navigates Brazil’s hinterland of big cats and sharp plants, disappearing trails, forsaken ranches and disputed lands by pack-mule and jon-boat. The Sertão brings travelers to the lowlands along miles of open road to festive cow towns and legendary hospitality. Lastly, The Berço is the cradle, dramatic landscapes that lead to tales of hardship and glory and at its end, the slave-built highway that cascades into Diamantina.

Experienced local guides lead the way along often invisible trails.

Gift of Go will lead a collection of curated trips over the year. At 14, 21 and 28 days in length, they are meticulously researched and curated; designed to create deeply immersive, enriching experiences that are as demanding as they are rewarding and that have the power to change how we see the world.

In this sense, Gift of Go is pitching the trips less as vacations and more as immersive stories—more purposeful than recreational, more exhilarating than relaxing. Expect to be challenged by a diverse landscape of cultures, geographies and historic realities through constant immersion and candid, uncurated conversations and interactions with local people.

From highland to lowland, mountain to cradle, guests will hike, ride, bike and bushwack to their ... [+] destination.

In the press release for their first experience, cofounder Eddie Lott notes that, “We are living in the Golden Age of picture-perfect places, carefully-crafted ‘authenticity’, and readily-collectible ‘once-in-a-lifetime' experiences. GOGO trips are different—in our minds, there is simply nothing more compelling, profound, or enriching than experiencing real life in a world far from our own."

Gift of Go slow travel experiences kick off in 2024 on May 6th and run across several months throughout the year. For details, check the 21-day A Diamantine Tale and epic 28-day Diamond/Wild Tales + Lost Trails . A limited number of bespoke itineraries are also available.

Duncan Madden

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    Bird watching enthusiasts will love spotting rare seabirds. Gourmands will enjoy the island's great restaurants and fresh seafood, while bargain hunters will make the most of its duty- and VAT-free status. Distance: 3.5 hours by catamaran Halunder Jet from Hamburg. Price: €71 (£62) per person, round-trip.

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