Are you on the lookout for the best places to visit in Hamburg? Then I’ve got you covered! Here is my list of top places to visit in Hamburg, including the very best landmarks and attractions.
In the heart of northern Germany, Hamburg stands tall as a city beloved by its residents and cherished by all who set foot on its storied streets. As the second largest city in Germany, Hamburg boasts a rich tapestry of history, offering exciting squares, and a treasure trove of world-famous landmarks that captivate the imagination. From the iconic Michel and the lively Reeperbahn to the enchanting Speicherstadt and the architectural wonder of the new Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg holds an abundance of delights for every traveler.
Join me on this ultimate Hamburg tour, where we will uncover the top sights that grace this enchanting city – sights that will leave both young and old alike in awe. Along the way, I’ll reveal the best spots to immerse yourself in the very essence of Hamburg’s unique atmosphere. So, buckle up for an adventure like no other, where you’ll experience the magic and allure that define this charming Hanseatic city. Let’s set off on a journey through the wonders of Hamburg together!
In a nutshell: Our Hamburg highlights
- Port of Hamburg : The second largest port in Europe. A harbor tour in Hamburg is definitely a must.
- Landungsbrücken : Most boats for harbor tours dock here. In addition, the Landungsbrücken are a very nice photo motif.
- Speicherstadt : The canals and the brick houses look really great together. Don’t forget the camera!
- Elbphilharmonie : The newest landmark in Hamburg. Be sure to take a look at the Elphi – it’s worth it!
- Reeperbahn : No visit to Hamburg without the Reeperbahn. The colorful entertainment mile really comes to life in the evening.
If you only have a little time, you should not miss these Hamburg highlights. You have more than one day for sightseeing in Hamburg? Then just read on and check out all of the top places to visit in Hamburg, including the very best landmarks and attractions.
Address: Reeperbahn S-Bahn station (just let yourself be carried away.)
Located in the lively St. Pauli district, the iconic Reeperbahn stands as one of Hamburg’s top sights, offering a unique blend of excitement and allure. This renowned stretch is home to a multitude of bars, strip clubs, pubs, revue theaters, discos, and burlesque bars, earning it the well-deserved moniker “Germany’s most sinful mile.” While it once carried a notorious reputation for crime and prostitution, today, the Reeperbahn has transformed into a vibrant entertainment area, surprisingly peaceful and welcoming during the day.
Take a leisurely stroll along the Reeperbahn, and you’ll witness the transformation as the evening approaches. Cafés and eateries line the streets, inviting you to savor the atmosphere as the district comes alive in preparation for the night’s revelry.
When the sun sets, the Reeperbahn comes to life with a plethora of well-known evening establishments, such as “Zur Ritze” with its boxing ring, the lively “Safari,” the charming “Dollhouse,” the trendy “Molotow,” and the glamorous “Susis Show Bar.” You might even catch a live appearance by the famous Olivia Jones, a TV star and a prominent figure in the neighborhood.
Beyond its reputation for sex and partying, the Reeperbahn offers a vibrant cultural scene. Notable theaters like “Schmidts Tivoli” and the Operettenhaus call this district home, showcasing top-notch productions, including world-renowned musicals like “Cats,” “Mamma Mia,” and “I’ve never been to New York.” Adding to the district’s intrigue is the Davidwache, the most famous police station in Germany.
For young and old alike, the Reeperbahn is a must-visit among the sights in Hamburg. Embrace the lively energy, cultural richness, and diverse offerings of this renowned street, where tradition and modernity entwine in a captivating dance. A glimpse into its history reveals that the name “Reeperbahn” hails from the Reepschläger, skilled artisans who crafted ship ropes and required long tracks to carry out their trade. Step into this vibrant world and savor the enthralling blend of past and present that defines the Reeperbahn’s enduring appeal.
The Beatles in Hamburg: In the 1960s, music history was written on the Große Freiheit. The Beatles had their first performances in Germany here. Even today, the Beatles-Platz is reminiscent of the mushroom heads in the form of a record.
Tip : The guided tour “Sex & Crime in St. Pauli” is highly recommended. Here you can find out everything you always wanted to know about the neighborhood or not: How expensive is a visit to a brothel? How much do the ladies earn in an evening? Who rules the neighborhood? Who are the legendary figures of Hamburg’s nightlife?
The Blond Hans
Nestled not far from the vibrant Reeperbahn, a hidden part of the “Kiez” awaits—Hans-Albers-Platz, an enchanting square named after the beloved actor and Hamburg icon, Hans Albers.
At the heart of this square stands a statue commemorating the renowned actor, serving as a timeless tribute to his legacy. As the evening unfolds, Hans-Albers-Platz offers a quieter ambiance, providing an excellent spot to enjoy a beer away from the bustling energy of the Große Freiheit.
A rustic and cozy atmosphere envelops visitors at the renowned Hans Albers Klause, adding to the square’s allure. Immerse yourself in the charm of this hidden gem, and you’ll experience a different facet of the renowned “Kiez” that will leave you captivated.
Address: Hamburg-Sternschanze S-Bahn station
For those seeking a break from the more touristy hotspots like Reeperbahn and Jungfernstieg, the trendy districts of Sternschanze and Karoviertel offer a refreshing alternative in Hamburg.
Schanzenviertel, also known as “Schanze,” ranks among the top sights in Hamburg for young people, boasting a vibrant and left-wing alternative vibe. Unlike the bustling Reeperbahn, this area is less crowded, making it an ideal place to explore at a leisurely pace.
At its heart stands the former Rote Flora theater, now a left-wing autonomous center hosting a range of political and cultural events. Immerse yourself in the dynamic atmosphere of the “Schanze” as you stroll along the “Scapula” and meander through its charming alleys adorned with small cafes, bars, and restaurants that beckon visitors both day and night.
Schanzenviertel is also renowned for its array of record shops and fashion boutiques, offering an eclectic and trendy shopping experience. Embrace the alternative spirit of the “Schanze” and experience a side of Hamburg that captivates young and old alike.
My Tip: Fans of TV chef Tim Mälzer can visit the master in his restaurant “Bullerei” right at Sternschanze S-Bahn station.
If you want to relax from all the hustle and bustle, you can find some peace and quiet in the nearby Schanzenpark. There is a large playground here, especially for children.
Explore the Trendy Karoviertel
From the lively Schanzenviertel, the path leads seamlessly into the vibrant Karoviertel, once known as the “poor people’s quarter.” Over the years, this area has transformed into a trendy neighborhood, rivaling its neighbor, the Schanze, in popularity.
With an array of charming cafes, boutiques, restaurants, and general stores, the Karoviertel has blossomed into a haven for locals and visitors alike. Unlike some other areas affected by gentrification, the Karoviertel still exudes an authentic atmosphere, providing an opportunity to meet real Hamburgers and connect with the city’s true essence.
In the summer, the district truly comes alive, inviting visitors to leisurely stroll, shop, relax, and savor coffee while observing the bustling life around them. The abundance of small shops ensures you’ll come across something truly unique and special during your exploration of this trendy quarter. Embrace the genuine charm and local spirit of the Karoviertel as you uncover a side of Hamburg that perfectly blends modernity with its rich heritage.
Tip: Every Saturday the “Flohschanze” – a small flea market – takes place on the Knust site.
As you stroll down the lively Sternschanze, you’ll be drawn towards yet another captivating sight in Hamburg: the Heiligengeistfeld.
Nestled between the districts of St. Pauli, Schanzenviertel, Karoviertel, and the enchanting botanical garden “Planten und Blomen,” the Heiligengeistfeld holds a special place in the hearts of Hamburgers.
At the heart of this vibrant area stands the iconic Millerntor Stadium, home to the beloved FC St. Pauli. But the allure of Heiligengeistfeld extends beyond football, as it hosts the largest folk festival in northern Germany, the renowned “Hamburg Cathedral,” three times a year.
With an electric atmosphere and a blend of cultural delights, the Heiligengeistfeld is a hub of excitement and celebration. Join in the festivities, immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, and create cherished memories at this dynamic site that epitomizes the spirit of Hamburg.
Landungsbrücken – A Gateway to Hamburg’s Maritime Charm
Address: St. Pauli 1, 20359 Hamburg
Among the must-see attractions in Hamburg’s bustling port, the St. Pauli Landungsbrücken stand as an iconic landmark.
Your gaze will be drawn to the majestic terminal building that greets visitors upon arrival. This impressive 205-meter-long hall, adorned with striking domes and towers, was erected between 1907 and 1909 and has been a protected historical monument since 2003.
As you step onto the connected pontoons in front of the check-in hall, you’ll find the heart of the St. Pauli Landungsbrücken—a large water station and bustling landing stage for ships. It’s the ideal starting point for exhilarating harbor tours on numerous steamers and boats that set sail from here.
Beyond harbor cruises, the Landungsbrücken offer more maritime adventures. Hamburg’s public transport steamers, operated by the HVV, transport both locals and tourists across the Elbe to the other bank. They also ferry visitors to the renowned Stage Theater, where musical extravaganzas like “The Lion King” come to life.
The Landungsbrücken are also famed for the Old Elbe Tunnel, a historic gem since its inception in 1911. Floating gracefully in the waters of the Elbe, this entrance, an imposing square domed building, beckons from afar.
An extraordinary experience awaits as pedestrians and cyclists descend 24 meters via elevators, embarking on a fascinating journey of approximately 426 meters beneath the Elbe to Steinwerder. There, you’ll emerge into the daylight, savoring the unique wonder of traversing under the river—a true highlight of your Hamburg adventure.
Tip: Crossing the Old Elbe Tunnel is free for pedestrians and cyclists and is also open all night for this group of people.
Museum Ship Rickmer Rickmers
A stone’s throw from the Landungsbrücken lies a treasure that truly captures the essence of Hamburg’s seafaring heritage—the Museum Ship Rickmer Rickmers.
This illustrious vessel holds the title of Hamburg’s most renowned ship and stands tall as an iconic symbol of the port’s maritime legacy.
With a storied history tracing back to 1896, the Rickmer Rickmers has sailed the seven seas, embodying the spirit of adventure that has graced Hamburg’s harbor for generations.
For the curious and the captivated, the Rickmer Rickmers welcomes interested visitors all year round. Step aboard this floating time capsule and delve into the fascinating past of maritime exploration. Wander the decks to get a glimpse of the crew’s life and the challenges they faced during their voyages.
Get a firsthand look at the intricate craftsmanship of the freighter’s construction, marveling at the ingenuity that allowed this grand vessel to conquer the waves. Delve deeper into the heart of the ship and uncover the inner workings of its magnificent steam engine, a testament to the engineering prowess of its time.
As you explore, don’t miss the figurehead at the ship’s bow—a figure that has weathered countless journeys, gazing steadfastly ahead, reminiscent of the dreams and ambitions that have propelled the Rickmer Rickmers through history.
An immersive journey aboard this historic vessel promises to leave you with a profound appreciation for Hamburg’s rich nautical heritage and the brave souls who navigated the seas in pursuit of adventure and discovery.
Address: Between Baumwall and Überseequartier, 20457 Hamburg
Immerse in Historic Splendor: Hamburger Speicherstadt
Step into a world of historical splendor as you discover the marvel that is the Hamburger Speicherstadt—a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Hamburg’s most cherished and frequented attractions.
Spread across a vast expanse of more than 26 hectares, this warehouse district stands proudly as the world’s largest contiguous warehouse complex. Its roots date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries when it was meticulously constructed on thousands of sturdy oak piles, emerging gracefully from the tranquil waters of the Elbe.
A network of charming canals, aptly named “canals,” winds its way through the area, creating a delightful semblance of a “little Venice.” These canals, navigable even at high tide, lend a touch of enchantment to this captivating city within a city.
As its name suggests, the Speicherstadt was once the bustling hub for storage and trade of precious goods from overseas. It housed an array of warehouses brimming with spices, coffee, cocoa, tea, and an assortment of other exotic delights.
Today, the Speicherstadt has gracefully transformed from a bustling trade center to a cherished destination for exploration and leisure. Its picturesque charm, highlighted by stunning brick architecture, captivates visitors and offers an authentic glimpse into Hamburg’s storied past.
Wander through its historic alleys, where echoes of time still resonate, and immerse yourself in the allure of yesteryear. Discover a treasure trove of cultural attractions, museums, galleries, and unique boutiques that now call this enchanting district home.
A visit to the Hamburger Speicherstadt is a journey back in time, an experience that captivates the imagination and leaves an indelible impression on all who walk its storied streets.
You can find the following sights in Hamburg in the Speicherstadt:
- Hamburg Dungeon
- Miniature Wonderland
- International Maritime Museum
- Spicy’s Spice Museum
- Auto Museum Prototype
- coffee roastery
The Speicherstadt is a popular destination, especially on a harbor tour, and should not be missed on any sightseeing tour of Hamburg anyway.
International Maritime Museum
Admission: 15 Euro
Address: HafenCity, Koreastraße 1, 20457 Hamburg, Germany
Nestled amidst the vibrant HafenCity, the International Maritime Museum stands as a captivating treasure trove, tracing an impressive 3,000 years of shipping history. From ancient Phoenician galleys to majestic Viking dragon boats and modern-day colossal passenger ships, this museum unveils a fascinating saga of human exploration across the seas.
As you wander through its exhibits, you’ll be treated to clear and engaging explanations of the inner workings of historical and contemporary technical devices. Explore the intricacies of Morse code devices, marvel at the ingenuity of compasses, and dive into the significance of signal books in navigating treacherous waters.
Prepare to be captivated by the dedicated section on marine research, housed on an entire deck. This realm delves into the world of research equipment, submersibles, and captivating films that illuminate the mysteries of the deep sea.
Whether you’re a seasoned maritime enthusiast or a curious adventurer, the International Maritime Museum is a voyage through time—an immersive experience that celebrates humanity’s enduring connection with the sea.
Address: Burchardplatz 1, 20095 Hamburg, Germany
A masterpiece of architectural brilliance, the Chilehaus stands proudly as part of the World Heritage complex. Crafted between 1922 and 1924 by the visionary architect Fritz Höger, this iconic building is a prominent example of the Expressionist movement. Its awe-inspiring design, reminiscent of a majestic ship’s bow, makes it an undeniable eye-catcher in the Hamburg skyline.
Throughout its rich history, the Chilehaus has been a thriving hub for various companies and offices. Today, it continues to be a bustling center of activity, boasting an eclectic mix of shops, charming cafés, and enticing restaurants. Wander through its corridors, and you’ll be delighted by the seamless integration of modern businesses within this timeless architectural gem.
A visit to the Chilehaus offers a glimpse into Hamburg’s enduring commitment to preserving its architectural heritage while embracing the modern vibrancy that defines this ever-evolving city.
Address: Kehrwieder 2, 20457 Hamburg – Speicherstadt
Admission: €15 (regular), €7.50 (children)
Step into a world of wonders, where reality is recreated on a scale of 1:87 – welcome to the Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg, hailed as the largest model railway in the world and a true marvel among Hamburg’s attractions.
Spread across nearly 1,500 square meters of meticulous craftsmanship, the Miniatur Wunderland boasts an astounding 263,000 figurines, 9,250 cars, 1,040 trains, 389,000 LEDs, and 4,340 intricately designed buildings. Its creation required an impressive total of 795,000 hours of dedicated construction. The level of detail is astonishing, captivating visitors of all ages and interests.
Since its inception in 2000, the Miniatur Wunderland has been expanding steadily. Wander through the miniaturized landscapes of Hamburg and the whimsical realm of “Knuffingen.” Journey further to encounter miniatures representing Central Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia, the USA, and Italy. A mini-Venice was unveiled in 2018, and plans are already underway for a mini-Monaco complete with the charm of Provence.
The immersive experience doesn’t end with static models; take a virtual spin through the small streets with a small Google Streetview Car that roams the “MiWuLa.” Moreover, the wonderland offers special themed events, including nocturnal visits and a culinary journey around the world.
For an enchanting escape from rainy days or winter chill, the Miniatur Wunderland stands as a highly recommended sight in Hamburg, where the imagination knows no bounds, and every tiny detail counts.
Port of Hamburg
Address: Landungsbrücken S-Bahn station (You’re right in the middle of the hustle and bustle.)
The Heartbeat of Hamburg: The Port
Undoubtedly, the beating heart of Hamburg lies in its illustrious port. As the largest port in Germany and the second largest in Europe, it rightfully earns the moniker of the city’s “gateway to the world,” a source of immense pride for the locals.
Each year, more than 13,000 vessels from every corner of the globe dock at the Port of Hamburg, including the grand “Queen Mary 2” mega cruise ship. The harbor hosts a myriad of events throughout the year, but May heralds a special occasion—the harbor birthday celebration. Historic and modern ships grace the waters, while the promenade teems with vibrant stalls offering international delicacies, live music, and culminates in a splendid evening fireworks display.
Spanning a vast expanse across 14 districts, the port embraces many of Hamburg’s top 10 sights, making it an ideal starting point for an extensive tour of the city’s highlights. What better way to embark on this journey than with a captivating harbor tour, witnessing the bustling maritime activities up close?
For those seeking a more leisurely experience, the harbor ferries of the Hamburger Verkehrsverbund (HVV) offer convenient transport to various sights in Hamburg and its surrounding areas. The best part? Exploring the harbor comes without an entry fee, making it an accessible and captivating experience for all.
For the adventurers at heart, the Elbwanderweg beckons—a scenic path leading from the harbor to Övelgönne and the serene Elbe beach, another of Hamburg’s alluring attractions that doesn’t demand a penny. From the port’s bustling quays to the tranquil shores, the Hamburg harbor offers a captivating blend of experiences that epitomize the city’s vibrant spirit.
My Tip: Those interested can research their own family history in the “BallinStadt” emigration museum. Between 1850 and 1939, around 5 million emigrants set out from the port of Hamburg for the “New World”. Your story comes alive again here.
Address: Große Elbstraße 9, 22767 Hamburg
A cherished institution and an essential among Hamburg’s sights is the vibrant fish market, a timeless classic that exudes the city’s distinctive character.
Every Sunday from the wee hours of 5 a.m., Aale Dieter, Hering Heinz, or Dorsch Werner enthusiastically bellow their catchphrases, luring in early-bird visitors with offers like, “Come on, I’ll pack 2 more mackerel with me!” These spirited market criers inject an unparalleled energy into the market atmosphere as they vie for buyers’ attention amidst the array of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and affordable souvenirs.
The fish market caters to all, whether it’s early risers embarking on a day of sightseeing or night owls seeking a delightful reprieve. A true culinary treasure trove awaits, with a wide selection of fresh produce, cheese, sausage, bread, and, of course, the catch of the day.
For the locals, the fish market is more than a bustling marketplace—it is the heart of Sunday gatherings. Here, they savor delightful fish sandwiches and coffee while catching up with friends and family, making it a cherished weekly ritual.
A visit to the fish market, indeed to Hamburg in its entirety, would be incomplete without savoring an authentic Hamburg fish roll. Crispy and fresh, it matters little whether it’s Bismarck herring, herring, or fried fish—the key is that it offers that satisfying crunch with every bite, an experience unique to the original Hamburg fish roll.
So, if you seek an authentic taste of Hamburg and a delightful blend of tradition and liveliness, the fish market is an experience that will leave a lasting impression on all who visit.
Fischauktionshalle: The Party Continues
If the early-morning festivities have left you craving for more, look no further than the nearby Fischauktionshalle to keep the fun going.
This vibrant venue offers a unique experience as you can dance to the rhythm of live music while the sun begins to rise over the bustling port. The electric atmosphere is infectious, and you’ll find yourself swept up in the joyous celebration alongside fellow revelers.
And fear not, for those nursing a slight hangover, a delightful hangover breakfast awaits. The classic roll pug with gherkins is an ideal choice to recharge your energy and savor the flavors of Hamburg’s beloved culinary tradition.
The Fischauktionshalle provides the perfect setting to dance the night away and bask in the joy of the city, embracing the vibrant spirit that makes Hamburg a destination like no other. So, whether you’re a night owl or an early riser, this lively spot ensures that the festivities never truly come to an end.
The Submarine Museum
Amidst the bustling activity of the fish market, an extraordinary sight awaits: the Soviet submarine U434, an original and fully functional marvel of engineering.
Stretching over 90 meters in length, this colossal non-nuclear submarine commands attention even from afar. But its true intrigue lies within, as visitors have the unique opportunity to step inside and explore its interior. The guided tour offers an immersive experience, allowing you to uncover the secrets and history of this formidable vessel.
Be forewarned, however, that the confines of a submarine demand a certain degree of comfort with tight spaces. If enclosed spaces are not your cup of tea, you may want to consider an alternative museum experience.
Nonetheless, for those with a sense of adventure and curiosity, the U434 submarine promises an unforgettable journey into the depths of naval history. Embrace the opportunity to witness firsthand the ingenuity and power of this remarkable vessel anchored in Hamburg’s vibrant harbor.
Elbphilharmonie – Elbe Philharmonic Hall
Address: Platz der Deutschen Unity, 20457 Hamburg
Admission: Plaza free of charge
The Elbphilharmonie: A Spectacular Triumph
Since its grand completion in January 2017, the Elbphilharmonie has become the epitome of pride for the people of Hamburg.
In stark contrast to the infamous airport in Berlin, the Hamburgers can now boast their grand architectural masterpiece, the Elbphilharmonie, which indeed saw its fair share of delays and cost overruns during its construction. But, in the end, the city’s determination prevailed, and the Elbphilharmonie stands tall as one of the most captivating sights in Hamburg.
Its futuristic design, coupled with the remarkable Plaza, a panoramic viewing platform nestled between the building’s two elements, offers visitors an unparalleled view of Hamburg’s stunning cityscape. The Elbphilharmonie has undeniably become the city’s iconic landmark, drawing both locals and tourists alike.
Strategically located, the site of the Elbphilharmonie holds historical significance, as it once housed the Kaispeicher A, also known as Kaiserspeicher. Sadly, this monumental structure was severely damaged during World War II and only partially rebuilt afterward. Today, it forms the foundation of the new and awe-inspiring concert hall.
For those eager to explore the halls but unable to secure a concert ticket, guided tours provide a wonderful opportunity to get up close and personal with this architectural marvel. While tours of the concert halls may be infrequent and in high demand, there are regular guided tours that provide equally fascinating insights into the building’s history and design.
Initially, securing tickets for concerts at the Elbphilharmonie was a daunting task, with demand far exceeding availability. However, as the years have passed, locals and visitors alike have had the chance to marvel at their new landmark from the inside.
Beyond the world of classical concerts, the Elbphilharmonie has also welcomed renowned songwriters and musicians, creating an eclectic musical experience for all to enjoy. Whether you’re a classical aficionado or a fan of contemporary sounds, the Elbphilharmonie promises an unforgettable and melodic journey amidst its striking architecture.
The Plaza – The Unmissable Elbphilharmonie Plaza
Even if attending a concert is not on your agenda, a visit to the Elbphilharmonie is a must, especially for the spectacular Plaza experience.
Rising 37 meters high, the Plaza offers a breathtaking view of the bustling port area. The journey to the top is equally enchanting, as you ascend on the longest escalator in Western Europe, which winds through a tunnel adorned with shimmering glass sequins, creating a truly enchanting experience.
However, keep in mind that access to the Elbphilharmonie Plaza requires a ticket. Fear not, as these tickets are typically available for free on-site, especially during the off-peak season and on weekdays. Nevertheless, it’s wise to plan ahead and secure a ticket in advance online, especially if you have a tight schedule. A symbolic fee of 2 euros ensures a smooth reservation process, allowing you to cherish this architectural gem without any hassle.
The Ambitious Hafencity Project
Beyond the Elbphilharmonie, the Hafencity stands as a grand vision of Hamburg’s future.
As one of the largest inner-city urban development projects in Europe, the Hafencity spans an impressive 157 hectares, aiming to create around 40% of new urban space, complete with residences and job opportunities. This ambitious endeavor showcases the city’s dedication to progress and modernity.
Initially met with skepticism, the Hafencity has since transformed into a bustling district with completed buildings, attracting residents, workers, students, and visitors alike. The project’s success appears promising, and it offers a glimpse into the city’s dynamic future.
While the iconic Elbphilharmonie takes center stage, the Hafencity has much more to offer, especially for enthusiasts of modern architecture. Notably, the futuristic U-Bahn station Überseequartier stands as a real gem, alluring visitors with its cutting-edge design and becoming a favored subject for photos among Hamburg’s urban explorers.
My tip: For a quick, tasty and cheap lunch, we recommend a visit to Andronaco . The Italian supermarket with bistro offers delicious self-service pizza and pasta at fair prices.
Address: Englische Planke 1, 20459 Hamburg
Admission: €5 (regular), €4 or €3.50 (reduced)
The Hamburger Michel, officially known as the main church of St. Michaelis, stands as the city’s most renowned and prominent place of worship.
With its towering 132-meter-high tower, the Michel commands attention, gracing the cityscape and earning its status as a landmark alongside the new Elbphilharmonie.
Having been rebuilt twice before, the current Michel, completed in 1912, stands as the third iteration. Made of durable refractory steel this time, it has withstood the test of time and history.
Seating 2,500 people, St. Michaelis is Hamburg’s largest church. Its grandeur is not limited to its size alone—it boasts the largest tower clock in Germany and one of the country’s largest organs. Regular organ concerts draw music enthusiasts to the Michel, while daily at noon, an organist treats visitors to a delightful performance.
The Michel has also become a popular vantage point, offering an excellent view over Hamburg from its platform 82 meters above ground, accessible via 452 steps. However, the interior of the church is equally captivating. Adorned in white and gold, the nave exudes elegance and understated Nordic charm. Exploring the crypt and burial vaults adds a touch of history and intrigue to the visit.
My tip: At 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., and at 12 p.m. on weekends, the “Michel Trumpeter” blows hymns from the roofs of the church and can be heard from miles away. A very special Hamburg attraction.
Address: Jungfernstieg 1, 20095 Hamburg
Among the best places to visit in Hamburg are Jungfernstieg and Mönckebergstraße.
In Hamburg, two delightful shopping and promenade streets, the Jungfernstieg and the Mönckebergstraße, are more than ready to welcome visitors with open arms.
The Jungfernstieg, renowned far beyond the city’s borders, has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the most beautiful and oldest promenades. Nestled along the picturesque Binnenalster, this spot offers a unique ambiance for leisurely shopping, strolling, or simply savoring a coffee while admiring the serene waters of the Alster.
A remarkable landmark on Jungfernstieg is the Alsterhaus. This department store, inaugurated in 1912, stands shoulder to shoulder with Berlin’s KaDeWe in terms of luxury. For a touch of relaxation and smaller wellness indulgences, head to the Niveahaus, where pampering awaits.
Don’t miss the Hamburger Hof, the city’s oldest shopping arcade, conveniently situated right on the Jungfernstieg. Its historic setting sets the stage for a charming shopping experience.
The surrounding smaller streets are lined with a mix of traditional Hamburg establishments like the Langhagen & Harnisch art dealership, as well as newer additions including Zara, Ralph Lauren, Mango, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and COS. The rows of historic houses create a captivating backdrop for the contemporary shops.
Curiously, the name Jungfernstieg harks back to a time when unmarried daughters of the townspeople would frequent the area in large numbers, hoping to find a worthy suitor for marriage.
As expected, the price level at Jungfernstieg matches its high-class appeal. Nonetheless, the experience of this elegant promenade is well worth it.
For those seeking a delightful yet more budget-friendly shopping experience, Mönckebergstraße is the perfect destination. Not far from the renowned Jungfernstieg, this popular street boasts a splendid array of well-known shops, including H&M, Douglas, Görtz, Esprit, Deichmann, and dm.
Mönckebergstraße also hosts several large department stores like Peek & Cloppenburg, Karstadt, and Galerie Kaufhof, making it a one-stop shopping haven for the people of Hamburg.
In fact, locals often draw a comparison between Mönckebergstraße and Berlin’s famous Ku’Damm, affectionately referring to it as “the Mö.” This endearing nickname is a testament to the street’s charm and popularity among Hamburgers and visitors alike. Whether you’re in search of fashionable clothing, beauty products, or unique finds, Mönckebergstraße has something for every shopper, making it an essential addition to your Hamburg itinerary.
Address: Jungfernstieg 1, 20095 Hamburg
While exploring Jungfernstieg, make sure to savor the captivating beauty of the Outer and Inner Alster, as they are an integral part of Hamburg’s identity.
The Alster River, along with the Elbe, significantly shapes the city’s landscape. Originating in Schleswig-Holstein, it gracefully flows through Hamburg before merging with the Elbe.
The famous “Alstersee”, comprising the larger Outer Alster and the smaller Inner Alster, is a well-known attraction. Although it resembles a lake, it remains a river, dammed and flowing through canals.
The Outer Alster holds particular appeal for walkers and joggers, offering serene green areas, meadows, and charming hiking trails amid the urban bustle.
Linger in cozy cafés or explore tourist attractions along the shores. Don’t miss the quirky “Alsterperle”, an extraordinary café set in a converted outhouse.
In winter, if the ice on the Alster reaches a thickness of over 20 cm, locals and visitors enjoy a favorite pastime: skating on the frozen surface of the Outer Alster. It’s a delightful and unforgettable sight in Hamburg during the winter season.
The renowned Hotel Atlantic Kempinski Hamburg graces the Outer Alster, near the Kennedy Bridge. However, its significance is elevated by its most famous resident: Udo Lindenberg. Since 1994, the iconic musician has resided on the second floor, occupying three rooms. Although his rent remains a closely guarded secret, the association between Lindenberg and the hotel is inseparable. This unique connection adds an extra touch of allure to the already captivating Alster.
When exploring Hamburg’s top attractions, the Inner Alster stands out with its unique charm. Contrasting the Outer Alster, this picturesque area is adorned with the bustling Jungfernstieg, showcasing an array of shops, traditional houses, and delightful cafés, bars, and restaurants. Despite the liveliness, the Inner Alster remains undeniably charming.
A focal point of the Binnenalster is the captivating Alster fountain, an impressive structure reaching over 60 meters in height. With its rhythmic eruptions during the summer months, it has become an integral part of Hamburg’s cityscape.
During late August, the “Alster Fun” festivities take over the Binnenalster and its surrounding streets, transforming them into a vibrant folk festival. Featuring vibrant booths, lively music, and nightly fireworks, it’s a delightful experience for visitors of all ages.
An essential part of Hamburg’s allure is the allure of the Alster itself, known for its Alster tours. Embark on an adventure aboard Alster steamers departing from various points around the Alster, offering scenic cruises to explore the city’s most captivating sights. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty and magic of Hamburg’s Inner Alster.
My tip: Not far from the Binnenalster on Heidi-Kabel-Platz is one of the most traditional theaters in the Hanseatic city: the Ohnsorg Theater. Above all, the boulevard theater maintains a Low German repertoire. Anyone who doesn’t shy away from Hamburg dialect and enjoys folk theater is in the right place here.
Address: Lokstedter Grenzstraße 2, 22527 Hamburg
Admission: €20 (regular), €15 (reduced)
Explore the Family-Friendly Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg
For a fun-filled day with the kids, Hagenbeck Zoo is a must-visit attraction in Hamburg. With a history spanning over 100 years, this zoo is a family-owned establishment, currently managed by the Hagenbeck family for seven generations. Notably, it is one of Germany’s oldest zoos and prides itself on being the first to showcase animals without traditional fenced enclosures and cages.
Covering a sprawling 19 hectares, Hagenbeck Zoo houses more than 1,800 animals representing over 200 species. The zoo’s focus on near-natural enclosures and historic buildings creates a remarkable environment for both visitors and animals alike.
The zoo boasts some star attractions, including the adorable tiger cubs born in 2017, an expansive herd of elephants – one of the largest in Europe, captivating orangutans, a delightful petting zoo, and free-roaming ring-tailed lemurs. These wonderful creatures ensure Hagenbeck Zoo’s reputation as one of the top sights in Hamburg for families.
Among its special highlights, the polar sea is a must-see, hosting the only group of walruses in Germany. The facility’s particularly deep pools provide a perfect home for polar bears, sharks, and penguins, adding to the excitement and wonder of the zoo.
Moreover, Hagenbeck Zoo offers delightful interactive experiences for visitors. You have the opportunity to feed friendly giraffes and majestic elephants, making your visit all the more memorable. Witnessing the animals’ feeding times is equally enthralling.
And for those who have a love for marine life, the aquarium within the zoo is an absolute must-visit. Step into an underwater world, marvel at the aquatic wonders, and let the kids’ imaginations run wild.
With a range of captivating experiences and educational opportunities, Hagenbeck Zoo is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Hamburg, making it an ideal family day out for all ages.
Address: Fuhlsbüttler Str. 756, 22337 Hamburg
Discover the Serenity of Ohlsdorf Cemetery: Hamburg’s Largest Park Cemetery
While it may seem unconventional to recommend a cemetery as one of the best sights in Hamburg, Ohlsdorf Cemetery is an exception to the norm. Located in the north of Hamburg, it is the world’s largest park cemetery, showcasing a unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance.
With its impressive dimensions, Ohlsdorf Cemetery covers a vast area of 389 hectares, featuring an extensive network of 17 kilometers of roads, including bus routes for easy access. The cemetery holds approximately 235,000 grave sites and has witnessed over 1.4 million burials since its establishment in 1877. It welcomes an astounding 1.2 million visitors each year, making it a truly remarkable place among Hamburg’s attractions.
Strolling through the park-like surroundings of Ohlsdorf Cemetery, one can appreciate its grandeur. With 30,000 trees, a serene rose garden, and several picturesque ponds, it offers an oasis of tranquility amidst the bustling city. The cemetery is adorned with over 800 sculptures and features captivating garden architecture that adds to its allure.
Visitors are drawn to Ohlsdorf Cemetery not only for its serene ambience but also for the opportunity to pay their respects to well-known personalities from the realms of film, television, politics, and art, whose final resting places can be found here.
Despite its association with remembrance, Ohlsdorf Cemetery has transcended its original purpose to become a space of natural beauty and cultural significance. The cemetery serves as Hamburg’s largest green space and a testament to the city’s appreciation for history, art, and the serenity of nature. With its exceptional scale and extraordinary offerings, Ohlsdorf Cemetery is undeniably one of the most unique sights to visit in Hamburg and an experience not to be missed.
Among other things, there are:
- Hans Albers
- Heinz Erhardt
- Inge Meisel
- Roger Cicero
- James Last
- Helmut Schmidt
- Roger Williamsen
Poppenbüttel and the Alstertal
Explore the Tranquil Charms of Poppenbüttel and Alstertal in Hamburg
When visiting the northern region of Hamburg, a delightful detour to the dignified and middle-class district of Poppenbüttel and the scenic Alstertal is well worth your time. Here, you’ll discover the impressive Alstertal shopping center, affectionately known as AEZ, providing a haven for shoppers and a quieter alternative to the bustling Mönckebergstrasse in the city center.
Spanning across three floors and covering an expansive 59,000 square meters, AEZ boasts over 240 shops, offering an extensive variety of retail experiences. Whether you’re searching for fashion, home decor, electronics, or culinary delights, you’ll find it all here in this impressive shopping haven.
If you prefer to immerse yourself in nature rather than shopping, a peaceful stroll along the nearby Alster river is a delightful option. The Alster offers a tranquil setting, and as you wander along its shores, you may be fortunate to spot local Hamburgers, many of whom take to the waters in canoes, creating a charming and authentic scene that’s less frequented by tourists.
For those seeking an extended walk, consider embarking on a scenic journey that leads you all the way to Mellingburg. As you traverse the picturesque landscape, you can revel in the natural beauty that surrounds you. Arriving at the Mellingburg lock, you’ll find a perfect spot to unwind, sip a cup of coffee, and soak in the serene atmosphere.
Poppenbüttel and Alstertal offer a delightful retreat from the bustling city, showcasing a more laid-back side of Hamburg that will leave you enchanted with its charming character. Whether you’re indulging in retail therapy at AEZ or exploring the idyllic Alster river, these hidden gems in the north of Hamburg are waiting to be discovered by travelers seeking a unique and authentic experience.
Address: Glockengiesserwall 5, 20095 Hamburg
Admission: €14 (regular), €8 (reduced)
Immerse Yourself in Art at Hamburger Kunsthalle
For art enthusiasts, the Hamburger Kunsthalle stands as a beacon of cultural riches, boasting one of the most significant public art collections in Hamburg. Comprising three buildings and covering an expansive 13,000 square meters, this grand institution is a treasure trove of artistic masterpieces.
The Hamburger Kunsthalle showcases a diverse array of over 700 works, spanning from the captivating art of the Middle Ages to the cutting-edge modern creations. The collections boast a strong emphasis on German, particularly North German, and Dutch painting, drawing from renowned artists such as Lucas Cranach the Elder, Caspar David Friedrich, Adolph Menzel, and Max Liebermann. Additionally, visitors can marvel at works by internationally acclaimed painters like Paul Klee, Edvard Munch, and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.
The museum’s allure extends beyond its permanent exhibits, offering a wealth of special exhibitions that change regularly, ensuring every visit presents new artistic marvels to explore. One particularly remarkable feature is the print room, which houses an astonishing 130,000 drawings and prints. Art aficionados and scholars alike will find inspiration and delight in this vast and meticulously curated collection.
Stepping into the Hamburger Kunsthalle, you’ll be immersed in a captivating world of artistic expression, from the rich and historical to the daring and contemporary. Whether you are seeking to appreciate timeless masterpieces or discover cutting-edge artistry, this distinguished art institution promises an unforgettable journey through the vibrant world of visual arts.
Planten un Blomen Park
Address: Gorch-Fock-Wall 3, 20354 Hamburg
Discover Tranquility in Planten un Blomen Park
For nature enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful escape, Planten un Blomen Park stands as a verdant oasis in the heart of Hamburg. Aptly named after “plants and flowers” in English, this park serves as a serene haven for both locals and visitors alike.
Originally occupying the space of the former ramparts, Planten un Blomen gracefully stretches from the bustling Hamburg exhibition center to the vibrant Stephansplatz, finally leading to the lively district of St. Pauli. This vast expanse of greenery offers a delightful respite from the urban hustle and bustle, providing a space to unwind, explore, and connect with nature.
Often referred to as “the botanical garden,” Planten un Blomen showcases an impressive array of plants, flowers, and trees, charming visitors with its blooming beauty throughout the seasons. Strolling along its winding paths, you’ll encounter lush lawns, colorful flowerbeds, and serene ponds, creating a picturesque setting for leisurely walks and peaceful contemplation.
The park also hosts a variety of attractions and cultural events, adding an element of excitement to its tranquil ambiance. From enchanting musical performances at the Music Pavilion to the captivating Water Light Concerts, where water fountains dance to the rhythm of classical melodies, Planten un Blomen offers a diverse array of experiences for visitors of all ages.
Whether you choose to spend your time amidst vibrant blooms, taking a boat ride on the park’s serene lake, or simply relishing a moment of stillness amid nature’s embrace, Planten un Blomen promises an unforgettable and rejuvenating experience for all nature enthusiasts.
On an area of approx. 47 hectares, visitors will find numerous attractions for young and old:
- rose Garden
- Japanese garden including tea house
- chess garden
- tropical garden
- show greenhouses
- miniature golf course
- Roller skating rink (in winter the largest open-air ice rink in Germany)
- Water slides and climbing park
- Two large playgrounds
- outdoor theatre
Planten un Blomen Park: A Wealth of Attractions for All Ages
When visiting Planten un Blomen Park, it’s wise to plan a bit more time than you may expect, for this lush haven of nature holds a wealth of attractions and activities to captivate your senses.
During the warm summer months, the park transforms into a magical wonderland as the sun sets. The enchanting water light concerts, featuring mesmerizing displays of water fountains dancing in sync with classical melodies, create an ethereal atmosphere that delights both young and old. As the evening unfolds, the park comes alive with a variety of cultural events, including concerts, readings, and theater performances, making it the perfect destination for an evening of entertainment.
The allure of Planten un Blomen extends beyond its vibrant cultural offerings. For families, especially those with children, this park stands as one of Hamburg’s best addresses. The sprawling green spaces invite children to run freely, play games, and immerse themselves in the natural world. The playgrounds scattered throughout the park offer endless fun and opportunities for young ones to climb, swing, and slide to their hearts’ content.
Additionally, the park’s vast expanse provides ample space for picnics and leisurely walks, allowing families to savor quality time together amidst the beauty of nature. Whether it’s flying a kite on a breezy day, taking a leisurely boat ride on the serene lake, or simply relishing the joy of discovering new plants and flowers, Planten un Blomen guarantees an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.
So, if you find yourself in Hamburg, don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the delights of Planten un Blomen Park, where you can create lasting memories and embrace the enchantment of nature and culture combined.
Address: Linnering 1 (Stadtpark), 22299 Hamburg
Admission: depends on the event
Discover the Magic of the Hamburg Planetarium
Nestled in the heart of Winterhude City Park stands a fascinating gem, the Hamburg Planetarium, housed within a former water tower that has been its home since 1929. Boasting a blend of age-old charm and cutting-edge technology, this planetarium is not only one of the oldest of its kind but also one of the most modern, following its remarkable renovation in 2017.
The true star of this celestial wonderland is undoubtedly the star hall. Prepare to be awestruck as you step into this immersive space, featuring a vast 360-degree projection dome and the extraordinary “celestial machine” or “Starball” projection system. Witness the night sky come to life before your eyes in lifelike and intricate 3D detail, showcasing the Milky Way, planets, and even shooting stars. The star hall also delights visitors with 3D sound productions, light displays, and mesmerizing laser shows, earning its well-deserved nickname as the “star theater.”
Yet, the allure of the Hamburg Planetarium doesn’t end with the star hall. The foyer welcomes guests with an enchanting ceiling painting, while various captivating temporary exhibitions unfold throughout the premises. For those seeking a different perspective, a viewing platform offers sweeping panoramas of Hamburg’s City North, providing an opportunity to see the city from a whole new angle.
With a diverse array of shows and event concepts, the planetarium caters to all ages and interests. Whether you’re a space enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a captivating experience with your family, the Hamburg Planetarium has something special in store for you.
Since its modernization, the Hamburg Planetarium has captured the hearts of countless visitors, making it the most-visited large planetarium in Germany and a beloved crowd puller in City North. So, if you find yourself in Hamburg, don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the wonder of the cosmos at this magical astronomical marvel.
Winterhude City Park
Explore Nature’s Oasis: The Stadtpark in Winterhude
Venturing a little further into the charming Winterhude district, you’ll discover the delightful Stadtpark. Embracing a vast expanse of approximately 150 hectares, it proudly stands as the third largest green sanctuary in the bustling Hanseatic city. At its heart lies the fairground, affectionately known to locals as the “sunbathing area.”
During the balmy days of summer, a joyful procession of Hamburg’s residents flocks to the Stadtpark to bask in the warm rays of the sun. The allure of this urban oasis extends beyond sun-worshipping, as it caters to the needs of the sporty and active souls. Embark on spirited matches of various ball sports, test your putting skills on the mini-golf course, or revel in the serenity of the picturesque city park lake.
For those seeking a refreshing escape from the summer heat, the Stadtpark boasts a tempting outdoor pool, perfect for rejuvenating dips. Yet, the true delight of this green haven lies in its thoughtful offerings for the younger generation. Children can delight in a large playground, brimming with endless joy and adventures. Meanwhile, the little ones can splash and giggle in the paddling pool, providing hours of laughter and carefree fun.
So, whether you’re yearning for a serene retreat amid lush landscapes or eager to partake in a myriad of recreational activities, the Stadtpark in Winterhude awaits with open arms. Embrace nature’s embrace in this delightful green wonderland, where families, friends, and nature enthusiasts can create cherished memories together.
Mahnmal St. Nikolai
Address: Willy-Brandt-Straße 60, 20457 Hamburg, Germany
Standing as a testament to Hamburg’s rich history, the St. Nikolai Memorial holds profound significance as a poignant reminder of the past. Originally completed in 1874, this majestic main church once reigned as the tallest structure in the world for an impressive three years. However, its fate took a tragic turn during the devastating air raids on Hamburg in 1943, leaving only the towering spire intact.
Since that fateful day, the church has gracefully embraced its role as a memorial, a poignant symbol of resilience and remembrance. Deep in its basement lies an enthralling exhibition, chronicling the church’s storied history and the harrowing events that unfolded in Hamburg during the Second World War.
Ascend to new heights and emotions with a ride on the glass elevator, whisking you to the viewing platform perched 76 meters above ground. From this vantage point, a breathtaking panorama of Hamburg unravels before your eyes, offering one of the most captivating views in the city. It is an experience that unites the past with the present, as you gaze upon the modern metropolis rising amidst historical echoes.
A visit to the St. Nikolai Memorial evokes deep reflections, as you witness the remnants of a bygone era and contemplate the resilience of the human spirit. It is a place where history speaks, and where you can pay your respects to the past while cherishing the vibrant life that pulsates through the city today.
Hamburg City Hall
Admission: 5 Euro
Address: Rathausmarkt 1, 20095 Hamburg, Germany
A Masterpiece of Architecture: Dominated by its imposing presence, the Hamburg City Hall stands tall and proud at the heart of the city. Its artistically adorned facade and numerous turrets make it an architectural marvel that truly sets it apart from its surroundings. This magnificent structure, often dubbed “town hall 2.0”, rose from the ashes after the historic first town hall was ravaged by a devastating fire in 1842.
A Symphony of Beauty and Function: As you approach, you’ll be enchanted by the allure of the Hamburg City Hall. Step inside to discover the enchanting courtyards, where charming cafés beckon you to savor delightful moments amidst the grandeur. The interior boasts remarkable architecture, showcasing the city’s rich heritage and cultural significance. At the rear of the building, you’ll find the Hamburg Stock Exchange, a testament to the city’s historical importance as a trading hub.
A Glimpse of Elegance: The Pompous Ballroom: A true highlight of the City Hall is the opulent ballroom, a dazzling space fit for royalty. Each year, an exquisite banquet graces this grand hall, drawing esteemed guests such as Angela Merkel and even the Crown Prince of Denmark. Stepping into this resplendent chamber, you’ll be transported to an era of refined elegance and timeless allure.
Discover the Inner Workings: Guided Tours: For those curious to explore the inner workings of this architectural marvel, guided tours offer an opportunity to delve into the secrets and stories of the Hamburg City Hall. Available on many days, these tours provide fascinating insights into the city’s governance and history, granting you an exclusive glimpse behind the scenes.
The Hamburg City Hall is more than just a building; it embodies the city’s spirit, legacy, and vision. Whether you admire its artistic facade from afar or venture inside to witness its splendor, the City Hall is a must-visit destination that captivates visitors with its beauty and significance.
Deichstrasse – A Glimpse of Historic Hamburg
Address: Deichstrasse, 20459 Hamburg, Germany
Stepping Back in Time: Deichstrasse is a hidden gem that allows you to step back in time and experience traditional Hamburg as it stood before the great fire of 1842. Strolling along this picturesque street, you’ll find yourself surrounded by charming half-timbered houses, each adorned with beautiful facades that exude a timeless elegance. The street retains its historic charm, providing a rare glimpse into the city’s past.
A Haven of Cozy Cafés and Bars: As you wander down Deichstrasse, you’ll discover an array of delightful cafés and bars that beckon you to relax and savor the moment. The Kartoffelkeller, in particular, is a local favorite where you can indulge in delicious treats and immerse yourself in the easygoing atmosphere. The street’s relaxed ambiance is a stark contrast to the bustling city center, offering a tranquil escape for visitors and locals alike.
Embraced by the Nikolaifleet: On the other side of the row of houses lies the Nikolaifleet, a small branch of the Alster river. In the past, many of the houses along Deichstrasse were accessible by both road and water, enabling merchants to transport goods directly from the Nikolaifleet. This historical waterway adds to the charm of the area, giving you a sense of the vibrant trade and commerce that once thrived here.
A Glimpse into Hamburg’s Maritime Past: Deichstrasse provides a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in Hamburg’s maritime past and the city’s evolution over the centuries. As you stroll along this enchanting street, you’ll be transported to a bygone era, where history and modernity converge in perfect harmony.
Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a serene retreat, Deichstrasse offers an enchanting journey through time. Here, amidst the quaint half-timbered houses and the tranquil waters of Nikolaifleet, you’ll discover the essence of traditional Hamburg, a captivating destination that captivates visitors with its rich heritage and timeless allure.
Kontorhausviertel – A Journey into Hamburg’s Architectural Heritage
Address: Kontorhausviertel, Hamburg, Germany
Stepping into the 1920s: As you walk from Mönckebergstraße towards the Speicherstadt, you’ll find yourself immersed in the Kontorhausviertel, a historic district that takes you on a captivating journey back to the 1920s. The area is dotted with numerous buildings, each boasting a unique and striking architecture characterized by clinker facades.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site: The most renowned landmark in the Kontorhausviertel is undoubtedly the Chile House with its characteristic lace-like ornamentation. But it’s not the only gem in this architectural treasure trove. In recognition of their significance and historical value, all of the remarkable buildings in the district have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The preservation of these buildings serves as a testimony to Hamburg’s architectural prowess and its commitment to conserving its cultural heritage.
Hidden Courtyards and Intriguing Passages: Beyond the stunning facades, the Kontorhausviertel holds hidden secrets within its courtyards. Many of the buildings boast impressive inner sanctuaries that are not immediately visible from the streets. Keep your eyes peeled for subtle openings that may lead you to these enchanting courtyards, each offering a glimpse into the past and a moment of tranquility amidst the bustling city.
An Architectural Haven: The Kontorhausviertel is a true architectural haven, where the innovative designs of the past blend harmoniously with the vibrancy of the present. As you stroll through the district, take your time to admire the intricate details of each building, and let yourself be transported to a time when these structures were at the forefront of modernity and design.
A Celebration of Hamburg’s Rich History: The Kontorhausviertel is more than just a collection of buildings; it is a living testament to Hamburg’s rich history and its enduring commitment to preserving its cultural identity. It’s a place where the past and the present converge, offering a unique and captivating experience for visitors and locals alike.
So, as you make your way from Mönckebergstraße to the Speicherstadt, take a detour through the Kontorhausviertel and immerse yourself in the architectural splendor of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be captivated by the clinker facades, seek out the hidden courtyards, and embrace the charm of this historic district that continues to enchant and inspire to this day.
Old Elbe tunnel
Address: St. Pauli Landungsbrücken to Steinwerder Port Area, Hamburg, Germany
Discover the Hidden Depths: The Old Elbe Tunnel
A Subterranean Marvel: Delve into the depths of Hamburg and uncover the city’s most underground sight: the Old Elbe Tunnel. Don’t be mistaken; when we say “underground,” we mean it quite literally, but not in a negative way. Since its inauguration in 1911, this marvel of engineering has captivated visitors and locals alike, serving as a historic landmark of Germany’s engineering prowess.
A Connection through the Depths: The Old Elbe Tunnel stretches an impressive 426 meters beneath the Elbe River, seamlessly connecting the bustling St. Pauli Landungsbrücken with the vibrant Steinwerder port area. Unlike its modern counterpart, the New Elbe Tunnel, which accommodates vehicular traffic, the Old Elbe Tunnel is primarily designed for pedestrians and cyclists.
A Technological Wonder of Its Time: When it first opened its doors, the Elbe Tunnel was nothing short of a technical sensation. Its innovative design and construction made it a symbol of progress and ingenuity. Even today, it remains a testament to the brilliant engineering achievements of the past, earning its title as a “historic landmark of engineering in Germany.”
A Journey through History: As you venture into the depths of the Elbe Tunnel, you’ll be transported back in time, reliving an era when this engineering marvel was first brought to life. The tunnel’s enduring charm and historical significance make it an exceptional attraction that stands the test of time.
Pedestrian and Cyclist Haven: Designed primarily for pedestrians and cyclists, the Old Elbe Tunnel provides a unique and immersive experience for those on foot or two wheels. The journey through the dimly lit passage creates an ambiance of mystery and adventure, inviting you to explore the hidden depths of Hamburg.
A Timeless Connection: The Elbe Tunnel continues to be a vital lifeline, providing a seamless connection between the vibrant neighborhoods on either side of the Elbe River. With 24/7 accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists, and occasional special access for vehicles, the tunnel ensures smooth transit for all.
A Must-Visit in Hamburg: No visit to Hamburg is complete without a venture into the depths of the Old Elbe Tunnel. It’s a chance to witness firsthand the brilliance of German engineering, appreciate the historical significance, and embrace the timeless connection that this subterranean masterpiece offers.
So, the next time you find yourself near the St. Pauli Landungsbrücken, take a detour underground and explore the Old Elbe Tunnel. Experience the allure of a bygone era and embrace the engineering marvel that continues to awe and inspire visitors from all walks of life.
Address: Deichtorstraße 1-2, 20095 Hamburg, Germany
The Deichtorhallen: A Haven for Contemporary Art and Photography
A Dynamic Duo of Halls: Step into the captivating world of contemporary art and photography at the Deichtorhallen, an iconic museum complex in Hamburg. Comprising two historic halls from the 1920s, the northern and southern Deichtorhalle, this cultural gem brings an exciting array of visual delights to art enthusiasts and photography aficionados alike.
The Northern Deichtorhalle: A Celebration of Contemporary Art: Venture into the Hall of Contemporary Art, also known as the northern Deichtorhalle, to immerse yourself in an ever-changing landscape of modern artistic expression. This hall showcases captivating solo exhibitions by some of the most talented contemporary sculptors, painters, and designers of our time. With each exhibition, you’ll be transported into the creative minds of today’s artistic visionaries, experiencing their unique perspectives and interpretations.
The Southern Deichtorhalle: A Photographic Paradise: For photography enthusiasts, the House of Photography awaits in the southern Deichtorhalle. Here, you’ll be treated to a series of exceptional temporary exhibitions featuring works by renowned photographers from around the globe. Each exhibition is thoughtfully curated, showcasing captivating snapshots of life, emotion, and culture captured through the lens of the world’s most celebrated photographers. From iconic images to cutting-edge visual narratives, the exhibitions in the House of Photography never fail to amaze.
A Kaleidoscope of Artistic Brilliance: The Deichtorhallen offer an inspiring juxtaposition of contemporary art and photography, making it a versatile and dynamic cultural hub. With its historic charm, the museum complex itself is an integral part of the experience, providing the perfect backdrop for the captivating exhibits.
An Evolving Canvas: As you step into the Deichtorhallen, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of ever-changing creativity. With rotating exhibitions, no two visits are the same, ensuring that there’s always something new and exciting to explore. From vibrant contemporary art to powerful photographic narratives, the Deichtorhallen promises an enriching and eye-opening journey through the world of visual arts.
A Must-Visit for Art and Photography Enthusiasts: Whether you’re an art connoisseur or a photography enthusiast, a visit to the Deichtorhallen is a must when in Hamburg. It’s a chance to witness the pulse of contemporary artistic expression and engage with powerful visual stories that leave a lasting impression.
So, if you’re in search of an enriching cultural experience, head to the Deichtorhallen and immerse yourself in the ever-evolving world of contemporary art and photography. Explore the expressive realms of modern creativity and celebrate the diversity of human expression showcased within the historic halls of this extraordinary museum complex.
My tip: If you want to visit several art museums, be sure to get the museum pass for the Hamburg Art Mile (Museumspass der Kunstmeile Hamburg). For 25 euros you have access to 5 art museums for 3 days: Deichtorhallen, Bucerius Kunstforum, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kunstverein Hamburg and the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe. This is usually worthwhile from the second museum onwards.
The Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe
The Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe: A Cultural Treasure Trove
A Diverse Cultural Journey: Step into the captivating world of art, design, photography, and cultural history at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (Museum of Art and Crafts) in Hamburg. This esteemed museum stands as one of the city’s most popular cultural attractions, drawing in art enthusiasts and history buffs from near and far.
A Vast Collection: Prepare to be enthralled as you explore a vast collection of approximately 500,000 objects spanning an impressive 4,000 years of art and design from diverse corners of the globe. This extensive array of exhibits showcases the beauty and creativity of human expression, reflecting the ingenuity and craftsmanship of cultures throughout history.
An Artistic Odyssey: The museum’s spaces are thoughtfully curated into distinct categories, allowing visitors to embark on an artistic odyssey through different epochs and styles. Marvel at exquisite artifacts from antiquity, delve into the world of photography, and journey through the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Discover intricate graphics, be captivated by the beauty of art nouveau, and immerse yourself in the evolving world of fashion.
A Feast for the Senses; As you wander through the museum’s halls, you’ll be treated to a feast for the senses. Witness the artistry and craftsmanship that have shaped cultures and civilizations over millennia. From delicate artifacts to majestic sculptures, each piece tells a story of its own, weaving a tapestry of human history that captivates and educates.
Special Exhibitions to Inspire: On the first floor, you’ll find an area dedicated to special exhibitions, offering a constant stream of fresh and inspiring displays. These unique exhibitions add an exciting element of discovery to each visit, ensuring that there’s always something new to see and learn.
Plan Accordingly; With such an extensive and diverse collection, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe invites you to plan ample time for your visit. Every corner holds treasures waiting to be admired, and exploring the entire collection is a rewarding journey of discovery.
A Must-Visit for Cultural Enthusiasts: For those with a passion for culture, art, and history, a visit to the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe is a must. It’s a chance to traverse centuries of creativity, witness the evolution of design, and gain a deeper appreciation for the ingenuity of human expression.
So, whether you’re a seasoned art aficionado or simply curious about the beauty of human creation, set aside time to explore the cultural treasure trove that is the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe. It’s an enriching and inspiring experience that will leave you with a profound appreciation for the artistic legacies of our world.
I hope you have enjoyed my list of the Best Places to Visit in Hamburg. It is a city brimming with a myriad of captivating sights and attractions, making it a must-visit destination for travelers of all interests. From the iconic Elbphilharmonie, the historic Speicherstadt, and the bustling Port of Hamburg to the tranquil Planten un Blomen Park and the artistic treasures at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, this city offers a rich tapestry of experiences. Whether you’re drawn to maritime history, architectural wonders, contemporary art, or simply a leisurely stroll along the Alster, Hamburg has something to enchant every visitor. So, if you’re seeking a vibrant and diverse cultural journey, immerse yourself in the best places to visit in Hamburg and uncover the many wonders this Hanseatic gem has to offer.