Nestled on the western fringes of the country, Hamburg is one of the best cities in Germany to visit for a long weekend break. There is so much to explore and loads of the best things to do in Hamburg dotted all across the city. Heck, I’d go as far as saying that Hamburg is one of the best places in Germany – especially if you want that mix of culture, history and a buzzing atmosphere.
So, with all these choices and a bamboozling mix of experiences to choose from, I wanted to show you some of our favourite spots in Hamburg.
This way, you’re not clambering to squeeze loads of stuff into a packed itinerary – meaning you can really focus on the places in Hamburg you’ll love most.
Take a look, below, at the best things to do in Hamburg on your trip. Have the best time travelling to Germany.
Also known as the City of Warehouses, Speicherstadt is a World Heritage Site famous for its history and beauty. We’ve loved strolling this area of Hamburg and it’s totally worth a few hours to explore the area.
The warehouses are now apartments and gorgeous little streets to walk. Yes, some remain as storage houses for electronics, spices, coffee and tea but it’s mostly revamped and developed nowadays.
Don’t forget to pop in Wasserschloss for their delicious Hamburger Pannfisch. Oh, and make sure to explore Dialogue House to experience a sensory experience all in the dark.
Oh, and if it’s coffee you’re after check out Speicherstadt Kaffeerösterei for their brews made on-site.
2.) Planten un Blomen
The 47-hectare Planten un Blomen is a famous urban park in Hamburg. The Old Botanical Garden which was planted in the area in 1821 is still much alive and is one of the most frequented areas in the park.
Though, even if it’s the most popular park in Hamburg, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s going to be rammed full of people. It always feels so calming and lovely to visit.
There are also five interconnected greenhouses in Planten un Blomen, and one of the most famous is the Schaugewaschshaus, the largest of them all to visit.
You’ll find everything from Mediterranean climes, plants and laurels, palms to olive trees. It’s gorgeous to visit and one of the best things to do in Hamburg if you want a relaxing afternoon.
Lovingly compared to the opera house of Sydney, Elbphilharmonie is a magnificent architectural structure where performances and concerts take place. It opened in 2016 and has instantly become an icon of Hamburg and is so iconic.
Another good thing about Elbphilharmonie is that the place is open to the public, and tickets are not needed to enjoy shows and performances.
The public viewing platform offers a 360-degree view of the harbour and the city, too.
However, the viewing plaza is free but you need a ticket to enter. So, make sure to take your cards or cash with you.
4.) St. Michael’s Church
St. Michael’s Church bears a lot of history and stories. Aside from being the largest church in Hamburg, this is also the third church to be built in this exact spot.
Built-in 1912, St. Michael’s Church houses an altar which is 65-foot tall, five organs, a deck and its crypt. The largest clock bell in the whole of Germany is also placed in the tower of the church. Below the church lies 2,000 people, too, specifically in its crypt.
One thing you should not miss when visiting the church is going to the top of it and enjoying the view.
Yes, it’s a little bit of a trek up the stairs but it’s totally worth the huffing and puffing until you reach the top.
4.) Elbe Beach
Surrounded by magnificent mansions and impressively clear water, Elbe Beach is another famous destination in Hamburg. In fact, visiting is one of the best things to do in Hamburg if you want some time away from the bustle of the city streets.
Lots of people come to Elbe Beach, especially during summer in May, to experience the chillout and enjoy the beach vibes of this coastal part of Hamburg.
On a sunny day, hop over to Strandperle and grab some wines and beers and watch the sunset over the river itself. It’s a great place to go for a totally informal aperitif.
5.) Hamburger Kunsthalle
Considered the main art museum of Hamburg, the permanent collections of Hamburger Kunsthalle focus on the 14th century North German paintings and 16th and 17th-century paintings of Flemish, Dutch and Italian artists. It’s one of the best things to do in Hamburg if you love art.
First founded in 1850 as an esteemed art hall, Hamburger Kunsthalle is now composed of three epic buildings.
The first building built in 1869 was designed by Fritz Schumacher who is famous for the Chilehaus. Some paintings inside the buildings include Edvard Munch’s Madonna and Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer above the Sea of Fog.
It’s a great way to explore the art of Hamburg and it’s a great spot to visit if you get caught out on a rainy day.
6.) Port of Hamburg
If you are interested in seeing the largest port in Germany and what happens in this area, you definitely need to pay a visit to the Port of Hamburg. It’s not just one area but multiple canals, riverways and areas that criss-cross Hamburg itself.
Now, one of the best ways to explore the canals and waterways is by boat. Book this Hamburg cruise ticket that’ll take you through the best parts of the city. Plus, you’ll have stunning views of St. Pauli’s Pier and so much more on the deck.
Just take a jacket in the autumn months, it can get chilly outside.
Afterwards, head over to the City Hall and see the beauty of this area of Hamburg. It’s lovely.
7.) Miniatur Wunderland
You do not need to have a child to visit Miniatur Wunderland – trust me!
Visiting is one of the best things to do in Hamburg and probably one of the most popular spots in the city.
Miniatur Wunderland offers a lot of fun activities and a mesmerizing experience to anyone who visits the place. Even if you’re not into models or anything like that.
The largest model train display is a must-see in the area and you can stand by to see an international journey take place from America to Austria, Scandinavia, Italy and Germany through this train display.
Ps. I’m not including any pics from inside as I don’t want to spoil the surprise.
8.) Explore the Craft Beer Scene
Although Germany is most famously known as the country of beer, Craft Beer is something that has really taken off as of late.
Whilst I can’t deny the greatness of German beer, if you are a visitor and you miss the taste of craft beer, there are some places you can check out in Hamburg.
Some of these places are Uberquell, Ratsherrn Brewery, Altes Madchen and Bar Oorlam. It’s well worth checking out their seasonal brews and their old favourites. It’s literally a way to taste Hamburg.
9.) Hamburg Coffee Museum
You might not know this but the largest wholesaler of coffee is found in Hamburg. Hamburg de facto is the Coffee Capital of the world.
One coffee museum you can check out in Hamburg is Kaffeemuseum Burg where you can learn about coffee, its history and how to find good quality coffee.
They even tell visitors how to properly prepare coffee and why cold coffee sometimes tastes terrible. It’s well worth a gander if you’re a coffee lover.
10.) International Maritime Museum
Nestled in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg, the International Maritime Museum is a great stopping point as you meander the city streets.
Book these International Maritime Museum tickets, so you miss the queues and can head straight inside.
Once in, you’ll be able to explore the gigantic model ships and check out the thousands of artefacts that make this spot so special.
You can literally spend hours inside.
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