Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany, with 1.7 million inhabitants. It is located in the north of the country on the river Elbe. The port city has many canals and bridges, which are well-known landmarks, providing beautiful views for tourists.
The Reeperbahn (a street in Hamburg known for its colorful nightlife) is also one of the most popular sites. There are many nightclubs, bars, and strip clubs located on this street.
In addition to its lively social life, Hamburg also offers numerous museums, galleries, and theaters for visitors’ enjoyment. Some notable examples include The Hamburger Kunsthalle (an art museum), The Landungsbrücken (a harbor area with a collection of ships), and the Deutsches Schauspielhaus (an important theater for plays).
The most famous attraction is the city’s zoo. The Artis Royal Zoo houses over 10,000 animals from all around the world, making it a popular destination among families. The Speicherstadt is a historical warehouse district, which is used today as a museum. The Kunstmeile (a mile-long gallery of stores filled with paintings and art crafts) is another popular tourist site.
Nearby attractions include the beautiful Harburg Hills (with stunning views of Hamburg), Lüneburg Heath (famous for its natural forests), and the city of Lübeck (with its scenic old town center).
Rising from the Water #Hamburg #city #photography pic.twitter.com/G6Um2rgBkl— Chris Michaels (@cmichhh1) June 3, 2022
There are also many festivities taking place throughout the year in Hamburg. Some festivals include The Hafengeburtstag (The Port Anniversary), Elbhangfest (a festival that celebrates the local culture, cuisine, and drinks on a cliff along the river Elbe), and Beeler Kiel Week (a regatta).
When planning a trip, it is always useful to check the Hamburg weather forecast. The average temperature in this city ranges from 37°F (3°C) to 48°F (9°C). The weather is known for being unpredictable, with rainfall occurring throughout the year.
Snowfall is rare, but it occurs every winter. It is not guaranteed that all of these festivals will take place near the same time, but at least one should be available while visiting Hamburg.
Here’s a list of the 30 best things to do in Hamburg, Germany.
- 1. Port of Hamburg: the HafenCity and the traditional Speicherstadt
- 2. Miniatur Wunderland
- 3. The Elbphilharmonie
- 4. Hamburger Kunsthalle
- 5. The Hamburg City Hall (in German: Hamburger Rathaus)
- 6. Mönckebergstraße
- 7. St. Michael’s Church (in German: ‘Michaelskirche’)
- 8. International Maritime Museum, Hamburg
- 9. Alster Lakes, Hamburg
- 10. Museum of Art and Design (Museum für Kunst und Design)
- 11. Ohlsdorf Cemetery
- 12. Planten un Blomen and Wallringpark
- 13. Historic Organ in St. James’ Church
- 14. PROTOTYP Museum
- 15. Altonaer Museum
- 16. Museumshafen Oevelgonne (Museum Harbor)
- 17. The Jenisch House
- 18. The Tierpark Hagenbeck
- 19. Schloss Ahrensburg
- 20. HafenCity
- 21. St. Pauli
- 22. Jungfernstieg
- 23. The Elbe Tunnel
- 24. Außenalster
- 25. Sternschanze
- 26. The Deichtorhallen
- 27. Treppenviertel Blankenese
- 28. Chilehaus
- 29. Kampnagel
- 30. Hamburger Dom
Best Things to do in Hamburg, Germany 1-10
1. Port of Hamburg: the HafenCity and the traditional Speicherstadt
The Port of Hamburg is the second-largest in Europe and tenth in the world with a trading volume of 58.5 billion tons per year. The port is split into two distinct areas, the HafenCity and the traditional Speicherstadt.
The second-largest harbor in Europe; The Port of Hamburg is the second-largest in Europe and tenth in the world with a trading volume of 58.5 billion tons per year. The port is split into two distinct areas; the HafenCity and the traditional Speicherstadt.
HafenCity Hamburg is a model project to create a new urban center from the ground up. The city quarter has been transformed from a previously quiet area with few people, into a business and residential area with a high demand for living and office space.
The Speicherstadt is the historic core of Hamburg’s harbor sector, which dates back to the 14th century. The buildings in this area, such as old warehouses and granaries, present a unique picture of an old trading harbor.
– Historic core of Hamburg’s harbor sector
The Speicherstadt is the historic core of Hamburg’s harbor sector, which dates back to the 14th century. The buildings in this area, such as old warehouses and granaries, present a unique picture of an old trading harbor.
– Key players of Hamburg’s trade and business
Today, the Speicherstadt is made up of office buildings that house key players of Hamburg’s trade and business sectors. The old warehouses are no longer used for storage purposes, but instead, they accommodate everything from fashion boutiques to cafes and restaurants.
– Home of four museums
The Speicherstadt is also home to four museums; the Hanseatic Museum, the Spice Museum, the Maritime Museum, and the Miniature Museum.
– Hanseatic museum
The Hanseatic Museum tells the story of Hamburg’s role in the Hanseatic League, which was an association of merchants that established a trade monopoly over the Baltic Sea and the North Sea.
– Spice museum
The Spice Museum (German: “Lebensmittelmuseum”) is a museum devoted to food and drink. It illustrates the history of the city’s coffee and spice trading.
– Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum (German: “Hamburgisches maritime Museum”) depicts the maritime history of Hamburg. It is housed in one of the old Speicherstadt warehouses and exhibits models, ship decorations, weapons, and paintings by artists such as Willem van de Velde the Elder.
– Miniature museum
The Miniature Museum (German: “Feinmotorisches Museum”) is a unique collection of model ships and fully functioning models.
– Full of cafes, restaurants, and shops
Today, the Speicherstadt is made up of office buildings that house key players of Hamburg’s trade and business sectors. The old warehouses are no longer used for storage purposes, but instead, they accommodate everything from fashion boutiques to cafes and restaurants.
2. Miniatur Wunderland
Miniatur Wunderland is the largest model railway in the world. It has hundreds of trains, both diesel, and electric, that run through thousands of tiny towns in Germany, the United States, Switzerland, Denmark, Austria, and many other countries. The juxtaposition of miniatures with life-size elements invites visitors to discover the fascination of trains in a unique way.
Miniatur Wunderland is divided into 5 main sections; the Hamburg airport, Scandinavia, America, Switzerland, and Germany. The Hamburg airport depicts a takeoff from the runway and lands of Hamburg International. This is the focal point of one of Miniatur Wunderland’s most popular sections; Scandinavia. Also known as “the five-fingered land,” this section contains thousands of pine trees, fjords, and nearly ten kilometers of tracks. Though this area is modeled after Denmark, it includes both Swedish and Danish landscapes.
Three of America’s main cities are represented in Miniatur Wunderland: New York, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. The first is depicted underneath its iconic architecture, complete with famous landmarks such as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. A flume ride inside a scale model of one of the towers offers views of the city from above. Vegas is complete with replicas of casinos, including the Bellagio and the Paris Hotel. San Francisco also offers tourist attractions such as Alcatraz Island and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in Disney style.
Miniatur Wunderland’s Switzerland area is modeled after the eastern part of the country, with replicas of famous Swiss buildings. The Matterhorn also features in the landscape. The Germany section brings together some of Germany’s most famous landmarks, including castles and Bavarian villages. A highlight for children is Miniatur Wunderland’s depiction of Hamburg’s harbor, complete with places to eat and activities to do. Miniatur Wunderland offers unique insight into these cities by combining real-life attractions with miniature scale models. It encourages people of all ages to observe the little things in life.
3. The Elbphilharmonie
The Elbphilharmonie Hamburg or Elbe Philharmonic Hall is a concert hall in the HafenCity quarter, now under construction on the site of the old warehouse ‘Kaispeicher B’. The new building will be 24 stories and 107 meters high. It costs more than one billion Euros to build and is expected to open in December 2016.
The old warehouse Kaispeicher B was built between 1955 and 1957, and used as a fruit ripening warehouse by the company Alfred C. Toepfer International (ACTI) until 1979. After that, it was used for several years as an experimental building to investigate the living conditions of people who will live in future high-rise buildings.
After standing empty for years, the building was acquired in 2006 by Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, responsible for the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg project. In 2008 a new plan was conceived to use it as a concert hall on top of an office tower with a hotel, apartments, and a car park.
The old building Kaispeicher B will have to be completely renovated because it is in a bad condition due to water damage and also due to being used as the scenery of low-budget films by the German pornographic industry. The architects are aiming at saving as much original material as possible from the warehouse during its transformation into the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
4. Hamburger Kunsthalle
Hamburg is not only home to an amazing zoo, but also several art museums. One of the most popular ones is Hamburger Kunsthalle. The museum has different collections that date back as far as 1430 and consist of paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, and more. It holds over 3,500 pieces in its collection! Most of which are from the 19th Century.
The museum’s exhibits consist of a variety of different genres, including Christian visual arts all the way to classical modern art. There is even a special section containing works by Max Liebermann, one of Germany’s most successful Impressionists. The collection also features three paintings from Vincent Van Gogh, including the famous ‘The Bedroom’.
There is also a section of different sculptures from Auguste Rodin, which is a must-see! Or if you’re more interested in classical modern art, make sure to explore Max Beckmann’s collection.
Many of these pieces are even available for public viewing online at their website. For more information and directions to the museum, check out their website here.
5. The Hamburg City Hall (in German: Hamburger Rathaus)
The Hamburg City Hall (in German: Hamburger Rathaus) is one of the most outstanding examples of Brick Gothic architecture in Europe. Since 1897, the term ‘Rathaus’ also officially refers to the government of Hamburg.
The building was erected between 1897 and 1905 on a design by architect Martin Haller. The Neo-Renaissance building was inaugurated on 15 February 1905.
The building is located between the old town and the Alter Wall. The Rathausmarkt, the old town square in front of the City Hall is one of Hamburg’s most popular shopping and tourist destinations.
The construction of the town hall began in 1897. The building is about 124 meters long, 86 meters wide, and 30 meters high at the top of the clock tower. The main entrance at Rathausmarkt is preceded by a spacious lobby, which itself serves as an exhibition hall for many art exhibitions and cultural events.
Mönckebergstraße is known for its fashionable shops, clothing stores, and modest fashion boutiques. The street has a long cultural tradition. More than 30 theatres, stages, and cabarets are located in this area. When visiting Mönckebergstraße one should take time to walk around and enjoy the beautiful architecture.
Mönckebergstraße is one of the most popular shopping streets in Europe and is home to many luxury stores. Of note are the exclusive bookstores, fashion shops, and jewelry stores.
7. St. Michael’s Church (in German: ‘Michaelskirche’)
St. Michael’s Church, or in German: ‘Michaelskirche’, is a Lutheran church located in the center of Hamburg, Germany. The church is a well-known parish church of the Evangelical Lutheran state church of Hamburg. The church was constructed from 1839 to 1842 and destroyed during the WWII bombings. A new church was built in 1956-59.
St. Michael’s Church is the main work of Historicist architecture of the 19th century. It is one of the most prominent buildings in Hamburg, its twin towers are visible from a great distance.
Besides being very tall, 50 meters, St. Michael’s Church is also known for its clockwork. Its four dials are decorated with mosaics representing various Christian saints. The columns supporting the dials are decorated with statues of prophets.
Visit the church’s website to learn about upcoming events and services.
8. International Maritime Museum, Hamburg
The Hamburg Museum is a museum dedicated to the history of the Port of Hamburg and ships named after the city. The museum’s exhibits include several port models, pictures, and paintings of sea creatures such as whales and seals, marine charts, and navigation instruments such as compasses, nautical clocks, octants, and sextants. Other notable objects on display are cannons from ships that sank in the Hamburg waters. In addition, there is a maritime research library and a historical photograph collection of harbor views.
The museum was founded in 1839 when the then-independent cities of Altona, Harburg, and Wandsbek agreed to set up a joint exhibition for art and handicrafts on the first floor of the Hamburg Stock Exchange on Rathausmarkt square. In 1843 it was extended by a naval department and then became known as an Art and Maritime Museum. Today, its name is “Internationales Maritimes Museum (Hamburg)”, reflecting that it has coast-wide appeal and attracts some 110,000 visitors annually.
The original building was destroyed in the Great Fire of Hamburg. The new Museum opened in 1864, in rooms in the present-day town hall of Hamburg, and remained there until 1910. It then moved into its present location at Holstenwall.
Unfortunately, this museum underwent a bomb attack during WWII and many exhibits were destroyed or damaged. Some of the exhibits could be restored after the war only because documents containing drawings and paintings of them had survived.
Other attractions include an old lighthouse from Stavoren, Netherlands, built in 1738, which was first located at Neuwerk island outside Cuxhaven, Germany before being moved to Hamburg in 1959. There are also two old light vessels, the Amer and the Barabbas.
9. Alster Lakes, Hamburg
Alster Lakes in Hamburg, Germany is a popular destination for locals and tourists. Alster Lakes offers a myriad of things to do from water sports in summer to ice-skating in winter. Alster Lakes is a small lake located on the Bille River which flows from the bigger lake, the Aussenalster through the city center of Hamburg. Alster Lakes was named after this river as well as some smaller rivers that also go through the area, called Fleeten. In total there are nine lakes and four rivers and canals. The biggest lake, Aussenalster is located in the middle of Alster Lakes and has an area of 8 hectares. The famous park, Planten un Blomen can be found surrounding it as well as a ferry that goes through the center of Hamburg making it a very popular spot to visit for tourists.
10. Museum of Art and Design (Museum für Kunst und Design)
The Museum of Art and Design is a museum in Hamburg, Germany. The museum exhibits the world’s largest permanent exhibition on furniture, applied art, and industrial design from the 20th century to the present day.
The museum was founded under the name “Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe” when it opened in 1954 in Altona. The name was changed to “Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg” in 1990, and to “Museum für Kunst und Design” in 2010. In 2012 the museum moved from its location in Altona near the Hagenbeckstraße to a newly built site at the former Elbe tunnel terminal.
The collection includes furniture and industrial design, graphic and book art, contemporary crafts and fashion as well as applied arts from the 20th century to the present day. It has works by famous designers such as Gerrit Rietveld, Paul Klee, Charles Eames or Alvar Aalto. Under the umbrella term “contemporary applied art”, the collection of jewelry and ceramic is also highlighted.
The new exhibition building was designed by architects Amandus Næss and Peter Pütz. It combines various functions under one roof: the museum occupies 10,000 m² and galleries for temporary exhibitions cover another 3,200 m². The old industrial buildings were renovated and reused: they now house offices and a restaurant.
The museum is part of the Kultur Quartier on Hamburg’s UNESCO World Heritage site directly on the Elbe river, adjacent to HafenCity and Speicherstadt.
Best Things to do in Hamburg, Germany 11-20
11. Ohlsdorf Cemetery
Ohlsdorf Cemetery is located near Ohlsdorf station and has about 120,000 burial sites. The cemetery offers a special section for the Jewish community with over 36,000 graves as well as an area dedicated to those persecuted by the Nazi regime.
The “Ehrenfriedhof” (Honorary Cemetery) is the final resting place for about 3300 German soldiers who died in World Wars I and II. The cemetery also has several mass graves of victims of bombing raids, an Ehrenhain (Honor Grove) for the victims of fascism, memorial sites dedicated to political prisoners as well as a Soviet War Memorial with about 5000 burials.
The chapel in the center of the cemetery includes a permanent exhibition that gives visitors an overview of the history and development of this unique burial site.
In addition to graves, Ohlsdorf is also home to two large crematoria with an elegant “memorial hall” containing special rooms for all kinds of services including weddings, concerts, and book presentations.
The crematorium is open to the public and features an exhibition showing the history of cremation in Hamburg, the development of the site as well as original urns.
Visitors can also see an impressive art collection with works by David Friedrich Strauß, Christian Rohlfs, and others.
12. Planten un Blomen and Wallringpark
A little way out of the center of Hamburg, you’ll find the Planten un Blomen and Wallringpark. The former is a botanical garden that has many different types of plants, as well as an area with ponds and such for events such as outdoor theater. The latter is a park with walking paths, some rose gardens, playgrounds, and even a small petting zoo.
The park is largely free, but there are some activities that cost money (such as boat rides in the pond area). The train station to get to these parks is Bahrenfeld. When you get off, just head across the street and follow the signs for “Wallringpark”.
It takes a good 40 minutes to an hour to get there from the center of Hamburg, but it’s a nice escape from the noise and crowds for a bit.Or you can just take the S-Train outbound direction “Holstenstraße” and get off at “Planten un Blomen”.
You shouldn’t miss it.
13. Historic Organ in St. James’ Church
The Historic Organ in St. James’ Church in the city of Hamburg is one of the most important historic organs in Northern Europe and it’s free to visit.
One of many churches in Hamburg, Germany, Saint James’ Church is also known as the “Jacobikirche” or simply “Jacobi”. The church was built from 1648 to 1672 and is the largest hall church (hallenkirke) in Hamburg.
It was built by Dutch master builder, Paulus Hector Maaskant and has the third-largest church organ in Europe. It’s interesting to note that originally, there were once three churches with 3 organs inside of them.
The Historic Organ is housed in the Saint James’s Church and is a historic organ that consists of three keyboards, fifty-one stops, and around 8000 pipes. It was built by several different German organ builders such as Johann Scheibe, Arp Schnitger, and Christian Ernst Friederich Weyrauch while it has been renovated by other famous names such as Sauer, Eule, Knauff, and Dreschmann.
It has been said that the Historic Organ was originally from another church in a different part of Hamburg and was transferred to Saint James’ Church in 1836. It is unknown what the organ’s original name once was but it’s been said that it was once called the “Grosse Kirchenorgel” or simply “Große Orgel”.
It is also said that the Historic Organ was one of the instruments that played during Anton Bruckner’s organ time in Lichtental and Vienna.
14. PROTOTYP Museum
Hamburg is a city in Germany that has two museums that are well worth a visit. One is entitled Museum am Rothenbaum and the other PROTOTYP Museum. Both these museums provide something different from your average museum, but both share beautiful buildings that you can admire even if you do not want to see what they have inside. Hamburger Kunsthalle is located in the Museum am Rothenbaum and it is one of the most important museums for modern art.
The museum is housed in a beautiful old villa as well as new buildings, as they have been expanding over time. The museum has an impressive collection of German paintings from Expressionism to contemporary times as well as international art from the late Middle Ages to modern times. It also has a beautiful sculpture garden and temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Hamburg Museum of Work is housed in the PROTOTYP building which was formerly a department store that was built at the end of the 19th century, then it became a museum for contemporary arts during the 1990s until it became an open-air museum of architecture.
The PROTOTYP Museum has a collection of original objects, images, and models which were used in the design office for some of the most famous buildings in Hamburg. It also holds temporary exhibitions related to Architecture, Design, and Photography. The permanent exhibition is free however some of their special exhibitions are worth paying for.
Visiting the PROTOTYP Museum is exciting, as it has an indoor observation deck that you can enter from the side of the building by ladder. Then you have to traverse across a narrow gangway between two buildings which gives you great views of Hamburg’s rooftops and streets below. The surrounding area around the museum is worth seeing too because it is a small woodland area that has a beautiful garden.
15. Altonaer Museum
Visiting Altona and the Altonaer Museum, on the other hand, is a must for architecture buffs. With its neo-classical style, the churches of St Nikolai and St Petri are two of the most notable buildings in Hamburg.
The Altonaer Museum is a museum of local history and has a collection that includes archaeological finds from the Middle Ages, paintings, coins, and furniture. Visitors can garner much about Hamburg’s history through the various exhibits.
Visitors can also enjoy a leisurely walk along the River Elbe, which is just minutes away from the Altona train station.
No matter which means of transport one takes, it is easy to reach Altona.
The S-Bahn S1 line transports passengers from Hamburg Central Station to Altona. With a train every ten minutes, it’s easy to get around during peak hours.
Getting from Altona to St. Nikolai or St Petri is also quite easy as they are only a 5-minute walk from the S-Bahn station.
The Altonaer Museum is also within walking distance from the station as it is less than a 10-minute walk away. Thus, it is quite easy to get around Altona.
Things to do in Altona
Strolling through the streets of Altona can be quite an experience, especially for travelers seeking peace and quiet.
The Altona station is surrounded by many shops that sell a wide variety of products. No matter what one needs, there is likely a shop in Altona that can provide it.
What caught my eye the most were the many small, hole-in-the-wall boutiques that were located at street corners along Altona’s main road.
Particularly interesting were the many second-hand shops, where one can find treasures for very affordable prices.
Upon closer inspection, some of the products in these shops turned out to be products that were still brand new. I was particularly surprised at the number of shops selling potatoes, with some having over a hundred different kinds of potatoes.
In addition, Altona also has many outstanding restaurants that serve delicious food from all over the world.
Things to do in the Altonaer Museum
One of the most interesting things about this museum is that it has four different buildings dedicated to four different aspects of Hamburg’s history.
The Jüdisches Haus or Jewish House is a museum about Jews living in the Hanseatic city between the 18th and 20th centuries. Although Altona was a separate town during this period, there were a significant number of Jewish residents here.
The Hamburgisches Geschlechter Haus or the Hamburg Freemen’s House tells the story of how the first settlers came to this area.
The Altonaer Museum or the Altona Museum of Regional History is dedicated to the history of the town from the 18th century onwards, while the Altonaer Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe or the Altona Museum of Art and Crafts is dedicated to the history of this town’s development as an industrial port town.
16. Museumshafen Oevelgonne (Museum Harbor)
Museumshafen Oevelgonne (Museum Harbor) houses the Museum of Shipbuilding and Shipping and is located in the quarter of Wilhelmsburg, Hamburg. The Museum Harbor is a branch of the ‘Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte’.
The museum harbor is also known as the ‘Museum of Shipbuilding and Shipping’ in Hamburg. This harbor has three basins. Until World War II, the site of the Museum Harbor was occupied by the shipyards of ‘Lloyd-Werft’.
The museum harbor is also known as an ‘Open-Air’Museum. This means that it’s possible to see some historic ships in their original form/condition. There are many shipbuilding facilities in this harbor. This includes steel sheet-piling, slipways, and a small gantry crane from 1911 as well as some docks. In addition, there are many modern steel constructions from the 1950s as well as a cargo crane from the year 2000. In total, there are twelve docks that are situated in two basins. Amongst these are four docks that are integrated into the slipways. The museum harbor is open regularly from 10 am to 6 pm on all working days (Monday through Friday). Closed at weekends and public holidays, except during special events or by appointment.
The Museumshafen Oevelgonne (Museum Harbor) is a branch of the Museum Hamburgische Geschichte. The museum houses exhibit from Hamburg’s shipbuilding history and include models, ship engines, etc. In addition, there are modern steel constructions from the 1950s as well as a cargo crane from the year 2000.
17. The Jenisch House
The Jenisch House is a historic town mansion in Hamburg, Germany. The house was built between 1823 and 1825 for the merchant Ludwig Leonard Herlitz. It was designed in the late classicistic style by the architects Justus Phillip Haring and Sören Benjamin Maurischat and is Hamburg’s only preserved example of the French-influenced neoclassical Hamburg townhouse.
The Jenisch House was built in 1823 and 1825 and was originally a private house. It is one of Hamburg’s few townhouses that has been preserved in its original state, with both the walls and the ceilings still bearing their original decoration. The interior is characterized by a division into three parts: the neo-classical foyer, the middle section with a garden hall, and the rear portion with its richly ornamented large rooms. The original fittings have also been preserved in their near entirety. In 2011, it was opened as a museum.
The Jenisch House is located on the corner of Schützenstraße and Gurlittstraße in Hamburg’s old town. It is a listed building and together with Nikolaifleet forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Speicherstadt and is located directly next to the Speicherstadt.
18. The Tierpark Hagenbeck
The Tierpark Hagenbeck, founded in 1907 by Carl Hagenbeck, is often called “The World’s First Open Air Zoo”. It was one of the first zoos to let animals roam freely within their enclosures, rather than being confined to prison-like cages. The park offers 1.8 km of walkways through the zoo, with views of over 750 animals from all over the world.
Today there are about 1,500 animals from about 300 species on display. Most of them are housed in ‘natural’ habitats, some with moats and others without. There are also several enclosures with indoor areas.
There is also a large area dedicated to birds, and another for monkeys (called “Safari Park”) with a walk-in aviary and several large open-air enclosures.
The famous performing sea lion show at the park was closed down in 2009 but has since been replaced by an educational 4D cinema show (extra charge) showing underwater scenes of marine animals like dolphins and whales.
A new tiger enclosure features a male Sumatran tiger and a female Bengal tiger, both born in captivity. Other interesting animals at the park include the white lions, which you will only see at Hagenbeck as there are no white lions in Africa (the ‘white’ color is actually caused by a genetic mutation; they are not albino), and the Komodo dragon.
The park is clean and has an open, fresh feel to it. There are play areas for children that include animal statues you can climb on.
There is also a small snack bar selling snacks and drinks, as well as souvenir stands selling various zoo-related paraphernalia like stuffed animals and postcards.
The park hosts some special events during the year, including special shows featuring birds of prey and sea lions. There are also special days themed around particular countries where the enclosures are decorated to reflect that country.
The park is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm between mid-April and October, closing at 5 pm the rest of the year. It’s located in Stellingen, which is part of the Hamburg urban area.
Getting there by public transport is straightforward; it can be reached using bus number 239 from Hamburg’s central train station (Hauptbahnhof) or by ferry line 62 from Landungsbrücken.
19. Schloss Ahrensburg
Schloss Ahrensburg is an impressive castle located in the German city of Hamburg. Formerly owned by noble families, it has now been converted into a museum, providing the public with a glimpse into historical events.
The castle was originally designed in 1459 by John IV of Holstein-Pinneberg. The city of Hamburg purchased the land in 1697, and it was intended to serve as a prison. Seven years later it became the official residence of the Governor of Hamburg, though this role has since been transferred elsewhere.
During World War II, Schloss Ahrensburg survived the aerial bombardment, but much of its interior was destroyed. The Hamburg Art Association (now the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe) restored the castle, and it reopened as a museum in 1946.
Currently, Schloss Ahrensburg houses two different museums focusing on the history of Hamburg. The Museum for City History covers over 800 years of history, including details about life during World War II, and the Museum of Popular Arts displays various crafts, including coopering and weaving.
There are also guided tours available, as well as an excellent restaurant for those wanting to dine in a historic setting. With beautiful views over Hamburg and the surrounding countryside, Schloss Ahrensburg is a must-see attraction for visitors to Germany’s second-largest city.
HafenCity is situated in Hamburg, Germany. The city district began development in 2003 and is still continuing today with the goal of increasing the population to about 20,000 people. HafenCity is located on an island known as Kehrwieder and Wandrahm within the Port of Hamburg.
HafenCity has already added 15,000 residents with businesses making up 40% of the population. The city is known for its interesting architecture and references to the Elbe River.
As part of HafenCity’s plan to create an environmentally sustainable city, buildings are designed with energy efficiency in mind. Public transportation is encouraged by building overpasses and underpasses. Buildings also meet innovative standards with some buildings designed to be super energy efficient; one was even nominated for an international ‘green’ building award in 2010.
One interesting aspect of HafenCity’s architecture is that many of the taller buildings are designed like ships on the outside with balconies that look like lifeboats. This reference to Hamburg being a city on the water makes sense.
Other buildings in HafenCity don’t follow this nautical design, but instead, have a modern look with sustainable features built in. Buildings also meet international green building standards making it one of the most eco-friendly cities currently in existence.
One interesting aspect of HafenCity is that some buildings are designed to look like they are sinking into the earth. This reference to history when Hamburg was built on marshland is interesting.
HafenCity also has four museums, which makes it a perfect place for tourists visiting Hamburg. These museums are located in or around the Speicherstadt area of HafenCity.
HafenCity also has two churches. One was designed by Sir Norman Foster to make a ship-like structure, and the other is a more traditional-looking church that won an international architecture award in 2003.
Hamburg residents have been able to see HafenCity’s transformation slowly over time as new parts of the district open up. When HafenCity is completed, it will be a beautiful city on the water.
Best Things to do in Hamburg, Germany 21 and beyond
21. St. Pauli
St. Pauli is one of the most popular places to go for nightlife in all of Germany, and it’s also considered one of Germany’s “red-light districts.”
The Reeperbahn is the epicenter for St. Pauli’s party scene, which draws thousands to dance all night long. There are plenty of other things to do in St. Pauli when you’re not clubbing, including shopping at some of the area’s less expensive stores, enjoying a meal at one of its many restaurants, or watching an outdoor movie screening that takes place on the Heiligengeistfeld annually during the summer months.
Every year, more than 4 million people visit St. Pauli, a small area in Hamburg. It is a popular tourist destination with a reputation for being one of the best entertainment districts in Germany thanks to its wide choice of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs
St Pauli is an extremely vibrant part of the city which has been made famous by many TV shows such as ‘Tatort’ but also features many infamous characters such as “Reeperbahn” Stu. Plenty of activities can be enjoyed at St Pauli, including shopping for some less expensive products, dining at various restaurants, or watching the outdoor movie screenings that are held annually during the summer months. Every year more than 4 million people visit this small area in Hamburg and it has a strong reputation for being one of the most entertaining districts in Germany thanks to its many bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.
St Pauli is an extremely vibrant part of the city and has been made famous by TV shows such as ‘Tatort’. It also features many infamous characters such as Reeperbahn Stu. There are plenty of activities to be enjoyed in St Pauli, including shopping for less expensive products, dining at various restaurants, or watching the outdoor movie screenings that are held annually during the summer months.
The Jungfernstieg is a shopping street in Hamburg, Germany. It was created as part of the reconstruction after the great fire of 1842 and is named after the adjacent “Jungfern” (maidens) pond. Much of its present-day appearance was designed by Fritz Schumacher in the Gründerzeit style, using elements of Neo-Renaissance.
The famous well-lit shopping street is framed by elaborately designed traditional German houses and shops with beautiful facades. The Jungfernstieg becomes especially crowded during the summer months when the locals are out for a stroll. It offers a wide variety of shops. Besides the big department stores, there are many little specialty shops including a large branch of the well-known Hamburg delicatessen “Fischer’s”. In terms of gastronomy along Jungfernstieg, you can find everything from oysters, shrimp, and lobster to all kinds of sausages and wursts.
Jungfernstieg market is open every Thursday and Saturday offering fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers. During Easter weekend all of the shops are open until late at night. The best view of the Jungfernstieg can be enjoyed from a table in front of “Kiek in de Kok” restaurant or at the “Alsterpavillon”. Furthermore, you can enjoy a beautiful walk along the Binnenalster and visit the Rathausmarkt (town hall square) and this area is especially lively during lunchtime.
The Jungfernstieg is easily accessible via public transport. The nearest underground station is Baumwall which is served by Hamburg’s oldest underground railway, the U1. The journey time from Baumwall to Jungfernstieg is about 10 minutes.
Jungfernstieg has a number of interesting shops including Gucci, Tom Ford, and many more. It also contains many restaurants including one of my favorite seafood restaurants in Hamburg called “Fischer’s”. Today we will go and try the famous “Fischer’s”, Jungfernstieg.
23. The Elbe Tunnel
The Elbe Tunnel is a train tunnel under the River Elbe in Hamburg, Germany. The tunnel has two tubes with each carrying one track. The length of the tunnel is 8,632 meters (5.4 mi) and it was opened in 1907, making this tunnel the second oldest Elbe tunnel after the Amburger Tunnel was completed in 1887.
The Elbbrücken (“Elbe bridges”) carrying motorway and railway traffic was destroyed during WWII and replaced by provisional arrangements. In the 1990s, a project to replace them was started as part of Hamburg’s reconstruction following the reunification of Germany. The new bridges which now carry motorway and rail traffic have been built upstream from the original site.
In 1978, 1978, and 1979, Elbe floods destroyed both tubes of this tunnel: first in May 1978, and then again in December 1979. The first was caused by a storm surge, which flooded several tunnels on both sides of the river for over a month, and damaged many bridges and coastal structures even as far as Denmark. The later flood disaster was not due to storm surges, but rather to the failure of an old diversion canal that had been closed in 1926 and was supposed to be protected with floodgates. Nevertheless, the old gates were opened because the new canal was not yet ready to function as a replacement. As a result of this, water from the river Spree (which flows into the Elbe near Köpenick) poured into several tunnels and overtopped their banks. The Elbe Tunnel was flooded to an unprecedented depth of 6 meters.
The damage was repaired in both cases, but the experience led to changes in the protection of other tunnels.
In Hamburg, Germany, there is a very famous lake called Außenalster. This lake has been very significant since the Middle Ages. In medieval times, even before it was a lake it had great importance for trade and commerce throughout Northern Europe. It’s the most urban of all lakes in Hamburg because it lies right in the center of town. The lake is very large and has designated areas for tourists. One of these is the “Gondelteich” area where people can pay to take a boat ride on the lake.
The Aussenalster’s shores are mostly lined with expensive homes, mansions, embassies, or consulates, so it is definitely an upscale location for living in Hamburg.
The lake was originally much smaller than it is now, but due to land reclamation projects undertaken during the 17th and 18th centuries, the lake grew larger and larger. As a result of these projects, it also became much more polluted and people even used to dump waste into the lake. This caused some pretty serious problems for the city, so in 1869 officials decided to transform the lake into a body of water that people could use for recreation.
Tourists flock to the many cafes surrounding the Aussenalster during all seasons of the year. It is especially popular during summertime when Hamburg’s climate gets warmer and sunnier, but it also attracts tourists in colder seasons when there are Christmas markets and ice skating rinks set up on the shores.
The whole area around Außenalster is very nice to walk around. There are many trees all around the edges of the lake, so it is a great place for people who love nature. The lake also hosts the Alsterschwimmhalle, one of Germany’s nicest open-air swimming pools.
Sternschanze is a quarter (Stadtteil) of Hamburg, Germany. It is bounded by the streets Chausseestraße, Paul-Roosen-Straße, Feldstraße, and Zellescher Weg.
The quarter of Sternschanze lies in the eastern part of Hamburg at River Elbe (Hamburg). Sternschanze is regarded as rather bohemian or hip because many artists live and work there and many cafés and bars, clubs, and art galleries can be found.
The quarter is also known for its urban art of so-called street cane (German: Strassenkreide). The most important buildings in Sternschanze are the U-Bahn station Feldstraße with the exhibition center “Amerika Haus”, the Operettenhaus and the cinema Neue Flora. In addition, there is a large shopping mall, the Gänsemarkt Galeries.
The largest church in Sternschanze is the St. Johannis Church, which belongs also to the highest steeple in Hamburg (86 meters).
A large number of small shops are located around the street Sredzkistraße. The quarter also has two libraries – one at Schanzenpark and one near Eppendorfer Baum.
There are many parks in Sternschanze, there is the famous Schanzenpark with its beer garden and sports facilities (including an indoor skate bowl). One of the most beautiful parks is Plattenbau park. The largest park is Schlumppark, which was renovated in 2013 after almost 20 years of disrepair.
Sternschanze originated in the 14th century as a farmer settlement. In 1833, about 500 people lived in the settlement, which was later called Sternschanze.
26. The Deichtorhallen
The Deichtorhallen is a group of buildings in the quarter of Hamburg called
Deichtor. It has been used as an exhibition hall and is also the center of contemporary art, avant-garde, and contemporary visual culture.
The Deichtorhallen was first used as a place to host art exhibitions in 1920, but it has been rebuilt several times since. The first building that was built had two floors and was used as the headquarters of a well-known company until it went bankrupt. The Deichtorhallen has been used for different purposes and exhibitions since then, and in 1985 the number of halls increased to six.
Hall No. 3 is known as “the blue barn” because it is painted blue inside. It was once described by the artist Joseph Beuys as “the most beautiful room in Germany”. Hall No. 4 was originally built for an exhibition of Degas’ bronzes, and it is now used for large-scale sculptures, installations, and performances.
27. Treppenviertel Blankenese
Treppenviertel Blankenese is one of the many neighborhoods in Hamburg, Germany. It’s the most affluent part of the Blankeneser Rieme area, located right on the border of Hamburg and Pinneberg County. The small urban village consists mostly of luxury homes, including some of Europe’s finest waterfront mansions that overlook the North Sea.
Treppenviertel Blankenese is a prime example of Hamburg’s wealthy elite, with many celebrities owning property in the area. The famous German actress Nicolette Krebitz has even called the neighborhood home since 2004. Many high-profile athletes, actors, and musicians have stayed at one point or another in the area’s luxury inns and hotels. The oldest hotel in the neighborhood is Hotel Blankenese, which has been an inn since 1180 C.E.
The high home prices have made Treppenviertel Blankenese a prime location for many wealthy families that live both in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. German singer and actress Heike Makatsch and her German film director husband Tom Tykwer both own homes in the neighborhood. Actor Daniel Brühl also has a luxury vacation home in Blankenese, located right on the waterfront.
Since so many high-profile celebrities live in Treppenviertel Blankenese, it’s not surprising that it’s been home to a number of high-profile incidents. In 2011, German rapper Bushido reportedly paid a visit to R&B singer Rihanna in Blankenese. German rapper Sido also ran into trouble when he was arrested for drunk driving after leaving the Gebel Music Hall, which is located in Treppenviertel Blankenese.
The Chilehaus is a twenty-one-story building located in the Port of Hamburg, Germany. It was built after the Great Kanto earthquake destroyed most of Yokohama, Japan. The Chilehaus was named to commemorate this event.
The Chilehaus has an outside layer made from granite and glazed ceramic tiles. It also has red granite sillons and round windows on the front. The building’s interior features a central courtyard and an atrium.
Today, the Chilehaus is a noticeable part of Hamburg’s skyline and it is referred to as “The Lipstick” by locals.
Kampnagel was established in 1980 and is situated on the site of a former factory for cardboard boxes. The goal of Kampnagel’s foundation was to bring down the walls between art and society and to create a place that encourages open dialogue and exchange. Over the course of its history, Kampnagel has evolved into a recognized culture hub.
In its buildings you can find a legendary theatre, the ‘Hamburgische Staatsoper’, a café-bar and restaurant that can seat up to 320 people, an art gallery with seating for 350 guests, cafés in the shape of stairs and crates by the entrance, hipster lofts with room for up to 200 people, an auditorium for concerts and events, a splendid hall for big-scale performances and workshops and spaces that can be hired or used as exhibition rooms. A plus: Kampnagel is also equipped with two rehearsal studios and four dance studios where you can practice your moves.
Your whole body must be prepared for the many activities, workshops, and courses offered at Kampnagel. From circus classes to Indonesian dance or African drumming – there is a great variety of creative possibilities here for creative minds who want to invest in their development. Events such as the international ‘Kampnagelfestival’ (an international forum for contemporary theatre) and ‘Lippenstift’ (which is a professional women’s association for theatre, film, and television) have been running for years at Kampnagel. This makes it an attractive location for artists from all over the world who want to present their work as well as learn more about trends in the industry.
In order to become familiar with new trends and techniques in the performing arts scene, you can sign up for one of Kampnagel’s workshops, which are divided into sections such as theatre, dance, circus, or puppetry. You can also choose between courses for beginners or advanced students. There are even specialized workshops for children where they learn, for example, how to put on a puppet show.
30. Hamburger Dom
The Hamburger Dom is an annual fair that takes place in Hamburg. It has been around since the 1500s and it is one of Germany’s biggest public festivals. Hamburg is known as one of Germany’s biggest ports and The “Elbe” river’s edge, where the fair takes place, makes it even more unique for this festival.
The Hamburger Dom begins once a year in late September and lasts until early October, lasting almost an entire month. It has around 4-8 million visitors each year and in 2010 the Hamburger Dom had a record of 8.9 million visitors.
Currently, there are about 300 rides at the “Dom” for people to have fun on. The fee to get into this festival is around 10 Euros, but it varies depending upon if it’s a weekday or weekend, a school holiday or not.
Out of the list of the Best Things To Do in Hamburg, Germany, you can pick and choose which ones you want to cover depending on your preferences and how much time you have available on hand. We’d recommend doing all of them!
Hamburg is a beautiful place in the north of Germany. Add these places to your wishlist for your next trip to Hamburg, Germany.
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Note: The hours of operation, ticket prices, and admission criteria of museums, parks, etc. may change from time to time. For the most updated information, we recommend checking the official website of the attraction directly prior to your planned visit.
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