10 places you should definitely visit in Hamburg, Germany

10 places you should definitely visit in Hamburg, Germany

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Hamburg is such a nice city. Being Europe’s third-largest port, crossed by hundreds of canals, and with large areas of parkland; a mixture of urban life, nature, and elegance embrace this city. I completely loved visiting it and would like to come back again (or even live here).

Rest assured that you are going to enjoy your visit to Hamburg, that besides being the second-largest city in Germany with a population of over 1.8 million; is a major international and domestic tourist destination. It ranked 18th in the world for livability in 2016.

In this post, I’m going to show you which are the places you should definitely visit and will also give you their most important information as prices (if any), opening times, and a brief description.

At the end of the blog post, I wrote a 2-day itinerary with advice on the most efficient ways to move around the city. But mainly, I used the Red Bus (Die Roten Doppeldecker) to move on the first day and the Hamburg Card to move on the second day.

My top 10 places are:

  1. Planten un Blomen
  2. Jungfernstieg
  3. Hamburg Rathaus (City Hall)
  4. Reeperbahn
  5. Pauli Piers (Landungsbrücken) and cruise ships
  6. The Old Elbe tunnel
  7. Elbphilharmonie
  8. Speicherstadt
  9. Miniatur Wunderland
  10. Millionaires’ street at the Außenalster (Alster Lake)

1. Planten un Blomen

Meaning “Plants and Flowers” in English, Planten un Blomen is an urban park in the inner-city of Hamburg. In addition to the gardens, there are several restaurants and cafes and a large playground in the southern area of the park. I particularly liked visiting the tropical greenhouse also known as “Japanese garden” because it was winter during my visit and the place was warm and full of different plants.

Tickets and opening hours

Planten un Blomen is open all year round and there is no entrance fee.

Read more information on the official website of Planten un Blomen.

Hamburg - Germany - Europe Planten un blomen

2. Jungfernstieg

The Jungfernstieg is a lively urban promenade. Its name comes from the past because families came here on Sunday to walk and introduce their unmarried daughters (” Jungfern”). Today, it is nice to spend some time on the shores of the Binnenalster lake, meet with friends, and start shopping in the nearby stores.

Tickets and opening hours

Jungfernstieg is open all year round and there is no entrance fee.

Read more information on the official website of Hamburg Tourism.

Hamburg - Germany - Europe- Jungfernstieg

3. Hamburg Rathaus (City Hall)

Hamburg City Hall is the seat of the local government of the City of Hamburg. It was built in a period of wealth and prosperity and intended to express the independence of the State of Hamburg. The following is written in Latin above the main door: “The descendants shall seek worthily to maintain the freedom achieved by their forebears.”

Tickets and opening hours

Hamburg Rathaus’s lobby is a public area used for concerts and exhibitions.

Read more information on the official website of Hamburg Tourism.

Hamburg - Germany - Europe Rathaus (City Hall)

4. Reeperbahn

The Reeperbahn remains Hamburg’s number one entertainment district, and also the city’s major red-light district. It is also nicknamed die sündigste Meile (the most sinful mile) and Kiez. The street is full of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, strip clubs, sex shops, brothels, and similar businesses.

*The Beatles: in the early 1960s, the not yet world-famous Beatles played in several clubs around the Reeperbahn, including the Star-Club, Indra, and Kaiserkeller.

Tickets and opening hours

Open all year round, quiet at day and loud at night. You’ll pay as much as you want to spend on Reeperbahn’s businesses.

Read more information on the official website of Hamburg Tourism.

Hamburg - Germany - Europe Reeperbahn

5. St. Pauli Piers (Landungsbrücken) and cruise ships

The piers are located between the lower harbor and the Fischmarkt (Fish Market), on the banks of the Elbe river. And they form today a central transportation hub, with S-Bahn, U-Bahn and ferry stations. You can find there also lots of restaurants and cruise ships.

I took a 1-hour Barkassen-Meyer harbor tour and I really enjoyed it. I was able to see several landmarks as the “Speicherstadt” (warehouse district) with its channels, the HafenCity (harbor city), the container terminals, large docks, and more.

The tours include live commentary in German but there are English audio guides available if you download an APP, and from April to October there’s an English guided tour every day at 11:30 am.

Tickets and opening hours

  • Departures: Daily between 10 am and 5 pm, approx. every hour.
  • Price: Adults 18 EUR, Child 9 EUR.

Read more information on the official website of Barkassen-Meyer harbor tours.

6. The Old Elbe tunnel

Right after you visit St. Pauli Piers you can have a look at the Old Elbe tunnel, which is located at the western end of the piers.

This 426 m (1,398 ft.) long pedestrian and vehicle tunnel opened in 1911, connecting central Hamburg with the harbor on the river Elbe. At 24 m (80 ft.) beneath the surface, this was a big improvement for thousands of workers in one of the busiest harbors in the world.

Tickets and opening hours

  • Pedestrians and bicycles: the tunnel is open 24 hours free of charge.
  • Motorized vehicles: Monday to Friday from 5:20 to 20:00 hrs., Saturdays from 5:20 to 16:00 hrs. Single ticket 2 EUR.

Read more information on the official website of Hamburg Tourism.

7. Elbphilharmonie

The Elbphilharmonie or “Elphi“, is a concert hall in the HafenCity quarter. It is one of the largest and acoustically most advanced concert halls in the world. The glassy construction was inaugurated in 2017 and sits on top of an old warehouse building. The complex houses three concert venues, the Westin Hotel, luxury apartments, restaurants, bars, a spa, and a parking garage. I went to The Plaza, to enjoy a panoramic view of Hamburg!

Tickets and opening hours

  • The Plaza: its capacity is regulated by the issue of Plaza tickets. They cost 2 EUR and you can book online here
  • Concert tickets: prices vary from 5 to 30 EUR and there is even free admission for exam recitals. Check all events on Ebphilharmonie website

Read more information on the official website of Elbphilharmonie.

Hamburg - Germany - Europe- Elbphilharmonie

8. Speicherstadt

The world’s largest warehouse complex, Speicherstadt, is Germany’s 40th UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to the Committee, Speicherstadt — with its unique buildings streets, bridges, and canals — is an ‘extraordinary example of representing one or more eras of human history’. It was built into the Elbe river as a free zone to transfer goods without paying customs in Hamburg’s port.

One of the most Instagramable sites is the Wasserschloss, in English ‘water castle’, at the end of Holländischer Bridge.

Tickets and opening hours

Open all year round, Speicherstadt is free to walk around.

Read more information about Speicherstadt on the official website of Hamburg Tourism.

9. Miniatur Wunderland

Located in Speicherstadt, Miniatur Wunderland is the largest model railway system in the world! It has 10 different theme worlds and the music and atmosphere around each of them are amazing. When you come to this place you will visit Middle Germany, Knuffingen, Austria, Hamburg, USA, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Knuffingen Airport, Italy and Venice.

Tickets and opening hours

  • Price: 15 EUR (online)
  • Open 365 days a year: always at least from 09:30 – 18:00 hrs.
  • Weekends, school holidays, Tuesdays and public holidays: open much longer.

Read more information on the official website of Miniatur Wunderland.

Hamburg - Germany - Europe Miniatur Wunderland

10. Millionaires’ street at the Außenalster (Alster Lake)

Finally, I have to mention that with around 40,000 millionaires, the City of Hamburg is one of the richest cities in Germany. The Harvestehude district is part of the route of the red bus and I was able to see nice and fancy millionaires’ houses all around. Karl Lagerfeld, the Hamburg-born Chanel designer has a house there.

Tickets and opening hours

Free to walk around.

Read more information on the official website of Hamburg Marketing.

Hamburg - Germany - Europe Millionaires’ street at the Außenalster (Alster Lake)

How to visit all these places?

You are going to need at least 2 days to see all these places.

Day 1: my advice is to use the Red Bus (Die Roten Doppeldecker) to make quick stops on each place (in that way you have everything covered on 1 day). My hotel was located in the city center so I took the red bus starting at Hamburg Train Central Station and saw all the following places (on Day 2, I used the Hamburg card to spend extra time on the places I liked):

1. Millionaires’ street at the Außenalster (Alster Lake): see it from the red bus.

2. Planten un Blomen (1 hr.): walk around and visit the greenhouse.

3. Jungfernstieg (1 hr.): walk around and have coffee at ALEX restaurant in front of the promenade.

4. Hamburg Rathaus – City Hall: (10 min.): take a picture outside

5. Reeperbahn (1 hr.): have a look at all the restaurants, bars and sex shops. Visit the bars where The Beatles played!

6. Pauli Piers (Landungsbrücken) and cruise ships (1.5 hrs.): 1 hr. cruise + 30 min. walk around.

7. The Old Elbe tunnel (20 min.): take lots of pictures!

Day 2: I recommend you to use the Hamburg Card to move around and spend extra time on the places you liked.

8. Elbphilharmonie (1 hr.): have a look at The Plaza and have a coffee.

9. Speicherstadt (30 min.): walk around the nice buildings.

10. Miniatur Wunderland (2 hrs.): admire each of the 10 theme worlds!

Transport

a. The Red Bus (Die Roten Doppeldecker)

The Line A Hop On – Hop Off Ticket day pass, allows you to plan your own itinerary and visit 29 stops on the way. There’s live commentary in German but also an Audio Guide offers commentary in 10 languages.

  • Price: 18.5 EUR
  • You can start your tour at any of the 29 stops from 9:30 to 17:00 hrs.

Read more information on the official website of The Red Bus.

Hamburg - Germany - Europe-The Red Bus (Die Roten Doppeldecker)

b. Hamburg Card

With the Hamburg Card, you can travel by bus, train, and harbor ferry, plus save with discounts at more than 150 tourist attractions!

  • Price: 1 day 10.5 EUR, 2 days 19.9 EUR, 3 days 26.5 EUR… and more.

Read more information on the official website of Hamburg Tourism.

Hamburg - Germany - Europe-miniatur wunderland
Hamburg - Germany - Europe Miniatur Wonderland
Hamburg - Germany - Europe Miniatur Wonderland
Hamburg - Germany - Europe

Note: This is a sponsored blog post, but all opinions are my own.

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