There are many attractions in Hamburg, although the city is primarily a large seaport and at the same time a large industrial and financial center. Most importantly, it is not by the sea at all. It is over 120 kilometers to the coast from here, but thanks to the mouth of the Elbe River and its right distributary Alster, even the largest container ships sail here.
Attractions in Hamburg
It had a huge impact on the present appearance of Hamburg. The second largest city in Germany has always been full of diversity, openness and foreign influences. Built in part by immigrants and geared towards maritime industry, it has grown into a culturally and socially interesting place. On the one hand, Hamburg is a city full of historic places, but also modern architecture. There is no shortage of green areas, museums and attractions typical for tourists.
Although the city does not live mainly from tourism, it is a very popular place on the map of Germany.
Sightseeing in Hamburg
Hamburg can be explored on foot, by strolling along the waterfront, or in the vicinity of all major attractions. However, you will certainly need the help of local public transport for this type of trip. Thanks to which we can quickly and easily reach places of interest to us. We can choose from buses, high-speed trains, metro and water trams.
You need at least these two or three days to visit Hamburg. Then it’s the right city for a weekend getaway. There are so many attractions here that everyone will surely find something interesting for themselves. It is definitely worth making a reservation for one of the cruise lines organized around the Hamburg port. Walks along the river canals, which are connected by more than 2,500 footbridges and bridges, will also be equally attractive.
For people more interested in entertainment than sightseeing, there is also something here. Like other cities, Hamburg even has whole entertainment districts full of bars, clubs and pubs. One of the most famous is certainly St. Pauli, which was once the port equivalent of Amsterdam’s red light. In addition, the city often hosts various types of performances and fairs, such as live concerts, music festivals and Christmas markets.
It is best to come here in spring or summer, when the temperatures are favorable for visiting the city. At that time, the largest number of cultural events is also organized here.
Tourist attractions of Hamburg
Let’s move on to exploring the attractions of Hamburg with our travel guide.
City of Granaries – Speicherstadt
One of Hamburg’s biggest tourist attractions is undoubtedly the local largest granary complex in the world. Unique enough to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Built in the style of brick Wilhelminian Gothic, it is distinguished by an outer layer of red brick, small towers and terracotta ornaments.
These over a hundred-year-old buildings used to be used to store grain, spices, coffee and tea, tobacco and other goods imported from afar.
Today, the former granaries house museums, galleries and offices.
See the map of Hamburg on how to get to the Speicherstadt:
Port of Hamburg
Hamburg is a city associated mainly with one of the largest ports not only in Germany, but also in the world. Of course, it is best explored from the water side. So it’s worth buying one of the excursion cruises to see the waterfront, transhipment sites and shipyards, and HalfenCity.
Then you can walk along the waterfront and sit in one of the cafes or eateries to soak up the local, port atmosphere.
See on the map of Hamburg how to get to the port:
Philharmonic on the Elbe – Elbphilharmonie
Another attraction for tourists that the people of Hamburg are very proud of is the local philharmonic. The Elbphilharmonie is first and foremost a symbol of the city, as the shape of the building resembles something like a glass sail. It is precisely an architectural combination of the old part of the granary, with a glass, crooked structure added to it.
At the junction of the two parts, there is an observation deck which you can enter for free. On the eighth floor there is a panoramic view of the entire city. The Philharmonic itself consists of three concert halls that can accommodate several thousand people in the audience. In addition, the building houses private apartments, a hotel and a music school.
These are not all the tourist attractions you will find in Hamburg!
Sights in Hamburg
The number of monuments in Hamburg is not particularly impressive. This is due to one simple reason, namely, during the Second World War in 1943, the American and British air forces, including in Operation Gomorrah, bombed the entire city. The result was the destruction of buildings and the entire architecture in almost 3/4 of the initial state, and many deaths. For this reason, Hamburg does not boast many historic buildings.
However, it is still worth paying attention to those that have survived or have been rebuilt.
St. Michael’s Church
St. Michael is the largest and most beautiful temple in the city. Built in the baroque style, it is distinguished from a distance by an almost 135-meter tower with the largest clock in Germany. Interestingly, the tower can be climbed exactly to a height of 106 meters and admire the views from the top, from the terrace. Inside, it is worth paying attention to the neo-baroque altar, made of marble, and five pairs of organs that are located here.
Every day at 12 o’clock in the church of St. Michael, the organist plays a short, about 15-minute long concert.
Another interesting monument in Hamburg is the city hall. Built on wooden stilts, it impresses primarily with its ornate Renaissance sandstone facade and a 112-meter tower. Outside, it is worth paying attention to the statues of German emperors and kings, which additionally decorate the town hall. There are almost 650 rooms inside this magnificent building. Currently, the local senate and parliament are here.
The visitors can see the inner courtyard with the Higiei fountain and the hall.
St. Nicholas’ Church
A monument to remind people of World War II in Hamburg is the Church of St. Nicholas. This temple has never been specially rebuilt, and the preserved fragments of the walls and the tower are to remind people of the terrible past. Interestingly, in the middle of the tower there is a glass elevator, which takes you to the observation deck, from where you can see the entire city.
In addition, in the basement there is an exhibition with historical photos showing the destruction that was done in Hamburg during the war.
Interesting places in Hamburg
Now let’s check out interesting places in Hamburg. And we guarantee that they are not missing.
Park of Miniatures – Wunderland
One of the most interesting places in Hamburg, often visited by tourists, is Wunderland, i.e. the Miniature Park. Here, on a scale of 1:87, on an area of 1500 meters, the entire city and some buildings from central Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, the USA and Scandinavia are presented.
Here you can see the longest model railway in the world, mini Venice or a 15-minute day and night simulation.
This is the perfect attraction for the whole family!
See on the map of Hamburg how to get to this place:
See also the attractions of Munich.
The tunnel under the Elbe River – Alter Elbtunnel
Another interesting place in Hamburg that is definitely worth seeing is the old tunnel under the bottom of the Elbe River. This is quite an unusual attraction that once facilitated the connection between the northern part of the city and the southern part and the port. The tunnel was built in 1907, it is 426 meters long and is seated 24 meters below the Elbe. It can be used by cars that are lowered here with the help of large elevators.
When visiting the Alter Elbtunnel on foot, it is worth paying attention to the decorations made of terracotta, which depict things related to the river – fish or crabs, but also the problems of today’s world, i.e. garbage and rats.
One of the most interesting places in Hamburg is also the local fish market. Its tradition dates back to 1703. This market is located on the banks of the Elbe and is such a cult place that you just have to be here at least one Sunday morning. Enjoy a typical Hamburg breakfast here, usually with herring sandwiches.
In addition, you can of course buy fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, as well as small souvenirs. What’s more, in the hall built right next to the fish market, you can listen to live concerts. And these are not all the attractions in Hamburg yet.
What to see in Hamburg
We are slowly reaching the end of our travel guide, but before we end Hamburg for good, let’s check what else is worth seeing and visiting in this city.
Former fishing village, or Treppenviertel
In Hamburg’s Blankenese district, the former fishing village of Treppenviertel is worth seeing. It is an area dotted with white houses surrounded by gardens, with narrow streets full of stairs that lead to the river. It is the perfect place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of a big city and go for a lovely walk or bike ride.
Sailboats floating on the Elbe and the ubiquitous greenery add to the atmosphere here.
PROTOTYPE Car Museum
In Hamburg, the local car museum PROTOTYPE is also worth seeing. An ideal place for all automotive fans, but not only. In the museum, you can see unique models of sports and racing cars from over 80 years. As the name of this facility already indicates, some of these models are real prototypes of later cars.
Here you can admire Porsche, Audi and WW cars, including the first model of a racing car by Michael Schumacher himself.
Lakes on the Alster River
After a day of sightseeing, you can go to one of two places in Hamburg that are definitely also worth seeing. One of them are two artificial lakes, created on the Alster River. The lakes of Außenalster and Binnenalster are surrounded by numerous hotels, townhouses, eateries and shops. Of course, you can go on them by boats, sailboats, kayaks and pedal boats.
Another option for a moment of relaxation is to order a local mix of beer and lemonade and enjoy the views.
See also attractions in Berlin.
Planten un Blomen Park
Another place where you can relax in Hamburg is the most popular park in the city – Planten un Blomen. In the very center, on an area of 47 hectares, there is a real green oasis.
It is in the Planten un Blomen park, among ponds, theme gardens and playgrounds, where you can relax for a while. The local attractions include a large Japanese garden with a teahouse, a rose and tropical garden, as well as winter greenhouses. You can play mini golf on site, or go skiing in winter on the ice rink. For children, apart from playgrounds, there is also a climbing wall.
In summer, numerous musical performances, theater performances and light shows take place here.
Tourist map of attractions in Hamburg
On the following tourist map of attractions in Hamburg you will find all the monuments and interesting places:
What interesting places, tourist attractions and monuments in Hamburg are worth visiting? Feel free to share your views in the comments!