Known as a major port city in Northern Germany, Hamburg is one of my favorites in the whole country. Full of impressive landmarks, captivating architecture, and unique historical insights, Hamburg is considered to be one of the most innovative European cities. Let´s check my favorite Top places in Hamburg.

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Top Sights in Hamburg, Germany

Visiting Hamburg, Germany

Why to visit Hamburg

If you are planning to spend a few days in the city of Hamburg, Germany – you´ll definitely not regret it. There are so many unique things about this city – a vibrant old warehouse district, the biggest port in Germany, the mind-blowing Miniatur Wunderland, and even one of the coolest tea shops I´ve ever been to…

Also read: 10 Most Epic Hikes in Spain Everyone Should Try

Have you ever heard that Hamburg has 2,300 bridges – more than Amsterdam, London, and Venice combined? The city is full of picturesque locations, so check out this Hamburg photography guide in order not to miss any of the best photo spots!

Additionally, if traveling over the winter holidays you can kill two birds with one shot and enjoy the European Christmas (as German Christmas markets are my favorites, alongside Switzerland, and the French Region of Alsace).

Weather in Hamburg

Although, the last time I visited Hamburg in January it was honestly so cold. It´s either the fact that Hamburg is a port city and humidity makes one feel colder, or it´s just me living in warm Spain for way too long.

One way or another, Hamburg is such a picture-perfect city full of unique landmarks, that everyone should visit it at least once in a lifetime.

Hamburg Travel Tips

If you plan to move around Hamburg on your own, consider getting Hamburg City Card with Free Public Transportation or 3-Day Art Exhibition & Gallery Pass. Hamburg is a touristy city (even in the off season) – try to plan your trip and book all the tours at least a week in advance.

Aside from the main Hamburg landmarks in this post, you might want to experience a few unique local tours that Hamburg is known for:

My 5 Top places in Hamburg, Germany

1. Speicherstadt

Every trip to Hamburg must begin at Speicherstadt, the largest warehouse district in the world, built from 1883 to 1927. Nowadays it is also an ultimate business center and tourist attraction.

Speicherstadt is known for its moody industrial architecture. Very much like Lisbon in Portugal, the abandoned docks of Hamburg were turned into one of the trendiest shopping and residential areas over the last few decades.

No wonder, the splendid Speicherstadt is one of the ultimate inspo-locations for world-famous designers, like Karl Lagerfeld (who shoot here his 30th anniversary Chanel collection for the iconic Vogue).

If you do not want to miss any architectural marvels of Hamburg, consider booking a Speicherstadt & Hafencity Guided Tour, Eerie Speicherstadt Tour, or Speicherstadt Walking Tour with Coffee Tasting. Another unique way to explore Hamburg is to take a Private Walking Customized Tour.

Alternatively, you can enjoy Speicherstadt during this unique 1,5-hour Harbour Cruise, or even book the 1,5-hour Grand Harbor Evening Lights Cruise.

Kibbelstegbrücke in. Hamburg
Speicherstadt in Hamburg
Chilehaus in Hamburg

2. Miniatur-Wunderland

One of the top places in Hamburg that would love to visit again with my kids is the world’s largest model railway exhibition Miniatur-Wunderland.

To be honest, I initially expected something like Mini-Europe in Brussels, but the Germans took the details to a whole new level. The exposition of Miniatur-Wunderland houses countries, regions, and even large objects, like airports or stadiums. Most of them are interconnected.

Also read: Spain in Winter – Best Places to Visit

But what´s also quite impressive is their light control system. While you walk around Miniatur-Wunderland the day is followed by the night. So, the objects and the people act accordingly, and everything looks so real till the last detail.

Miniatur-Wunderland in Hamburg
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Miniatur-Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany

3. The Port of Hamburg

The night lights of Hamburg are a must-see. In the evening, you can enjoy a Night Harbor Cruise to see more of the Port area and learn about its history (via audioguide). If traveling with your partner, this experience can totally make it to your list of the most romantic travel plans (by the way, another great idea for couples in Hamburg is Private Couples’ Photoshoot and Walking Tour).

Also read: Romantic Spain -10 Ideas for your perfect couples holiday

Even a simple visit to the largest port in Germany, the second biggest in Europe (after Rotterdam) is a must. In the summer months, this area is full of nice cafes and bars. Alternatively, you can also take ferry 62 (like the locals do on a daily basis) to cross the river Elbe.

You can find lots of unique cruise offers to explore the port of Hamburg via GetYourGuide or Viator:

Port of Hamburg at night
Port of Hamburg

4. Hamburg-Altstadt / The Old City

As happens with the most of large European cities – Hamburg literally has it all: unique museums, picturesque churches, trendy restaurants and bars, shopping centers, and local markets… It is so diverse, international, and multicultural that over the last years Hamburg has had a reputation as “Germany’s Gateway to the World”.

Also read: The Best Lunch & Breakfast Places in Berlin

Take a walk through the Old City Center of Hamburg to experience the heart of the city. Don´t miss Hamburg´s Town Hall – the largest town hall in all of Germany. I´ll leave for you the list of landmarks and museums at the end of this post.

Another great way to enjoy the city center of Hamburg is to take Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour. Another must-do is Elbphilharmonie Plaza Tour, where you can ride the longest escalator in Europe (82 m / 269 ft).

Hamburg Town Hall
Hamburg Town Hall
Mönckebergstraße in Hamburg

5. Hamburg Museums & Wasserschloss Tea Shop

The main museums you can not miss in Hamburg are Kunsthalle Art Gallery (featuring eight centuries of the European art) and International Maritime Museum (with its 40,000 exhibition pieces and the Queen Mary II built with 1 million LEGO bricks). If you love old ships do not miss RICKMER RICKMERS Museum and Museum Ship Cap San Diego.

As a tea lover, I really could not miss the Wasserschloss Tea Shop of Hamburg. It is not the most budget-friendly place to shop, but they have amazing quality and a great variety of teas from all across the globe. You can enjoy hot drinks at their cafe.

Also read: Cozy Lifestyle Inspiration from Denmark – Hygge Quotes and Tips

Every tea I bought at Wasserschloss store was simply perfect. So, every time someone from my friends or family travels to Hamburg, I still ask for a new tea flavor as a souvenir.

Wasserschloss Tea Shop in Hamburg
Wasserschloss Tea Shop

More top places to visit in Hamburg

  • The Hamburg Museum ( interesting expositions related to the history of Hamburg )
  • Kaffeemuseum (a museum dedicated to coffee)
  • Ohlsdorf Cemetery ( the largest rural cemetery in the world )
  • Altona District ( a picturesque neighborhood with a few interesting sights and museums )
  • Wallringpark ( especially gorgeous in the Autumn months )
  • Heinrich Hertz Telecommunications Tower ( this 124-meter-high building will be reopened to the public in 2023 )
  • Elbphilharmonie ( Hamburg Opera House )
  • Deichtorhallen Hamburg ( one of Europe’s largest art spaces for modern art and photography lovers)
  • Gewürzmuseum (a museum of spices )
  • Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe ( Museum for Arts and Crafts )
  • Hamburg Zoo ( while I avoid visiting zoos myself, as I´ve told you in my Tenerife and Jardin del Papagayo posts, locals claim that the Hamburg Zoo is one of a few zoos in the world that doesn’t use cages )
  • Street Art ( while Hamburg can´t compete with Berlin or Lisbon in terms of countless murals, you can still find a few unique art pieces around Große Elbstraße; don´t miss the feminist art project FrauenFreiluftGalerie )
  • Non-touristy Hamburg ( for a more local vibe check the areas of Karolinenviertel and Sternschanze or Reeperbahn)
  • the famous red-light and party district of Hamburg is St Pauli – you might enjoy the top-popular Insider Tour of the Reeperbahn & St. Pauli

Day trips from Hamburg

If you have a few days for your Hamburg city break and want to escape the bustling city life, take a day trip to explore more of the surrounding regions. You can set your eyes on Willkomm-Hoft, Schloss Ahrensburg, Lüneburg, Bremen, Schwerin. Personally, I really recommend Lubeck, as it is definitely one of the most picturesque small towns in Germany.

Top day-trip tours from Hamburg:

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Top things to see and do in Hamburg, Germany - Pinterest

For more Hamburg travel tips and alternative itineraries check my Pinterest board Germany Travel.

at lifestyle crossroads travel blog resources
  • Accommodation: For short stays, I usually book via Agoda, Booking, and Hotellook
  • Tours&excursions: My favorites for guided tours are GetYourGuide, Viator, and Klook
  • Museums&attractions: Get mobile tickets for attractions via Tiqets (use ATC5 code for a 5% discount via this link)
  • Semi-private & private tours: LivTours is my favorite place for unique & crafted experiences in Europe
  • For Foodies: Eatwith is a unique platform for finding culinary experiences with locals around the world
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  • Suitcases&Luggage: Discover where to store your luggage on the go with Radical Storage
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  • Compensation for delayed/canceled flights: Check out AirHelp and Compensair
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This post is linked up with The Weekly Postcard and Feet Do Travel