The Best Things To Do In Hamburg

Hamburg has the busiest harbour in Europe but it has a lot to offer that ranges from canals to parks and a wide range of attractions. The city is constantly evolving and with a waterfront that is brimming with life, this is a great city to explore. Germany’s second largest city is becoming more and more popular as a city break destination with tourists every year. The River Elbe meanders its way through the city. The canals are crossed by many bridges, more than Amsterdam, Venice and London combined.

Hafen City

This new waterside quarter officially opened in 2008 and was built on reclaimed land. Over the next 15 years, it will continue to grow, creating homes and jobs with a large part of the port already being regenerated. This is the modern hub of the city but comes with leisure amenities and the chance to explore this new and upcoming area.


The Elbphilharmonie is the tallest building in Hamburg, standing ar more than 100 metres tall. Despite the size, the building comes with plenty of space and light and its profile is almost a celebration of the water that surrounds it as it is believed to look the waves or the sails of a ship. Curved windows and an observations deck deliver a great view before grabbing a coffee at the cafe. The Great concert hall is regularly used and can seat over 2,000 spectators.

Planten un Blomen

Head to one of the most beautiful parks in the city and explore the Old Botanical Garden which was created in 1821. There is five inter-connected greenhouse with the largest being Schaugewachshaus which contains plants from the Mediterranean climes, olive trees and Eucalyptus. During the summer is the time to see this amazing park, especially when the rose garden is in bloom and the fragrant apothecary fills the air.

International Maritime Museum

As a city built by the water, the international maritime museum is certainly worth a visit. Head to Kaispeicher B, which is the oldest warehouse in the Speicherstadt, this museum is 11 storeys high. The front of the building is where you will find a propeller as a monument but inside is where you will find a collection that was started by Peter Tamm, who had a love of the ocean, ships and the navy. If you love the open ocean and all things sea-related then the museum is the perfect place for you to explore and fulfil your maritime needs. There are complete sailboats and even letter from legends such as Admiral Nelson as well as a reproduction of Ernest Shackleton's lifeboat as well as a 3,000-year-old canoe that was found in the harbour.

Kunsthalle Hamburg

Take a walk from the Hauptbahnhof and head to one of the biggest and richest museums in Germany. The Kunsthalle contains enough to keep you busy for the entire day where you will find works from masters such as Goya, Rembrandt, Rubens and even Lucas Cranach the Younger. The 19th-century gallery will bring you additional works from the likes of Manet, Degas and Gauguin, giving art lovers the chance to explore their every need. For those who prefer modern, contemporary art, the museum continues to wow as it has works from Picasso, Francis Bacon, Warhol and even Tracy Emin. This place is filled to the rafters with art.

Harbour Boat Tour

If you are visiting Hamburg, you simply have to take to the water with a harbour boat tour. This is the best way to see the harbour and the waterside districts while the trips are not all that expensive. Take in the massive cranes that keep the port moving or head to Neuhof while you can also explore the HafenCity and the Elbphilharmonie from the water.

Other things to do in Hamburg

Be sure to see the grand church St Michaelis, the harbour promenade and look inside the many museums on offer. Other architecturally impressive buildings include the City Hall, which can be found at the Rathausmarkt Square.

Hamburg Tours & Attractions

Map of Hamburg

Events In Hamburg

Hamburger Dom

In St Pauli, you will find Heiligengeistfeld, which is where the massive funfair and market takes place three times a year. They last for 30 days each time in November, April and August. Here you will find the class rides such as carousels and modern rides such as roller coasters. There are shows and food is always a constant theme. Browse the trade stalls and try the herring sandwiches, Currywurst or other food on offer. The pungent smell of roasted almonds fills the air while candyfloss and doughnuts are never far away. The fair held in November is the oldest of them all and it dates back to the 1000s and moved to its current location in 1893. On a Friday night, you can take in the fireworks display that is pretty spectacular and the best way to begin the night.

Pictures of Hamburg

Hotels In Hamburg

Choose your ideal hotel or apartment in Hamburg. Select based upon your location, exclusivity or budget and start planning your perfect city break now.