Top 10 Things to Do in Hamburg

Hamburg ElbphilharmonieHamburg is the second largest city of Germany. This modern city has a long history of trade and contact with Northern Europe.

Hamburg was a key part of the famous Hanseatic League, which during the Middle Ages controlled much of the trade in Northern Europe.

Hamburg’s fortune thrived with its ships carrying valuable cargo to every port of the northern shores of Europe. Today Hamburg’s port is the second largest in Europe and its fortune has allowed the development of a modern and dynamic city.

Hamburg possesses a vibrant cultural life with renowned music companies and orchestras, theatres and famous festivals like the Hamburger Dom beer festival. With so many attractions to choose, we surveyed visitors to tell you what are Top 10 things to do in Hamburg.

Our Top 10 things to do in Hamburg list includes some of the most interesting landmarks that you should not miss out when in Hamburg. To make orientation more convenient for you we put together all sights on one single map. Enjoy!

1. Alter Elbtunnel

Alter Elbtunnel HamburgBuilt in the beginning of the 20th-century to help the shipyard workers to cross the Elbe river, the Alter Elbtunnel is an interesting place to visit for those who are interested in history and the wonders of engineering.

Pedestrians can walk through it for free, entering the tunnel through the staircases. The cars have to use special elevators to enter and exit the tunnel. Alter Elbtunnel is an interesting sight, and an important piece of the port’s history.

2. Elbphilharmonie

Hamburg ElbphilharmonieBelieve it or not, this impressive building has been very controversial in the past. The costs exploded and it seemed like it would never be finished and opened.

But once the Elbphilharmonie was opened the Hamburgers fell in love with it straight away. And everyone who likes architecture will agree that the Elbphilharmonie is an impressive building that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

Wether or not you need to line up and pay money to get access to the building itself is difficult to answer. For me the more impressive sight is from anywhere around the city and discovering this building from different angles, but that is a personal opinion.

3. Miniature Wunderland

Hamburg Miniatur WunderlandIf you ever wanted to look at Europe in one trip this is an opportunity you can’t miss.

Miniature Wunderland is a train modeling attraction that reconstructs the railway system of Europe in a tiny scale.

Travel from Hamburg to Switzerland, to Italy, and America in a matter of minutes with this fascinating exhibition, modeled with such care for details you will feel like a giant Gulliver in the country of Lilliput.

It is easy to spend hours looking for the eccentricities that hide waiting for a watchful eye to spot them.

4. St. Michaelis Kirche

Hamburg MichelThis remarkable church is a sight to marvel in itself. Built in a beautiful Baroque style at the end of the XVII Century, it was one of the first churches in the city designed and constructed to be a Lutheran church.

The massive clock it’s the largest of its type in Germany. The tower has an excellent view of the city and its port and can be reached through stairs or through an elevator built for those who can’t walk the almost 500 steps to the top.

If you wonder that no Hamburger seems to recognise the name St. Michaelis Kirche, maybe better try calling this church simply “Michel”.

5. Rote Flora

This former theatre, built in 1888 for the performance of concerts and operettas, has become a cultural centre for the political left since they first occupied it in 1989, and has developed a rich life of its own.

The Rote Flora organizes flea markets, parties and concerts with artists from all over the world playing a variety of alternative music, from punk to reggae and ska. It also hosts political events and art exhibitions.

6. Schanzenpark

This beautiful park is the perfect choice for you to spend a day enjoying an oasis of nature and peace among a city that never sleeps.

The park, sitting on a hill, is a favorite among the locals for jogging and taking some time off to relax and enjoy the scenery.

The big tower that you can see already from far away is called Schanzenturm and stands at around 60m high.

7. Spielbank Hamburg

Spielbank is the place to go if you’re feeling lucky and want to gamble. The place is unlike any casino you would see in Las Vegas.

It has an elegance that reminds you of those old James Bond movies. Spend a memorable night in one of their casinos.

We can recommend the Casino Esplanade just because of the building and the feeling you get once you enter this place. Absolutely magic.

But be careful to set yourself a strict limit, otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy some of the other things on our Top 10 list here 🙂

8. Hamburg Rathaus

Hamburg’s city hall is a wonderful sight to see inside out. The building is a perfect representation for the city’s wealth and importance.

Built in 1897, in a neo-renaissance style, the Rathaus is an impressive monument to Hamburg’s pride and confidence.

9. Planten Un Blomen Botanical Garden

Located in the center of the city, Hamburg’s botanical garden is the perfect spot to relax and spend a quiet afternoon watching its enormous variety of plants and flowers.

The park is well designed and integrates nature, with gardens of different kinds, with man made sculptures, a conservatory and food venues. It is great place to spend a day with the family with many beautiful sights to see.

10. Außenalster Lake

The Außenalster is a large artificial lake formed by the Alster river. The Außenalster is a popular destination for water sports enthusiast in the city, and is a great place to practice sailing and rowing.

The trails surrounding the lake are full with trees and the buildings are beautifully designed. It is a good place for walking, with good sights and restaurants nearby to eat while enjoying the beautiful view.

Top 10 things to Eat in Hamburg

Once you have seen all attractions from our Top 10 things to do in Hamburg list it may be time to grab something to eat and to recharge your batteries. Make sure to try some of our Top 10 things to eat in Hamburg tips.