5 Things To Do in Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg’s port is so large that the entire area of the city of Cologne would easily fit into it, just to give you an idea of the scale. The success of Hamburg itself as a city is so intrinsically linked to its success as a trading hub, sending and receiving goods to and from all corners of the world, that the city became known as the Gateway to the World. As well as being the Gateway to the World, Germany’s second city is definitely worth a visit itself.

Nearly completely destroyed in World War II, Hamburg offers a mismatch of different styles of architecture that sets the city aside from others in the country. Cheap Ryanair flights and the renowned nightlife of Hamburg have also made it a stag favourite, whilst its position between Amsterdam, Denmark and Poland has made it a popular interrailing stop.

So what are five things that you just have to do in Hamburg?

Walk Museum Mile


Hamburg’s famous Museum Mile is comprised of three separate galleries. The Kunsthalle is home to one of Europe’s largest art collections, and bookends Museum Mile alongside the Deichtorhallen. The Deichtorhallen focuses on contemporary art and photography. You can also visit the Bucerius Art Forum, the Museum of Arts and Crafts as well as the Art Association in Hamburg. You can visit all five for 36 euros, or 28.50 with the Hamburg Card.                                                                                            

Visit the Miniatur Wunderland

The Miniatur Wunderland – or Miniature Wonderland for the sake of my spell check – is the world’s largest model railway. Housed inside one of Hamburg’s old warehouses in the Speicherstadt district, the Miniature Wonderland consists of 16,000 meters of track. Included is a model version of Hamburg, as well as various other European cities. The entry fee is 15 euros.

Even if this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, give it a go and you’ll have a pretty great time. 

Go on a boat tour

Aside from being a port city, walking around Hamburg feels a lot like walking around Manchester in the UK. The main difference being the Elbe is quite dissimilar to the Manchester Ship Canal. There are various different boat tours that you can do in Hamburg.

One of the most popular ones is to take a boat tour of the harbour, which is especially popular in the evening.

Check out the Elbphilharmonie

Philharmonie Hamburg

I personally can’t tell whether the Elbphilharmonie looks really good or if it looks really ridiculous. I think Hamburg is just the kind of city that can get away with what is essentially an ultra-modern structure placed on top of a 20th-century warehouse.

The Elbphilharmonie – or the Elbe Philharmonic Hall – was first opened in 2017 at a cost of 866 million euros. You can enjoy the architecture from outside of the building, or from inside as part of a show or a guided tour. Guided tours start from around 30 euros. 

 Hit the Reeperbahn

The Reeperbahn is one of the largest red-light districts in the world, coming in at 930 meters in length. Hamburg has an amazing nightlife, largely because of the Reeperbahn, which is really safe to visit and I noticed a high police presence when I was there.

If you’re going to hit the Reeperbahn, make sure to stop at Zwick St. Pauli, Lehmitz, and 3Freunde.

Hamburg definitely has a different vibe to other major German cities and is worth a visit. You can get a budget hotel such as the Ibis Budget for 40 euros a night off-peak, though the city probably doesn’t have too much going on to sustain you for more than a couple of days. That is unless you spend the second day hungover after the Reeperbahn of course.


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