What to do in Hamburg is a good question for a lot of tourists. To visit a completely new place is always a cool adventure. Coming to one of the top most livable cities on earth is probably even cooler. In a city like Hamburg there is so much to see. You would not believe it, if you have not been there. Unfortunately, even until today, Hamburg is not that famous within Europe and in the whole world as it should be. But it slowly starts to become one of the most important and prettiest cities in Europe.
Hamburg is definitely a surprising city. This is why I wanted to write a short travel guide on “what to do in Hamburg”. A lot of people don’t even know where to find it on the map, which is sad. People just talk about Berlin or Munich, because of the “Oktoberfest” or the “Berlin Wall”. But as said, Hamburg is growing quickly and it has a unique character to it. So, you should definitely know what to do in Hamburg when you come and visit.
What to do in Hamburg – Arrival
For many tourists finding the right accommodation is not that easy. I agree on that. But Hamburg is different. Hamburg has heaps of hotels, “Airbnb” stays and cool backpacker hostels. Back in the days Hamburg was called “Hammerburg”. It is the 2nd biggest city in Germany and it is actually quite affordable, if you compare it to London, Paris, Rom or Madrid. So, don’t worry to much about the prices. Everything – food, accommodation, transportation, etc. – can easily be compared to the US and the UK in terms of the prices and the standard. On an average it might be even a bit cheaper.
This is good, because then you can spend all your money on all the fun stuff you can visit 😉
What to do in Hamburg – Highlights
You won’t have any problems with the question on what to do in Hamburg once you have sorted out your accommodation. My home town is known for a couple things. At root it is a fisherman city with a maritime, very nordic touch. Green, modern and high standard is probably the best way to describe it.
Generally it rains a lot and the mentality of the people is a bit colder than in other regions of Germany. People from Hamburg are different than people in other parts of the country anyway. That’s for sure. But this doesn’t mean that they can’t be nice and friendly. You’ll see yourself…
Hamburg has the highest grossing harbour within Europe. This is the reason why visitng the harbour has to be the first thing on your list of what to do in Hamburg. Hamburg has a pretty impressive port. Especially, when you have a look at it from the “Landungsbrücken”. Then you will experience the full beauty. It really might be the best spot get a good impression of what Hamburg is all about and what kind of charme this city has.
Museum ships and Hamburg’s landmark
At the Landungsbrücken you find some pretty cool museum ships like the “Rickmer Rickmers”, world famous musicals like the Lion King or the stunning “Elbphilharmonie”, which might be the most impressive building in whole Germany and maybe even whole Europe right now. It’s the new landmark of the town. This massive opera house is like the one in Sydney, where all the world famous classic musicians perform. You gotta see this!
Literally right next to the impressive Elbphilharmonie you’ll find the “Speicherstadt”, which are basically old brickstone warehouses, where the “Hamburger” (that’s how we get called 🙂 ) stored all kind of goods in the past. Nowerdays it’s full of offices and you can even find a cool mini museum in there.
What to do in Hamburg – City centre and insider tips
When you come to Hamburg you should definitely consider to have a look at the city centre and put it on your list of what to do in Hamburg. Hamburg’s city centre has countless shopping centers/ arcades, the town hall of Hamburg, which is really impressive, and the inner and outer Alster. All of that is really, really pretty to look at. Honestly, check it all out.
Additionally go on an Alster boat trip and enjoy the impressive architecture/ scenery of the area. Hamburg has a really interesting way the houses and the city itself are build.
St. Pauli and Altona
Every tour guide would bring you to the following big attraction – “St. Pauli”. The “Kiez”, that’s how it is called, is very famous all over Germany and even the world. It belongs to Hamburg like Pasta belongs to Italy. What only a few people know is, that the “Beattles” started their great career at St Pauli. Basically the Kiez is a party area/ street with an insanly unique style to it. It’s hard to explain. You just got to see it yourself. The red light district of Amsterdam is pretty much the same, if you would need a comparison.
An insider tip for travelers from my point of view would be the suburb “Altona” or the “Hamburger Schanze”, which are both more urban/ hipster areas with many red brickstone houses.
Additionally you’ll find heaps of nice restaurants, bars and much more there. The districts are full of students, which makes them really vibrant places to stay at.
What to do in Hamburg – Food on first visit
Regarding the question of what to do in Hamburg, you can not forget to eat a typical “Fischbrötchen” (bread with fresh fish). Mostly, you will find it at the harbour. Try out “Döner”. That’s how we call our kebab. Germans claim to have the best one in the whole world!
Furthermore don’t forget the typical “Hamburger Franzbrötchen”, which is a hot and sweet cinnamon bread. It tasts amazing you are only able to get it in Hamburg.
I don’t give any budget tips at all, because the prices are quite standardised everywhere you go. So, it would not make any sense to give you any ?
Hamburg has definitely way more to offer for tourists and backpackers, but for a first visit this is already quite a lot to cover. All the above will make sure you get a proper glimpse from the pearl of the north 😉
Want to know more about Hamburg? Read here