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Best attractions in Hamburg: Top 30

Hamburg is the most populated non-metropolitan city in Europe and is famous for its countless canals and enormous parks. After visiting the monuments of the free city of Hamburg, the question of what to see in Germany disappears by itself.

What is the first thing to see in Hamburg?

Among the many German cities, Hamburg stands out not only for the outstanding majesty of the Elbe River, but also for its status as the largest port city in Europe. The historic sights of the city vividly reflect the grandeur of the Renaissance.

1. Hamburg Kunsthalle

Hamburg Kunsthalle - art museum in Hamburg Fred Romero

The most visited Kunsthalle, which means “Exhibition Hall” in German, attracts an immense collection of masterpieces from past eras. Germany’s best sights have undoubtedly found their place here. The three buildings, built at different times in history, amaze visitors with their sheer size from afar. For example, the Engraving Room alone contains a treasure of 100,000 sheets. The museum’s collection is made up of artifacts from the 19th century, but there are separate halls that are devoted to Modernism.

Official website:

2. Hamburg City Hall

Hamburg City Hall in the old city of Hamburg Wilhelm Joys Andersen

The sights of Hamburg, whose status is well deserved (the city is called the “Heart of Northern Germany”), are concentrated in the central part of the city. The city hall, and Hamburg’s main historical monument, is an elegant building with a legendary clock tower at the head. Thanks to the peculiar sky color of its roof, the Hamburg city hall attracts a lot of visitors.

3. Miniature Wonderland

Miniatur Wunderland (MiWuLa) in Hamburg

In a heated discussion whose topic is “where to go in Hamburg,” the Miniatur Wunderland takes undoubted precedence. The museum, whose distinctive feature is its status as the largest model railroad exhibition center in the world, will provide the tourist with childlike impressions and emotionality. The Wonderland collection features a huge number of models: trains, cars, architectural structures, railroad elements, and much more. The history of this outstanding Hamburg landmark is quite ordinary. The talented designers and engineers of the Braun brothers created a real work of art, the fascinating sight of which annually fascinates millions of tourists.

4. Hamburg harbour

Port in the city of Hamburg in Germany

A strategically important center, Germany’s “Gateway to the World,” and a developed port station are the characteristics and reviews of Germany’s most popular destination, the Port of Hamburg. Historically, it was the port of Hamburg that took priority during the development of the German state. For example, the number of bridges in the city surpasses that of Venice. Interesting places in Hamburg are somehow connected with the majestic Elbe. In terms of production capacity of the port, it annually receives hundreds of thousands of merchant ships and tourist liners traveling around the world. The river gate, which combines more than 300 berths, occupies one tenth of the city. The port district of Hamburg, in turn, is divided into several quarters.

5. International Maritime Museum

International Maritime Museum in Hamburg Fred Romero

The main attractions of Hamburg are briefly described as outstanding monuments of past centuries. The International Maritime Museum in Hamburg is truly the most valuable building in all of Germany. The museum was opened in the presence of the president of the country in 2008. It is noteworthy that such an outstanding building is located in the structure, which was formerly used as a port warehouse. Surprisingly, the museum complex is divided into decks, each of which shows the guests the historical stages of the development of world shipbuilding, navigation technology, the secrets of marine life and much more. It is well deserved that the rating of the museum is particularly high among visitors to the city.

Take a look at the magnificent views of Hamburg in this beautiful video!

6. Hamburg History Museum

The Hamburg History Museum in Germany Martin aka Maha

Excursions in Hamburg, who undoubtedly go through the city’s main museum, very often forget the outstanding importance of this place. The museum, which vividly demonstrates the course of Hamburg’s historical development, is filled with exhibits whose rarity can rival the elements of an exhibition in the oldest museum in Europe. German sights very rarely have their own, exciting history, however, the museum in Hamburg is not concerned with this. For example, the life of the great pirate Klaus Stertebeker was cut short in these parts. The skull of the famous historical character is still in the museum. It is said that when the pirate was about to be executed, he appealed to the mayor of the town. The gist of the request was that if the headless pirate passed by several pirate prisoners, they would be released. However, the haughty lord of the city did not keep his promise, and Stertebeker could have saved 11 men.

7. St. Nicholas Church

St. Nicholas Church in Hamburg Staro1

St. Nicholas Church is something that is definitely worth seeing in Hamburg in 1 day. The church, whose peak rises high into the sky, is built in the most beautiful architectural style - neo-Gothic. Unfortunately World War II irreversibly destroyed the structure. Today the church of St. Nicholas is primarily a memorial to the victims of the destructive war of the 20th century. In 2005, an elevator was launched, which can be used to ascend high up under the bell of the structure, offering a picturesque panorama of Germany’s greatest city.

Official website:

8. Submarine Museum B-515

Soviet submarine B-515 (U-434) is a museum ship Florian Adler

Hamburg Guides advise checking out this very interesting city site. A Soviet submarine is a must-see in Hamburg. The domestically made diesel-electric submarine will no doubt be of interest not only to connoisseurs of history and military affairs, but also to ordinary visitors to the city. Review of this place is not worth watching or reading, the museum is better to see with your own eyes and be convinced of the former and present greatness of domestic science.

9. Sailboat Rickmers

Sailboat Museum Rickmer Rickmers in Hamburg

A successful trip to Germany is considered a success if the sailing ship in Hamburg is not overlooked. Sailboat is the brightest indicator of a bygone era in seafaring. Built in the late 19th century, the ship was intended for commercial and trading purposes.

10. Heide Park Amusement Park

A roller coaster in Heide Park in Soltau

When asked what to see in Hamburg with children, there is an unambiguous and straightforward answer - Heide Park. Over 850,000 square meters and half a hundred modern, mind-blowing rides. Several million visitors each year get a huge dose of joy and genuine fun here.

Official website:

Hamburg sights: What else is there to see in Hamburg?

Hamburg sights photos with names and descriptions have not yet come to an end. Recommended to visit also:

11. Eckholt Wildlife Park

Wildpark Eekholt U.Sonnenberg

Zoological heritage of the city, unique animal species are represented in Eekholt Park. Predators and herbivores, insects and dangerous giant animals are something worth visiting the attraction for.

12. The Old Elbe Tunnel

The Old Tunnel under the Elbe in Hamburg Thomas Wolf

An outstanding engineering masterpiece from the early 20th century will amaze tourists with its scale and interior volume. The tunnel under the legendary Elbe is an unforgettable experience.

13. Wax Museum Panopticum

Wax Museum Mark Michaelis

As you know, the flexibility and uniqueness of wax is used quite extensively in art. The Hamburg Wax Museum will allow you to admire the “living” sculptures of prominent people of today.

Official website:

14. CHOCOVERSUM - chocolate museum

One of the stages of "brown gold" production at the CHOCOVERSUM Museum in Hamburg An-d
The store at the CHOCOVERSUM museum with a wide range of Hachez chocolates Armineaghayan

CHOCOVERSUM is a place where the refined taste of sweets is harmoniously combined with the historical secrets of chocolate. By the way, tasting varieties of chocolate in the museum is allowed.

Official website:

15. Plantin un Blomen

The Planten un Blomen Botanical Garden in Hamburg Wolfgang Feld

A visit to a public park will help to break up the tension and rhythm of the city streets. Since the entrance to the park is free, the guests of the Northern Capital can enjoy the fresh and invigorating air of the park zone.

16. The Elbe Philharmonic

The building of the Elbphilharmonie (Elbphilharmonie) in Hamburg

The jewel in the crown of Hamburg’s architecture is the Elbphilharmonie, simultaneously a concert hall. The structure was built on an island and has a revealing, fascinating architectural appearance.

Official website:

17. Bergedorf Castle

Bergedorf Castle surrounded by a park on an island in the middle of the Bille River in the city of Hamburg Ajepbah

The most sensible decision when planning a trip is to study the sights of Hamburg, their photos and descriptions in ratings, reviews and articles - this will allow you to imagine each attraction in advance and understand how interesting it will be for you. What’s noteworthy about Bergedorf Castle? This is Hamburg’s only surviving castle, located in the oldest part of the city, on a small island surrounded by the waters of the River Bille. The history of the appearance of Bergedorf goes back to the 13th century and marks the era of Danish rule. The present appearance of the building was obtained over the years from 16 to 19 centuries. Miniature castle has a modest size - 30x30 meters, equipped with protective towers, and the perimeter is surrounded by a double moat with a drawbridge. Today, the castle houses a museum of the mountain village and regularly hosts classical music concerts.

18. Lake Alster

Lake Alster is a favorite and popular vacation spot of Hamburg's citizens and visitors

Undoubtedly the most interesting and colorful Hamburg is the old city, located in the very center. Its streets are a pleasure to walk through, even without a specific purpose. But undoubtedly the crown jewel of this historic district is the Alster Lake, a much beloved place for city dwellers to relax after a hard day’s work. Here people not only take walks, but also do sports and ride on the lake surface on small boats. Magnificent territory of the lake and the surrounding green park stretches for 160 hectares, and in spite of the rapid flow of time, this place for many centuries has remained untouched by civilization. The history of the lake began in the 12th century, when a tributary of the Elbe was dammed to form a body of water. To this day, the lake is surrounded by a beautiful park with paths and sculptures, lawns and fountains, and with the onset of frost there is a huge ice rink.

19. Jungfernstieg Street

Jungfernstieg Street is the best place for shopping on the southern shore of Lake Alster Tscherno

In general, the sights of Bremen and Hamburg - it is an opportunity to see Germany of past centuries, to visit the monuments of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, to wander the centuries-old cobblestone streets. It’s worth noting that not all of the ancient streets still have paving typical for those times - for example, Jungfernstieg was the first street in Germany which was covered with asphalt - it happened in 1838, and its appearance was associated with the construction of a dam on one of the tributaries of the Elbe. Tourist value of this place is impossible to overestimate - the street is framed by a contrasting variety of historical buildings and modern buildings, there are a number of cafes, restaurants and luxury stores. From the embankment Jungfernstieg unfolds magnificent views of the lake Alster, the city hall, from here also depart pleasure boats. This boulevard is also part of Hamburg’s business center and the most important transport artery of the city.

20. Rue Reeperbahn

Reperbahn Street is the center of Hamburg's nightlife in the port district of St. Pauli IK's World Trip

Each of Hamburg’s districts is interesting in its own way. Port Hamburg is worth a special visit with a guide to the St. Pauli quarter with the Reperbahn, where loud music, nightlife and the red light district are all on offer. The famous Reeperbahn is Hamburg’s nightlife center: Historically, sailors who came off the ships here in search of entertainment and bread have been known to frequent this renowned street. Since then the street became notorious as a hot spot, and to this day there is a large number of drinking places, nightclubs, sex theaters, cabarets, intimate stores, etc., there are even facilities for persons with non-traditional orientation and S&M club. But beyond that, Sinful Mile has four theaters, a wax museum, and the famous Beatles once performed on the stages of the street.

21. St Michael’s Church

St. Michael's Church or Big Michel in Hamburg

Centuries-old squares, ancient ports, themed museums, Renaissance structures - all this and more opens up visitors to historic Hamburg, the top places in which the Church of St. Michael completes. It is one of the most important structures of the city and has become its symbol. The church was originally built in 1661, but the fate of the structure was not unclouded - the end of the 18th and beginning of the 20th century were marked by devastating fires. It was not spared the echo of the Second World War, which turned the structure into ruins. Today the church has been completely restored: the Baroque facade is lined with red bricks, the entrance is crowned with a huge statue of the Archangel Michael, the bell tower has Germany’s largest clock and an observation platform. The interior decoration is famous for its large marble altar, biblical paintings and bas-reliefs. The church hosts services and performances by church orchestras.

Official website:

22. Hamburg Opera House

The modern building of the Hamburg Opera House Fred Romero

The oldest theater in Hamburg is the state opera house, founded back in the middle of the 17th century. From its earliest days, the main idea of the theater was public accessibility - Hamburg Opera has never had the status of a court theater and was not dependent on the preferences of the elite. Most productions in those years had religious themes, which were later expanded to include themes of history and mythology. Until the middle of the 18th century the theater was housed in a small wooden building, and only after it had been finally destroyed did the troupe move to the new building, the opening of which was marked by a production of Goethe’s “Egmont”. After another reconstruction in 1955 the building was given a modern face, its facade lost its former pomp and it was decorated in a minimalist style. Today the opera house Hamburg is a modern international theater with a repertoire of internationally renowned actors.

Official website:

23. The Museum of Arts and Crafts

Exhibition at the Museum of Fine, Applied and Decorative Arts in Hamburg --Nightflyer (talk)

Anyone wishing to see European life in past eras can visit the Hamburg Museum of Arts and Crafts. Today it is home to one of the most important thematic collections in Germany, showing human creativity and its expression in articles of daily use, examples of craftsmanship and works of art - half a million objects are on display in the halls. The time frame to which the exhibits belong is almost limitless - antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Modern and the Modern era are all touched upon here. There are entire galleries devoted to architectural styles such as Art Deco, Bauhaus and Expressionism. Of particular interest to visitors is the collection of keyboards, collected over 5 centuries of history, as well as the porcelain department. The Christmas crafts fair and the fashion and textile collection, where the oldest samples of fabrics are found in ancient Egyptian tombs, are unfailingly popular.

Official website:

24. Hamburg Dungeon

Museum of horrors in the gloomy dungeons of the old Hanseatic warehouse in Speicherstadt Mister No

Hamburg is the city of rivers, canals and bridges, the second Venice, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. How many names this megalopolis has, so many guises that are revealed to inquisitive visitors. One of them embodies all the horrors of medieval Hamburg, which, fortunately, today are the events of bygone days. This is how the city is represented in the Hamburg Dungeon, a museum that reflects the darkest and most unpleasant side of history. It’s a real attraction, set in the darkest dungeons of the Hanseatic warehouse, with its ominous characters, ghosts, executioners, terrifying scenes and exhibits. Visitors have a dozen and a half chambers, each of which is used to depict a particular theme: torture, horror of cholera and plague, sufferings of the mentally ill, misfortunes caused by fires, floods and other tragic events in Hamburg’s history.

Official website:

25. Planetarium

Planetarium in the center of the City Park of the German city of Hamburg FrankBothe

Hamburg has a unique combination of port charm, a dynamic atmosphere and a wealth of cultures. Of course, here you can find its own interesting places that do not fit into the typical scenario of the tour program. For example, in the heart of the City Park is one of the oldest planetariums in the world. It was established in 1930 in a high 60-meter building of a former water tower, and just a few years ago it was completely renovated, and now the tour takes place in a huge hall with the highest vault, which unfolds truly fantastic light and sound shows. One of them is called “Deeper than the Universe,” a breathtaking journey back billions of years, where viewers live the birth of the universe and the events of the Big Bang. Other visualizations include the sensation of flying in outer space, discovering the planets and stars of the autumn sky, and seeing the beautiful city panorama from the 40-meter observation deck of the Planetarium.

Official website:

26. Chilihouse

An 11-story early 20th century goods warehouse building in Hamburg's old quarter J.-H. Janßen

One building in Hamburg stands out as a bright spot against the usual urban layout: the Chili House, an unusual red-brick building just 700 meters from the Hamburg City Hall. In appearance, the Chili House resembles a sea liner, and that’s no coincidence. The house was built in 1922, commissioned by Henry Sloman, owner of a shipbuilding company. Given the tastes and occupation of the customer, architect Heger decided to erect a building in the shape of a huge ship. And the name Chili House was given as a tribute to the times when the shipowner worked in South America. The unique 11-storey building in the style of Northern German Expressionism has an elongated body, which seems to be squeezed from the sides and is crowned with a sharp, soaring “prow”, similar to the prow of a ship. The upper floors have the appearance of ship decks, the balustrades have a curved shape reminiscent of sea waves.

Official website:

27. Barn town or “Speicherstadt”

The structures of red brick storage and administrative buildings in the port district of Hamburg

In the city port, not far from the historic center of Hamburg, it is recommended to visit the largest warehouse complex in the world called Barn City. The original architectural ensemble of its buildings, which have long been the hallmark of Hamburg. It’s hard to imagine that behind these beautiful facades are warehouses where coffee, tea, spices, tobacco, Persian carpets and much more are stored. It is not only these structures that are attractive, but also the many bridges that connect the warehouse city to the central district of the city. In general, it is a place with a special atmosphere, which creates the brick architecture of the “Northern Venice” with Gothic elements - the characteristic towers, bay windows, gables, on the narrow canals constantly ply laden ships. The history of the beginnings of the Barn City goes back to the 16th century, when Dutch merchants began to settle here, and at the end of the 19th century a customs zone was opened.

28. Hagenbeck Zoo

The former main entrance to Hagenbeck Zoo in the German city of Hamburg An-d

To choose where to go to dilute a history-filled tour of Hamburg, Hagenbeck Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in Europe, opened in the early 20th century and named after its founder, is worth checking out. Today Hagenbeck stretches over an area of 25 hectares, which is inhabited by 2 hundred species of fauna from different parts of the world. Here you can see lions, elephants, tigers, pink flamingos, turtles, and this is just a small part of the inhabitants. The Tropical Aquarium with the most amazing creatures, from tropical insects to huge crocodiles, is a must-see. The contact area is a favorite place for little visitors: rabbits, goats and sheep can be stroked and fed by hand. The real pride of the zoo is its landscapes, decorated in the Chinese style: everywhere there is an imitation of mountains, meadows, lakes, there are beautiful Chinese bridges, pavilions, statues and even a small Chinese restaurant.

29. Fish Market

The Fish Market building on the banks of the Elbe River in Hamburg
Inside the Hamburg Fish Market on an early Sunday morning Bruce Harlick

The charming landscapes with beautiful lakes, the city quarters on the banks of the Elbe, the many channels, canals and bridges built over them - these and other features of Hamburg reflect its striking resemblance to Venice, and the abundance of water bodies allows the city to provide the freshest products from the fish market, which has existed here since the early 18th century. It’s a colorful place that’s worth a visit in Hamburg - in addition to the fish itself, there’s now a variety of fast-food fish, spices, vegetables, fruit, sweets, souvenirs and even clothes. It should be noted, however, that you should come here very early: the market opens at 5 am, by 7 am its rows are already full of people and at 10 am it closes. This work mode is a kind of tribute to the past, when the fishermen were forbidden to trade during the church service that begins at 10 am.

30. Olsdorferfriedhof Park Cemetery

Mass burial of soldiers at Olsdorferfriedhof Cemetery in the Olsdorf district of Hamburg hh oldman
Mausoleum of the von Schroeder family in Neo-Romanesque style at Olsdorferfriedhof Cemetery kaʁstn Disk/Cat

The Old Olsdorferfriedhof, founded in 1877, is the largest cemetery park in the world, which you can not only walk around, but also move around in vehicles - of course, because it covers a huge area of 390 hectares, where there are 12 chapels and more than a half million burials. Like all such places in Germany, the park has long been a walking place for citizens and visitors. The park is so vast that a special shuttle bus service runs from one end of the park to the other. In general, the Olsdorferfriedhof is not a cemetery, and picturesque forest with beautiful nature, abundant vegetation, ponds, flower beds, sculptures and tombs, located from each other at a great distance. The park cemetery even has a museum that preserves a variety of information about the burials - historical documents, maps, old elements of tombstones, etc.

Official website:

Hamburg is a universal center of culture and harmony, preserving the treasures of past centuries. The modern boutiques, restaurants and hotels in Hamburg are worth a visit. Read also about sights of Cologne and be inspired for further travels in Germany.

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