When you think of visiting Germany, Berlin is probably the first city that springs to mind. As amazing as Berlin is, the rest of Germany shouldn’t be overlooked – especially Hamburg. A major port city, Hamburg is charming with its hundreds of canals and large parklands. It’s a great place for any type of holiday – from a family vacation to a stag weekend.
10 of the best things to see in Hamburg
Planten un Blomen Park
Hamburg is a very green city and one of the best parks to explore is Planten un Blomen. Here you will find themed gardens, botanical parks and one of the biggest Japanese landscapes in Europe. In the summertime concerts are held here and it’s a great place to come for a picnic and to while away the day.
Miniatur Wunderland is a place for big and small kids alike. Built by twins Gerrit and Frederik Braun, it is the largest model railway in the world. You’ll probably enjoy this attraction as much as your children. It costs €13 for admission.
Perhaps more moving right at this moment, when there are thousands of Syrians fleeing to Europe, Hamburg’s Emigration Museum tells the story of emigration from 1850 till 1934 into Hamburg.
The collection tells hundreds of personal stories of why emigrants decided to leave their homelands and how they travelled by ship to arrive in the New World.
Located just outside of Hamburg, the Ohlsdorf Cemetery is the second largest burial ground in the world. Spreading over more than 390 acres, it has more than 280,000 burial sites and 12 chapels.
The site isn’t just used as a cemetery however, locals also come here to exercise and socialise. It has lots of ponds and abundant birdlife, making it a beautiful place to take a stroll.
The Hamburg Harbour, or the Port of Hamburg, isn’t just a busy place for commerce, but also somewhat of a tourist attraction. This is Europe’s second biggest port and you can watch loads of boats from cruise ships to container ships pass by here.
Old Elbe Tunnel
The Old Elbe Tunnel is a huge underground tunnel that runs underneath Hamburg, stretching more than 420m. It runs from the centre of the city to the shipyards on the other side of the river. When it was built in the early 1900s, it improved the lives of many commuting to work in the harbour each day.
International Maritime Museum
It’s not surprising that a city so centred on its port would have an impressive Maritime Museum. And this museum certainly is impressive. With more than 40,000 items on display, and over one million photographs, it can be easy to spend a few hours strolling around this vast exhibition.
The museum is laid out in a former warehouse and admission is €12.50.
St Michaelis’ Church
This impressive church is Hamburg’s landmark and its 132m spire dominates the skyline. Ships sailing up the river Elbe would navigate by the church’s copper covered spire, aiming for safe passage.
The first church was built on this site in 1647 but was destroyed by fire from a lighting strike in 1750. The next church was built in 1786 but this one was destroyed again by fire in 1906. The third house of worship was again destroyed, this time by World War II bombing, before the current church that stands today was built.
Kunsthalle is an impressive art museum in Hamburg that was founded in 1850. Spread over three buildings, the gallery features collections from North Germany in the 14th century, as well as paintings from Dutch, Flemish and Italian artists in later times. The gallery also has some international modern and contemporary art.
The Schanzenviertel is a district in Hamburg that was previously where the working-class lived. This population influenced the area into what it is today – a hip Hamburg scene with cheap places to eat, pubs and shopping boutiques. It has a somewhat laidback vibe and is a great place to hang out and people watch.
Hamburg is a wonderful city to explore – we hope we’ve enticed you to pack your bags and make a trip to one of Europe’s best cities!