Best Things To Do In Hamburg, Germany | Sightseeing & More

Hamburg is a major port city in Germany that is connected to the North Sea by the Elbe River. It is Germany’s second-largest city and the seventh-largest city in the European Union.

Hamburg is the birthplace of both the composer Richard Wagner, and the industrial revolution. The city is also home to the oldest synagogue in Europe.

Formerly a settlement to convert the Saxons to Christianity in the 8th century, Hamburg became the most important trading center in Europe and Germany’s portal to the world.

Hamburg is a city of culture and history. It’s the home of the Bären Theatre and the Hamburger Schauspielhaus, as well as the. Hamburger Kunsthalle, a major national museum.

In fact, Hamburg has grown to become an ideal location for those looking to immerse themselves in Europe’s cultural history. There are many ways to explore this fascinating city.


What To Do In Hamburg

With so much to do in Hamburg, the question is, where to begin? You have the option of going on a cultural experience, a culinary adventure, or a visit to one of the city’s many museums. In fact, there are so many interesting things to do in Hamburg that you may want to plan an itinerary of all the city’s attractions.

While Germany has tours and trips of all kinds available throughout the country, Hamburg has a distinct appeal that makes its landmarks and activities a must-see during your visit. So, here’s a list of the top things to do in the city.


Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall

Hamburg is home to the world-renowned Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall. A stunning architectural marvel, it’s often compared to the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

This building, which stands at the tip of the Grasbrook peninsula, has become a major landmark for the city.  It is regarded as one of the world’s largest and most acoustically pleasing concert halls.


Port of Hamburg

The Port of Hamburg, also known as “HafenCity”, stretches across 100 square kilometers of the tidal harbor and is known as the Gateway to Germany. It’s also where you’ll find many of the city’s most-visited tourist attractions. On warm summer evenings and weekends, it’s full of local residents relaxing.


St. Michael’s Church

Some of Hamburg’s attractions date back centuries. This means that the city is renowned for its cultural and historical significance, with buildings that are beautiful despite their archaic designs.

St. Michael’s church is one of the most iconic churches in the city. It is also among many tourist attractions in Hamburg, Germany. It was built in the Baroque style three different times between 1647 and 1912 and is one of the city’s most important landmarks.

Visiting the 132-meter-high tower is one of the top things to do when visiting Hamburg. The tower’s viewing platforms provide excellent panoramic views of the city and port, which are especially enjoyable during their regular extended evening hours.


Museums & Art

Hamburg also boasts an impressive art and culture scene. It is home to some of the world’s most prestigious art collections.

The International Maritime Museum is a fantastic place to learn more about Hamburg’s rich maritime history and everything related to the sea. The museum’s fascinating exhibits cover more than 3,000 years of human connection to water and are housed in the city’s oldest warehouse. The oldest artifact on display is a dugout boat recovered from the Elbe, which was hollowed out of a tree trunk thousands of years ago.

The Museum of Art and Design Hamburg is one of Germany’s most comprehensive displays of German, European, and Asian art.  It is known for its displays of northern German furniture, and silver.

It also hosts applied art from East Asia and a collection of works by Oskar Kokoschka. The museum was founded in 1874 and is modeled after London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. A large collection of keyboard instruments, as well as a beautiful display of porcelain, are also worth seeing.


Ohlsdorf Cemetery

Another popular tourist attraction in Hamburg is the Ohlsdorf Cemetery. This is the world’s largest rural cemetery where more than 1.5 million burials have taken place in the 280,000 burial sites available. The Hamburg Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery is also located here. More than 400 allied prisoners of war, as well as many who died in battles on German soil, are buried there.


Activities In Hamburg

Here is a round-up of some activities and what to see in Hamburg.


Go On a 2-Hour Harbor Day Cruise

A day cruise is among the most fun things to do in Hamburg. Sightseeing in Hamburg can be done as you float along the banks of the River Elbe.

From a unique vantage point, see Hamburg’s harbor attractions. You’ll float past impressive container ships and explore the historic Speicherstadt District on this cruise.

The cruise includes a stop at the iconic Elbphilharmonie and live commentary from a local guide.

Price: 24 Euro (27 USD)

Explore The City On a Haunted Walking Tour

On this Hamburg walking tour in the footsteps of the city’s ghosts, you’ll get to experience the eerie atmosphere of the city at night. Leave the wild party atmosphere of St. Pauli and the Reeperbahn behind and discover what happens after dark.

As you visit eerie locations and haunted sites, be prepared to be spooked by witches and demons. As you walk from St. Catherine’s Church to the mystical Speicherstadt, get a sense of the city’s evil atmosphere while being protected by St. Catherine.

Price: 22 Euro (25 USD)


Take A Stroll Along the Old Elbe Tunnel

The Old Elbe Tunnel is also known as the Alter Elbtunnel by locals. It is a pedestrian, bike, and motorist tunnel which travels underneath the River Elbe. It connects central Hamburg to the southern side of the River Elbe.

The Old Elbe Tunnel was built in 1911 to serve port and shipyard workers as a connecting route between the Landungsbrücken and Steinwerder piers. When the “new” Elbe tunnel opened in the 1970s, it became a tourist attraction. For several years, it has been undergoing renovations to maintain its striking beauty.


Go On A Harbour Cruise with Wine and Cheese

Since Hamburg is a port city, why not enjoy the water on this relaxing wine and cheese cruise.

Sit back and take in the beautiful Hamburg while relaxing aboard the comfortable ship for the perfect romantic sunset experience.  During your cruise, you’ll get to enjoy delicious white or red wine and a variety of locally sourced cheese.

Cruise through Hamburg Harbor as your live tour guide points out picturesque monuments and teaches you about the history of this city. Learn all about the port facilities, shipyards, docks, and cruise ships.

Along the cruise, you’ll float past St. Michael’s Church, the Elbphilharmonie, and parts of the historical Speicherstadt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Price: 34 Euro (39 USD)


Visit The Hamburger Kunsthalle Art Museum

The Hamburger Kunsthalle boasts an extensive collection of paintings and sculptures. It is a must-see in Hamburg.

The permanent collection on display features art from eight centuries. Some of the artworks date back to the Middle Ages.

In the modern and contemporary sections, artists like Andy Warhol and Max Beckmann are represented. In the older sections, you’ll find works by Rembrandt and Anthony van Dyck, as well as a noted collection of works by German Romantic painters.


Go On A Neighbourhood Tour of St. Pauli

Discover Hamburg’s famous district on this tour of St. Pauli. The district is an iconic point of interest in Hamburg. It’s one-of-a-kind and special, and you simply must see it for yourself. From luxury apartments to Hamburg’s most affordable hotel, you’ll find it all here.

FC St. Pauli is a well-known sports club with a well-known stadium in the area.

The Davidwache, Europe’s tiniest police station, is another interesting thing to see in Hamburg during this tour.

Price: 22 Euro  25 USD)


Final Thoughts on Things To Do In Hamburg

Hamburg is a culturally rich city that offers plenty for the eager traveler. It’s a great place to live and an even better place to visit. With so many things to see in Hamburg, it’s no surprise that so many people choose it as a vacation destination.

There is an endless list of places to discover in the port city. It offers an activity for everyone, so there’s definitely no need to stay cooped up in your hotel room when you visit Hamburg.

If you plan on traveling to other major cities in Germany after your stay, check out some of the best things to do in Berlin.




Last updated on October 13th, 2023 at 03:01 pm

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