Discover the best sights of Hamburg
From sightseeing and shopping to its magnificent museums and churches, there is something for everyone in the bustling port of Hamburg
Must-see sights in Hamburg
Germany’s second largest city is home to the country’s busiest port. It is this long standing maritime tradition that gives the city its distinctive and cosmopolitan character. From the ships and barges that ply its inland waterways to the unique architecture of HafenCity, Hamburg is a city steeped in maritime tradition.
Most of the major sights in Hamburg can be found within or on the periphery of the former walls of the city. The older part of town is called Altstadt, the history of which can be traced as far back as Saxon times. The new town, Neustadt, was formed some 300 years later.
The city has a good transportation network including four U-bahn and six S-bahn lines. Buses connect these two types of transportation making it easy to visit the most popular attractions in the city. Each station has a Hamburg map which you can consult to orient yourself and find easy connections.
A Hamburg Card will give you unlimited access to public transportation as well as discounts on city and harbour tours as well as select museums and other attractions. Visitors can obtain the card at hotels, tourist and public transportation offices. A tour of Hamburg on one day can be easily arranged by a local travel company or the hotel for visitors who are pressed for time. Car rental companies are present as well in different areas of the city. Another option is to explore the sights of Hamburg by bicycle. This is a great way to get around the city in addition to getting exercise and reducing your carbon footprint.
The major attractions in Hamburg
The legendary Fish Market of Hamburg should not be missed for it is in this 100 year auction hall that almost everything is traded from groceries to household goods. It is definitely worth a visit even if it means you have to wake up early in the morning to join the crowd.
HafenCity is Europe’s largest urban regeneration project. Old warehouses are being gradualy replaced by offices, shops, hotels and housing.
St. Michael’s Church is a 17th century baroque church located in the Neustadt and is one of the city’s most important landmarks. The church tower has an observation platform with magnificent views of the city and the Elbe River. Enjoy a sound and slide show about Hamburg’s history and visit the burial place of the great composer, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach.
Located to the west of Neustadt, the Landungsbrücken is a long pier connected by a series of bridges. The pier offers a stunning view of the river and serves as a docking station for boats that offer tours of the harbour. Explore the nooks and crannies of the waterways including a trip to the Speicherstadt, the historic warehouse district, and marvel at the 150 year old brick houses that are part of this unique area. It is now one of the most vibrant districts in Hamburg featuring restaurants, shops, cafes and museums. The famed Hamburg Dungeon can also be found here.
Amongst the many sights in Hamburg, the Reeperbahn is an infamous street in the St. Pauli district which is home to the city’s notorious red light districts as well as a multitude of bars, theatres, restaurants and nightclubs.
Hamburg’s town hall is a neo Renaissance structure which was built in 1897. When parliament is not in session, you can visit some of the 600 rooms as well as the council chamber.
Another interesting attraction that you should not miss when visiting Hamburg is the Airbus factory tour. At the Airbus Finkenwerder you can see how the Airbus A320 and A380 are assembled.
Seven streets meet at the Gänsemarkt which is a triangular square in the centre of Hamburg. During the Middle Ages, it served as a traffic junction. Today, it is home to a major shopping area as well as neo-classical buildings and a statue of the German writer Gotthold Ephraim Lessing by Fritz Schaper. The traditional and popular Christmas market can be found at this location every winter.
Founded in 1893, the state owned Thalia theatre produces important plays as well as experimental productions and, along with the Kunsthalle and the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, is at the heart of Hamburg's cultural life.
Where to stay in Hamburg See all hotels in Hamburg
The NH Collection Hamburg City hotel, completely refurbished in 2016, is located directly in the Heiligengeistfeld, opposite the Hamburger Dom and 300m from the stadium of the famous football club St. Pauli’s Millerntor. It's only a 500m walk from the Messehallen convention center, and Reeperbahn, Hamburg’s entertainment district, is on the doo
The 4 star NH Hamburg Mitte hotel, formerly known as NH Hamburg Norge, is currently under renovation until the end of February 2017. This complete renovation will offer brand new rooms and publica areas making it an even better choice for both tourists and business travelers. It’s located in the Eimsbüttel district and next door to hip Schanzenviertel. The Congress and exhibition center is a short bus ride or a 10 minute walk awat. Not only that, you can easily walk or travel on the U-Bahn into the center to see Hamburg’s sights. For music fans it's an ideal starting point, with the Jungfernstieg or the Mönckebergstrasse inviting you to linger that little bit longer.
The NH Hamburg Horner Rennbahn hotel, formerly know as NH Hamburg Horn, is right next to the Derby Racecourse, with sweeping views across the horse-racing track. For city-center sights like St Michel Church and Speicherstadt – the stunning warehouse district – it’s an easy trip by public transport.
Exciting Hamburg entertainment for families
The lively city of Hamburg is a delightful holiday destination for families with children. For guaranteed thrills take your little ones to the scary Hamburg Dungeon or give them the experience of a lifetime at the Hamburg Dom summer carnival
Trips in and around the city of Hamburg
You can arrange day trips from Hamburg to unique and exceptional destinations that last anywhere from 4 to 14 hours. Learn the best routes to reach these places and the ideal means of transportation including boats, taxis, buses or trains
Experience Hip and Happening Nightlife in Hamburg
For those who want to experience nightlife in Hamburg, a variety of options await. From the hip and happening Schanzeviertel to classic night life haunt St. Pauli, whether you're a bar-hopper or a dedicated club kid, the city after dark won't disappoint
Visit Hamburg's popular trade fairs
The International Trade Fair in Hamburg attracts visitors from all over the world. Whether you are an industry expert, an enthusiastic hobbyist or just keen to learn something new, there is literally something for everyone
Savour the sights of the infamous Reeperbahn
Get a glimpse of the maritime history of Hamburg when you partake in the pulsating nightlife of the Reeperbahn. Watch a stimulating show, dance the night away, check out bars or sample the many restaurants in the area
Hamburg: Germany's famous football city
Watch a Hamburg Bundesliga game and lose your voice as you cheer on St Pauli. Discover the city’s two historic stadiums as you explore the fascinating football history of Hamburg, Germany’s first footballing city