Uncover the best sights and attractions in Hamburg. As well as its famous port, this metropolitan city has plenty of impressive architecture and intriguing museums for you to explore. Check out our recommendations and embark on a voyage of discovery!
Attractions in Hamburg
Port of Hamburg
Some 9,000 ships dock in Hamburg each year, making it Germany’s largest seaport. The floating dock on the harbour’s northern edge is particularly impressive. From here, you can get an amazing view of the port and marvel at the immense cruise and container ships. A port tour is a must for any trip to Hamburg.
The Elbphilharmonie, located in the HafenCity quarter, took 10 years to build. This spectacular concert hall first opened its doors in January 2017, and is an architectural masterpiece that you simply have to see. Concerts are held in the evenings, and during the day you can take guided tours of this incredible building.
Hamburg’s warehouse district the Speicherstadt is definitely worth a visit. The historic brick buildings by the port are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the perfect place for a stroll. The modern structures in the adjacent HafenCity district provide a striking contrast, so make sure to visit both to take in the incredible architecture of these two very different worlds.
St Michael's church
The Evangelical St Michael’s Church, known locally as ”Michel”, can be seen for miles around thanks to its 132 metre-tall tower. Its striking architecture makes it one of Hamburg’s finest buildings, while its prominent location by the port makes it a key symbol of the Hanseatic City. The viewing platform at the top provides superb views over the Elbe river and city centre.
Not only is the Rathaus, or City Hall, home to the Hamburg Parliament – the 19th century building is also an incredible sight to behold. Be sure to take in the majestic facade and go on a guided tour of the building’s impressive chambers. There’s also always something going on in the vast Rathausmarkt square in front of the building.
The Elbtunnel runs under the river, connecting the floating docks at the north of the port with the Steinwerder quarter. Its unusual design and lighting create a unique atmosphere for those walking or cycling through the tunnel. At the southern end is a viewing platform, which gives a wonderful panorama over the floating dock.
The Chilehaus was one of Hamburg’s first high-rise buildings, and it still attracts people who admire its striking design to this day. The building’s eastern tip, shaped like the bow of a ship, is particularly distinctive. No visit to the Speicherstadt is complete without seeing this remarkable building for yourself.
As Hamburg’s tallest building, the Television Tower can be seen from just about anywhere in the city – making it an ideal way to get your bearings. At 279 metres tall, locals often call it the ”Telemichel” – a reference to the city’s iconic Michel church. The Television Tower’s viewing platform has unfortunately been closed for several years, but work to reopen it is well underway.
Visit Peterstrasse in the city’s pedestrian zone to travel back to the 17th century. The houses here have been painstakingly reconstructed right down to the last detail, recreating the traditional charm of days gone by. In addition to the historic Beyling Foundation building, the street is also home to the Johannes Brahms Museum, which celebrates the life of the famous composer.
This exhibition is popular with more than just model train enthusiasts, attracting more than a million visitors each year. Miniatur Wunderland recreates the world in 1:87 scale, with over 1,500m2 of miniature cities and landscapes. A sure-fire hit with kids and adults alike!
A must-see for art lovers, the Kunsthalle is made up of three connected buildings boasting impressive collections from various eras stretching from the Middle Ages to the modern day. You can explore the gallery’s permanent and special exhibitions at your own pace or as part of a guided tour.
This is something you’ll only find in Hamburg. Step aboard a genuine military submarine and uncover the secrets of Russian submarine U-434. More than a monument, a visit will give you a glimpse into the Cold War – definitely an experience you won’t soon forget!
This former water tower in Hamburg’s sprawling Stadtpark is now a planetarium, taking visitors on a fascinating voyage to the stars. Its diverse programme includes shows suitable for young and old alike, with the venue also hosting concerts, film screenings, and theatre performances.
Everybody loves chocolate! At the Chocoversum, it’s chocolate all the way – from the humble cocoa bean right through to delicious finished product. Discover historic chocolate-making machines, take a guided tour, or create your own special chocolate bar – the museum shop is a treasure trove for those with a sweet tooth.
Hamburg boasts a rich seafaring tradition, which the city’s International Maritime Museum brings to life with magnificent exhibits, model ships, and paintings. A special section is also devoted to marine research and, if that’s still not enough, you can also watch the ships as they sail through the Port of Hamburg.