Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city, is a vibrant and diverse metropolis that’s perfect for a city break. Nestled on the banks of the River Elbe, Hamburg has long been an important port city and trading hub, and its rich history and cosmopolitan atmosphere make it an excellent destination for visitors from all over the world. It dates back to the 4th century BC, and throughout the Middle Ages it was a thriving city that profited from trade and fishing. The centuries-old history of the city has left many souvenirs in the form of wonderful architectural wonders and numerous attractions.
Hamburg has an international airport with connections to many major cities in Europe and beyond. There are also excellent train links to other German cities, as well as to neighboring countries like Denmark and the Netherlands. Once you arrive in Hamburg, the city’s efficient public transport system makes it easy to get around. You can use the U-Bahn (subway), S-Bahn (light rail), or buses to reach all the major attractions.
10 places in Hamburg that are worth seeing!
The Kunsthalle is one of the largest art museums in all of Germany. The collections are located in three separate buildings, which are dedicated to old art, 19th-century art and modern art. Here you can admire the works of world-renowned artists such as Lucas Cranach the Elder, Rembrandt and Claude Lorrain. The oldest works of art in the Kunsthalle are the Gothic altarpieces by Brother Francke and Master Bertram (14th century). The rich collection of German Romantic painting and Dutch painting from the 18th century deserves special mention.
2. Hamburg Zoo
The Hamburg Zoological Garden covers an area of 25 hectares. Numerous paddocks and pavilions are inhabited by about 14.3 thousand animals, which represent 530 different species. In the Zoological Garden there is, among others, a special pavilion for animals inhabiting the harsh arctic areas and a huge terrarium with an area of 8,000 square meters. The zoo also has numerous attractions for the youngest children (including playgrounds and monkey groves), educational panels and games with animators are held, and there are many catering facilities.
3. Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum in Hamburg occupies a huge, nine-story building, in which numerous exhibits related to international shipping have been grouped. Inside, you can admire thousands of models of ships, ships and boats created in different ages (from primitive fishing boats, through huge medieval ships, to modern warships), and some of them are made of original materials and have great historical value. In the museum, you can also see a collection of medals and uniforms of navy soldiers from around the world, an exhibition of works of art related to maritime themes, as well as inventions and equipment that have been used for centuries to determine the position during sea expeditions.
4. Hamburg Dungeon
The Hamburg Dungeon underground route opened in 2000 and takes you through dark corridors under the main part of the city. The tour takes place with an actor-guide who tells about the legends and history of Hamburg in an interesting way. However, we will not find nice and pleasant stories here: the story revolves around a great fire that consumed most of the city or subsequent epidemics, invasions and disasters. The participants of the game play their roles and have to deal with various situations (e.g. they have to go through a maze of mirrors or dare to sail on a small raft). Hamburg Dungeon is the perfect entertainment for those with strong nerves!
5. Hamburg City Hall
The Hamburg Town Hall is one of the most recognizable buildings in the city. The huge building was built in the 19th century on the site of an earlier town hall, which burned down in a fire in 1842. The length of the façade is 111 meters, and in its central part there is a soaring tower of similar height. In the courtyard in front of the Town Hall, there is a fountain with the image of Hygieia – the mythological goddess of health, rebirth and longevity. The beautiful interiors of the Town Hall are open to the public on selected days.
6. Church of St. Michael
Church of St. Michael’s is the most famous and recognizable Christian temple in Hamburg, which is characterized by a high, soaring tower with a historic clock placed on it. This temple is considered the most beautiful Baroque building in northern Germany. Twice a day, the bugle call, which is familiar to all residents of Hamburg, sounds from the church tower. It is certainly worth visiting the historic interior of the temple, in which there are m.in. a magnificent, neo-baroque main altar, an eighteenth-century baptismal font made of white marble and a unique organ complex created from the combination of as many as four historic instruments.
7. Miniature Wonderland
Miniatur Wunderland is a huge model, which consists of railway tracks running through 9 geographical zones, e.g. Hamburg, Central Germany, the United States, the Scandinavian Peninsula, Switzerland and Italy. In total, Miniatur Wunderland occupies 4,000 square meters, including about 11,000 meters of railway lines alone. In addition to the tracks, the mock-ups also contain precisely reproduced miniatures of cities, including buildings, unique natural sites and important architectural structures.
8. Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum in Hamburg collects exhibits found during archaeological excavations in the city and surrounding counties. The exhibition includes a total of about 2.5 million different objects from prehistoric times, and the oldest specimens date back even 40,000 years. In the museum, you can admire one of the oldest surviving oars in the world (Duvensee oar), remains of furniture from the Bronze Age and numerous figurines and jewelry from the Paleolithic and Neolithic times. In addition, the museum hosts numerous lectures, talks, meetings with historians and cultural events.
9. Ethnological Museum
The Hamburg Ethnological Museum is one of the largest institutions of its kind in Europe. There are about 350,000 different exhibits related to the culture, nature and history of the region. But that’s not all! Inside the building you can admire numerous exhibits related to the culture of Asia, South America and Africa. There are regional and ceremonial costumes from around the world, devotional items and items related to exotic beliefs, and even everyday utensils from small islands in Oceania and distant African countries.
10. City Park (Stadpark)
The City Park in Hamburg is a place that is willingly visited by tourists and residents of the city. The huge green area is full of pedestrian alleys and bicycle paths for walking and outdoor sports. In the park there are places to rest, benches and fountains, and in its heart there is a small lake, which in the summer turns into a base for summer relaxation. The lake is adapted for canoeing and swimming by the sandy beach, and in the summer there is also an inflatable playground. In the summer season, there are plenty of ice cream and quick snacks stands in the park.