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A weekend in Hamburg: highlights and tips for your trip

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Hello Hamburg, you beautiful maritime city in the far north. It was love at first sight between Hamburg and us. We have been paying the Hanseatic city a visit every now and then for years. Now it was time to pack our tips for Hamburg into a detailed travel guide.

In this blog article we will show you what you can do on a city break expected everything after Hamburg. We introduce you to the most beautiful sights and give you our tips for cafes, restaurants and activities. You can find all our recommendations for your Hamburg weekend on a map at the end of the article.

1. Hamburg: This is what awaits you in the Hanseatic city If we think about it: We have probably never met anyone who didn’t like Hamburg . Fact is: If you like maritime flair, you will love Hamburg. Water is omnipresent throughout Hamburg – be it at the port on the Elbe, in the Speicherstadt or on the Alster.

Very interesting to know : Hamburg is very spacious and a comparatively sparsely populated city. Nevertheless, you can get from A to B relatively quickly. The most important sights in Hamburg are not too far apart. You can even reach many highlights on foot or very comfortably with the subway and S-Bahn.

How much time should I plan for a Hamburg city trip ? As the title of this blog article suggests, this article is about what you do on a weekend in Hamburg can experience everything. Nevertheless, we would recommend that you plan a little more time if possible. We find four days ideal for a first visit to Hamburg. Then you still have enough time to explore a few corners away from the classic highlights.

Which time of year is best for a trip to Hamburg? We have actually gotten to know Hamburg at every time of the year and can confirm: Hamburg is always worth a visit. Good to know: The climate is characterized by maritime influences. There is therefore a relatively large amount of precipitation throughout the year. An umbrella or a rain jacket should definitely be in your suitcase.

We personally think summer great in Hamburg: the temperatures are pleasant and the days are long. Usually it doesn’t get too hot, but exceptions prove the rule. (We actually caught a decent heat wave.) Spring and autumn are also very nice times of the year for a trip to Hamburg.

2. The most important sights in Hamburg Jungfernstieg & City Hall: Hamburg’s old town

If you are in Hamburg for the first time, then the area around the Jungfernstieg is a good starting point. You land here directly at the Binnenalster – an artificial lake that is fed by the Alster (a river). Some magnificent buildings are located along the banks of the Binnenalster.

Only a few minutes’ walk from Jungfernstieg is what we consider to be the most beautiful building in Hamburg: the Rathaus. The Neo-Renaissance building is not only surprisingly large, but also surprisingly impressive. We recommend that you also enter the inner courtyard of the town hall. It is also very worth seeing.

Main Church of St. Michaelis: The Michel The most famous church in Hamburg is nicknamed Michel. You can walk there from the town hall in about 16 walking distance. The interior of the church is well worth seeing, but the Michel is above all known for its church tower: From the viewing platform of the 132 meter-high tower you can enjoy a wonderful all-round view.

You can reach the platform either on foot ( 453 Stages) or very comfortably with the lift – the price is the same for both variants. The 360 -degree view from above over Hamburg is really fantastic, although the viewing platform is unfortunately behind bars. But you can easily take pictures of it.

A visit at night must be a special experience. This activity is called Nachtmichel and is possible on many days of the year after regular opening hours. However, the price is then a bit higher.

Information on the view from Michel Price: 6 euros (during the day) or .11,37 Euro (at night)

Opening hours: November to March from 10 until 18 pm, April and October from 9 to 20 pm, May to September from 9 to 20 (last admission half an hour before closing time); You can find the opening hours for the evening here: Nachtmichel

Elbphilharmonie Since November 2016 Hamburg has a new landmark: the Elbphilharmonie, a concert hall of superlatives. It is enthroned on the banks of the North Elbe. Despite all the controversy, in our opinion the Elbphilharmonie fits very harmoniously into the cityscape.

The ultimate is, of course, if you manage to attend a concert in the famous Great Hall. . (It’s still on our wish list.) Coveted concerts tend to sell out in minutes, so it’s not that easy. We have also tried and have failed so far.

Alternatively, you still have the option of visiting the Elbphilharmonie as part of a public concert hall tour. , which also takes you to the Great Hall. This tour lasts about an hour and costs 11 euros per person. Important to know: If you would like to see the Great Hall, we strongly recommend booking your tour via the official website of the Elbphilharmonie (or on site). With guided tours that you can book through other sites, you will not get into the concert halls!

The cheaper alternative is a visit to the viewing platform, the himself in 30 meters high between the brick base and the glass structure. This viewing platform is called Plaza. You can get your ticket for the same day free of charge in the visitor center of the Elbphilharmonie. If you want to buy your ticket online in advance, it costs 2 euros.

Information on visiting the Elbphilharmonie Price for official tour of the concert hall: 15 Euro

Price for the Plaza (Observation Deck): free of charge or 2 euros (for tickets in advance)

Speicherstadt & HafenCity Near the Elbphilharmonie you reach the unique Speicherstadt. This historic brick complex is actually the world’s largest historic warehouse complex. The Speicherstadt is UNESCO World Heritage Site and in our opinion one of the best places in Hamburg.

Thanks to the many bridges, you can easily explore the Speicherstadt on foot. It is also very worthwhile to visit the Speicherstadt from the water. This is possible as part of a harbor tour. There are countless providers, each with different routes. Night trips are also offered. We will give you more information about the harbor tours further down in this blog article.

A very worthwhile stopover that we can recommend to you in the Speicherstadt is the Speicherstadt coffee roastery. There you can enjoy delicious coffee made from home-roasted coffee beans. Incidentally, one of the best-known photo motifs in the Speicherstadt is the crossing at the Water Castle, which you can see in the first photo.

The Speicherstadt borders on the modern HafenCity. The Elbphilharmonie is located in this district. We don’t know of any other place in Hamburg that is changing as much as HafenCity. New buildings are constantly being completed. HafenCity is supposed to be completed by 2025.

Karolinen and Schanzenviertel: alternative scene in Hamburg The Schanzenviertel and the adjoining Karolinenviertel (Karoviertel for short) together form one of our favorite corners in Hamburg. Both are something like Hamburg’s trendy districts. Here you will find great boutiques as well as nice cafes and restaurants.

A good starting point to explore the area is the S-/U-Bahn station Sternschanze. For a first caffeine boost, you should stop by Café Elbgold right away. In our opinion, the coffee at Elbgold is one of the best in Hamburg. You can also find nice bars and shops along Susannenstraße and thepauler. (Not an insider tip, but definitely worth a visit is Café Herr Max.)

From the Schanzenviertel it is only a stone’s throw to the adjacent Karoviertel. There you will find an exceptional amount of exceptional great street art. Just walk along Marktstraße and dare to take a look at one or the other courtyard.

Fischmarkt Hamburg A visit to the Fischmarkt in Hamburg is quite an experience. It takes place every Sunday on the banks of the Elbe. Unfortunately, you have to get up early for this: In winter the market starts at 6 a.m., in summer even at 5 a.m. in the morning. At 9: 30 o’clock the spectacle is already over.

In the crack of dawn the barkers fight for each other the attention of the guests. Surprisingly, you will not only find fish stalls at the fish market, but also lots of fruit and vegetable stalls and much more. So you shouldn’t expect a pure fish market.

In the fish auction hall, a huge brunch with live music is offered every Sunday. The price per person is 22 Euro. If you want to experience this, you should definitely make a reservation. Brunch lasts until Watch.

Reeperbahn in St. Pauli
We thought long and hard about whether the Reeperbahn should appear in our list, but somehow it just belongs to Hamburg about it. To explain: The Reeperbahn is a synonym for the Hamburg red light district in the district of St. Pauli. This notorious street is the number one entertainment district in Hamburg.

You will find countless bars and discotheques along the Reeperbahn (and in the side streets) – most of which are not necessarily what we would personally describe as “inviting”. But if you really want to party, you’re in good hands in this district.

3. Tours & Activities n in Hamburg Harbor tour The typical sightseeing program for Hamburg usually includes a harbor tour. We too have (several times) taken part in one. Getting to know Hamburg from the water is a very special experience that we can highly recommend.

There are numerous providers for harbor tours, each with different ships and various routes. In any case, we recommend that you take one of the smaller boats (so-called barges). Only these small boats can enter the narrow canals (called Fleete in Hamburg) of the Speicherstadt .

Most ships start at the so-called Landungsbrücken . When you get there, you’ll be overwhelmed by offers for harbor tours. An exception is the so-called Fleet trip, about which we will tell you more in a moment. In the following we will tell you our two tips for special harbor tours in Hamburg.

Tip no. 1: Boat trip from Jungfernstieg The center of Hamburg is criss-crossed by a number of canals, the so-called canals. You can explore these historic canals as part of a canal trip. The journey takes about two hours and, unlike most harbor tours, starts at the Jungfernstieg (Binnenalster). From there it goes through the canals in the center of Hamburg in the direction of Speicherstadt. Then you get to know the harbor of Hamburg and drive, among other things, on the Elbphilharmonie over.

The canal trips are depending on the tides , ie they only take place when the water level allows it. The route may also change depending on the tide. Important to know: During a canal trip you will pass several locks. This is quite exciting to experience, but you have to be prepared for a little waiting.

Price: 22 Euro per person

Departure time: daily at 10: 45, 12: 45 and 18: 45 pm (We However, we recommend that you check the departure times directly at the ticket counter on Jungfernstieg the day before and ideally already have the ticket for the next day reserve the earliest day.)

Tip No. 2: Light ride A ride in the dark, the so-called light ride is also highly recommended. The flair of the illuminated warehouse district is really unique and at night almost more impressive than during the day.

Depending on the provider and route, the light ride takes approx. 90 until 90 Minutes. The trip usually takes place on a so-called barge (i.e. a smaller ship), which can also sail through the canals of the Speicherstadt.

Alster cruise In addition to a harbor cruise, an Alster cruise is the second well-known boat tour that you can do in Hamburg. Personally, we find the harbor tour more exciting, but we can still recommend an Alster tour.

The classic Alster tour starts at Jungfernstieg and takes you once in about one hour. across the Binnenalster and the Outer Alster. You drive along the shore and learn some background information about Hamburg and individual buildings on the way.

Price: 16,50 Euro
Departure time: hourly or every half hour; in summer between and 19 hours, in winter between 11 and 18 Clock

You can buy your ticket here in advance: Hamburg Alster tour

City tours in Hamburg We experienced a very great city tour in Hamburg a few years ago. Although we often prefer to discover cities on our own, we have to admit that we still have fond memories of this city tour. So if you want to take some background knowledge with you, we can highly recommend taking part in a guided tour of the city.

Free Walking Tours in Hamburg There are several providers of free walking tours. Those from SANDEMAN’s New Europe Tours should be highly recommended and entertaining. A guide will take you through Hamburg for around 2.5 hours and show you the most important sights. The tour is free, but of course you should leave a reasonable tip.

Find out more information here: FREE Tour from Hamburg Other city tours in Hamburg In addition to these free walking tours, there are countless other offers for city tours in Hamburg . Most focus on a specific topic (e.g. Reeperbahn or Speicherstadt).

With the Hamburg CARD you get a discount on some city tours. You can find out what these are on the official website of Hamburg Tourism: City tours with the Hamburg CARD.

4. Tips for eating & drinking in Hamburg Mr Max: Very nicely furnished café in the Schanzenviertel. Our recommendation: try the cheesecake, it’s damn good. Breakfast is also said to be delicious here.

Café Elbgold: In our opinion, the best coffee in Hamburg is at Café Elbgold. It is roasted by itself. Meanwhile, the Café Elbgold has several locations in Hamburg. The largest café (including the roastery) is located in the Schanzenviertel.

Kaffeerösterei Speicherstadt: This coffee roastery is located in a historic brick building in the Speicherstadt. No longer an insider tip, but really recommendable for a short coffee break.

North Coast: Very popular café that supposedly serves delicious breakfasts. Unfortunately, the queue in front of the restaurant was too long, so we didn’t try it out personally.

NENI Hamburg: In every NENI you know what you get – Israeli cuisine at a very high level in a relaxed atmosphere. We like it very much and recommend a visit.

5. Our hotel tips for Hamburg 25hours Hotel HafenCity
This very hip, individual boutique hotel is located in the HafenCity. The rooms are designed like ship cabins, very comfortable and well equipped – as you would expect from 25hours Hotels is used to. The breakfast is said to be excellent, although a bit expensive.

The location of this hotel is very central: you can reach the Elbphilharmonie in , for example) Minutes on foot and the subway station is right in front of the door. Conclusion: If you want to stay in a young boutique hotel, you are in good hands here.

You can book the hotel here: 25hours Hotel Hamburg HafenCity

AMERON Hamburg Hotel Speicherstadt
This design hotel is located in the middle of the Speicherstadt and has now been recommended to us by several parties. We know the lobby area ourselves and found the ambience very pleasant.

The location is of course excellent: The Warehouse District is one of our favorite places in Hamburg with so much flair. From many rooms you have a direct view of the canals of the Speicherstadt. This hotel is the right choice for you if you are looking for a stylish, extraordinary hotel.

Here you can book the hotel: AMERON Hamburg Hotel Speicherstadt

6. Map: All Hamburg tips at a glance For better orientation, we have marked our recommendations for Hamburg on this map. The red dots are sights, the green cafés/restaurants and the blue dots our two hotel tips.

2025Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

Have you ever been a guest in the beautiful Hanseatic city of Hamburg? How did you like it? Do you have any other tips for Hamburg? We look forward to your recommendations!