Waterfront walkways connected to a city steeped in history, Hamburg offers a city break like no other. Don’t expect to see the streets filled with lederhosen-wearing Germans, pretzels with a beer in hand. Ok, well, maybe the beer.
 
The port city offers an authentic German city experience, with a sprinkle of excitement. Plus it’s easy to get to internationally with a major airport, including direct flights from London to Hamburg. But what to do in one of Germany’s most eccentric cities? We’ve listed the top five things to do in Hamburg.

Elbphilharmonie

things to do in hamburg

Suitable for ages: 3+

Cost: Concert ticket prices vary. Access to the Plaza viewing area is free. You can get the tickets from the machines in the visitor center. There is also the option of purchasing tickets online in advance. Although there is a €2 booking fee.

Venue type: Outdoor/Indoor

The impressive Elbphilharmonic opened in January 2017. The concert hall is not only one of the newest additions to the Hamburg skyline, but the most notable. It’s 1000 glass panels and crystal effect can be seen from pretty much anywhere along the city’s infamous waterfront. Constructed on the site of an old warehouse, the Elbphilharmonie proves itself to be more than a concert hall, in fact, it’s a work of art.

Lovers of classical music can attend a concert and participate in many events hosted by the venue. From total novices or occasional listeners, anyone is free to take part in the ensemble, ‘Long Night of Singing’ or choir sessions that take place throughout the year.
 
There’s no need to worry if classical music isn’t your thing. In addition to two live venues, the building is also home to a hotel, private apartments and the Plaza viewing platform which, at 37 meters high, provides the best view of the city. The Plaza is open from 9:00 a.m to midnight, so visitors can opt for a daytime view, sunset or check out the city under the nighttime lights.

Miniatur Wunderland

things to do in hamburg

Suitable for ages: All ages

Cost: Adults €13, under 16s €6.50, children under 3 feet tall free of charge

Venue type: Indoor

Boasting 215,000 inhabitants and 3,660 buildings, Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland is the world’s largest model railway exhibition. What started out as a railway recreation of Germany and Austria now branches out much further afield. There are sections dedicated to the U.S.A, which are complete with a miniature Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore. As well as other European destinations, such as Scandinavia and Switzerland.
 
You can even go behind the scenes and see how the idea of a miniature railway world becomes a reality. There’s always work in progress, as the museum is constantly developing and plans are in place for Italy and France sections to be on display by 2020.

 

Hamburg Historisches Museum

 

things to do in hamburg

Instagram: @histmuseenhh

Suitable for ages: 11+

Cost: Adults €9, under 18s free

Venue type: Indoor

Reaching it’s 100th birthday, Hamburg’s Historisches Museum is home to the largest city history exhibition in all of Germany. With exhibits and artifacts from as early as the 9th century to the present day, the collection is nothing less than impressive.
 
Visitors can explore Hamburg’s history starting from its birth in the year 800, to its current standing as one of Europe’s most prominent harbor cities. Indulge in the tales of 15th-century pirates, rebellious revolutions, and even the Beatles.
 
Dig a little deeper and discover a moving exhibition about the history of Hamburg’s Jewish community, a section dedicated to fashion and the arts, as well as the city’s historic homes. No matter what your background or interests, a trip to the Historisches Museum is one that’ll enlighten any visitor.

Harbor Cruise

things to do in hamburg

Suitable for ages: 6+

Cost: Prices vary and start from as low as €14 for adults and €7.50 for children

Venue type: Outdoor/Indoor

No visit to Hamburg is complete without a trip to the largest seaport in Germany, and what better way to see it than from the water? From short trips that take in all the essentials and longer, more extensive excursions, there’s a boat trip to suit any itinerary.
 
Most cruises take in the canals of the historic warehouse district Speicherstadt, HafenCity as well as many of the city’s most famous bridges. While some of the more in-depth tours will visit a much wider variety of sights. For those seeking a romantic getaway, the illuminated nighttime cruise is a perfect choice.

Barbara Bar

things to do in hamburg

Instagram: @valentina044

Suitable for ages: 21+

Cost: It depends on how much you drink!

Venue type: Indoor

With a swinging dance floor and a live music program, it’s easy to see why Barbara Bar is a popular haunt for many.
 
Not to forget, its proximity to the infamous Reeperbahn makes it the perfect place to kick back and have a few drinks after a busy day of sightseeing. The interior oozes a sleazy yet sexy aura. From the funky 70’s wallpaper, plastic chandeliers, and retro foosball table.
Take a rest from dancing your heart out on one of the comfy couches. Don’t be surprised if you make a few new friends, both local and international either!

But these are just our top five things to do in Hamburg! Got anything to add to our list? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!

 

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