Hamburg is an important port city in northern Germany which was established as a trading post back in the 11th century. Today much of the tourist area is concentrated around the Port of Hamburg where you can admire a remarkable mix of old and new architectural gems including the largest warehouse complex in the world. Hamburg is particularly proud of its beautiful Elbharmonic Concert Hall, which is a marvel of modern design and engineering. If you have limited time in the city you can see most of the highlights by joining one of the many free walking tours on offer, or taking to the water on a harbor tour. If you have more time at your disposal there are a host of interesting attractions for you to visit. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Fischmarkt (Fish Market)
Located at the Elbe Harbor Basin, the famous Hamburg Fish Market attracts up to 70,000 visitors every Sunday. The name may be a bit misleading, as the Fish Market sells just about any type of food you can imagine, as well as flowers, plants, clothing and souvenirs. There is a great atmosphere at the market as touts loudly advertise their specials. Of course, there are many stalls selling prepared food which you can enjoy as you look out over the Port of Hamburg. In the adjacent Auction Hall you can enjoy live music as you eat a delicious smoked salmon roll, herring on rye or traditional German sausage.
Fischmarkt, 9 Grosse Elbstrasse, 22767 Hamburg, Germany
For a wonderful view of the city and a pleasant outdoor stroll, Hamburg locals and visitors flock to the historic Jungfernstieg promenade. The promenade runs along the edge of the Inner Alster, a large inner-city lake, which links you to some of Hamburg’s favorite shopping malls, galleries and boutique stores. As you walk along the promenade you can enjoy great views across the water and perhaps stop for a coffee and snack at the Alter Pavilion. There are many benches along the way where you can relax and watch the passing parade. If you would like to take a sightseeing tour on the lake you will find numerous ferries moored along the pavilion.
Jungfernstieg, Hamburg, Germany
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Comprised of row upon row of historic buildings, the Speicherstadt (City of Warehouses) is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a must-see attraction on your Hamburg itinerary. Built in the Port of Hamburg between 1883 and 1927, Speicherstadt is the largest warehouse district in the world. The complex is 1,5km long and is intersected by several loading canals. Built on a foundation of wooden logs, the neo-Gothic red-brick buildings are topped with decorative gables, towers and sandstone ornamentation. You can join a walking tour of the area or take a boat tour to admire the complex from the water, and learn all about the history of the complex at the Speicherstadt Museum.
Speicherstadt, 20457 Hamburg, Germany
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4.Miniatur Wunderland (Miniature Wonderland)
Miniatur Wunderland is a favorite Hamburg attraction for both young and old. This incredible miniature railway and airport display features themed mini-countries from all over the world, including the USA, where you can visit Las Vegas, Mount Rushmore and the Grand Canyon. On your trip around the world you can admire thousands of railway cars, airplanes and miniature landscapes from Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland and Austria – a perfect way to see the world in a day. You can make an online booking in advance to avoid long queues and if you would like to see how the whole complex works you can join a Guided Backstage Tour. Special Children’s Guided Tours are ideal for birthday parties.
Miniatur Wunderland, Kehrwieder 2/ Block D, 20457 Hamburg, Germany, Phone: +49-40-300-68-00
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5.Rathaus (City Hall)
The exquisite Hamburg Rathaus is by far one of the most beautiful historic buildings in the city. Built between 1886 and 1897, the impressive building is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in history and architecture. The exterior of the building conforms to the North German Renaissance style and inside you can admire the ornate Grand Ballroom, the equally impressive Tower Hall, the Plenary Hall and the Senate Council Chamber. The Rathaus Tower is a prominent city landmark and offers excellent city views from the viewing platform. You can join a guided tour of the Rathaus which will include highlights such as the Hygeia Fountain, the bell floor and the clock floor.
Rathaus, Rathausmarkt 1, 20095 Hamburg, Germany
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Located at the western tip of the Hafen City (Harbor City) the amazing Elbphilharmonie building is a prominent Hamburg landmark. Home to the city’s Philharmonic Orchestra, Elbphilharmonie is more than just another building it is an architectural work of art. The lower half of the structure (formerly the Kaispeicher Building) accommodates a parking garage, while the upper glass-clad building with its wave-like roof is home to two concert halls, a hotel and residential apartments. To fully appreciate this very impressive concert hall you should try and attend one of the regular concerts or join a Guided tour, which will give you a glimpse behind the scenes.
Elbphilharmonie, Platz der Deutschen Einheit 1, 20457 Hamburg, Germany, Phone: +49-40-35-76-66-66
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7.Hagenbeck Zoo - The Arctic Ocean Exhibit
© Hagenbeck - Tierpark und Tropen-Aquarium
Hagenbeck Zoo offers visitors the chance to experience the marvels of the Arctic and Antarctic poles right in the center of the city. Their amazing Arctic Ocean exhibit took three years to build and perfectly replicates arctic conditions. You start your polar exploration as you enter the exhibit via a 750m visitor path that will lead you through the various regions of the arctic. Along the route you will see a wonderful variety of rare and endangered polar animals enjoying their very life-like habitat. Expect to see diving polar bears, fur seals, penguins, walruses and more. After you polar exploration you can move on to see all the other exhibits at this fine zoo – you probably need a full day to see everything.
Hagenbeck Zoo, Lokstedter Grenzstrasse 2, 22527 Hamburg, Germany, Phone: +49-40-530-03-30
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8.St. Michaelis - Saint Michael’s Church
The highly visible tower of St. Michael’s Church is an iconic Hamburg landmark which is essential viewing for all architecture enthusiasts. The church you see now has been rebuilt several times since it was originally constructed in the 17th century. Almost completely destroyed by two separate fires and then heavily bombed during WWII, very little remains of the original structure. There are a few ways to learn about the history and the original architecture of St. Michaelis – you can download the MichelApp and take yourself on a self-guided tour or you can join a guided group tour. The views from the top of German’s oldest bell tower are brilliant and Night Tours are also available.
St. Michaelis, Englische Planke 1, 20459 Hamburg, Germany
Home to Hamburg’s notorious Red Light district, the Reeperbahn is a mile-long street which is widely known as an entertainment hub. Although the street and its side streets are still dotted with risqué strip-bars and nightclubs, there are also many other regular pubs and entertainment venues. Famously, this is where the Beatles were first recognized while performing in a music club. If you are looking for something a little more elegant you can visit Hamburg’s highest restaurant Clouds, or enjoy Glanz and Gloria, a glamorous 20’s themed cocktail bar. For the full Red-Light experience you can make your way to Herbertstrasse where ladies of the night display their charms in dimly-lit windows.
Reeperbahn, Hamburg, German
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10.The Hamburg Dungeon
© The Hamburg Dungeon
If you are looking for a great way to combine a history lesson with a lot of fun, a trip to the Hamburg Dungeon is just the thing for you. The Hamburg Dungeon experience brings the dark days of the city to brilliant life with 11 shows and two exciting rides. Along the way you will learn more than 600 years of history and a lot of myths and legends. Since many of the experiences or shows have a rather macabre theme, the Hamburg Dungeon recommends a minimum age of 10 years and only admits children over the age of 8 (at the parent’s discretion). Combi tickets are available for entrance to the dungeon and several other city attractions.
The Hamburg Dungeon, Kehrwieder 2, Hamburg 20457, Phone: +49-18-06-66-69-01-40
© Restaurant Haerlin
Gourmands should not miss the opportunity to visit the gourmet Restaurant Haerlin, where Christoph Ruffer will demonstrate his gastronomic magic. The restaurant has won numerous awards and holds a coveted 2 Michelin stars. The restaurant is the last word in refined European elegance, featuring exquisite Chinese silk wallpaper, chandeliers and a very special wine cabinet which is home to an extensive collection of fine wines from around the world. The menu changes with the seasons and you can expect to have your taste buds tantalized with imaginative fine-dining cuisine prepared from the finest local and imported ingredients by Chef Ruffer and his team.
Restaurant Haerlin, Neuer Jungfernstieg 9-14, 20354 Hamburg, Germany, Phone: +49-40-34-94-22-03
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© Estancia Steaks
Centrally situated in Reichenstrasse in the heart of the city, Estancia Steaks is the place to go for an excellent steak. Dedicated carnivores will find it hard to choose between the fabulous-sounding varieties of meats from all over the world (US, South America, Australia, Ireland and, of course, Germany). If you do not fancy a steak you can order a pork chop or a chicken supreme or enjoy a good selection of starters, soups, salads and vegetable sides. The restaurant offers a variety of German beers on tap as well as a good selection of wines by the glass or bottle and an excellent gin menu.
Estancia Steaks, Grosse Reichenstrasse 27, 20457 Hamburg, Germany, Phone: +49-40-30-38-42-80
13.Liman Fish and Seafood Restaurant
© Liman Fish and Seafood Restaurant
Liman Restaurant has been serving up delicious fresh fish and seafood since 2011. The restaurant is located in the lively Muhlenkamp area where a fresh nautical theme awaits you inside the restaurant. When the weather is good you can opt to enjoy your meal outside on the terrace. Freshly caught fish is delivered every day and you can look forward to feasting on fresh salmon, halibut, sea bass and more. A few of the restaurant’s most popular dishes include King Prawns with Garlic Cream, tender Patagonian Calamari and delicious Tuna Sashimi. A variety of beer, raki, soft drinks and wines are available to enjoy alongside your meal.
Liman Fish Restaurant, Muhlenkamp 16, 22303 Hamburg, Phone: +49-40-37-08-56-53
Visitors who would like to treat their taste buds to a cornucopia of fresh, tasty and healthy Lebanese cuisine should book a table at Békaa. Eating Lebanese style is a little different to what you may be used to but you will certainly enjoy the experience. For starters you choose from a variety of Mesa – these are small sharing bowls of (mostly) vegetarian bliss – full of flavor and interesting textures – to enjoy with flatbreads. Next up are a selection of delicious grilled meats and sides. If you find it too confusing to choose from the a la carte menu you can choose one of two set menus which will give you a great introduction to Lebanese cuisine.
Békaa, Rentzelstrasse 50, 20146 Hamburg, Germany, Phone: +49-40-45-49-75
Serving freshly sourced local produce that tastes as good as it looks, GREEN LEAF Restaurant is located in Altona. There is a strong emphasis on vegetable dishes at this restaurant but many of their delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes can be supplemented with fish or chicken if you prefer. The restaurant has established close ties to local producers who believe in sustainable farming to protect the lands and the waters for future generations. On the menu you can look forward to a wide selection of healthy and satisfying hot and cold bowls of vegetables/salads to which you can add your favorite protein. There is also a selection of soups and Panini and delicious low-sugar smoothies and juices.
GREEN LEAF, Grossebergstrasse 199, 22767 Hamburg, Germany, Phone: +49-40-32-87-10-13
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16.Alt Helgolaender Fischerstube
© Alt Helgolaender Fischerstube
Located just around the corner from Hamburg’s famous Fish Market, Alt Helgolaender Fish Restaurant is the perfect river-side place to enjoy fresh fish and seafood. The restaurant has a modern, light-filled interior with a nautical theme and outdoor tables for sunny days. The fish is as fresh as it gets – you can choose from very traditional dishes like Butter-fried Sole with Parsley Potatoes or go for something a little more modern and innovative like their King Prawns Aglio Olio, with Garlic, Olive Oil, Paprika and Olives on Linguine. There are a few token meat and vegetarian dishes but most guests come for the fabulous fresh fish.
Alt Helgolaender Fischerstube, Fish Market 4 a-c, 22787 Hamburg, Germany, Phone: +49-403-19-46-96
© Dal Fabbro
An attractive red-brick building greets you on your arrival at Dal Fabbro, a popular Italian restaurant which has been pleasing Hamburg palates for over 3 decades. Owned by the Testa family, who hail from the sunny island of Sicily, the restaurant offers all your favorite Italian staples as well as Sicilian specialties including olive oil and a delicious home-made orange liquor. The menu includes a good variety of anti-pasti, pastas, pizzas and meat and fish entrees, in addition to the daily specials which you will find on the chalk board. The food is beautifully presented and you can enjoy an olive oil tasting while you are there.
Dal Fabbro, Blankeneser Bahnhofstrasse 10, 22587 Hamburg, Germany, Phone: +49-40-86-89-41
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18.Man Wah Dim Sum
© Marko Novkov/stock.adobe.com
Located right in the center of Hamburg’s notorious Red Light District, Man Wah Dim Sum is one of the most popular Chinese restaurants in the city, offering excellent food and even better people-watching. Do not let the unassuming façade put you off – it hides a cozy interior where you can enjoy excellent Cantonese food at a reasonable price. The Dim Sum are rumored to be the best in the city and there is also a wide choice of other authentic Chinese main courses to enjoy including duck, pork, beef, chicken and fish dishes. The service is slick and friendly and the flavors are authentic.
Man Wah Dim Sum Chinese Restaurant, Spielbudenplatz 18, 20359 Hamburg, Germany, Ph. +49-403-19-25-11
Located in Hamburg Neustadt, A Varina is a popular Portuguese restaurant which focuses on serving excellent traditional Portuguese cuisine. Overseen by Chef Maria Ferreira, A Varina offers a wide selection of delectable fish dishes, including a Portuguese version of Paella, (borrowed from the Spanish). Meat dishes include a variety of hot-pots or grilled and roasted meats such as lamb fillets, lamb chops, steaks and more. There are also a few soups and salads and several seafood appetizers. The restaurant stocks a good selection of fine wines from Portugal, several of which are available by the glass or carafe. Remember to save some space for a delicious dessert.
A Varina, Karpfangerstrasse 16, 20459 Hamburg, Germany, Phone: +49-40-37-26-62
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19 Best Things to Do in Hamburg, Germany
- Fischmarkt (Fish Market), Photo: u.perreten/stock.adobe.com
- Jungfernstieg, Photo: aldorado/stock.adobe.com
- Speicherstadt, Photo: powell83/stock.adobe.com
- Miniatur Wunderland (Miniature Wonderland), Photo: Mithrax/stock.adobe.com
- Rathaus (City Hall), Photo: carol_anne/stock.adobe.com
- Elbphilharmonie, Photo: Dominique Uhe/stock.adobe.com
- Hagenbeck Zoo - The Arctic Ocean Exhibit, Photo: Hagenbeck - Tierpark und Tropen-Aquarium
- St. Michaelis - Saint Michael’s Church, Photo: NilsZ/stock.adobe.com
- Reeperbahn, Photo: travelview/stock.adobe.com
- The Hamburg Dungeon, Photo: The Hamburg Dungeon
- Restaurant Haerlin, Photo: Restaurant Haerlin
- Estancia Steaks, Photo: Estancia Steaks
- Liman Fish and Seafood Restaurant, Photo: Liman Fish and Seafood Restaurant
- Bekaa, Photo: Békaa
- GREEN LEAF, Photo: BillionPhotos.com/stock.adobe.com
- Alt Helgolaender Fischerstube, Photo: Alt Helgolaender Fischerstube
- Dal Fabbro, Photo: Dal Fabbro
- Man Wah Dim Sum, Photo: Marko Novkov/stock.adobe.com
- A Varina, Photo: annanahabed/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: sborisov/stock.adobe.com
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