Hamburg – A Guide to Hamburg

Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city with more than 1.7 million inhabitants. Hamburg has Germany’s biggest port and is as watery as Venice and Amsterdam. Hamburg has two lakes (Binnenalster and Aussenalster) and is traversed by the three rivers Elbe, Alster and Bille.


Rathaus: This baroque town hall with its 647 rooms was built in the 19th century. The city hall was the center of many events and a lot of famous people visited this town hall. The town hall is open to the public and you can get a 40 minute guided tour for 3€. The town hall is used nowadays for exhibitions and concerts.

Chilehaus: One remarkable building in Hamburg is the Chilehaus which is shaped like an ocean liner. It was built by the designer Fritz Höger for a merchant who derived his wealth from trading with Chile.

St. Nikolai: St Nikolai church used to be the tallest building in the world in 1874. The church was badly damaged in the Second World War and is kept as a memorial. You can go up to the 75.3 meter high viewing platform by a glass lift. Admission will cost 3,70€.

Kunsthalle: This museum consists of two buildings which is linked by an underground passage. Inside are 20th century classics. The entrance fee is 8,50€.

Speicherstadt: The world’s largest warehouse complex is Speicherstadt in Hamburg with its 7 storey redbrick warehouses. Speicherstadt is a symbol for Hamburg. The houses have green roofs and are surrounded by a narrow canal. The constructions for that huge complex took place from 1885 to 1927. You can simply walk around the narrow streets or have a look from above with the High Flyer Balloon (15€ a flight). After the war, warehouses were also used for museums. One important museum is the International Maritime Museum with 26000 model ships, many construction plans, military uniforms etc.

Hamburg Dungeon: The chamber of horrors is at Speicherplatz. Live actors will make your trip through the Dungeon especially terrifying. Entrance is 18,95€.

Port of Hamburg: Each year, 12,000 ships deliver 70 million tonnes of goods at Hamburg’s huge port. You can get a great view of the port at the Underground station Landungsbrücken.

Reeperbahn: Reeperbahn is the Hamburger equivalent to the red light district in Amsterdam. A lot of people go there just to see what the all fuss is about. The strip with all the bars, sex clubs and pubs is also known as Kiez.

Blankensee: Blankensee was once a fishing village which is now one of the most expensive areas in Germany.


If you fancy a boat tour, you can either do a tour at the Port of Hamburg or you can do a tour at the Alster Lake (Alster-Touristik, 1,50€)

There is also a bus tour, the Hamburg City Tour, with a double-decker bus which will take you to all the sights in about 1.5 hours. You can hop on and off whenever you like. (Tickets cost 15€.)


Book your hotel ahead, especially at the weekend. There are a lot of festivals going on in the summer and hotels get booked up quickly.

If you are on a budget, head down to Backpackers St. Pauli (Bernstorffstrasse 98) A dorm will cost about 23€ the night. The stuff is friendly and the location is great.

If you are looking for a mid-range Hotel, we can recommend the Mercure Hotel Hamburg Arena. The location is great and it is very clean. A double room will cost around 75€. (Kieler Strasse 333)

A very nice top end hotel is the Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten (Neuer Jungfernstieg 9-14) The hotel is situated directly at the waterfront at Inner Alster Lake. Prices will start at 200€ per night.


Hamburg is well known for its seafood. Unfortunately, the city centre doesn’t offer very much. That’s why you should head to either Schanzenviertel, the Port or to the Speicherstadt.

To get delicious seafood, head to the restaurant Fischereihafen (Große Elbstraße 143) in Hamburg-Altona. This is Hamburg’s top seafood restaurant and queues are likely. To guarantee a seat here, book in advance. Mains will cost about 30€.

Very good German cuisine is served at Das Parlament (Rathausmarkt 1). The restaurant is inside the town hall and definitely worth a visit. Their drinks are worth trying and have a look at the “Rose Room”.

One of the most popular German restaurants in Hamburg is Ständige Vertretung (Stadthausbrücke 1-3). It has 200 seats and you can often see prominent German people in there. The restaurant is decorated with pictures from important German politicians and it is never empty in there.


Bar Rossi , located in the district Schanzenviertel (Max-Brauer-Allee 279, is a nice bar next to the Instant Sleep Hostel (in the case you are a party animal, book your stay in that hostel). The bar is pompous and has a very elegant touch. Mariah Carey once recorded a video in this bar.

Hamburg has some nice beach bars thanks to shipping tons of sand into the Hamburg industrial waterfront. The beach season starts in April and lasts until September. One nice bar is Strand Pauli (Hafenstrasse 84). This bar overlooks the docks and has excellent beer and sausages 🙂


The main shopping districts in central Hamburg are West of the Hauptbahnhof along Spitalerstrasse and Mönckebergstrasse. Other shopping districts are in Schanzenviertel, Hamburg-Altona and St. Pauli/Reeperbahn.

Insider Tips:

To get away with a cheaper boat trip, take the city harbour ferries. They will take you up the river on an ordinary ticket price. Ferry number 62 from Landungsbrücken to Finkenwerder is a good ferry to catch.

If you want to see a very rare sight, head to the Hamburg harbour. There is a floating church on one of the containers. There is a service every Sunday at 3pm. (Hohe Brücke 2)

Enjoy the view above Hamburg for free at the bar 20up im Empire Riverside Hotel (Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 97). Enjoy the amazing view 90m above Hamburg from that cocktail bar with a giant Panorama platform. Their bar is 21 meter long with such a big choice of different cocktails.

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