My Top 10 Things To See and Do in Hamburg
Following on from my hotel review from our stay in Hamburg, I thought I would share the things we got up to, and share the favourite things that we did. The city is much bigger than I thought it would be, but the ‘touristy’ things are all pretty close together. We only ever used the train to get from our hotel to the city centre, and just walked the rest of the time.
We didn’t have our children with us, but there attractions are all pretty child-friendly. I think older children (from age 5 and up) would do better in Hamburg than toddlers, just as there is a lot of walking and not too many things toddler-friendly. So if you’re thinking of going with little ones, I personally would wait until they are a little older. Having said that, if you want to make it happen then you will!
So what did we get up to? Here are all of the things that I would recommend (in no particular order):
Chocoversum – Chocolate Museum
Chocoversum was one of the places we visited on our first full day in Hamburg. It is situated in an easy to find area of Hamburg, right by a U-Bahn station. It is a 90 minute group guided tour through a small museum about how chocolate is made (with plenty of chocolate to eat along the way)! I honestly learned things that I didn’t know about the whole chocolate process and found the whole thing really interesting. There really is such a thing as superior chocolate!
You make and decorate a bar of your own chocolate as part of the tour, and get to take that away with you. There is a cute shop to have a mooch in afterwards too. It is €15 for an adult, so just over a tenner for us. I think it is totally worth it. There are English tours each day, just at set times. You usually need to allow for an hour’s waiting time for the session, as they can get booked up pretty quickly and can’t be booked in advance. Chocoversum was one of my favourite things when we were there though.
Miniatur Wunderland is a model railway attraction in Hamburg, Germany, and the largest of its kind in the world. I was wandering around thinking that my dad and my son would just love it – they are big fans of this kind of thing. Having said that, I think anyone can appreciate the skill, time, and effort that goes into all of the displays. There are floors after floors of different ‘countries’ set out in miniature form. The attention to detail is amazing! It took us about an hour to have a look around, but if you’ve got an enthusiastic child with you, they may want to take longer to look at everything.
The cost is €13 for an adult, and it is recommended to book in advance online.
Burgerlich, as the name hints at, is a burger restaurant in Hamburg. It is in a pretty corporate area of the town, so it does get really busy. It works well if your German isn’t very good, though, as the USP of the restaurant is that you order your own food on screens that click into your table. It was really cool! The choice was brilliant, as well as the quality of the food. The husband said it was the best burger that he has ever had, and that is saying something!
I hadn’t realised just how much water is in and around Hamburg. From the sea and canals, there are plenty of bridges to cross and boats to see. One thing we did on our final day of the trip was take a canal boat tour. The live version was in German, but they had a ‘handy’ with headphones that told us the information in English. There was more to learn about the city than I thought. I love a good boat trip and was pleased with this one.
Internationales Maritimes Museum
Situated close by to the harbour-side, as you might imagine, was the maritime museum. A museum with nine floor decide to all things sea, boats, and sailing. I honestly didn’t know what to expect but it was way more interesting than I thought it would be. This would be the least child-friendly of all of the things, as there are lots of displays and things to read. But it was interesting and you can spend a couple of hours in there easily.
The Hamburg Rathaus
The Hamburg Rathaus is the town hall, or city hall rather, of Hamburg. Though there isn’t much to do inside (unless you’re attending an event), it still is a must see. It is in the main shopping area of Hamburg, and it is totally worth seeing when it is lit up at night – really, really stunning. You can have a guided tour of it, but we just had a quick mooch inside.
Hamburg Stadtpark is a 148 hectares of urban park in the district of Winterhude (five minutes walk from our hotel in the north of the city). Alongside Altona Volkspark, it is the largest park in the city of Hamburg. It was a hive of activity when we had a walk around it on the Saturday morning. Joggers, fishing, and dog walking; it was pretty busy. On a summer’s day I imagine it gets pretty busy. It is stunning though and home to a few ponds, and a planetarium.
Walk along Harbourside
There are a lot of boats to see along the harbour-side of the city. You can even find a huge fish-market too. So although there isn’t anything to strictly ‘do,’ other than take a boat trip, it is a nice walk along the harbour side if you’ve got some dry weather. There is even a Hard Rock Cafe if you want to pop in for a drink.
Better Burger Company
In the main shopping area of hamburg, near the town hall, is another great burger joint; Better Burger Company. I mean, when you’re in Hamburg, you have to have Hamburgers, right?! It was a bit more chilled than Burgerlich, and a little more ‘fast-food.’ Having said that it is really tasty food and nothing close to a McDonalds. The burgers are well priced, organic, and cooked right in from of you.
St. Pauli is a pretty fun part of the city, where there are concerts, gigs, and a football stadium. When we were there, they were setting up for a large Christmas market with rides and a fun fair; it is just a pretty cool part of the city to wander through. It is fairly close by to the harbour, with hip local fashion boutiques and trendy cafes. Lined with fish restaurants, the St. Pauli Piers offer sightseeing boat tours too.
Have you ever been to Hamburg or any of these places? I’d recommend getting a Hamburg card when you’re there too. It means you can travel for free, and get discounts at the main attractions like the maritime museum.