Have you ever wanted to visit Hamburg, to feel the spirit of a port-city and to enjoy its nightlife? I’ve got you covered and created this amazing Hamburg Travel Guide for you! Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and the wealthiest one. And to be honest, it’s definitely not a typical German city. It was completely rebuilt after the WW2 and now it’s a vibrant, outgoing modern metropolis. Water is everywhere here in Hamburg, which makes the city absolutely charming. It’s just so amazing having all this water around, because it really influences the city.
Yes, I spent three wonderful days in Hamburg with the ComeToHamburg Team. It was such an interesting trip. The great experience started at the moment we arrived to the Reichshof Hotel Hamburg, located right in front of the Central Station. You can read about it on my previous article – Reichshof Hotel Hamburg.
Hamburg has a lot to offer – not only the main attractions, like the gracious promenade on the banks of the Alster Lakes or St. Michaeli’s Church, but thousands of world-famous galleries, museums, exhibitions and art events. I’m sure, that all art-enthusiasts will find plenty of places to visit in Hamburg, but let me name the most interesting ones.
Hamburg Travel Guide – Art Galleries and Museums
No trip to the city is complete without visiting a museum or an art gallery, right? It can be such a fascinating place, and no one is the same as the next. So you could literally spend a lifetime trying to visit them all. But I’ll name my favourite ones that are definitely worth visiting.
Kunstmeile Hamburg is a collection of five museums: Bucerius Kunst Forum, Deichtorhallen, Kunsthalle, Kunstverein und Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe. All within walking distance of each other along the art mile. Together they exhibit an up-to-date, vibrant selection of contemporary and historical art in all media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, applied arts and design. So if you like Munch, or Monet, or Dali. Well, you’re in the right city.
Hall of Contemporary Art is an enormous building, more likely a warehouse with 9 rooms where you can find temporary exhibitions. We’ve had a chance to visit Bill Viola Installations. The exhibition itself is a pure modern art – thirteen extraordinary video artworks focused on universal human themes – birth, death (mostly), the unfolding of consciousness and feelings.
MUSEUM FÜR KUNST UND GEWERBE
One of the leading museums for decorative arts and design in Europe, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe shows collections from ancient to modern times incorporating Europe, the Islamic World and the Far East. We were lucky to visit this place at a perfect time and attend not only the permanent exhibitions, but temporary ones as well. One of the is the Sports/NoSports, that explores the correlation between fashion and sportswear with a focus on social, formal and aesthetic contexts. Because originally, training suits were intended for the sports field or the gym. But today they became an ordinary part of our life. That’s a great way to find out, how the sport has influenced the fashion trend in the last 125 years, and how the fashion designers like Tom Ford or Rei Kawakubo have worked on it.
Another great exhibition is a Food Revolution 5.0. It is all about a big topic: the future of nutrition is the future of all humanity. More than 30 international designers present their ideas and designs in four areas: farm, market, kitchen and table. In my opinion, it’s a very controversial yet very interesting exhibition definitely worth visiting.
Hamburger Kunsthalle is an absolute gem among other art institutions in Hamburg. It is one of the largest museums in the country and the house for the most important public art collections with works from seven centuries of art history. Founded in 1850, the Hamburger Kunsthalle offers pretty much everything from the old masters to modern and contemporary art. Prepare to spend at least 3+ hours there, enjoyning the most beautiful pieces of art. So far I can say it was my favourite place and I’ll definitely visit it again when I’m back to Hamburg. There is a lot more to explore.
Another great place is the CHOCOVERSUM. You’ll probably ask me why? Well. Do you have a sweet tooth? If yes, then you should definitely visit a sweet heard of Hamburg – its Chocolate Museum, an absolute must for all chocoholics. Here you will not only learn something new about your favourite delicacy, but will be able to taste chocolate at every single stage all the way from pod to the final product. And at the end – create your own bar of chocolate. Just add some spices, Haribo bears, nuts, liquorice, chilli and you’re good to go.
The next stop in my Hamburg Travel Guide is the Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg – the largest model railway museum in the world, and definitely a place where you could spend the whole day in! The attention to the details will amaze you! The little figures are made and set up with creativity and lots of humour. There’s plenty of interactive push Buttons, the regular day/night transition and the incredible fully functioning airport. But be careful, Miniatur Wunderland is one of the busiest attractions in Hamburg, so be sure to pre-order your tickets and better visit this place on weekdays. Otherwise, you’ll end up queuing.
Hamburg Travel Guide – Sightseeings
Explore Hamburg on foot or by bus. The Red Double-decker will be your guide and show you the whole city with 29 stops worth exploring. Or maybe if you like a bit of extreme, then take a brand new tour on amphibious craft – the Hafen City Riverbus.
There are so many things you can do and see in Hamburg – the famous City Hall, or the Platen un Blomen Park and, of course, the world-famous Reeperbahn. Yes, it’s a red-light district, located in St. Pauli, and one of the two centres of Hamburg’s nightlife. In the unique Hamburg nightlife it’s easy to lose sight of the overview. In German the Reeperbahn is also called die sündigste Meile – the most sinful mile. So be ready for an adventure, because the best nightclubs, strip clubs, bars and all kind of parties are all happening here.
The nightlife in Hamburg is for sure something incredible. And it’s not only the Reeperbahn. There are so many good districts and places around you can go to. All the major theatres, cinemas and operas are also located in this area. So it’s not all about harlotry. It’s a major sight to visit itself.
Hamburg Travel Guide – Food Recommendation
Hamburg is a very multicultural city even in terms of cuisine. New hamburgers still have a love for their culture and share it in many ways, including delicious food. In addition to ethnic cuisines, Hamburg is also home to many fine dining establishments and chain restaurants ranging from fast food to casual or upscale dining. So if you’re in Hamburg, be sure to visit all of these amazing places and try all the diverse food options that Hamburg has to offer.
Shalimar Restaurant is an amazing Indian dining option, located in the city center not far away from Alster Lakes. The plating, ingredients and the service – truly exceptional. We enjoyed every single dish.
If you’re looking for some tasty vegan options, while exploring Hamburg, then head over to Ban Canteen. Delicious Vietnamese cuisine, traditional vegan bowls or burgers of your choice. Everyone can find something they love.
For a traditional german or french meal, head to the famous Flamm Huus, where you can try freshly prepared tarte flambées and some other german specialties. The restaurant is rather small with limited seating, but don’t worry and the wait is well worth it.
Hamburg Travel Guide Tips:
- Hamburg Card. Be sure to buy this one, it will give you not only an unlimited travel pass on the underground, buses and ferries, but a huge discount (up to 50%) at more than 150 touristic attractions, including all kinds of cafes, restaurants, museums and even theatres.
- Plan ahead. There are a lot of places in Hamburg worth visiting, but pick only the best ones and plan your route beforehand.
- Comfortable shoes. Yes, you’ll need them for sure. Because the best way to get to know Hamburg is to explore it on foot.
- Weekend. The best time to enjoy the art and to visit a museum is definitely a weekend. No matter how paradoxical it may sound, but it is. And I’ll tell you a secret; all of the tourists will be anywhere (for example, in Miniatur Wunderland or the Dungeons) but not in the galleries.
- No-no. Another useful tip for you. If you’re planning to visit The Miniatur Wunderland, do it on weekdays and preferably in the morning. Otherwise you will end up surrounded by the whole city in a tiny space.
- Cash only! And last but not least – take some cash. There are a lot of places in Hamburg (and in Germany in general) , where you can pay cash only. Yes, Germans pay cash for almost everything, so don’t be surprised and be ready for that.