We spent a long 3 day weekend in Germany’s 2nd city at the beginning of March. It was still cold especially at night but we were blessed with sunny days. Hamburg is well known for its harbour and many canals making it a picturesque place to visit with a lot of interesting history and culture.
Here’s a quick breakdown of everything we did and a few other things can be added to your future itinerary:
Where to stay:
Scandic Hamburg Emporio which is a Scandinavian style hotel which is located perfectly central. There isn’t one bad thing about this hotel honestly. The rooms had art on the walls, there was an art gallery on the top floor, breakfast if you wanted including organic/vegan options of everything and the general vibe was so relaxing.
How to get around:
Public transport is reasonably priced and easy to navigate here. We used the S bahn and U bahn trains to get us from the airport to the city and around, plus had a few buses which took us around easily. The city is walkable if you stay centrally enough or there’s plenty of electric scooters to hire.
What to do:
“Free walking tour” – I love doing these in a new city, especially when you’re only there for a short time as it’s the perfect way to see the main sights and get local tips and recommendations from the guide. We booked with Sandeman’s who I’ve done all my European walking tours with…you tip them at the end whatever you feel like.
Visit “HafenCity” – the gem of Hamburg, and is not to be missed. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to the unique buildings and it being the previous harbour of the city along the River Elbe. There’s plenty to see here..2 examples are mentioned below:
View Hamburg from above – there’s a few church towers you can pay a small fee to do this or you can visit Elbphilharmonie “Elphi” concert hall for a free 360 degree view over the city.
Visit Miniatur Wunderland – dubbed the smallest state in the world, this incredible museum has recreated some of Germany’s and the World’s most famous sites and cities…it’s interactive and a lot more fun than I expected. The highlight was the Rio de Janeiro section, so vibrant!
Go on a chocolate tour – chocoversum is where we visited for an enjoyable chocolate tasting and making tour (with some education thrown in)..just be mindful what you book as they have separate German and English speaking tours.
Where to Eat:
Fisch and Co – possibly the smallest restaurant I’ve ever been to! They serve all sorts of fish dishes – the fish sandwich is iconic here.
EM Breakfast club – perfect for weekend brunch…it gets busy so you can chance it with a walk in but booking would be best
The Bird – for locally sourced hamburgers because we’re in Hamburg of course!
Hofbräu restaurants – for authentic German food and beer plus German music and dancing, a lot of fun!
Reeperbahn aka “the most sinful mile” aka the Red Light District is the place to be on a Friday/Saturday night. It’s in St Pauli area and is one of the major nightlife spots in city. We visited a few spots including Sommersalon which had a great DJ set on Friday and Mash Up! Bar which was fun for dancing.
Other notable things we had looked up but couldn’t fit in:
A visit to one of the old baths around the city for a spa afternoon – needs booking in advance
Visit Planten un Blomen – large park featuring a botanical garden
Walk through the old Elbe Tunnel – which has art work and a lot of historical significance
Explore Alster lakes – you can book cruises along them which is perfect for a sunny day
I hope this inspires you to visit as we had so much fun here and could definitely have spent more days enjoying and exploring! Let me know if you have any questions!