Hamburg Travel Guide

Where To Go

Jungfernstieg

The Jungfernstieg is an urban promenade connecting the Binnenalster with surrounding shops and many different sights. It‘s a lovely place to sit down and relax, do some shopping or enjoy the local cafés. The Jungfernstieg is an very nice place to wind down with an ice cream by the water.

Public Transportation:

  • U S Jungfernstieg (Bus)
  • Jungfernstieg (S1 – 3, U1, U2 & U3)

Town Hall

Hamburg‘s town hall was built in the style of the northern German Renaissance and is credited as being one of the most beautiful buildings in Hamburg. There are guided tours in German, English and French on a daily basis.

Admission: 

Public Transportation:

  • Rathausmarkt (Bus)
  • Rathaus (U3)

St. Nikolai

The St. Nikolai church is the location of the memorial for the fallen in the second world war (1939 – 1945). There is also a small museum and exhibit located in the basement. The St. Nikolai church has viewpoint 76m up it‘s 150m church tower which offers a beautiful view of the city.

Opening times:

  • Thursday – Sunday: 10.00 – 18.00

Admission (museum and tower):

  • Adults: 5€
  • Children: 3€

Public Transportation:

  • Rödingsmarkt (Großer Burstahl) (Bus)
  • Jungfernstieg (S1, S3)
  • Rödlingsmarkt (U3)

Fish market

An absolute must for all visitors to Hamburg is the fish market in the Altonaer district. Every Sunday morning the early birds and late-night party goers meet here surrounded by friendly vendors selling everything from fish, to fruit baskets and clothing. There is always entertainment with loud live-music and early morning alcohol in the fish auction hall.

Opening times:

  • 1st April – 31st October: Sundays 05.00 – 09.30
  • 1st November – 31st March: Sundays 07.00 – 09.30

Public Transportation:

  • Fischmarkt (Bus 112)
  • Reeperbahn (S1, S3)
  • Landungsbrücken (U3)

St. Michaelis

The main protestant church in Hamburg is the St Michaelis. There is a viewing platform at 132m that‘s open from 10am until 6pm and tickets cost 3 – 6€.

Opening times:

  • November – March: daily 10.00 – 18.00 (admission closes at 17.30)
  • April – October: daily 09.00 – 19.00 (admission closes at 18.30)
  • May – September: daily 09.00 – 20.00 (admission closes at 19.30)

Admission:

  • Adults: 6€ (tower), 5€ (crypt and “Hamburg History” film), 8€ (tower, crypt and film)
  • Age 6 – 15: 4€ (tower), 5€ (crypt and “Hamburg History” film), 5€ (tower, crypt, film)
  • Students, Hamburg-Card holders, senior citizens: above price -1€

Public Transportation: 

  • Michaeliskirche (Bus 17, 37)
  • Stadthausbrücke (S1, S3)

Hamburg Musical Theater

There are 5 musical venues in Hamburg. The theatre on the port is most well-known for it‘s production of the Lion King. Alternatively, the other venues have performances of pieces such as Mary Poppins and Dirty Dancing. Be sure to check the performance language before buying tickets as most performances will be in German.

Elbphilharmonie

One of the most famous Hamburg landmarks is the Elbphilharmonie or Elbe Philharmonic Hall. This is a concert hall known as the “art landmark for all” and holds up to 2.100 people. Elbphilharmonie shows films, hosts workshops and artist lectures.

Admission:

  • To Plaza: 2€
  • Shows: prices vary

Public Transportation:

  • Am Kaiserkai (Elbphilharmonie) (Bus 111)
  • Baumwall (Elbphilharmonie (U3)

Reeperbahn

The Reeperbahn is one of the most famous streets in the world and is the centre of Hamburg’s night life to this day. The street originally became well known as the city’s red-light district. Nowadays there is a lot less prostitution and the area is full of live-music, discos, clubs and smaller dance bars. The street is still the location for strip- and pole dance clubs as well as brothels but these are no longer in the foreground.

Public Transportation:

  • Reeperbahn (Bus)
  • Reeperbahn (S1 – 3)
Map

Kanufahrt Alster

Canoeing on the Alster, a right tributary of the Elbe river, can be a lovely activity in Hamburg if the weather is good. Canoes can be rented by the hour very easily and give you the chance to explore areas that can’t be seen from the streets. Whilst canoeing there is the option to visit the Café Canale. The Café Canale at the Mühlenkamp channel is a lovely place to get something to drink and a delicious piece of cake on your canoe. For service, ring the bell that‘s attached to the building and a member of staff will take your order.

Dom Volksfest

Three times a year the Dom Volksfest takes place on St. Pauli square. This is a city festival with various events and rides once in winter, spring and summer. It is Ayo recommended to visit the festival on public transportation as parking close by is limited and often costly.

Opening times:

  • Months vary: click here for more detailed information
  • Monday – Thursday: 15.00 – 23.00
  • Friday – Saturday: 15.00 – 24.00
  • Sunday: 14:00 – 23.00

Public Transportation:

  • Feldstraße (Bus, U3)

The old Elbtunnel

To explore the hidden corners of the harbour there is the possibility to explore the 426m long Elbtunnel. This tunnel can also be used to get to the old country or Wilhelmsburg. The viewpoint is highly Ayo recommended to enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of the Hamburg piers.

Public Transportation:

  • Steinwerder (Alter Elbtunnel) (Bus)
  • Landungsbrücken (Bus, S1 – 3, U3)
Map

Rickmer Rickmers

The Rickmer Rickmers is the floating landmark of Hamburg. This boat museum is the location for various special exhibits as well as an exhibit on the history of the Rickmer Rickmers itself. The boat also has an official post office on board with its own stamp.

Opening times:

  • Daily 10.00 – 18.00 (admission closes at 17.30)

Admission: 

  • Adults: 6€
  • Students, Hamburg-Card holders: 5€
  • Age 4 – 12: 4€

Public Transportation:

  • Landungsbrücken (Bus, S1 -3, U3)

Habour boat tour

A top to-do in Hamburg is a harbour boat tour. The boat tours can be done during the day or at night. There are different kind of tours that last from 1 to 2 hours and cost between 14 and 16€.

The Elbe beach

The Elbe beach is located in a very wealthy part of the city surrounded by parks and green areas. This is the perfect place for dog owners, athletes and people looking for a nice place for a walk or to watch the container ships from afar. The Elbe beach is an ideal depiction of the contrast between industry and relaxation. There’s also the possibility to barbecue provided there is no mess left behind. There’s also the option to find a seat in the “Strandperle” or other surrounding restaurants that offer a lovely view of the river.

Public Transportation:

  • Liebermannstraße (Bus 36, 111)
  • Neumühlen/Övelgönne (Fähre) (Bus 112)

Miniaturland

Hamburg is also the location of the world-wide biggest model train set. Cars, boats and even airplanes are in motion day and night during simulations and small figurines and scenarios complete this miniature land in a very realistic way. There are over 200 buttons available that make the experience very interactive. A guided tour is highly Ayo recommended to allow you to experience this mini land from a whole new perspective through an exclusive entrance with fewer visitors and a VIP insight into this scaled world.

Opening times:

  • Standard: 09.30 – 18.00
  • Weekends, school holidays, Tuesdays, public holidays: longer opening hours (click here for more information)

Admission:

  • Adults: 20€
  • Age 65 and above: 18€
  • Students: 16€
  • Children below the age of 16: 12.50€
  • Children smaller than 1m accompanied by a parent: free

Public Transportation:

  • Auf dem Sande (Speicherstadt) (Bus 6, 602)

Speicherstadt

You can also find one of the 40th UNESCO World Heritage sights in Hamburg – the Speicherstadt (literal translation “warehouse city”). The Speicherstadt is the world’s largest warehouse complex. This area offers various activities for a fun day out including the Speicherstadtmuseum, Hamburg Dungeon and International Maritime Museum. One of the best and most popular photo spots of Hamburg, the Wasserschloss (literal translation “water castle”) is also located here.

Public Transportation:

  • Am Sandtorkai (Bus 111)
  • Baumwall (U3)
  • Meßberg (U3)
  • Überseequartier (U4)

Ayo Recommendations

Alongside our Ayo information and travel guide here are some additional Ayo recommendations for your visit to Hamburg.

The Ayo recommended time to visit Hamburg is generally in the summer time as Hamburg is in the north of Germany which can be very rainy and cold during the winter and this limits quite a lot of activities on offer in this beautiful city. If you are interested in the German Christmas culture, Hamburg can be a nice place to visit the Christmas markets but there are other German cities such as Cologne and Munich which are preferable winter and Christmas time destinations.

The city of Hamburg is divided into various districts which are very noticeable when exploring the various areas. The Altona-Altstadt (Engl. Altona old town) is a lot more traditional and historical for example than the newer, more modern areas such as the HafenCity which in turn is very different to the more industrial areas dedicated to the harbour businesses and lifestyle such as the Speicherstadt. A recommended Ayo photo spot for the best pictures of the Speicherstadt is the Poggenbühlen bridge. When wondering around Hamburg we generally Ayo recommend taking in the view from the piers and various jetties. This is also a highly recommended Ayo photo location. If you fancy a relaxing walk through the park, visit the Planten un Bloomen. We Ayo recommend visiting the water concert there that takes place from May to September during the day without light accompaniment at 2, 4 and 6pm and at night with lights at 10pm. The entrance is free and it is Ayo recommended to view the water show in the evening with light accompaniment. For any shopping enthusiasts it is Ayo recommended to visit the Pölchaukamp and the Mönckebergstraße where you can find all the main shops Hamburg has to offer. Keep in mind though that Germany is a Christian state and most shops are closed on Sundays.

The Fischbeisl is Ayo recommended when it comes to trying Hamburg’s traditional food. If you are looking for something less traditional but with a comfortable and unique atmosphere, check out the Spanish steps.

How To Get Around

Bicycle

Riding a bike in Hamburg can be very pleasant or very hectic depending on where you plan to go. The locals use cycling as a very popular form of day-to-day transportation which means there are often a lot of cyclists on the road. There are many different places to rent a bike in Hamburg but the public transportation in Hamburg is very reliable and less weather dependant which makes it a more practical form of transportation for tourists.

 

Car

There are various car hire services available in Hamburg but hiring your own car is really not necessary. Hamburg is not too large and can be explored on foot and with public transportation. Cars can be rented in the city or directly at the airport. For a less expensive and more short-term car experience in Hamburg, we would Ayo recommend using car share services.

 

Taxi

As in most cities in Germany, taxis in Hamburg are a relatively expensive form of transportation. The public transportation network is usually the best way to get around but if you happen to be out very late or would like direct transportation from the airport to your hotel, then a taxi can be useful. If you plan on using a taxi during the day, be sure to plan in enough time to get to your destination as Hamburg is a busy city, especially during rush hour (7am – 9am, 4pm – 6pm)

 

Bus

The city of Hamburg has a very intricate network of public transportation including many busses. The public transportation in Hamburg is run by the HVV and tickets can be bought for single trip, all day or weekly usage. These tickets are not only valid for the busses but include the train systems as well. Ticket prices vary depending on the distance that will be travelled. Click here for the Hamburg bus plan and find out more about the single and day tickets available here

 

Train

Hamburg has a very practical public transportation network including a suburban train line (known as S-Bahn) and an underground line (known as U-Bahn). A very commonly used U-Bahn line in Hamburg is the U3 as this covers most popular tourist spots. For the U and S-Bahn plan click here. There are various types of tickets that can be bought at the stations or online beforehand. The price of the ticket will vary on how long the ticket is valid for and how far you intend on traveling. We Ayo recommend the 9am Day Ticket for tourists. This ticket includes all bus, S-Bahn and U-Bahn lines and is valid Monday to Friday 0 – 6am and 9am – 6am the following morning which is plenty to explore the beautiful harbour city. The 9am Day Ticket is valid all day on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. Click here for more information on the types of tickets available.

 

Hamburg Card

If you intend on using public transportation quite a lot and intend to visit many tourist attractions that have an entry fee, it is worth considering the Hamburg CARD. The Hamburg CARD allows the use of all busses and trains within the city of Hamburg and some a little outside the city. Many tourist attractions also allow reduced entry to holders of the Hamburg Card. For purchasing information on the Hamburg Card click here.

Hamburg Gallery