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Top 10 Things to do in Hamburg

The Christmas magic unfolded the minute we entered the centre of Hamburg, driving by one building after the other, all bathed in the most magical Christmas lights. Despite Hamburg being Germany’s second largest city, it by no means felt so big at all. Often overshadowed by Germany’s biggest city, Berlin, Hamburg is bustling with just as much life, culture and history. In this blog post I will guide you through the top 10 things to do in Hamburg, even though there is much and more to see and do in this lively city.


This miniature wonderland is the largest miniature railway exhibition in the entire world

1. Miniature Wonderland

You might wonder whether a miniature wonderland really can attract so much attention and by probably being the most visited attraction in Hamburg, it definitely can. This miniature wonderland is the largest miniature railway exhibition in the entire world and it has everything – uncountable lengths of railroad tracks, 263.000 people staged throughout different sceneries, ships sailing through waters, airplanes flying - you name it. There is no need to travel the world when you can see it in one day, from France and Brazil, nothing’s missing. Distributed throughout an impressive 1.500 m2 and several floors, the crew behind this project has spent imposing 923.000 working hours so far and they aren’t finished just yet. The miniature wonderland is constantly being expanded with new countries and even whole continents being added.





Hamburg is an incredibly interesting city and is packed with history

2. Speicherstadt

Hamburg is an incredibly interesting city and is packed with history. At the end of the 19th century the city initiated the construction of warehouses in an area pointed out as a free port where goods could be transferred to and stored without having to pay toll. The warehouses which back in the old days used to store goods of high value like coffee, tea, cocoa, spices and tobacco, have today been turned into a historic district with a great variety of attractions like the above mentioned “Miniature Wonderland”, museums, galleries, cafés and tourist attractions. The buildings, together with the atmosphere is worth a visit. No trip to Hamburg is complete without a visit to the famous “Speicherstadt”. Since 2015, the Speicherstadt has been announced Germany’s 40th UNESCO World Heritage Site. In case you don’t feel like going inside anywhere, strolling through the district is just as enjoyable.





This church is the St. Michael’s Church, also called by its nickname, Michel

3. St. Michael's Church

Every city has one – that one imposing church you simply have to see. In Hamburg this church is the St. Michael’s Church, also called by its nickname, ‘Michel’. Hamburg has many churches, but only one ‘Michel’ which is the landmark of the city and considered to be one of the finest baroque churches in Germany. It is equally the largest church in Hamburg and provides you with a magnificent view over the city from the bell tower. Prior to the church you see today there were another two previous churches which due to severe catastrophes like a lightning strike and a fire were completely destroyed. The first one was built between 1647 and 1669 and the second in 1786. The people of the city were not giving up on their church though and a third one was built in 1912 which is the one you see today.






During Christmas time the town hall is surrounded by Christmas lights

4. Town Hall

During Christmas time the town hall is surrounded by Christmas lights and the scent of mulled wine from the booths scattered around the large square with the impressively imposing building in the background. Taking the first glance at this striking building you are in no doubt that this building is of great importance to the city. Erected between 1886 and 1897, the eye-catching Neo-Renaissance town hall is a symbol of Hamburg’s wealth and prosperity from a time when the German Empire was formed and this building was supposed to reflect exactly that. This spectacular building dominates the skyline in the city centre with its huge tower. The town hall houses today the city’s senate and parliament.





In an imposing building is where you’ll find the Hamburger Kunsthalle

5. Kunsthalle

It was on one of the good weather days which, after spending hours outdoors, walking around the Alster Lakes, turned into a day where it was time in the afternoon to seek shelter inside and inhale some culture. In an imposing building, located next to the Alster Lakes, is where you’ll find the Hamburger Kunsthalle; three striking buildings containing some of the most important art collections in Germany. The art collection holds something for every taste, containing both old masters and new art icons and walking you through an impressive insight into eight centuries of art history. Don’t count me in on the lovers of contemporary art though, as much of it I honestly don’t understand, but there is something for every taste.





What more says Hamburg than the world of shipping

6. International Maritime Museum

Although we never made it inside the International Maritime Museum, you should definitely put it on your list. We did have it on our list and I regret deeply that we never made it inside to see the exhibition. Because, what more says Hamburg than the world of shipping; clearly, these two belong together. Inside Hamburg’s oldest standing, historic warehouse lies the International Maritime Museum which is an extensive collection of model ships, uniforms and maritime art, collected by one man, Peter Tamm – probably the greatest collector of all things nautical. The exhibition stretches over a total of 9 floors and 11.000 m2, taking you through 3.000 years of human history.





At times, all it takes to get a break from sightseeing is a leisurely stroll in nature

7. Alster Lakes

At times, all it takes to get a break from sightseeing is a leisurely stroll in nature. In Hamburg, this is what you have the Alster Lakes for in the central part of the city. On a walk around the Alster you can see Hamburg from so many beautiful perspectives – with impressive buildings in the background, the green banks and numerous cafés and restaurants. The Alster is made up of two lakes, called the Outer and Inner Alster, which were created when the Alster river was turned into a water reservoir through a dam back in the 12th century. The lakes are linked to the Elbe River by canals, running through the central part of Hamburg with beautiful promenades along the water. From the “Jungernstieg” you’ll have a magnificent view of the Inner Alster with its iconic fountain in the middle and makes for some excellent picture opportunities.





The “Jungfernstieg” is a place boasting with shopping opportunities

8. Jungfernstieg

The “Jungfernstieg” is a place boasting with shopping opportunities or is just as well an equally good place to promenade. It is a grand and gracious promenade on the banks of the Alster Lakes with a fantastic view over the lake.

The German word “Jungfer” translates into virgin in English. The name derives from the old days where wealthy Hanseatic families would take their unmarried daughters on Sundays to promenade in hope of finding a worthy husband. However, this focus has shifted over the centuries and is no longer an exclusive domain of wealthy families; it is now considered as the most elegant luxury shopping street in Hamburg. During Christmas season the promenade is filled up with white tents, Christmas lights and their forever amazingly panorama view of the sparkling lake with the Christmas Market called “White Magic”.





What once used to be a church has today been turned into a memorial and museum

9. St. Nikolai Memorial

What once used to be a church dedicated to the patron Saint Nicholas and originally erected with a wooden chapel in the 12th century, has today been turned into a memorial and museum to commemorate the victims of war within the ruins that are left after the bombings during WWII. The original wooden chapel from the 12th century had later been turned into a brick church. After the Great Fire in 1842, the St. Nikolai Church was burned down though and yet another rebuilt of the church took place. At the time the church was finished in 1874 it was the tallest building in the world until 1876. During WWII in 1943 Hamburg’s city centre was left in ruins after a series of air raids, leaving only the spire behind, which is still the tallest in Hamburg.






Another UNESCO World Heritage Site gem - the Chilehouse

10. Chilehouse

Adjacent to UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, Speicherstadt, you’ll find yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site gem, the Chilehouse. This office building is an outstanding example of the expressionist style from the 1920’s. Built with 4,8 million bricks, this building stands 10 floors tall and is visibly rich in both architecture and history. Hamburg boasts of imposing, historical buildings like the town hall or the old warehouses, but this is an example of impressiveness on an incomparable level. The first thing that will catch your eye is the unremarkable reminiscence of a ship’s bow when you see the building up front with its pointy end. This extraordinary building was erected between 1922 and 1924 by a man called Henry B. Sloman who left for Chile and return as a wealthy man at the age of 60. As a gift to his hometown, he decided to erect this building which symbolizes Germany's' economic revival after WWI.

4件のコメント


ゲスト
2022年12月13日

Such a lovely post and places to see in Hamburg. Thank you for sharing. 🤗


Pastor Natalie (Examine This Moment)

Letstakeamoment.com

いいね!
Marissa Matthiesen
Marissa Matthiesen
2022年12月13日
返信先

Thank you so much 😊 Hopefully, you'll get to see it yourself one day

いいね!

ゲスト
2022年12月06日

Such a lovely post. Looks so nice to visit and enjoy. Thank you for sharing. 🤗


Pastor Natalie (Examine This Moment)

Letstakeamoment.com

いいね!
Marissa Matthiesen
Marissa Matthiesen
2022年12月13日
返信先

Thank you for your comment - Hamburg is such a lovely city!

いいね!
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