The weather is unpredictable in Germany and Hamburg's northern location and westerly winds which blow in moist air from the North Sea mean that visitors to the city should always be prepared for rain. In case you get caught in some legendary Hamburg regen (rain), here are weatherproof ideas to get the best out of the city.
Hamburg is home to a trio of architectural gems that house one of the most impressive art collections in Germany. Kunsthalle Hamburg is dedicated to over 700 years of European art, from medieval altars to modern paintings by German artists Gerhard Richter and Neo Rauch.
Highlights of the museum include Dutch masterpieces from the 17th century by Rembrandt, art from the Romantic Period in Germany by Caspar David Friedrich, as well as an excellent collection of the painters of the Bruecke art group.
Between 1850 and 1939, more than 5 million people from all over Europe emigrated from Hamburg to the New World. The museum complex of Ballinstadt recreates this life-changing journey on historic grounds. Visit the original emigration halls as well as extensive interactive exhibitions in English and German. You can even trace back the journey of your own family by studying the original passenger lists and the largest genealogical database in the world.
You don’t have to be a kid to be amazed by Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland, the largest model railway in the world.
The Wunderland is home to 900 trains, 300,000 lights, 215,000 trees, over 3,000 buildings and 200,000 human figurines, all created in meticulous detail. The mini world covers 13,000 square meters and has everything you can imagine. That means 13 kilometers of miniature tracks connecting different countries and continents with computer-controlled trains, cars, fire trucks, and even cruise ships are on the move. There is even a miniature airport with planes taking off and landing.
The Deichtorhallen, one of Germany’s largest centers for contemporary art, unites the House of Photography and exhibition hall for international art shows all under one roof. The two former market halls feature grand glass and steel architecture and make for an impressive backdrop for art shows of Warhol, Chagall, and Baselitz.
Among the many goods that arrive daily at the Hamburg harbor are spices from all around the world. So it’s only fitting that the city has a great spice museum – the only one of its kind in the world.
Set in an old storehouse close to the harbor, you can see, smell, and of course taste your way through 500 years of exotic spices while learning about their cultivation, processing, and packaging.
Stay dry by taking a walk through Hamburg's 100-year-old underground Elb Tunnel. Situated at the western end of the pier, it was opened in 1911 and is a historical site. This .3 mile long historic landmark brings visitors to a small island where you can enjoy the spectacular view of Hamburg's skyline.
The International Maritime Museum, which opened in a historical warehouse in Hamburg’s Hafencity, celebrates the city’s maritime heritage and brings its 3,000-year-old naval history to life.
There is a lot to see. Displayed over 10 sprawling floors, the museum showcases 26,000 ship models, 50,000 construction plans, 5,000 paintings and graphics, and many nautical devices. It is a fascinating site for visitors of all ages and a safe haven from the rain.
The baroque church of Hauptkirche Sankt Michaelis is the signature landmark of Hamburg. "Michel", as locals like to call the church, was built between 1648 and 1661 and is the most famous church in the North of Germany.
Its white and golden interior seats 3,000 people. Or get out of the seats and climb the spiral staircase to the top to enjoy sweeping views of the Hamburg skyline and harbor. There is no admission charge for the church, but there is a charge for the crypt and tower.
Explore the Russian U-434 submarine in Hamburg's harbor and see if you could handle the claustrophobic lifestyle abroad a Cold War ship. A tiny visitor's center just steps away from St. Pauli Fischmarkt holds a variety of touristy souvenirs and tickets for the museum and tours. From here you can wait for a tour group to depart (German and English tours available) or start off on your own discovery of life under the sea.