Hamburg, situated in the North of Germany, is the second largest city in Germany and a wonderful destination for every traveler.
Hamburg boasts the third biggest harbor in the world (after New York and London); with its two rivers Elbe and Alster and 2.300 bridges (more than Amsterdam and Venice combined), Hamburg has great maritime flair.
Overview of Your Hamburg Trip
With this 2-day itinerary, you can enjoy many of the attractions and sights that Hamburg has to offer.
Day One is dedicated to "Harbor, History, and Nightlife" and includes a harbor boat tour, historical landmarks, and a visit to Hamburg's famous nightlife district, the "Reeperbahn".
Day Two is filled with "Shopping, Art, and Architecture" in the heart of Hamburg, and you'll top the evening off with a visit to one or two of the best bars in the city.
Hamburg Travel Tips:
- This itinerary involves a good amount of walking, so pack comfortable shoes
- Hamburg can be windy, so bring a shawl or an extra sweater
- The Hamburg Metro Card is a great way to get around and gives you discounts for many of Hamburg's attractions
- Get a map of Hamburg's city center, it will make getting around much easier for you; you can also print out a google map of Hamburg
Hamburg Day 1: Harbor, History, and Nightlife
Start your day with one of Hamburg's most popular landmarks: The grand Church St. Michaelis, also called "Michel" (subway line 3, get off at "Rödingsmarkt" or "St. Pauli"). Climb the stairs or take the elevator to the top of the church, and get your bearings from here; find the harbor, it is your next destination and only a 10-minute walk from here.
Walk to the harbor and stroll along the pier, also called St. Pauli Landungsbrücken ("landing bridges"). If you are interested in old sailing ships, pay a visit to the museum ship "Rickmer Rickmers", built in 1896.
Take a harbor boat tour from the pier, a unique way to see one of the world's largest working harbors.
Take a walk through Hamburg's 100-year-old underground Elb-Tunnel, situated at the western end of the pier. Opened in 1911, this historic landmark is 0.3 miles long; it brings you to a small island where you can enjoy the spectacular view of Hamburg's cityscape.
Head back to the pier and walk to the historic warehouse district, the world's largest warehouse complex, situated just past the subway station "Baumwall". The 100-year-old warehouses with their signature red brick stones and steeped gables store cocoa, spices, and silk. Don't miss the light projections that start in the early evening and create a magical atmosphere on buildings, bridges, and canals.
For dinner, head to the excellent seafood restaurant Rive.
No trip to Hamburg is complete without hitting the Reeperbahn, the center of Hamburg's nightlife and home to the legendary Red Light District (Metro stop "Reeperbahn"). Stroll down Hamburg's most famous street lined with greats bars, international restaurants, theatres, and nightclubs.
Visit the clubs where the Beatles played in the 1960s; the Indra Club and the Kaiserkeller are located in a side street called "Große Freiheit".
Hamburg Day 2: Shopping, Arts, and Architecture
Take the Metro to "Jungfernstieg" and start your day at the beautiful lake Binnenalster in the heart of Hamburg; take a walk along the water, and drink your coffee with a great view of the lake from the Alster Pavilion.
Head to the main shopping boulevard Jungfernstieg, Hamburg's address for exclusive shopping. Stroll down the elegant boulevard and sneak a peek down the side streets, lined with a wonderful mix of old buildings and modern shops.
Head to the Alster Arkaden; walk along the canals through these old arcades, which were inspired by Venetian architecture; you'll soon reach the main square of Hamburg's city center.
The main square, called "Rathausmarkt", is dominated by the richly decorated Town Hall of Hamburg; this neo-Renaissance building (1886) is considered to be one of the most beautiful and largest buildings constructed in the 19th century.
Walkthrough Hamburg's pedestrian zone Mönckebergstraße, until you reach the central train station.
The area around the train station boasts many wonderful museums; a must-see is the Hamburg Kunsthalle, one of Germany's finest art museums. Its impressive collection includes paintings from the 19th to the 21st century.
Top off your evening with a drink and visit one of The Best 5 Bars in Hamburg.