Hamburg’s top 25 sights – descriptions and photos

Hamburg’s 25 top sights

The free city of Hamburg was already a prosperous and independent settlement at the end of the twelfth century. Princes and kings never ruled here, so centuries of freedom have left a deep imprint on these lands. Hamburg has been a multicultural and cosmopolitan city since the Middle Ages. Nowadays, the bustle of the city still goes on in the squares and streets of the harbor.

Hamburg is very different. On the one hand the historic center with its picturesque city hall and Renaissance buildings, on the other hand the dynamic industrial neighborhoods of the Barn city, and on the other hand the beautiful Alster lake and the large park areas in the city limits. Hamburg’s museums and galleries cherish the cultural traditions of centuries gone by.

What to see and where to go in Hamburg?

The most interesting and beautiful places to walk. Photos and short descriptions.

Hamburg City Hall

The majestic historic city hall building, decorated with statues of German emperors. Today the town hall is the seat of the mayor. Festivals, festivals and fairs are held on the Town Hall Square all year round. In the courtyard of the building is an elegant fountain with a statue of the goddess of health Hygeia, built in the late 19th century to celebrate the end of the cholera epidemic.

Hamburg city hall.

Port of Hamburg

Freight harbour on the River Elbe, Germany’s largest port and the “German gateway to the world”. Ships and tankers from many countries moor here, and the port is the ninth busiest in the world. The length of the harbor is 46 km. The harbour started to function in the 12th century under the ruler Frederick I. Because of its favorable location and a convenient port, Hamburg quickly became rich and by the 17th century, it became a major European transportation hub.

Hamburg harbor.

Lake Alster

A lake in the center of Hamburg, around which the upscale districts of the city are concentrated. On the banks of the Alster stand luxurious villas of wealthy citizens. Almost 6 kilometers coastal area is turned into a public park. On the lake are regularly held competitions in water sports. If you so desire, you can take a boat trip on the regularly running ferry and admire the surrounding landscape.

Lake Alster.

Jungfernstieg street

An alley in the historic part of Hamburg on the southern shore of Lake Alster. The Jungfernstieg was the first paved street in Germany. In past centuries, noble and wealthy families took a promenade here, and at the same time showed their unmarried daughters to the public. Today the street is an important transport hub of Hamburg, business center and best place for shopping.

The street Jungfernstieg.

Rue Reeperbahn

The center of Hamburg’s bohemian life in the port district of St. Pauli. The street got its “frivolous” fame from the past, when the city quarters in the port area were considered a place of vice and fornication. Nowadays the function of the Reeperbahn hasn’t changed much and it’s a mix of nightclubs, nightclubs, erotic cabaret shows and legal brothels. The place got the unofficial name of “Sin Mile”.

Reperbahn street.

Hamburg Kunsthalle

City Art Museum, founded on the initiative of members of the Union of Lovers of Literature. In the middle of the 19th century, the authorities allocated a plot of land for construction, and work began under the direction of the architects H. Schirrmacher and H. von der Hude. In 1995 another building was added to the museum and became home to the “Gallery of Modernity”. In the Hamburg Kunsthalle works from different eras, from the Middle Ages onwards, are collected.

Hamburg Kunsthalle.

Hamburg History Museum

Museum from the beginning of the twentieth century, where you can learn a great deal about the history of Hamburg. The exhibits tell the visitor how the city grew from a small fortress into a affluent and prosperous European trade center. The exhibition was opened thanks to the activities of the members of the historical society. There are parts of ancient buildings, panoramas, ship models, costumes and the largest model railroad in Europe.

Hamburg History Museum.

Museum of Arts and Crafts

Museum of Applied Arts, which has a collection of 500 thousand items. It is one of the most comprehensive collections in Europe. Here are stored collections of textiles, furniture, furnishings, furnishings, made in the best factories of Italy, Belgium, France. Also in the museum there are antique musical instruments, rare costumes of French fashion designers, collections of porcelain and faience.

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Museum of Arts and Crafts.

Wax Museum Panopticum

The exposition of the museum is based on the private collection of wax figures of Hermann Weber, who was also the creator of all his exhibits. The first figures were copies of criminals and proslavery burgomasters of Hamburg. After a fire in 1943, only 19 remained of the collection. They form the basis of a renewed exhibition. Now about 120 famous people can be admired at the museum.

Wax Museum Panopticum.

Rickmer Rickmers Museum Ship.

A former cargo barque that made long voyages across the Atlantic to Chile and also to the Far East. The ship was seized by British forces in the early twentieth century and transferred to Portugal after World War I. In 1983, Germany bought the bark, which had been in service all along. The ship was restored and converted into a museum dedicated to the history of the ship and the Rickmers shipping company.

Ship Museum Rickmer Rickmers.

Hamburg Dungeon

A popular horror museum that recounts in color and faces the “dark” periods of the city’s history: public executions, epidemics, major fires and other bleak events. Visitors are treated to theatrical performances, interactive shows and absolutely scary entourage that makes even the most indifferent uncomfortable. The museum is housed in gloomy and stylized catacombs.

Hamburg Dungeon.

Miniature Wonderland

A fantastic city that represents the world around you in miniature. Here you can find models of German railroads (with real stations), airports, Scandinavian harbors, the Alpine mountains, the American continent and much more. The area of “Wonderland” is divided into thematic sections, which represent entire states in miniature. This unique space is of interest to both children and adults.

Miniature Wonderland.

Hamburg Opera House

Germany’s oldest musical theater, founded in 1678. The stage was originally intended for the general public and not just for the narrow circle of noble families. Until the middle of the 18th century, the opera was located in a wooden building, in 1827 the company moved into the new building, but it was destroyed during World War II. The opera house was restored for almost ten years.

Hamburg Opera House.

Monument to Otto von Bismarck

Giant monument in honor of the outstanding chancellor of the united Germany (and later the German Empire) Otto von Bismarck. This politician stood at the heart of the transformation of the fragmented German states and small principalities into a united and strong country. He was an honorary citizen of Hamburg, so the authorities decided to erect a worthy monument in his honor. The monument was inaugurated in 1906.

Monument to Otto von Bismarck.

Church of St. Michael

Eighteenth-century church built in the Baroque style. It is considered one of the most picturesque in Hamburg. The church is crowned by a 132-meter bell tower with an impressive clock on the facade. At the top is an observation deck with views of the Elbe, Lake Alster and Hamburg. During World War II, the structure was badly damaged, so it had to work hard to rebuild it.

Church of St. Michael.

Church of St. Nicholas

Lutheran church, of which only the 147-meter bell tower remains. It was once a beautiful neo-Gothic church. The first building appeared in the XIII century, in the middle of the XIX century on its place was erected a new structure, which was damaged during the bombing of 1943. After the war the church was not completely restored, leaving only the tower. The ruins of St. Nicholas Church serve as a memorial to the victims of the bloody battles.

Church of St. Nicholas

Planetarium

An impressive space theater where projections of the starry sky are shown. The planetarium opened in 1930 and is the oldest in Germany. The monumental historic building is equipped with modern technology with which it is possible to see entire star worlds. Powerful planetarium projector is capable of displaying several thousand stars simultaneously on the dome.

Planetarium

Fish Market

Market area, where you can buy fish, seafood, smoked meats, fruits, souvenirs, as well as delicious food. The market exists since the beginning of the XVIII century. Trade is conducted here from five to ten in the morning. Tourists are brought by buses, and skillful sellers put on an exciting show in front of potential customers. The market is worth a visit for the entourage, the atmosphere, and the mood, even if no shopping is planned.

Fish market

Chilihouse

Eleven-story building from the beginning of the twentieth century in the Expressionist style. The unofficial name of the building is “the prow of the ship” because of its distinctive shape resembling a ship’s cape. Chili House was built by the order of the big merchant G. Sloman, who made his fortune in the Chilean saltpetre trade. It was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as an example of Hamburg’s port architecture.

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Chilihaus.

Barn City

A complex of warehouse and administrative buildings of the port district of Hamburg. The buildings are made mainly of red bricks. Between them lay numerous metal bridges. Thanks to this industrial architecture of the port area acquired a unique flavor. Barn city emerged in the late XIX century, when it was decided to create a free trade zone outside of Hamburg.

Barn city.

Bergedorf castle

The only castle left in Hamburg. It is located in the old part of the city. It is believed that the castle was built in XIII century, as there are written documents, in which it is mentioned as a “strong house. Today, on the territory of the building is a branch of the Hamburg History Museum. Exhibitions introducing visitors to the cultural heritage of the region are held here.

Bergedorf Castle.

The old tunnel under the Elbe

An underground passage under the Elbe River, 426.5 meters long, connecting the port district of St. Pauli with the center of Hamburg. It was designed and built in the early 20th century. Engineering solutions implemented during the construction were considered breakthrough and progressive for that time. The idea of laying the tunnel arose after a strike in 1896, when disgruntled port workers demanded to solve the problem of unloading the port.

The old tunnel under the Elbe.

Olsdorferfriedhof Park Cemetery

An old cemetery from the late 19th century with more than 1.5 million burials on an area of almost 400 hectares. Through the cemetery can be moved by car and public transport, as the length of the alleys is more than 17 km. Numerous mausoleums, chapels, memorials are built here. There are benches and places for walks for visitors. The cemetery has long been a landmark, it is visited by more than 2 million people a year.

Olsdorferfriedhof cemetery park.

Hagenbeck Zoo

Private zoo of the Hagenbeck family, opened in 1907. The zoo was the first in the world where natural living conditions were created for animals. The area is home to over 200 species of animals. One of the interesting places in the zoo is the tropical aquarium, which has a large species diversity – from small fish and tropical insects to crocodiles of gigantic size.

Hagenbeck Zoo.

Plantin un Blomen Park.

A botanical garden and the “green heart” of Hamburg, a favorite place for walks and picnics in good weather. The park hosts gardening and landscaping exhibitions, flower fairs, musical performances and art exhibits. Plantin un Blomen is located just west of Lake Alster. It includes several garden areas united by a common concept.

Park Plantin un Blomen.

Complete the article by describing your impression of the city (country) or individual attraction.

Hamburg’s 25 most important sights and what to see in 1 day

Hamburg is the city of the three M’s: sailors, bridges and millionaires. The site was originally a plain. Only in 808 by decree of Emperor Charlemagne on the bank of the Elbe River was built a viewing fortress. Since then, houses have been standing around the tower and markets have been opened. The city is famous for its marina and cosmopolitan culture. Hamburg is rightly considered free and democratic because there have never been rulers of the upper class. And then let’s talk about the sights that are worth seeing.

What to see in Hamburg in a day

Hamburg starts early enough in the morning, so there are plenty of sights to see in 1 day. It’s worth starting at city hall, taking a walk around the square, and visiting the local art museum.

Walking along the lake offers great views of the scenery. Walking through the red light street in the evening, travelers will find entertainment for all tastes.

red light street

Traveling together with children, it is better to refrain from visiting the street

Three-day sightseeing itinerary

In a few days you can literally explore the entire city. The first day is worth a visit to the miniature wonderland, where tourists linger long enough, then visit the port museum and finish the trip with a picnic in the botanical garden.

On days 2 and 3, travelers will visit the Historical Museum of Art, the torture chamber in the catacombs, and in the evening is worth a visit to the planetarium. The journey ends with a visit to the wax museum, a walk through Bergedorf Castle and a visit to the Olsdorferfriedhof cemetery park.

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When planning a trip to Germany in addition to Hamburg it is worth visiting incredibly beautiful Munich, austere Cologne with its Gothic cathedrals, ancient Nuremberg, Bavarian Regensburg and beer festival, as well as medical and tourist Baden-Baden.

Beautiful places for photo shoots

One of the most picturesque places for a photo shoot is considered a botanical garden. Also worth taking a ride on a catamaran on the Alster Lake and capture the seascape. Walking through the alleys you can find many unique architectural structures and park groves with unusual scenery.

Lake Alster has amazingly beautiful photographs.

On the lake Alster you can make beautiful pictures.

Where to go in the city in winter

There are not many winter attractions. Most of them are walks in the central part of the city, visiting the Fish Market and museums.

It is definitely worth visiting the churches of St. Nicholas and St. Michael. The annual winter fair in Bremen, an hour away from Hamburg, is also an unforgettable experience.

Where to go with children

Children will love the miniature wonderland, a visit to the zoo will not leave them indifferent. Next to the museums are shopping centers with age-appropriate children’s rooms.

Children will love the performances of strolling artists and circus at the seasonal festivals on the central and harbor square.

At the zoo, children can pet and feed the many animals

At the zoo children can pet and feed the many animals.

Where to go and how to get there

The city is located in northern Germany on the banks of the River Elbe. From Russia to Hamburg tourists travel by plane, car or train. Planes from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg will get travelers to their destination in record time. You can use a budget option – the train route Moscow – Berlin, where at one of the stations a cab or subway will take the tourist to the center.

The free and independent city has tried to combine rare historic architecture with modern eccentric art. Hamburg has a variety of attractions for travelers of all ages and tastes. It is a very different city with many unusual places, in which you can feel the peculiar charm and entourage of history.

Quiet and the largest harbor in Germany. The largest oil tankers and ships from all countries are moored to the pier. The port was given the second name “Gate of the World” and has become the main attraction of Hamburg. The area reaches 46 km. The first ships began to take in in the 12th century, after which the city began to rapidly become rich and develop. Excursions by kayak and catamaran are organized for tourists.

Olsdorferfriedhof Park Cemetery

Burials in the cemetery began before the 19th century. Today, the park is visited by more than 3 million travelers. The area of the cemetery is 400 hectares. On the park move on foot, by car or by tourist bus. The area of the boulevard is 18 km. Family vaults and chapels in ethnic styles deserve special attention. After a hot summer day you can see some glowing phosphorescent figures that create a gothic atmosphere.

Rue Reeperbahn

A whole mile of Red Light Street. This place was originally popular with sailors and travelers. After several centuries, the purpose of the street has not changed much. The townspeople call this place “Sin Mile. There are bars, clubs and restaurants offering a variety of services to visitors. Legal strip clubs are ready to fulfill any desire of the guest, and entertainment facilities will not leave anyone indifferent.

Fish Market

The largest covered market where you can buy anything from seafood, souvenirs and fruit. Only here the chefs of expensive restaurants shop. The market is open for tourists from 5 am, works only 5 hours, then this place is empty and becomes the most quiet and deserted. The fish market is worth a visit for the exciting presentations and shows for tourists.

Rickmer Rickmers Museum Ship.

Rickmer was formerly owned by a local shipping company. The barque sailed to the far shores of Chile across the Atlantic Ocean. In the early 20th century, the Rickmer was confiscated by British troops. It was not until the late 20th century that Germany bought the ship from Portugal. The authorities converted the ship into a maritime museum, with exhibits dedicated to the development of Hamburg’s maritime trade.

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Church of St. Nicholas

The church of St. Nicholas, built in the neo-Gothic style at the beginning of the 13th century, was completely destroyed by bombers. Among the ruins of the church survived only the bell tower, which was restored after the events of World War II. The height of the building is 147 meters. Services are held in the chapel and annual tribute is paid to those who perished in the bloody battles.

Hamburg Dungeon

The street where the museum is located is where public executions, censures and torture took place centuries ago. Today, the Hamburg Dungeon presents the events of the bloody ordeals of the martyrs. The theatrical horror, performances and gloomy atmosphere immerse tourists in a troubled time. The museum was opened in the city’s catacombs, where experiments on war prisoners were carried out.

The old tunnel under the Elbe

In 1896, the locals went on strike with the authorities, allegedly hampered by the round-the-clock noise of the unloading of the port ships. The city authorities met the citizens in a peculiar way – they designed an underground tunnel under the river. At first, ships were unloaded through the tunnel. After several decades, the tunnel was renovated for underground walks.

Museum of Arts and Crafts

Visitors can discover a world of art and craft in Hamburg. The collection contains over 500 thousand items. The museum keeps collections of applied art from all over Europe. Here you can find textiles, antique furniture, rare tools of artists and musicians and porcelain. Free admission to the museum is on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Hamburg Opera House

The stage began to be built in 1678. The theater was built absolutely for all classes of society. This tolerance attracted much of the public. The first building of the opera was built of wood. After the events of World War II, the stage of the opera was destroyed. The building was completely rebuilt over 10 years. Today plays by foreign and local directors are staged there.

Monument to Otto von Bismarck

The monument was erected in 1906 on the main park square in Hamburg. Otto von Bismarck was at the origin of the unification of the small German states into a unified Germany. Hamburg especially valued the Chancellor’s services to the city and country, so they erected a memorial monument. The statue is surrounded by park trees and flower alleys. Here you can enjoy the nature, feed the seagulls and pigeons, listen to performances of street musicians.

Church of St. Michael

One of the most picturesque sights in Hamburg is the Church of St. Michael. The style of the building is Baroque with Gothic elements. The cathedral was erected in the early 18th century. In the temple are stored religious scrolls and valuables. The church is topped with a high bell tower of 132 meters. The observation deck offers a view of the Elbe, the local lake and the circular panorama of the city. The church has been restored several times, but its true appearance has not changed.

Jungfernstieg street

This is the main transportation hub of the city, where centuries ago Hamburg’s wealthy men and women paraded their daughters around. A kind of show was held in the form of a competition, where the winner got one of the most beautiful girls as a wife. Today, the widest avenue in the city is full of business centers, expensive apartment complexes, and shopping malls for shopping.

Planetarium

A clear projection of the starry night sky can be seen at any time of day in Hamburg’s main planetarium. The space theater opened at the beginning of the twentieth century and has been popular with locals since the early days. With the help of modern equipment visitors can enjoy the dance of star clusters and see new cosmic expanses. A powerful telescope projector displays on the planetarium dome up to several thousand stars simultaneously.

Bergedorf castle

The first references to the “strong house” are found in historical documents of the 13th century. Today it is the only historical castle that has survived to our time. Inside the mansion is equipped as one of the departments of the Hamburg Historical Museum. The collection of somber exhibits is full of items of everyday life of troubled times. In the halls are rare examples of fine art from the 13th to 15th century.

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Hamburg History Museum

The historical complex consists of several branches. The museum with unusual exhibits was built in the early 20th century. Here unique exhibits tell the story of Hamburg’s development from an ordinary fortress to Germany’s world-famous commercial center. The museum was opened thanks to generous donations from local patrons. The halls display parts of historic buildings, ship elements, costumes, and other historical exhibits.

Barn City

The complex was built for the storage of maritime goods from far abroad. The buildings are made of red brick in the style of English loft and Gothic. The complex of buildings is located on both sides of the River Elbe. The buildings are connected by metal bridges, from which you can see the industrial corner of Hamburg.

Hamburg Kunsthalle

Pavilion-museum of the art of Hamburg. The project was erected according to the drawings of the architects G. Hude and H. Schirrmacher. Construction began in the late 19th century on donations from literary connoisseurs. In 1995 a gallery of modern art was added to the museum. Within the walls of the museum exhibits from different eras, from the Middle Ages to the present.

Miniature Wonderland

Here you can see trains and highways with cars and little people in miniature.

The Miniature Wonderland was opened in a modern building at the beginning of the 21st century. It is a representation of cities and countries in miniature. In the fairytale city you can see Scandinavian countries, German railroads, major European cities, Alpine meadows and mountains. The miniature complex consists of themed areas, which will be interesting to visit for travelers of all ages.

Chilihouse

A house of 11 stories was built in one of the alleys of the city. The Chilli House in Expressionist style was erected within a year, commissioned by the entrepreneur G. Sloman. The house is distinguished by the characteristic shape of the facade in the form of a ship’s cape. It was listed by UNESCO as a model of Hamburg’s port architecture. In the evening the building is beautifully lit, bringing a touch of modernity to the ancient facades.

Wax Museum Panopticum

The creator of the museum and the exhibits was sculptor G. Weber. The wax statues were accurate and realistic doubles of local criminals and dishonest German politicians. An accidental fire destroyed most of the exhibits. Today, the collection is almost restored, with 19 wax figures left over from the fire on display in the main hall. The museum exhibits wax statues of famous personalities from the world film industry.

Plantin un Blomen Park.

The first plant planted in the park was the sycamore tree planted in November 1821 by Johann Georg Christian Lehmann.

Next to the center of Hamburg, the botanical garden is open. In sunny weather here you can enjoy nature, listen to the musical fountain, have a little picnic. Every year in the park are held flower festivals, exhibitions, fairs and competitions between landscapers and gardeners. The park complex is home to gardens and lawns of a variety of styles.

Lake Alster

Located in the heart of the city. There are villas and mansions of local magnates lined along the waterfront, and a public park is open nearby. On Alster hold maritime sports competitions. For tourists organize water excursions on small steamboats and kayaks. In the vicinity of the lake are rare species of white swans, which can be fed.

Hamburg City Hall

The building was built for 15 years. In the town hall meetings of the city authorities are held, charity events and exhibitions are organized. In the courtyard installed a statue of the goddess Hygeia in memory of the epidemic of cholera and plague. The burgomaster’s house is decorated with statues and stucco, carved and wrought iron patterns. Admission is free, but you must have a tourist pass.

Hagenbeck Zoo

In 1907, the Hagenbeck family opened an exotic animal zoo. At that time, the park had several specimens of elephants, monkeys, and wild horses. After the events of World War II, the city authorities began importing new species of exotic animals. Now the park has over 200 species of animals, many of which were brought from distant continents and are considered the last specimens of their species.

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