Our Hamburg tips: A treasure trove of activities and experiences
Even if you spend a lot of time with us, it’s sadly the case that you will only ever be able to discover a small part of Hamburg. But to make sure they really are the top picks, we have compiled a few special Hamburg insider tips for you. Spoiler alert: club, cathedral, bar, beach, wonderland and restaurant… Find out why we think Hamburg is the most beautiful city in the world!
StrandPauli: The place to chill
Whether in summer or winter, StrandPauli is always in season! At the iconic Landungsbrücken, the after-work location with a view of the Elbhafen is the perfect place to round off the day. At the weekend, you can also start your day here with breakfast or meet for coffee and cake.
The operators are especially interested in the food’s organic quality and its origins. Sustainability and a regional focus take priority, regardless of whether you choose a meat dish or vegetarian or vegan option. The menu includes salads, bowls, nachos, burgers, currywurst, snacks and home-made pizza. Fondue, pizza, wintry dishes, classics like kale and grilled sausage, and winter cocktails and mulled wine are served in the heated hacienda during the cold months.
Puzzle Bar Hamburg by Kevin Fehling: The missing piece in the Hamburg bar scene
The location of this chic cocktail establishment could hardly be more imposing: the Puzzle Bar Hamburg by Kevin Fehling is on the 15th floor of the elegant Campus Tower in the eastern part of HafenCity.
From a height of 56 metres, the views of Hamburg harbour, the HafenCity quarter, the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, the Michel church and the city centre are truly impressive. The panoramic view can be admired from window seats or from the roof terrace. The bar, at which the superb cocktails are mixed, is also a marvel to behold. While Michelin-star chef Kevin Fehling interprets classic dishes in a modern way in the restaurant, drinks, snacks and hot dogs are served in the Puzzle Bar. You can find out how the bar got its name by enquiring of the barista…
H1 Club & H1 Lounge: let’s party!
The H1 Club, together with the H1 Lounge, has been a well-known heavy hitter on Hamburg’s nightlife and entertainment scene since 2006. Its 700 square metres are divided into two floors, a main one and a separable, extensive smoking lounge and four lounge areas.
The large projection screens, showing animations, films, effects, party scenes from the dance floor and events in the room, make a visit to the club a multisensory experience. Above all, however, it’s the clubbers themselves and the great mix of music that set the mood. Well-known artists and DJs like Usher, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, David Guetta, Armin van Buuren and Erick Morillo have already delivered entertaining nights at the H1 Club. Popular party nights include Wild Wednesday and the Royal Club Nights on Fridays.
Miniatur Wunderland: everything in miniature
Well, we say mini … Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg is the largest model railway in the world. Across 1,610 square metres, there are 10,330 cars driving, 4,669 buildings, 47 aeroplanes, 1,166 trains on 16,491 metres of railway track, 289,410 model people and 145,000 trees.
These numbers are of course only accurate for a short time, because the attraction in the popular Speicherstadt area is constantly growing. Currently, plans for new model sections run to 2028. During construction, visitors can look over the shoulders of model builders and technicians and get little insights into the fantastic technology that, along with the landscape and surface design, makes this miniature land so captivating. Special exhibitions also supplement the zones and technology at Miniatur Wunderland.
BattleKart: virtual war declared in a kart
As soon as you’ve driven for around 45 minutes south from Hamburg towards Bispingen, it’s all change, please! To be more precise, it’s time to get into your BattleKart. With your kart, you’re not just a player, but part of a virtual world that allows you to dive into augmented reality.
How does it work? While you’re driving your laps, icons – interactive elements – are projected onto the track. You collect them by driving over them. You can activate the turbo setting on the steering wheel, fire rockets or leave obstacles in the path of your competitors – whatever it takes to win. There are various options available when it comes to which challenge you want to tackle on the BattleKart track: Battle Race, BattleColor, BattleSnake, BattleFoot, BattleVirus and BattlePool.
Reeperbahn: A great night out
‘Auf der Reeperbahn nachts um halb eins’ (On the Reeperbahn at half past midnight) is the theme song of a famous 1940s movie sung by national treasure Hans Albers (1891-1960).
Located in the St Pauli district of Hamburg, Germany’s best-known street exudes a very special charm, especially at night. And not just as part of the red-light district, but as a dining and entertainment destination lined with restaurants, bars, clubs and theatres. As soon as dusk falls, this otherwise relatively quiet milieu comes to life. The Beatles, Die Toten Hosen and local legend Udo Lindenberg all have their own special Reeperbahn story to tell. There are also many tales to be told about the Zur Ritze pub, the Dollhouse nightclub and the Herbertstrasse, a street closed to minors and women. Special attractions are the St Pauli night market on Spielbudenplatz and the Tanzende Türme (Dancing Towers) designed by star architect Hadi Teherani.
Hamburg DOM: the carnival for the whole family
Three times a year, for around four weeks at a time, the Hamburg DOM takes place on Heiligengeistfeld in the district of St. Pauli – a varied funfair rich in tradition and with around 250 attractions and shops and more than 110 food outlets.
The Hamburg DOM is the largest event of its kind in northern Germany and has been an integral part of the Hanseatic festival culture since 1892. Alongside classics like the big wheel and Big Monster, there are always new rides and attractions for all generations to enjoy. ‘Heroes’ was recently introduced, for example – a fast-paced action carousel without rollovers that turns children measuring 1.2 metres or more into superheroes – and without having to be accompanied by an adult. The carnival highlights also include fireworks over Heiligengeistfeld.
Speicherstadt: UNESCO World Heritage Site with a fan base
Did you know that Speicherstadt at the Port of Hamburg is the world’s largest historical warehouse complex? Opened in 1888, the 26-hectare area between Baumwall and Oberhafen has been listed since 1991.
It became Germany’s 40th UNESCO World Heritage site in 2015, together with the Kontorhaus district and Chilehaus. And yes – the backdrop is also one of the most photographed views in the city – in particular, Wasserschloss at the end of Holländischer Brook. It is also the fascinating contrast between the neo-Gothic brick architecture and the glass and steel used in new buildings in the HafenCity that makes the district so attractive. Speicherstadt’s leisure facilities include Miniatur Wunderland and the Kaffeerösterei (coffee roasting house).
Japanischer Garten: the art of silence
Anyone wanting to leave the hustle and bustle of Germany’s second-largest city behind them heads to the Japanischer Garten. Between Congress Center Hamburg (CCH) and Hamburg-Messe, Japanese landscape architect Yoshikuni Araki created the largest garden of its kind in Europe in 1990.
The green area is part of the Planten un Blomen park complex, which has existed since the middle of the nineteenth century. The focal point of the Japanischer Garten is a small lake and rustic teahouse, in which traditional tea ceremonies are conducted during the summer months. A wooden gateway leads to the teahouse; the building opens out over the body of water with a terrace. The design of this downsized reflection of nature blends harmoniously with the East Asian aesthetic and philosophy.
Küchenfreunde: from the farm to the table
Hamburg-based restaurateur Hannes Schröder is behind the Küchenfreunde family concept: Team Köstlich works with regional partners to supply restaurants and bars with high-quality seasonal ingredients and, depending on the location, to obtain the right culinary provision from farm to table.
The aromatic herbs, potatoes and eggs, as well as freshly harvested seasonal vegetables, for example, come from Kastanienhof, Hannes’s family farm in the Lüneburger Heide. And where can you sample the quality of this cuisine? At a total of seven locations: Küchenfreunde Lehmweg, Grindelhof and Kraftwerk; Herzstück Restaurant; in the ‘was wir wirklich lieben Delis’ on Hegestrasse and Lange Reihe; and in the Highball Bar Botanic District.
Hatari Pfälzer Stube: hearty cuisine in Hamburg
There are currently four Hatari Pfälzer Stube locations in Hamburg – two in Eimsbüttel, one in the Schanzenviertel district and one in Ottensen – where you can enjoy hearty Palatinate cuisine.
The menu includes simple, homely dishes including tarte flambée, roast beef, Palatinate farmers’ bratwurst and Swabian Maultaschen (filled pasta squares), along with burgers and tacos. There is also a large selection of salads and other meat- and fish-free dishes for vegetarians and vegans. The eateries’ cosy, rustic design with artistic modern styling elements transforms the restaurants into favourite haunts – whether you’re travelling alone or with friends, family or business partners. Warning! Spoiler alert: the portions are enormous! Make sure you’re really hungry when you go …
Chapeau! Grill & Bar: look around the corner!
Located in Winterhude, the Chapeau restaurant has transformed from a pop-up dinner idea to a much-loved eatery. Owner Robert von Appen, aka Bobby, began with ‘Cirque de Cuisine’ – monthly dinner events – before launching the pop-up restaurant Chapeau! in Brandshof in Hamburg’s Elbbrücken district.
In 2013, he found the perfect location to open Chapeau! Grill & Bar. Even if the premises are a little bit hidden away, the food in no way fades into the background: the menu – which is as varied as the legendary events – features modern steaks and burgers, but also soul food. It is especially pleasant to sit outdoors along the Goldbekkanal, surrounded by greenery. But the all-round bar and cosy seating areas in the restaurant will also have you losing track of time.