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Hamburg City Breaks

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Hamburg holidays

A modern city with maritime might

Sitting pretty on the Elbe River in the country's north with a population of nearly 2 million, Hamburg is Germany's second-largest city. Choose a holiday in Hamburg and you'll discover that the city has a more laid back, self-assured feel than Germany’s other major hubs, making it a great place to visit. Since joining the Hanseatic League trading bloc in the Middle Ages, Hamburg has been defined by its maritime past. Today, Hamburg’s harbour area, with its landing stage, massive container ships and surrounding warehouses, is the city’s main attraction. If you’re after a city with bags of style, romantic riverside walks and some of Europe’s most eclectic architecture then look no further than Hamburg.

Your Hamburg City questions, answered

With plenty of cycle paths along flat roads, Hamburg is a dream to see by bike. Hop on the city's Stadtrad bicycles and peddle away.
Hamburg does have a city pass. It could save you money on travel and tickets for attractions, especially if you’re planning to pack a lot into your city break. There are several schemes available with free or discounted entry to many of the museums and galleries. Passes are usually accepted for sightseeing bus tours and boat trips. You can also use them on public transport within the city, so it’s ideal for getting around.
While there's no bad time to visit, winters are often rainy while the summer can be very crowded. April and May provide a happy medium.
Hamburg is an ideal place to go for a city break. There’s plenty of history and culture to explore here. From the modern Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall to the old Landungsbrucken floating dock, it has plenty of interesting sights. The port and museums are great to explore too. Once you’ve walked around the city’s impressive buildings, take to the water and tour the river, canals and lakes. And don’t miss out on the city’s dining and shopping opportunities.
Tipping is not expected but it's polite to round up the bill for service at bars and cafés.
The city of Hamburg is a good place to take the family on holiday. There are plenty of fun attractions. Both adults and children will love the Miniatur Wunderland, a model version of Hamburg complete with buildings, people and a working train. The maritime history of the city will also appeal, with a museum, historic ships and boat trips to enjoy. The local beaches and lakes are perfect for time outdoors, whether it’s paddling, relaxing or sporting activities.
Hamburg is probably most famous for its port, bridges and maritime history. However, if you ask a local, they will likely say the river, beaches and nightlife. And it is one of the livelier German cities. People often visit Hamburg simply for the bustling bars and clubs. It’s not just a place to party though. The wealth of culture is a definite highlight. Historical buildings, museums and attractions will entertain all ages. Oh yes, and the Beatles played here when they were starting up.
You could spend a few days or a few weeks in Hamburg. It all depends on how much you want to fit in. The port and maritime area will keep you busy for a few days, especially if you want to take a boat tour. Then there are the other museums and attractions. You may fancy taking a day to do some city-centre shopping or exploring the old town. And, if you’re planning to hang out on the beach or by the lake, you may want to take a little longer.
Hamburg is one of Germany’s best locations for nightlife. St Pauli and more specifically, the Reeperbahn, is the most buzzing area for bars, clubs and live music. It’s where the Beatles first played, and it’s even more vibrant today. The area has its own annual music festival. If you fancy something a little more relaxed, try the cobbled streets and restaurants of the old town. Or head to the hip bars and cafes of St Georg.

Best things to do in Hamburg City

Check out the Kunsthalle

Showcasing masterpieces from the likes ofGauguin, Canaletto and Caspar David Friedrich, the Kunsthalle is one of the most important museums in all of Germany.

See the Elbphilharmonie

Hamburg's stunning concert hall has a shimmering facade of 1,000 curved windows that give the impression of both waves and the sails of a ship.

Visit the Maritime Museum

Discover the maritime might that gave Hamburg its wealth through fascinating artefacts - including a3,000 year-old canoe discovered in the harbour - at the International Maritime Museum.

Beaches