Differences Between Living in Germany and India

Differences Between Living in Germany and India

Do you know that I’ve been living in Germany since 2017? I grew up in India but moved to Germany at the start of my 30s. I got to experience life in India and now I’m experiencing what it is like to live in Germany.

I am a part of a few forums online where those living in India often ask how different it is to live in Germany versus India, and so I decided to write this post based on my experience, after all, I have lived in both countries.

Water and Air Quality

Germany is so green
Germany is so green

This is the most obvious one. Now don’t get me wrong, the air and water quality in India is not bad everywhere, but it is horrible in some cities like Agra, Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgram, Noida, Patna, etc.

Pollution is especially bad in the autumn months, not because of the Diwali fireworks but because of Paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana.

In comparison, the air and water quality in Germany is very good. No, Germany doesn’t rank in the top 10 countries for cleanest air but it is definitely cleaner than India.

Shopping on Sundays in India vs Germany

Everything is closed on Sundays in Germany, even the supermarkets. So if you didn’t buy your important items on Saturday already, then you’re in a fix. Sometimes when Saturday or the Monday after is also a national holiday the supermarkets are closed for two days straight.

In comparison, in India, one can go shopping on a Sunday because everything is open. Many shops are still open on Diwali, which is the biggest festival of the Indian subcontinent.

Work-Life Balance

Paperwork doesn't seem to end when you move to another country
Paperwork doesn’t seem to end when you move to another country [CC0] via Pixabay

Germany has one of the best work-life balance that I have ever seen. The paid time off from work in India is typically 15 days and not everyone has a 5-day week.

The paid time off in Germany is 20 days for those who work for 5 days a week and 24 days for those working 6 days a week. I often meet people in Germany who work for just 4 days a week and this isn’t something I ever saw in India.

So yes, the work-life balance in Germany is much better than the one in India and the research revealed that Germany is one of the top places to live for young professionals.

Job Security

The job security in Germany is much higher than in India. Overall I think it also comes to the culture. Indians work much harder than Germans because we have a lot of competition due to the high population.

In India, if you don’t do your job then another person can replace you and the employer will just compensate you for just a month. In Germany, if a person loses their job, their employer has to pay for 6-12 months and then the employment office pays a salary.

Customer Service

Germany has bad customer service
Germany has almost zero customer service

Ever heard of good customer service in Germany? I’m sure not because it doesn’t exist. I think it has a lot to do with the culture and job security but it appears that a lot of employees actually don’t care.

I had my first shock of German customer service when I had a simple request from a staff member and he shrugged and said “What can I do”. I got the same reply from many other customer-facing people in different places over the next month and it kind of became a joke between me and my husband.

In comparison, if you go anywhere in India and ask for help, people will usually go out of their way to help you. Even if it isn’t a part of their job, they will at least guide you and help you in some way.

Shortage of Doctors

Germany has a massive shortage of doctors, which came as a shock to me since that’s not the case in India. For example, my town has just one doctor who’s an ENT specialist, three child doctors and I’m not just a handful of family physicians. I did mention this in my post about life in Germany that it isn’t easy getting an appointment with a doctor.

I realized that many doctors all over the world are Indians. I never felt there was a shortage of doctors when I was living in Delhi and it was always easy to get an appointment on the same day.

Technological Advancement

Smartphones and Apps
Smartphones and Apps

As a person who lives in Germany and often travels to India, let me share my honest openion. You will get a shock, but when I visit India from Germany, I feel like I can do just about everything using technology.

You can do everything on apps because there is an app-based service for almost everything in India. Not just taxi or food, but you can use apps for beauty salons, plumbers and what not. I’m talking about apps like Zomato, BlinkIt, Big Basket, Urban Company, Ola – they make life much easier.

In India, you don’t even need to carry cash anymore because you can just pay within seconds using digital wallets like PayTM. Even the roadside vendors selling street food or random things on carts have smartphones and they accept online payments.

In comparison, Germany has the infrastructure – perhaps even better than India but it is the people’s acceptance or the lack of it. Shockingly in many restaurants or bars, you can’t even pay using cards, let alone digital wallets.

As of the last few years, you can do a lot of paperwork digitally in India without having to visit government offices. This isn’t the case in Germany with most things because I end up visiting their City Hall – Rathaus very often for work.

Culture in Germany vs India

Germany’s culture is way more liberal as compared to India in some ways but is strangely rigid in others. Germany is open when it comes to sexuality, nakedity and other things but super old school about other things.

For example, it is considered rude if you don’t clean your windows in Germany but honestly no one cares about that in India. You also have to clean the sidewalk next to your house in case of autumn leaves, snow and many more things.

On the other hand, I like how it is socially acceptable for people to live together and become parents without getting married in Germany. In India it is still still not openly accepted. Yes, more and more couples are choosing to live together in urban India instead of getting married but having a child out of marriage is still a big social tabboo.

I also like Germany’s FKK – Free Body Culture which celebrates himan body and there’s no shame in being naked at FKK beaches. Nakedity is still a very big deal in India.

Physical Fitness

Ice Skating Rink at Weihnacht Markt Bielefeld Mitte in Klosterplatz Bielefeld
Ice Skating Rink at Weihnacht Markt Bielefeld Mitte in Klosterplatz Bielefeld

If you are in India, you will perhaps hate me for saying this but not many people take physical fitness seriously in India as they do in Germany. People are overall more sporty and physically fit in Germany.

Movement and sports are important aspects of German culture. People actually get excited to go skiing in winter and swimming in summer. Children learn how to cycle and skate at a very early age and I often see grandmas and grandpas cycling with their grandkids.

I’m a Yoga teacher and I teach in Germany. I am often surprised to see how physically fit people are even in their 50s and 60s. It is sad that this fitness culture isn’t as widespread in India even though it is the land of Yoga.

English

Why should we care about the English language when we’re not in England or the USA? It is because it is one of the most widely spoken languages, internationally understood and accepted.

English is more widely spoken in India than in Germany. As a foreigner or an expat, you will have an easier time understanding people in India as compared to Germany. It isn’t because people don’t know the English language in Germany, but they won’t talk in it unless they are hundred percent confident that their grammar is totally perfect. That’s not the case in Germany.

Even if it comes to visiting government offices, English is widely accepted for official documents the officials will have no problem explaining things to you in English. This isn’t the case in Germany.

Traveling within the Continent

Kruger Naturecamping in Jasmund National Park
Kruger Naturecamping in Jasmund National Park, Germany

I love to travel and visiting new countries is a part of my quarterly dose of fun in a year. In that sense, it is so much easier to travel within Europe while living in Germany versus traveling within Asia while living in India.

If you live in Germany, then you hold a German residence card. With this card, you can travel freely without even thinking of visas within the EU and beyond. For example, if I’m visiting a country that’s not a Schengen state, I can just show my German residence card and enter.

In comparison, if you are traveling within Asia from India, you will have to do your visa even if it is visa-on-arrival in most cases. So in that sense, it is so easy to do a road trip within Europe as compared to within Asia.

Drivers’ Licence

Getting a driver’s license is super complicated in Germany versus in India. This is both a good and a bad thing.

In order to get a driving permit in Germany, one has to complete a particular number of hours in the driving school to learn the rules, clear the written test, and the practical driving test, and undergo first-aid training. This entire process is not just time-consuming but also very expensive. It can cost up to 2,000 Euros in many cases, if not more.

This is bad because despite living in Germany since 2017, I still don’t have my driver’s permit. This is a good thing because the system ensures that only those who know about every single rule can be trusted to drive legallly.

German Food and Indian Food

Nuremberg Bratwurst - food in Nuremberg
Nuremberg Bratwurst – food in Nuremberg

When we talk about food, India wins hands down in every way. This isn’t just a matter of personal choice but about the variety of food that’s availble and the cultures. It isn’t about spice versus non-spice.

Indian food had so many options for every kind of a person – there’s enough vegan food that tastes good, super flavourful food for those who like an extra kick, bland food for those who can’t handle spice, meats, seafood and much more.

I’m not talking just about the local food but also about food from other cultures. The international food scene in India is difinitely better than what it is in Germany. When you go to an international restaurant in Germany, you will notice that they dull down the flavours to match the German palate.

If you travel from Germany to the Netherlands (just a few hours away), you will notice that the food is a bit more flavorful and delicious. If you travel from Germany to Italy, the flavors are so much more intense because of the fresh produce.

Even if you are a good cook, from time to time you would want to visit a restaurant. If you are used to the restaurant and food scene of India, living in Germany will kind of make you cry everyday.

It is Easier to Become Rich in India

If you are educated, have done your bachelor’s degree then you will find it easier to be rich financially in India versus Germany.

Firstly, India is a growing country and the inflashion rates are high. As a result the interest earned on deposits is much higher in India and is literally non existant in Germany. Secondl;y, the taxes are much higher in Germany than in India so you will have less of your salary in your hand in Germany.

Third, there is a massive difference in incomes of those who are at a senior m anagerial positions in India versus Germany – it is normally not a good thing because it creates social inquality. But on the other hand, if you are looking to become rich financially, then Germany isn’t the right country for you.

Rules

Perhaps it is the most imporant point but I decide to discuss it at the end. Germany is a country that’s full of rules. Even though you are free, but you won’t feel as free as you do in other countries because the rules.

For example, you aren’t allowed to mow the lawn or through glass trash on a Sunday, because as a rule, it is a “Ruhetag” – a quiet day. It is generally a good rule except for those who don’t have time to do these things on other days of the week.

A few more seemingly weird rule in Germany are that you can’t run out of fuel on the autobahn (the highway), or can’t wash your car at home or can’t be naked in your car.

India has many rules too but Indians don’t love following the rules but most Germans are proud of their rules.

Closing thoughts about living in Germany versus India

So what’s better, living in Germany or India? Both. Living in Germany is so different from liuving in India – not one is better than the other but they both have their pluses and minuses. In a perfect world, I’d like to spend half my time in India and the other half in Germany to enjoy the best of both world.

Hamburg with Kids: What to do with Children in Hamburg

Hamburg with Kids: What to do with Children in Hamburg

Hamburg is my favorite city in Germany and is unlike any other. It has canals, bridges, and historical buildings. It even has the world’s biggest warehouse district that’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. Bonus: Hamburg has an insanely cool culture.

Hamburg isn’t close to Frankfurt, Munich, or Berlin. It is closer to Amsterdam than the other bigger German cities. The Hanseatic city of Hamburg is in Northern Germany and the River Elbe goes through it.

Having visited Hamburg a few times, one of the best times I had in this city was with my toddler. Surprisingly this city has a lot of kid-friendly attractions.

So, if you are looking for a fun travel destination or a city break with your kids, I highly recommend Hamburg. It can rain anytime in Hamburg so some of these children’s activities are indoors. Here’s what you can do in Hamburg with kids:

Chocoversum Chocolate Factory

Making chocolates in the chocolate factory - Chocoversum Chocolate Museum, Hamburg, Germany
Making chocolates in the chocolate factory – Chocoversum Chocolate Museum, Hamburg, Germany

So how to spend a rainy day in Hamburg with children and still have fun? Visit the Chocoversum chocolate museum and make your own chocolate at the end of the tour at the Hachez chocolate factory.

Chocoversum has toured in both English and German. Of course, there are more tours in German language so the tours in English sell out very quickly.

It is free for children under 5 years. Of course, at least one parent can accompany the children. But if your kids are older than 7, you can also let them do this tour without you and meet them at the reception when the tour ends.

Our tour was in English and lasted for 90 minutes. The tour started with a taste of Hachez chocolate and ended with a chocolate-making session where we could decide exactly what kind of chocolate to make and what to put inside.

I made a bar of dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt. I realized that “less is more” with chocolate making, so it comes out better if you put less toppings.

Hamburg Harbour

Rickmer Rickmers -0 Hamburg's Museum ship - 3 days in Hamburg
Rickmer Rickmers -0 Hamburg’s Museum ship – 3 days in Hamburg

Get to Landsbrücken building in St. Pauli and from there enter the walking path along the Hamburg Harbour. The harbor area is a fun place for a walk because you will see massive ships, containers, and some iconic buildings on the other side like the Elbphilharmonie.

Walking along the harbor is one of the top things to do in Hamburg. My daughter enjoyed it a lot because she got to see Rickmer Rickmers, a massive museum ship that’s permanently anchored here. Rickmer Rickmers is Hamburg’s iconic landmark and it is a sight your child will remember for sure.

Brücke 10, Hamburg - Hamburg Itinerary
Brücke 10, Hamburg – Hamburg Itinerary

There’s a famous kid-friendly restaurant here called Brücke 10, where my daughter ate fried fish. My husband and I ate Krabbenbrötchen – small shrimp in a bun, a German North Sea delicacy.

Miniatur Wunderland

Hamburg’s Miniature Wonderland (The Miniatur Wunderland)
Hamburg’s Miniature Wonderland (The Miniatur Wunderland)

So is it raining when you’re in Hamburg? In that case, I suggest Miniatur Wunderland, which is perhaps Hamburg’s most famous attraction and it is not just for children but for the whole family.

Miniatur Wunderland is an exhibit of miniature versions of different cities and geographical areas along with the detailing of their locomotives. It is the world’s largest model railway and you can see trains going through tunnels, along miniature Alps, and on tiny bridges. The beauty is in the details and your children will love them.

Even if your children don’t have any interest in trains or airports, they will develop it after seeing the world’s largest miniature railway with stations and airports at Miniatur Wunderland

Miniatur Wunderland is in the Speicherstadt district, which is the world’s biggest warehouse district and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Walk on the bridge that’s right behind the building where Miniatur Wunderland is situated. This spot as per me is Hamburg’s prettiest and it photographs well. I have also mentioned it in my Hamburg Instagram spots post.

Ice cream outside Rathaus

Ice cream outside Rathaus, Hamburg
Rathaus in Hamburg – top photo spots

No matter where you go in Hamburg, at some point, you will cross Rathaus – Hamburg’s iconic City Hall building which is in the city center (Hamburger Innenstadt).

I travel often with my little girl and I do know that famous buildings aren’t exactly exciting for children, but it is your job to make it exciting for them.

Show your children the big clock that’s on this building. You can take them inside and ask them if the interiors remind them of Harry Potter movies. Take them behind the building and show them the fountain.

When all of the above fails, let them enjoy a nice cone of ice cream that you can buy from one of the stands in front of Rathaus.

Hamburg Dungeon

This one is for slightly older children because the ones under 5 might get too scared.

Hamburg Dungeon is a place where you can take your children on a rainy day because it is indoors. It is not just a fun place for children but they will also learn about Hamburg’s history.

This same tour is on both GetYourGuide (GYG) and Viator, so you can book it from whichever website you prefer.

Actors perform a skit inside Hamburg Dungeon and showcase historical events such as the Black Plague, the Inquisition, and the Great Fire.

Don’t expect too much history because it is more of small bits here and there with some fun stuff. It is supposed to be scary in a fun way.

Elbe Tunnel

Inside the Elbtunnel in Hamburg - Photo spots in Hamburg
Inside the Elbtunnel in Hamburg – Photo Spots in Hamburg

Do you know that there is a tunnel that goes under the Elbe River? I found that fascinating and I’m sure your children will too. FYI: it requires a bit of walking, so if you are with small children then you can bring a pram or a cycle with a seat.

The entry for the Elbe Tunnel is from Landungsbrücke, where you will go on a lift to reach the tunnel. You can bring your bicycle with you on the lift.

Walk to the other end of the Elbe Tunnel and you will arrive at Steinwerder, which is on the other side of the Elbe River.

The Elbe Tunnel closes at 6 p.m., so please plan your time in a way that you can come back to Landungsbrücke before it closes.

Boat Tour from Landungsbrücken

Hamburg night boat tour - sitting on the deck
Hamburg night boat tour – sitting on the deck

Children love getting on boats and my little girl had a lot of them when we did a boat trip. There are boat tours that start at different times of the day but we picked a night boat tour to see the lights.

If you are going to Hamburg with kids in summer then keep in mind that the sun sets as late as 10 pm. So the night boat tours start at 9:30 pm in summer, which might be too late for small children. We did it anyway with our 4 year old and she somehow stayed in a good mood.

It was exciting for my little girl to see massive container ships, and how things lit up with warm lights. She also saw a theater entry area from the boat that was playing Disney’s Frozen or Die Eiskönigin.

Even if you are booking this tour on a hot summer day, please know that it will get very cold at night and Hamburg feels even more cold because it is a windy city. But the good thing is that the indoor sitting area was warm.

International Maritime Museum

International Maritime Museum in Hamburg
International Maritime Museum in Hamburg via Unsplash

I don’t recommend a lot of museums for children because I know that not everything would be interesting for little ones. The reason I’m recommending Hamburg’s International Maritime Museum is because there is an exhibit with one million Lego blocks inside. It is the Queen Mary II ship.

Apart from the famous Queen Mary II, there are 40,000 exhibits in the museum relating to Hamburg’s maritime history over the last 3000 years. Your children will also meet pirates and learn about many things.

There is an entire floor that’s dedicated to Marine Biology where your kids can listen to underwater audio samples.

The entry is EUR 17 and is free for children below 7 years of age. Just make sure to carry their ID proof. There is also a “family ticket” for EUR 20 for 1 adult and up to 4 children.

Planten un Blomen

Inside Planten un Blomen in Hamburg
Inside Planten un Blomen in Hamburg via Unsplash

Planten un Blomen means “Plants ‘N Flowers”, and is a relaxing park area near the University of Hamburg with different sections where children of all ages will have fun.

There is a play area for children, mini golf, and also a skate park. There are fountains, a Japanese garden, a rose garden, lakes, and restaurants. Planten un Blomen also has Große Wallanlagen, which is the remains of Hamburg’s city walls.

If you are visiting in the summer months then carry a picnic mat and a few snacks. You can put up your mat facing the lake. There’s something special here for every season.

In the winter months, you can also enjoy ice skating in Große Wallanlagen of the Planten un Blomen park.

Discovery Dock (temporarily closed)

Discovery Dock is temporarily closed, but I’d like to mention it as an option in case it opens up at the time of your visit. It is next to the iconic concert hall – Elbphilharmonie.

Discovery Dock is a one-of-a-kind interactive exhibit of Hamburg’s port. There is a 3D Port model where your children can see water traffic, wear VR headsets, and load the containers. The tours are for 50 minutes each and are in both English and German.

Harry Potter Musical

Mehr! Theater am Großmarkt in Hamburg
Mehr! Theater am Großmarkt in Hamburg via Unsplash

Most children (and adults) are Harry Potter fans and you will be happy to know that you can watch a musical performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in Hamburg at “Mehr! Theater am Großmarkt”.

The Harry Potter music in Hamburg doesn’t take place on Mondays and Tuesdays. The tickets aren’t cheap and they are the most expensive on Saturdays. It is worth noting that it is performed only in the German language.

If you’re going to Hamburg to celebrate your child’s birthday and would like to watch this musical with them, then it is a good idea to book the tickets from before because they do sell out on certain dates.

Disney’s Musicals

Die Eiskönigin at the Mehr Theater Hamburg
Die Eiskönigin at the Mehr Theater Hamburg

Not every kid is a Harry Potter fan but all children are definitely Disney fans. There is Disney’s Lion King, Frozen (Die Eiskönigin), and Hercules that are performed at Stage Theater an der Elbe in Hamburg.

Treasure Hunt through HafenCity (Children Over 12)

Hafencity - things to do in Hamburg, Germany
Hafencity – things to do in Hamburg, Germany

HafenCity is one of the areas of Hamburg that you would definitely want to explore. It is built on a river island of the Elbe River. The Warehouse district Speicherstadt and the Elbphilharmonie concert hall are both a part of Hambnurg’s HafenCity.

If you are in Hamburg with children over the age of 12, you can participate in a fun way to explore the HafenCity by participating in a treasure hunt. You will go on a puzzle-filled route in HafenCity and see the city’s landmarks.

This treasure hunt is for 2.5 hours, is top-rated, and can be booked on both GetYourGuide (GYG) and Viator. I normally use GYG but I understand that Viator is more popular amongst Americans.

When you book this tour, you will get riddle equipment and a guidebook, which will lead you through the game, and also a bottle of drinking water for the way.

I’m an adult and yet I love scavenger hunts. I’d love to do this with my little girl when she’s older.

Tierpark Hagenbeck

Tierpark Hagenbeck in Hamburg
Tierpark Hagenbeck in Hamburg via Unsplash

Tierpark in German means “Animal Park”, so Tierpark Hagenbeck is Hamburg’s zoo and aquarium where you can spend almost an entire day with your kids.

Tierpark Hagenbeck is owned and run by the Hagenbeck family and it was one of the first places where animals were kept in moated and open enclosures.

Expect to see crocodiles, seals, penguins, African lions, leopards, zebras, Siberian tigers, elephants, kangaroos, walruses, and orangutans to name a few. There is also a restaurant inside the Tierpark.

I will be honest, we didn’t visit Tierpark Hagenbeck on our 3 days in Hamburg but I’d still like to mention it in case you’d like to.

See the Swans of Alster Lake

Sunset By Alster Lake With Swans, Hamburg, Germany
Sunset By Alster Lake With Swans, Hamburg, Germany

Alster Lake is in the city center and you can arrive here from Rathaus very easily. There are two Alster Lakes and they are artificially formed by the Alster River.

Sit next to the lake on one of the benches to show your children swans. There are benches around the lake and many 20-somethings year old sit here with music and Astra beer.

You can also book a sunset boat ride on Alster Lake in case you didn’t book the boat cruise that’s from Hamburg Harbour. This tour is on the outer Alster Lake and occurs at sunset time. If you are going with small children, then you have to carry them on your lap on this boat.

Keep in mind that it is a small sailing boat and not like the massive boat that’s used for the harbor cruise, so it is more suited for slightly older children who can sit back patiently and enjoy.

For smaller children, pick this boat cruise instead of the sailing one.

How to move around in Hamburg?

Hamburg isn’t tiny so you can’t cover this city by walking, especially if you are there with children. Here are the top ways to move around in Hamburg.

App Based Scooters / Bikes

One of the easiest ways to move around in Hamburg with kids is by renting app-based bikes with child seats. For smaller distances, you can also use a scooter but don’t forget to carry a helmet. We used both Tier and Bolt app-based services. We often found bikes with child seats.

S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains

Hamburg has an amazing system of public transport and local trains play an important role. Both S-Bahn and U-Bahn cover more than 150 stations together and you can reach just about anywhere using just these trains.

Buses

The buses in Hamburg have bookshelves full of books
The buses in Hamburg have bookshelves full of books

My 4-year-old loved bus rides in Hamburg because these buses have bookshelves from where you can borrow books to make the journey fun. Back in 2017 when I first visited the city, I wrote a post about interesting things about Hamburg and buses with bookshelves featured in it.

Where to Stay in Hamburg with Kids?

Paradise Suite at Superbude Altona Hamburg
Paradise Suite at Superbude Altona Hamburg

Having stayed in three different Superbude rooms all over Hamburg, I’m in love with this chain of boutique hotels and hostels. All of the Superbude hotels are amazing and if you are visiting Hamburg with family then Superbude Altona will be the best fit because it is in a quieter neighborhood.

We had booked a “paradise suite” in Superbude Altona and they had put up our child’s bed right next to ours and the arrangement was very comfortable for us.

Is Hamburg kid-friendly?

Yes, Hamburg is surprisingly very kid-friendly with many outdoor play areas and indoor attractions for children for all the seasons. There are memorable things to do for children in Hamburg such as visiting a chocolate factory, seeing the world’s biggest model railway in Miniatur Wunderland, or just a boat cruise along the harbor.

Which area to avoid in Hamburg with children?

Hamburg has the biggest Red Light district in Europe and it is in Reeperbahn. If you are visiting Hamburg with kids then avoid this area. Hamburg is also a party city and Reeperbahn plays an important part in it. I also have a post about Hamburg’s nightlife on my website.

How many days are enough in Hamburg with kids?

In my experience one tends to travel at a slow pace with children and in that sense, book enough time and stay here for at least 2-3 nights to enjoy what the city has to offer.

Do people speak English in Hamburg?

Hamburg is a German city but has an international culture and more people speak English than in other German cities.

If you speak English and are going to visit a German city, Hamburg is one of the easier ones to navigate and understand because of its international culture.

Closing Thoughts on Visiting Hamburg with Children

Walking in HafenCity with my kid - Hamburg itinerary
Walking in HafenCity with my kid – Hamburg itinerary

Just the way I had mentioned in my Amsterdam with kids guide, I say the same for Hamburg that you should try your best to rent a bicycle or a bike with a child seat. I did lots of Bolt bikes with Kindersits (child seats) that were parked in the city center. Bolt is an app-based bike rental company that’s popular in Europe.

If you have bigger children then you will be able to travel easily on trains, buses and on foot. Take things slow and don’t stress about doing everything possible.

A pro tip for traveling with children is to let every special activity be a surprise so that if by chance it isn’t possible, they won’t be heartbroken. In my experience, children get very disappointed when we adults build up excitement for a fun activity for them and it doesn’t happen. When that happens they might have a tantrum or a sudden anger outburst.

Prepare a bag with enough snacks and water to keep them hydrated and full.


Hamburg with kids for Pinterest
Hamburg with kids for Pinterest

Disclosure: I collaborated with Superbude Hamburg in 2017 and 2022. However, all opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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3 days in Hamburg: the Ultimate Hamburg Itinerary for a Long Weekend

3 days in Hamburg: the Ultimate Hamburg Itinerary for a Long Weekend

Here’s my tried and tested Hamburg itinerary for spending the best 3 days in Hamburg. You can also modify it to fit 2 days since the last day is super light. 

Do you know that Hamburg is my favorite city in Germany? 

Living in Germany for 6 years, I have visited a lot of big cities like Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, and Dortmund. Out of all of them, it was Hamburg that shone the brightest.

Hamburg is fun, happy, colorful, hip yet historical, and super pretty. It has everything it takes to be a perfect city break for those who live in Europe.

Somehow different parts of Hamburg feel like they could be completely different cities altogether. The old town of Hamburg has this Dark Acadamia vibe going on, and the St. Pauli area is a lovely space for artists. Do you that the Beatles started their career in St. Pauli’s Reeperbahn? 

Hamburg is super pretty - the perfect Hamburg itinerary
Hamburg is super pretty – the perfect Hamburg itinerary

This is why I keep going back to Hamburg and I even celebrated my birthday there once. It was definitely epic and memorable since Hamburg has amazing nightlife!

So, how many days do you need for Hamburg? I’d say a minimum of 2 and at least 3 if you’d like to explore Hamburg at a relaxed pace. I spent 3 days in Hamburg the first time I visited and felt I did the city justice. I later visited Hamburg for 2 days on a few occasions and felt it was a bit rushed.

Table of Contents

If it is your first time reading one of my itineraries, you will be very happy to discover that these are designed in a way that most stops are just around 2-5 minutes away from the previous ones by walking. You will just have to make an effort to reach the first one. 

So, as a Hamburg city expert. here’s my highly researched itinerary for experiencing Hamburg that’s tried and tested.

How to Move Around in Hamburg?

The buses in Hamburg have bookshelves full of books
The buses in Hamburg have bookshelves full of books

Hamburg has an amazing network of internal transportation and it just gets better with time. I have traveled on buses, subway trains, e-scooters, and also a lot of walking. Below is my experience with each one:

1) App Based E Scooter / E-Bike Rental

In recent years app based E-bikes and scooters have come up in a big way. I usually rent e-scooters using the Tier and Bolt apps. 

They are convenient because you can find the nearest one on your app, and cost as low as 17 cents per minute. You can set up the payment to go from your credit card or PayPal. You can pick them up and use them and leave them at your convenience. 

2) Buses

The buses in Hamburg are very cool because they also have a bookshelf inside! Being a bookworm, I say that the buses in Hamburg are the best in the world.

3) Trains

The fastest way of moving around long distances in Hamburg is definitely by subway train. You can take the S-Bahns and the U-Bahns. Some of the train stations are very cool and I love how the Hamburg Central Station looks from up above on the bridge.

How to Approach the Hamburg 3 Day Itinerary?

I have included different sections of Hamburg for each day, so you have something fun to look forward to each day. I have designed highly researched walking paths so that almost every stop in my Hamburg itinerary is reachable easily just a minute or two after the earlier one.

The first and the last days of this itinerary are lighter because I’m assuming that some of you will arrive in the morning or by lunchtime in Hamburg on your first day.

I’m also assuming that most of you will look at this itinerary for a long weekend in Hamburg, so the last day has “Sunday” activities. If Sunday is on your second day, then you can just switch the days.

The first day includes the fun area in and around St. Pauli, the second day has the more touristy spots, so feel free to swap the first day for the second if you are arriving the night before.

The last day of this itinerary for Hamburg has fewer things to do than the other two days so you can relax a little before you leave. 

I did publish a post about things to do in Hamburg for every kind of traveler, but I understand that it is easier to read an itinerary so that you don’t spend time planning your trip.

Day 1 in Hamburg Itinerary

Assuming your first day is the day when you will most likely arrive in Hamburg, the itinerary is a bit lighter and includes a smaller walking area that you can also do with buses or trains.

Most of the first day will be in St. Pauli and around and is perfect for the second half of the day because it includes an amazing sunset, dinner, and nightlife spots. 

 

Wear your comfortable shoes and your comfortable-fun clothes to express your style. You will spend most of your time today in and around St. Pauli – a superhip neighborhood. The unwritten dress-code memo says “chic casual”, so you don’t need your party dress or fancy shoes.

Download an offline version of this map and save it on your phone before you start your day.

Arrive at Landungsbrücken

Landungsbrücken Station, St. Pauli viewpoint
Landungsbrücken Station, St. Pauli viewpoint – June 2017

Landungsbrücken is actually a train/subway station in St. Pauli which is surprisingly pretty. There is a clock tower here and this entire complex is a protected monument. 

Arrive at Landungsbrücken and walk around to click pictures. Keep this spot in mind because you will visit the elevated walking bridge that’s part of it across the road for a sunset viewpoint later today. For now, you will just enter the harbor area from Landungsbrücken.

Walk along the Harbour & See Rickmer Rickmers

Hamburg Harbor - things to do in Hamburg, Germany
Hamburg Harbor – things to do in Hamburg, Germany

Spend a few moments enjoying the vibe of Hamburg by walking on the harbor. You will see some interesting ships and also Rickmer Rickmers, Hamburg’s beloved historical ship. It was built in 1896 and is called a “museum ship”.

Rickmer Rickmers -0 Hamburg's Museum ship - 3 days in Hamburg
Rickmer Rickmers -0 Hamburg’s Museum ship – 3 days in Hamburg

Across the Elbe River, you will also see the famous Elbphilharmonie building with a very interesting shape. We will visit this building on the second day of our Hamburg itinerary. The first day is for enjoying the Elbe Riverside, the culture, the food, and all the fun stuff.

Brücke 10 for Fischbrötchen or Krabbenbrötchen

Krabbenbrötchen and Fischbrötchen at Brücke 10, Hamburg
Krabbenbrötchen and Fischbrötchen at Brücke 10, Hamburg

Brücke 10 is a legendary Hamburg-style casual restaurant where you can eat a Fischbrötchen, the most famous food of Hamburg – fish in a bun.

Do you know that you get the best buns in Germany? Yes, just the way the French are proud of their Bagguttes, Germans have the same thing with the brötchen (buns). They are crispy on the outside and soft inside.

Brücke 10, Hamburg - Hamburg Itinerary
Brücke 10, Hamburg – Hamburg Itinerary

So, a very typical German thing that you can eat in Hamburg is fish or seafood in a bun and that’s what you get in Brücke 10 along with beer. (or course). I didn’t technically order a Fischbrötchen but a Krabbenbrötchen, which means prawns in a bun.

My Krabbenbrötchen costed around 10 Euros and my 4-year-old girl ate a Fischbrötchen, which was cheaper.

See the Elbtunnel & go to Steinwerder

Inside the Elbtunnel in Hamburg - Photo spots in Hamburg
Inside the Elbtunnel in Hamburg – Photo Spots in Hamburg

There’s a tunnel that goes under River Elbe from Landungsbrücken to Steinwerder. In order to take this tunnel, you have to go underground on a very cool elevator. You can bring your cycle along with you on it.

Walking under the Elbe River through the tunnel is a fun experience without having the final destination in mind. Moreover, the tunnel makes a perfect spot for photos.

On the other side of the Elbe River through the Elbtunnel - Steinwerder in Hamburg
On the other side of the Elbe River through the Elbtunnel – Steinwerder

When you reach the other end of the tunnel, you will arrive at Steinwerder where you can walk around for a while to see the views. Explore the area if you’d like to and then get back to the tunnel because it closes at 6 pm.

Head to Stintfang for Sunset

View of Landungsbrücken from Stintfang, Hamburg Insta Spots
View of Landungsbrücken from Stintfang, Hamburg Insta Spots

When you return to the Landungsbrücken after a quick stop at Steinwerder, you can make your way to the other side of the road via the elevated bridge. It will take you directly to a hilly part of a public park.

The is an entire section of this hill that faces Landungsbrücken and this spot is called Stintfang. Get a mat, a few drinks, and set up a picnic as you sit here. There are many benches here also but they usually get occupied super fast so you can sit on the grass.

Hamburg Harbor at night - Hamburg Nightlife Guide
Hamburg Harbor at Night – Hamburg Nightlife Guide

The sunset time in this part of the world varies drastically with the seasons. It can be as late as 10 pm in summer and as early as 5 pm in winter. Sometimes even 4:30 pm!

So, plan your time in a way that you can watch the sunset from Stintfang. That’s when you can see the spectacle of colors of the harbor with the clock tower of Landungsbrücken in front of you.

Explopre St. Pauli – Skatepark Holstenstraße & Schanzenviertel

A colorful street side skate park in St Pauli, Hamburg
A colorful street-side skate park in St Pauli, Hamburg

You haven’t truly experienced Hamburg if you haven’t spent time in St. Pauli. Walk around here and see the fun streets where some parts are covered with art.

So where to go in St. Pauli? Walk in a circle and cross Skatepark Holstenstraße and Schanzenviertel. I have a thing about skate parks and I loved the graffiti at Skatepark Holstenstraße.

The area outside Superbude St. Pauli, Hamburg
The area outside Superbude St. Pauli, Hamburg

The first time I stayed in Hamburg, I was at Superbude St Pauli, so I was in the middle of it. That’s why I got to explore St. Pauli really well.

For maybe a Hamburg local, this would be a normal “blah” sight but I loved every nook and corner of St. Pauli. The shops are interesting and sometimes you can find really weird stuff.

Dinner in Sternschanze

Calamari at Fischimbiss schabi Hamburg, Germany
Calamari at Fischimbiss schabi Hamburg, Germany

Sternschanze is an area in St. Pauli that has good restaurants, bars, and a decent nightlife scene that isn’t sleazy like the nearby Reeperbahn.

We ate our dinnner at Fischimbiss schabi in Sternschanze.

Walk Through Reeperbahn – Hamburg’s Red Light Area

Reeperbahn – Hamburg’s Red Light District
Reeperbahn – Hamburg’s Red Light District

Hamburg’s Red Light Area is not at all like Amsterdam’s but it is supposed to be surprisingly bigger. It is called Reeperbahn and is historically significant because the Beatles played in pubs here before the Beatlemania hit the world.

If you want to visit the club where the Beatles performed, it is called Große Freiheit. I have a post about Hamburg’s nightlife, check it out because it has information about this club and many others.

Day 2 in Hamburg Itinerary

Your second itinerary day in Hamburg is around the older buildings and some of the prettiest spots in the city which I also mentioned in my Hamburg Instagram Spots post.

You will be surprised to know that day 2 is the exact same itinerary that I did with my 4-year-old daughter and my husband and ended up having a lot of fun. 

As mentioned before, in all of my itineraries, most of the stops are just 2-5 minutes after the previous one because I don’t want you to waste time. Moreover, I have tried and tested this itinerary with my 4-year-old, I can’t get her to walk as much as I do so I plan things in advance.

We arrived at our first stop on a bus from the Altona area and then walked our way to all the other stops. In the middle, we also rented Tier and Bolt E Scooters through the app.

Walk Around in HafenCity, See Elbphilharmonie

HafenCity with Elbphilharmonie in the background
HafenCity with Elbphilharmonie in the background

Arrive in HafenCity to start your second day in Hamburg. Today’s itinerary is busier than yesterday so hope you are feeling energetic. We will also visit Speicherstadt later today, which for me is the prettiest part of Hamburg.

Hamburg’s HafenCity is a newly built quarter and is on a river island called Grasbrook. It was formally established in 2008 and has some very interesting and futuristic buildings. 

Walking in HafenCity with my kid - Hamburg itinerary
Walking in HafenCity with my kid – Hamburg itinerary

Elbphilharmonie is the most iconic building in HafenCity and is actually a concert hall. Not just from HafenCity but you will see this building from many places in Hamburg, even from St. Pauli beach!

Honestly, if you want to photograph the Elbphilharmonie building, it is easier to do it from some of the bridges of Speicherstadt instead.

More than just Elbphilharmonie, for me the whole HafenCity experience is about noticing the weird buildings and even some of the residential ones looked insanely cool.

HafenCity sights, Hamburg itinerary
HafenCity sights, Hamburg itinerary

One cool place to spend your time (and money) in HafenCity would be a place called Discovery Docks. It is suitable for children over 7 as per their website, so I didn’t go with my 4-year-old. Read my guide for exploring Hamburg with kids.

Buildings in Hafencity Hamburg
Buildings in Hafencity Hamburg

If you are here with smaller children, then I’m happy to tell you that there are a few playgrounds in HafenCity. Look for Grasbrookpark on Google Maps and visit it if you’re nearby. This way your children can play for a while and you get a chance to relax on the bench.

Explore Speicherstadt – the Warehouse District

Speicherstadt in Hamburg - warehouse district - canals and red buildings
Speicherstadt in Hamburg – warehouse district – canals and red buildings

Now let’s explore my favorite area of Hamburg – Speicherstadt. It is the biggest warehouse district in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The buildings of Speicherstadt are red and they all look like they are a part of a Dark Academia theme. There are many bridges that go over intersecting canals. I don’t know about you but I wanted to get lost here and didn’t want to leave.

Building along St. Annenfleet, Speicherstadt, Hamburg - photo spots
Building along St. Annenfleet, Speicherstadt, Hamburg – photo spots – via Unsplash

Walk around in Speicherstadt, it isn’t that big so you can cover it entirely by walking through from one end to another. There are so many things to see and a few hidden spots that I discover something new every single time.

I do remember on two occasions finding ourselves in the middle of a courtyard with arches around. I later found out that it is Chilehaus, which is an office building with a nice courtyard in the middle.

Chilehaus Courtyard in Speicherstadt, Hamburg itinerary
Chilehaus Courtyard in Speicherstadt, Hamburg itinerary

Although I have already mentioned this in my Hamburg Instagram spots post, I’d like to tell you that some of my favorite spots in Speicherstadt that you should see are Brooksfleet Canal, Wasserschloss, and Cafea GmbH building.

Lunch at Speicherstadt

Miniatur Wunderland

Hamburg’s Miniature Wonderland (The Miniatur Wunderland)
Hamburg’s Miniature Wonderland (The Miniatur Wunderland)

Founded in 2000, Miniatur Wunderland is one of a kind exhibit that is an absolute joy to see. There are miniature versions of many European landscapes with a functioning model train network.

As of today Miniatur Wunderland exhibit has 1,120 trains and more than 10,000 wagons.  The Guinness World Records states that Miniatur Wunderland has the largest model railway system in the world!

It started as sections of Germany and Austria but soon more sections were added because of its popularity. There are now sections for Switzerland, Scandinavia, Italy, the USA, and more that are added regularly.

See Deichstraße & Nikolaifleet

Nikolaifleet - Hamburg’s Prettiest Canal
Nikolaifleet – Hamburg’s Prettiest Canal

Deichstraße is the name of the street that goes along the Nikolaifleet canal and is Hamburg’s prettiest spot. Take your time and walk on the 280-long Deichstraße. 

The houses along the street on Deichstraße are narrow and long, just like the ones in Amsterdam. They are called “dyke houses” because they are built on a dyke between the street and the Nikolaifleet canal. Originally they were built as living spaces for merchants with also storage and working space.

Sadly, a lot was destroyed in 1842’s great fire but some of the buildings have been restored and the others have been completely changed from inside.

See St. Nikolai Main Church

Honestly, I don’t visit churches but I add them to my itineraries if they are on the way because some of them are interesting. Yes, you will cross St. Nikolai Main Church on this route and yes you should go inside, but I didn’t. I’d like to mention it to you just in case you want to go.

Explore the Rathaus Complex

Hamburg Rathaus - top IG spots in Hamburg
Hamburg Rathaus – top IG spots in Hamburg

Living in Germany since 2017, I have seen many amazing Rathaus buildings all over the country but the one that stands out the most is Hamburg’s. Rathaus means town hall by the way, and it is an important landmark of Hamburg.

Hamburg’s Rathaus is lovely from the outside and inside both. The building is wide, so you can only photograph it using a wide-angle lens. It displays baroque architecture and the roof is bluish-green.

Inside Hamburg Rathaus
Inside Hamburg Rathaus

Walk around the Rathaus complex, and eat ice cream or another snack. Watch the hustle-bustle of tourists and a few locals around you.

Hygieia sculpture and fountain behind Hamburg Rathaus
Hygieia sculpture and fountain behind Hamburg Rathaus

You can go inside the Rathaus too, it is very pretty and there’s usually some sort of an exhibit that takes place indoors. I also like the area behind the Rathaus with the fountain and some chairs.

Walk on Alster Arcade & Jungfernstieg (+ Dinner)

Otto Liss Gedenktafe overlooking Vleet restaurant, Hamburg
Otto Liss Gedenktafe overlooking Vleet restaurant, Hamburg

I have a thing for waterfront spots and I love them even more as the sun sets and the laps light up. This is why I loved Alster Arcade at the Jungfernstieg promenade.

Alster Arcade is high-end, so if you find a place to eat here, keep in mind that it won’t be cheap. This entire promenade has some interesting stores with luxurious things.

Alsterarkaden in Hamburg with Rathaus in the background
Alsterarkaden in Hamburg with Rathaus in the background

Stroll through the gleaming white arcades and see Rathaus from a different perspective. One of the restaurants that have amazing outdoor seating with a view is Vleet. Go there for a drink or two if you find a table.

We did not eat at Vleet or any of the restaurants at the Alster Arcade because they looked very high-end to us. Moreover, we were dressed very casually so we didn’t bother.

Sit by the Alster Lakes for Sunset with Swans

Alster Lake in Hamburg - Hamburg itinerary
Alster Lake in Hamburg – Hamburg itinerary

How to end your second day in Hamburg? Sit by Alster Lakes!

If you did not eat dinner at one of Alster Arcade’s high-end restaurants, then you can grab a snack or a bun and eat as you sit by the lovely Alster Lake. 

There are actually two Alster Lakes side by side so it is up to you how much you want to see. You can walk along the nearest Alster Lake and when you find a nice place, sit on a bench and eat your snack.

If it is summer, then most likely the sunset time will be 9:45 pm or 10 pm. You will see a few students here too from the nearby Hamburg University and some of them will also be carrying their portable speakers. So, the atmosphere can get really lively.

Alster Lakes have swans and it is an interesting experience watching the sunset with swans around. They are absolutely magnificent creatures. 

Enjoy Hamburg’s Nightlife

Hamburg has one of the liveliest party scenes in Germany and I also have an entirely separate post about it. The party scene is casual and you don’t need to dress up in fancy clothes. In fact, in most of the places in Germany, you don’t need to dress up fancy for nightlife (thank god).

You will have to get back to the St. Pauli area for nightlife because the best clubs are here. I recommend Docks or Südpol for techno and Grosse Freiheit 36 for live performances out of many. But hey, do give my post a read to know what the best nightclubs in Hamburg are.

Day 3 in Hamburg Itinerary

If you’re in Hamburg for a weekend, then you would have left already. But, if you are here for a long weekend then your third day in Hamburg will also be your last day and I have some fun stuff chalked out for you.

It is likely that you will spend just half of your third day in Hamburg and will get on a train or bus to travel out. Keeping this in mind, today’s itinerary is the lightest of all days and includes some relaxing stuff.

 

Breakfast at the Fischmarkt (Optional)

Der Fischmarkt - Hamburg Fish Market
Der Fischmarkt – Hamburg Fish Market

Are you a morning person? I’m not. But if you are then this point is for you. Ask any Hamburg local about their favorite place to go in their city, and most will say that you must visit the fish market – or Der Fischmarkt. 

Hamburg’s Fish Market is open from 5 am to 9:30 am in Summer and 7 am to 9:30 am in winter and it occurs only on Sundays. I will be honest with you, I could never wake up in time to visit the Fischmarkt. But just because I didn’t, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t also. 

If you did go out partying the night before, then you can just enjoy the Fischmarkt at 5 am and eat fresh fish before you go back to your room to sleep. This is how a lot of younger locals do it! 

Walk from Landungsbrücken to Große Wallanlagen

From the Fish Market, you can take a Ferry 62 to “Landungsbrücken Brücke 1” and you will be back to where you were on your day 1 Hamburg itinerary. Walk from here for a kilometer to Große Wallanlagen, a state park that will take you from the St. Pauli area to the main city with a walking shortcut.

Große Wallanlagen used to be Hamburg’s city walls but it is a state park in the middle of Hamburg’s madness that has themed sub-parks and a lake with fountains. So expect to see some old structures and water features.

There’s something special for each season in Große Wallanlagen. The flowers bloom in spring, summer days are perfect for picnics and occasional concerts. If you enjoy seeing autumn foliage, Große Wallanlagen shows the perfect warm colors as the leaves turn orange and red. Wintertime is for ice skating so that’s very special for me.

If you have time, you can walk from Große Wallanlagen to Kleine Wallanlagen, which is also another state park next to it. Große means big and Kleine means small, so Kleine Wallanlagen is a smaller one.

Große Wallanlagen also has a cafe inside called Park Café Planten un Blomen. Sit here for a coffee if you’d like.

See St. Michael’s Church

St. Michael’s Church Clock Tower, Hamburg
St. Michael’s Church Clock Tower, Hamburg

From Große Wallanlagen, you will get out of the park at the exit nearest to “Handwerkskammer” to enter Hamburg’s city center and walk for 600 meters to arrive at St. Michael’s Church.

Now it is up to you whether you want to go inside the church or not, but I’d like you to at least look at the building which has a narrow copper-covered spire that’s 132 meters high.

I didn’t go inside but I heard it is bright and airy. The views from the top are supposed to be amazing.

Make Your Chocolate at Chocoversum

Making chocolates in the chocolate factory - Chocoversum Chocolate Museum, Hamburg, Germany
Making chocolates in the chocolate factory – Chocoversum Chocolate Museum, Hamburg, Germany

From St. Michael’s Church, walk for 100 meters to the Michaeliskirche bus stop and take bus number 16 going in the direction of Rentenversicherung Nord. Get off the bus after 4 stops at Jakobikirchhof, and walk for 400 meters to arrive at your next stop – Chocoversum.

Believe it or not, this was one of the most fun things that I did in Hamburg and this is how I celebrated my birthday. Chocoversum is a chocolate factory and a museum that’s a must-visit for any chocolate lover.

The Chocoversum chocolate factory is by Hachez and the chocolate actually tastes amazing. I’m actually a chocolate connoisseur and I’m very particular about which chocolates I like. I don’t like a lot of popular brands like Hershey’s or Cadburys but I loved the taste of Hachez chocolate.

Delicious Hachez chocolate at - Chocoversum Chocolate Museum, Hamburg, Germany
Delicious Hachez chocolate at – Chocoversum Chocolate Museum, Hamburg, Germany

There are a limited number of tours daily in English and German at Chocoversum and the English ones sell out very fast. The time I visited with my 4-year-old, the tours were sadly sold out because I didn’t book in advance. Don’t make the mistake that I did and book your tour in advance.

We did a tour that was for 1.5 hours and we learned a lot about chocolate making, cocoa beans, and different kinds of chocolates. 

Book Your Chocoversum Tour

At the end of the tour, we made our own chocolates with the ingredients that were given to us. I made a salted caramel dark chocolate. My husband made milk chocolate with cranberries.

Walk on Lange Reihe in St. Georg

From Chocoversum, walk for 100 meters to Meßberg U-Bahn station and get on U-1 going in the direction of Großhansdorf. Get off at Hauptbahnhof Süd and walk for 400 meters and you will be in St. Georg.

St. Georg is colourful and quirky with many hip studios and cafes. Hamburg in total is LGBTQ-friendly and St. Georg is often called Hamburg’s LGBTQ neighborhood.

Walk on Lange Reihe, which is often called one of the most beautiful streets in Hamburg. You will see historical high-end residential buildings alongside the street. Many of the half timber-framed buildings on Lange Reihe are protected monuments.

We ended up exploring St. Georg because, on one of our trips, we stayed in Superbude St. Georg so we obviously had to explore the area around where we stayed.

Lunch at Peter Pane Burger

Did you know that the people of Hamburg are actually called Hamburgers? I mention this in my post about interesting things to do in Hamburg.

Also, many believe that Hamburg actually came out of Hamburg and was popularized all over the world. In its original form, the bun was a typical German Brötchen. The convent of this sandwich of Hamburg traveled all over the world because Hamburg was historically a very important port city. So c’mon, you have to eat a Hamburger in Hamburg.

Peter Pane Burger is in Lange Reihe so you don’t have to make an extra effort to visit a new stop for lunch. They also have vegan burgers and you will love their sweet potato fries.

Lange Reihe has a lot of other hip and casual cafes and restaurants, so ff you want to eat something other than a burger then you will find a lot of options here.

Relax at Alsterwiese Schwanenwik

After you finish your lunch in Lange Reihe, walk for 900 meters to Alsterwiese Schwanenwik, which is a grassy patch along a part of one of the Alster Lakes. 

We grabbed a few Astra beers in our backpack to drink as we sat here enjoying the last day of our Hamburg city break. Astra is Hamburg’s beer brew and you should try it.

Unless it is raining, you don’t need a mat to sit here because the grass is well-kept. You will see an uninterrupted view of the lake and Heinrich-Hertz-Tower on the other side of it.

Most likely you already visited a part of Alster Lake side for sunset on your second evening but this is a slightly different part of the lakeside.

Night boat tour from Landungsbrücken

Hamburg night boat tour - sitting on the deck
Hamburg night boat tour – sitting on the deck

After spending a nice afternoon by the side of Alster Lake, you can go back to your hotel and make sure you are packed for your journey. Freshen up and get out for dinner and a night boat tour if you have time. We did this with our year old and loved it.

Night view of Hamburg’s skyline from the boat tour

In order to get from Alsterwiese Schwanenwik to Landungsbrücken, get to Uhlandstraße U-Bahn station, and get on a U-3 going in the direction of Schlump – Barmbek. After 8 stops, you will reach Landungsbrücken.

Once you arrive at Landungsbrücken, you can walk around because your tour will start when the sun sets. So in June, it will be at 10:30 pm, 8:30 pm in September, and 6 pm in November. So, if you are doing this in summer, most likely you will have to eat dinner at Landungsbrücken before you go. 

Die Eiskönigin at the Mehr Theater Hamburg
Die Eiskönigin at the Mehr Theater Hamburg

We sat on the deck for the night boat tour for the best view but had to move downstairs after a while because it got too cold. You can also order your drinks on the boat if you’d like.

Book Hamburg Harbor Evening Lights Cruise

My 4-year-old daughter loved the night boat tour, even though it was a little after her bedtime but we made an exception. She was very happy when we crossed “The Mehr! Theater” with Die Eiskönigin (Disney’s Frozen) logo outside.

We saw a lot of interesting buildings, hotels, and massive ships. There was a commentary going on but we didn’t pay attention.

Where to Stay in Hamburg close to everything?

Paradise Suite at Superbude Altona Hamburg
Paradise Suite at Superbude Altona Hamburg

If you are looking for a perfect place to stay in Hamburg, I will give you three options and I have stayed in all three! They will all appeal to different kinds of travelers.

My favorite place to stay in Hamburg is Superbude St. Pauli and this location makes so much sense in every way. If you stay in St. Pauli, you are going to be close to the nightlife spots, the harbor, and a lot of fun spots.

Click here to book Superbude St. Pauli

Superbude St. Pauli also has a Rockstar Suite with 5 beds so it is perfect for a group of friends who are visiting for a festival or maybe even a family. 

The time I stayed in Superbude St. Pauli, it was just me and my husband so we had a perfectly spacious suite for the two of us.

Our private room in Superbude St. Pauli, Hamburg
Our private room in Superbude St. Pauli, Hamburg

I also stayed in Superbude St. Georg and it is the perfect location for exploring the older parts of Hamburg – the warehouse district, Lange Reihe, etc. 

I do remember a very funny singing fish in the toilet in our Superbude St. Georg suite which was of course a part of the decor.

Click here to book Superbude St. Georg

St. Georg is also very close to Hamburg Central train station so it is very convenient to reach and to leave from, especially if you don’t want to lug around your luggage in buses or the Subway as you arrive in Hamburg or as you leave the city at the end of your trip.

Our private room in Superbude St. Georg, Hamburg
Our private room in Superbude St. Georg, Hamburg

When I went with my 4-year-old to Hamburg, I stayed in Superbude Altona and I loved the massive room that we had and the most amazing breakfast spread.

Superbude Altona makes sense if you’re with your family because it is a quieter neighborhood. Also, it is close to the Fischmarkt so if you are waking up early on Sunday to see the Fish Market, then you don’t have to go very far.

Our room at Superbude Altona Hamburg
Our room at Superbude Altona Hamburg

I love the Superbude chain in Hamburg because the rooms are pretty quirky. They have an amazing sense of design and the service is beyond exceptional. It is a whole vibe, so staying in Superbude is an experience.

Click here to book Superbude Altona

Their beds are comfortable and because of all this, I would be happy to pay a little higher than normal nearby shady places and pick Superbude instead.

Is Hamburg worth going to?

Yes, it is. There is so much to see and do in Hamburg in all seasons and every kind of weather so you won’t be disappointed.

How many days do you need to see Hamburg?

I would say at least three days. Hamburg isn’t tiny and you need at least one day for the St. Pauli area, another full day for Speicherstadt, HafenCity, and the nearby areas, plus one more day to relax and enjoy Hamburg’s vibes, Fischmarkt, viewpoints, and the food + bar scene.

Is Hamburg a Walkable City?

Hamburg isn’t tiny so you can’t just walk and explore the entire city. Yes, it is pedestrian friendly and you can walk within individual neighborhoods but to explore the city properly, you will have to take the subway (S-Bahn, U-Bahn), buses, ferries, or app bases bicycle & scooters.

What is the best way to get around in Hamburg?

The best way to get around in Hamburg is by getting on the local transport – U-Bahn, S-Bahn, buses, and ferries. The buses in Hamburg also sometimes have bookshelves. A fun way to get around in Hamburg is on a bicycle or an app-based rented E Scooter.

What is the nicest German city?

Living in Germany for a few years, I’d say of course the nicest city is Hamburg. It has the perfect mix of unique beauty, openness to tourists, an international culture, history, iconic landmarks, and easy English communication (which isn’t there in many German cities) for tourists.

Should I go to Berlin or Hamburg?

I have been to both Berlin and Hamburg, I’d pick Hamburg any day. Hamburg is better than Berlin in every way. The only time I might pick Berlin would be to go to a Techno party but Hamburg isn’t so far behind in that aspect.

What to do in Hamburg when it’s bad weather?

It can rain anytime in Hamburg, and when it does you can visit Miniatur Wunderland, Chocovwersum (Chocolate Factory), or Discovery Dock. They are all indoors and are amazing. I have a post about things to do in Hamburg, check it out for ideas.

Are things open in Hamburg on a Sunday?

Like every single place in Germany, supermarkets are closed on Sundays in Hamburg. There are a few things open, such as the famous Fish Market (Der Fischmarkt), and kiosks and shops near train stations, airports, and ports. Most of the tourist attractions are also open on Sundays.

What is Hamburg’s most famous street?

I will mention the top three famous streets of Hamburg here:
1) Reeperbahn (the Red Light District Street – mentioned on Day 1 of the itinerary),
2) Lange Reihe (in St. Georg – mentioned on Day 3 of the itinerary),
3) Deichstraße (pretty historical street with canal-side houses – mentioned on Day 2 of this itinerary).

Is Hamburg cheaper than Amsterdam?

As someone who has visited Hamburg and Amsterdam over and over year after year, I’d say it depends. Believe it or not, Hamburg and Amsterdam are equally expensive in terms of eating. It is a bit easier to find affordable restaurants in Amsterdam over Hamburg. The cost of accommodation is definitely higher in Amsterdam but just slightly so. So overall, Hamburg is cheaper than Amsterdam if you are traveling as a couple or a family.

Is 1 Day enough for Hamburg?

No, it isn’t. Hamburg isn’t as small as Amsterdam or Venice, so 1 day in Hamburg will leave you unsatisfied. If you spend any less than 2 days in Hamburg, you will miss out on more than half of the iconic landmarks that are spread allover the city.

Closing Thoughts on Hamburg Itinerary

Hamburg is one of those destinations that’s fun throughout the year and there’s something for everyone here. Children will love it and so will grown-ups. Party travelers will have so much fun in Hamburg and so will history buffs who enjoy museums and old architecture.

I did mention a lot of things that you can do in Hamburg but don’t stress yourself into doing them all. Pick a few of them if you don’t like to do too many things on holidays, and enjoy your experience.

Disclosure: I collaborated with Superbude Hamburg in 2017 and 2022. However, all opinions expressed in this article are my own.

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Is Nuremberg Worth Visiting? A Historic City in Bavaria (Germany)

Is Nuremberg Worth Visiting? A Historic City in Bavaria (Germany)

Nuremberg – the city of gingerbread houses, cute Christmas markets, and a lot of history. It is Bavaria’s second-large city, but is Nuremberg worth visiting? Let’s find out.

Nuremberg boasts a rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages. As a key center for trade, art, and culture, Nuremberg has played a significant role in shaping Germany’s history, including during WW11 and its aftermath. 

Throughout the centuries, it has experienced both triumphant and dark times, making it a fascinating destination for history buffs and travelers alike. Let’s take a look at the many reasons you shouldn’t skip the city while on a trip to Germany!

Note: If you’re planning to visit Germany in 2024, you might first have to submit an ETIAS application. Make sure you check the requirements to avoid problems on arrival!

To make the most of your trip to Nuremberg, be sure to visit the following must-see attractions that showcase this riverside city’s historic past and vibrant present.

Nuremberg has an Old Town and Historic Walls

Nuremberg Old Town
Nuremberg Old Town via Unsplash

Nuremberg’s Altstadt (Old Town) is a picturesque area filled with medieval architecture, cobblestone streets, and charming squares.

As you wander through the Old Town, you’ll discover half-timbered houses, impressive churches, and historic landmarks like the Albrecht Dürer House, where the famous artist once lived.

Nuremberg's Historic Center
Nuremberg’s Historic Center with Albrecht Dürer House in the background via Pixabay

Don’t miss a walk along the historic walls, which once served as a defense system for Nuremberg. The five-kilometer-long wall is dotted with stunning watchtowers and offers incredible panoramic views of the city.

Nuremberg Castle is Lovely

Nuremberg Castle, Germany via Pixabay

Perched atop a sandstone ridge, this medieval German castle dates back to the 11th century and played a crucial role in the Holy Roman Empire.  

This impressive fortress consists of 3 buildings, the Imperial Castle (Kaiserburg), the  Burgraves’ Castle (Burggrafenburg), and buildings erected by the Imperial City (Reichsstädtische Bauten). 

Nuremberg castle along the river
Nuremberg castle along the river via Pixabay

The vast castle complex is full of impressive constructs, but a must-see is the iconic Sinwell Tower. You should also pay a visit to the Corner Chamber to take in the splendor of the bejeweled imperial crown. 

Pegnitz Riverside is Beautiful

Nuremberg Pegnitz Riverside
Nuremberg Castle and Pegnitz Riverside via Unsplash

All the historic cities in the world have a river that goes through, and that’s the case with Nuremberg too. Pegnitz River goes through the old town and separates Sebalder Alstadt from Lorenzer Altstadt.

Walk along the Pegnitz River after dark to see the twinkling city lights of the old town and enjoy the beauty of their reflection.

Nuremberg, Germany
Pegnitz River, Nuremberg, Germany via Pixabay

Hesperidengaerten is one of the few restored baroque gardens of Nuremberg. A path from Hesperidengaerten goes along the Pegnitz River. Walk on this path along the river and it will take you to the old town.

Nuremberg Market is Always Open

Hauptmarkt Nürnberg
Hauptmarkt Nürnberg via Pixabay

Hauptmarkt the city’s main market is always open in the market square. It is full of vibrant stalls offering local produce and souvenirs. Of course, if you’re visiting during the festive season, like Christmas, Easter, or Autumn time in general, then there’s a lot more happening.

You’ll also want to take a snap of the square’s central attraction, the Schöner Brunnen (Beautiful Fountain). This stunning 14th-century fountain is an intricately designed Gothic masterpiece adorned with 40 colorful statues representing historical figures, philosophers, and religious icons.

Make sure to spin one of the two brass rings embedded in the fountain’s fence – a local tradition believed to bring good luck

Nuremberg has a Transport Museum too!

Made up of 2 separate museums, the Museum of Communications and the Deutsche Bahn’s DB Museum, this expansive space is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of transportation.

As Germany’s oldest railway museum, it houses an impressive collection of trains, railway equipment, and historical exhibits. You can explore the development of rail travel and marvel at the intricate models and life-sized locomotives that showcase the evolution of trains in the country.

Food & Beer Lovers will Love Nuremberg

Nuremberg Bratwurst - food in Nuremberg
Nuremberg Bratwurst – food in Nuremberg via Pixabay

Believe it or not, Nuremberg’s culinary scene is pretty famous. As with a majority of European destinations, the most famous foods aren’t for vegetarians, oops.

Try the Nuremberg Bratwurst with Sauerkraut – a simple roasted sausage plate. For something fancier, try the “Saure Zipfel”, a dish where sausages are cooked in a vinegar-onion sauce with fresh horseradish. On the roadside you can get three small Nuremberg sausages in a bun, it is called “Drei im Weggla”.

Nuremberg Sausages - Streetfood in Nuremberg
Nuremberg Sausages – Streetfood in Nuremberg via Pixabay

Vegetarians and vegans sadly won’t have many easy roadside options except potatoes, “Brezn” or Bretzel (pretzels) but there are now plenty of vegan restaurants that have come up.

Nuremberg’s beer halls are legendary, and shouldn’t be missed. Spend a nice evening or an afternoon in one of them and enjoy the super delicious beer of this historical city.

Some of the beer halls that you can look for are Zwinger Bar, Barfüßer, and Landbierparadies.

Documentation Center and Rally Grounds

Nuremberg Documentation Center and Rally Grounds
Nuremberg Documentation Center and Rally Grounds via Pixabay

The Documentation Center and Nazi Party Rally Grounds is an important historical site that provides an in-depth look into the Nazi era in Nuremberg. A visit to this site is essential for understanding the city’s role during this dark chapter in history.

The museum, housed in an unfinished former Nazi party building, offers a comprehensive exhibition on the rise and fall of the Third Reich and its propaganda machine.

 The nearby Rally Grounds, once used for large-scale Nazi party events, now serve as a powerful reminder of the dangers of totalitarianism.

Art Bunker 

You can delve into Nuremberg’s artistic history at the Art Bunker, a hidden gem that played a critical role during World War II.

Located as much as 24 m beneath the city, this series of tunnels and chambers protected valuable artwork and artifacts from destruction during heavy air raids.

Today, you can tour the bunker and learn about its wartime history, while also admiring some of the art that it once sheltered.

Nuremberg Trials Memorial

The Nuremberg Trials, held after World War II, played a crucial role in holding Nazi war criminals accountable for their actions. Also known as the Memorium Nürnberger Prozesse, it is located on the top floor of the Palace of Justice where the trials took place. 

This fascinating museum offers a detailed account of the trials, their impact on international law, and the pursuit of justice in the face of unimaginable atrocities. If you’re in Nuremberg to get a complete picture of its history, this is an essential visit. 

So is Nuremberg Worth Visiting?

Nuremberg-Old-Town-Market
Nuremberg Old Town Market via Unsplash

In conclusion, Nuremberg is a city with a rich and complex history that offers visitors an unforgettable journey through time. From its stunning medieval architecture to its significant World War II sites, there is no shortage of captivating attractions to explore. 

Yes, Nurenberg is definitely worth visiting if you’re going to visit Germany. Also, while you’re in the general vicinity, I strongly advise you to take the 2h 30m drive to Heidelberg, another incredibly beautiful riverside town in Germany.

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you.   We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Is Heidelberg Worth Visiting? Here’s Why I Loved this River Side Town in Germany

Is Heidelberg Worth Visiting? Here’s Why I Loved this River Side Town in Germany

If you open any guidebook about visiting Germany, then usually the most recommended destinations are Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, or Cologne.

In my opinion, these definitely aren’t the best travel destinations in Germany. (except Hamburg, because it is awesome). How do I know? Well, I have been living in Germany for 5 years and I have traveled across most of the country.

Now you may argue with me and say that Munich is pretty awesome too. Well, the main city isn’t but Munich is an amazing gateway to explore Bavaria and see the best of Germany’s mountains. Guess what, Bavaria is expensive!

The Massive Heidelberg Castle over the city

In my opinion, if there’s one German destination that has it all, it is Heidelberg. No, it isn’t in Bavaria but there are little mountains in Heidelberg too.

I wasn’t prepared to like Heidelberg so much but for me, it was like a mini Prague. And, it was definitely affordable if compared to many other German destinations. 

So, is Heidelberg worth visiting? If you’re visiting Germany and are looking for ideas for where to go, then let me convince you to visit Heidelberg. Here’s why Heidelberg is going to be your favorite German destination:

FYI: This post isn’t a city guide but more of a list of things that I loved about Heidelberg. If you are looking for one, then check out my Heidelberg city guide post with a list of things to do, how to reach, where to stay, and more.

Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg Schloss Castle – via Pixabay

Germany’s famous for its castles. There’s the epic Burg Eltz which was an inspiration for Disney’s movie. There’s also Neuschwanstein Castle, which is an unbelievable sight. Heidelberg is no less in this respect. Heidelberg castle is called Heidelberg Palace and is massive.

Inside Heidelberger-Schloss via Pixabay

When you catch the first glimpse of Heidelberg castle, you will notice that it is built over the hills. It looks like it is a part of the hills as it emerges from the middle of green forested hills. The castle overlooks the old town of Heidelberg.

Entering Heidelberg Castle is not free. In case you’re visiting the city and are going to do some of the other activities then I highly recommend you get the HeidelbergCard. It includes not just the Heidelberg Castle entry but also public transport, cable rail to and back from the castle, and a discount on other attractions.

Click for the HeidelbergCard

This card is valid for 1 – 4 days so make sure you get it if you’re going to visit the castle and ride the cable train to it.

If you decide to go inside the castle, can admire the view from the Scheffel Tower. You will also see the romantic garden – Hortus Palatinus.

Ever heard of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe? He was a famous poet and inside you will see his statue. The Heidelberg castle also has a massive wine barrel, it is called the Great Heidelberg Tun. You can taste the wines here, isn’t that awesome?

Old Town, Old Bridge

Karl Theodor Bridge in Heidelberg – aka, the Old Bridge

What’s the one common thing about some of the most beautiful European cities? Most of them have a bridge and an old town. Yes, Prague, Paris, Porto, Mostar, Lucerne – many cities all over Europe but hardly any in Germany. Except for Heidelberg!

Heidelberg’s bridge is often called “the Old Bridge” but another name is Karl Theodor Bridge. It kind of reminded me of Prague. If you walk over it, you can directly see the castle and enter the old town.

Walking on the Old Bridge in Heidelberg

The walk on the bridge is an experience in itself because of interesting things like arches, Brückenaffe (a bronze statue of a monkey), and Baroque tower helmets.

Heidelberg’s old town is prettier than most of the old towns in all over Germany. There are old buildings, and narrow streets with a distant hill in the background. Even the German tourism board names Heidelberg in the top 3 because of its stunning old town.

Heidelberg Altstadt (old town) is a place where you will spend most of your time. There are restaurants in Market Square, interesting shops on Hauptstrasse, and many old churches – all of them together in a little Old Town. Exploring the old town is quite possibly the most popular thing to do in Heidelberg.

Neckar River

Neckar River, Heidelberg, Germany

Most of the historical cities all over the world were built around major rivers. This is because major long-distance transport was over the water.

But on today’s date, we can enjoy the beauty of the river that goes through a lovely historical city and feast our eyes on the stunning landscapes that these rivers make. That’s the thing is Heidelberg too.

Family Kayaking on Neckar River, Heidelberg, Germany

Heidelberg’s Neckar River creates many stunning viewpoint opportunities. Moreover, as you hike along the river, you will notice many interesting sights like meadows, parks, and little hills. I also saw a family kayaking on the Necker River and I’m sure you can do a few other water sports like SUP, paddle boating, and more.

Odenwald Mountains

Odenwald Range around Heidelberg, Germany

You’ve got a castle, a river, a bridge, and an old town, so how can the landscape get even better? Add mountains & hills. Yes, I was truly delighted when I realized that as stunning as Heidelberg is, it is even better than I imagined it to be because of the little hills that surround the city.

The Odenwald range is bigger than the hills. In fact, they are a low mountain range that extends all the way to Bavaria. In Heidelberg, we see a part of Odenwald that’s along a part of Neckar river valley is very green.

We were able to enjoy the best of Odenwald’s greenery as we camped next to Neckar river in Heidelberg. This is because we traveled to Heidelberg with our camper van.

Camping in Heidelberg

Two interesting spots of Odenwald that you will enjoy while in Heidelberg are Königstuhl-Mountain (567.8m) and Heiligenberg (445m) which is a part of the Philosophenweg hike.

Heidelberg Viewpoints

Heidelberg view from the top – via Unsplash

Where there are hills, there are definitely viewpoints. The most known spectacular viewpoint of Heidelberg is from Königstuhl-Mountain, from where you can see the old town, Heidelberg Palace, and the river.

In order to reach Königstuhl-Mountain, you can climb the Himmelsleiter “Ladder to the Sky” with 1220 steps. Or, you can just take it easy and ride the Bergbahn funicular – the mountain cableway. This ride starts from “Kornmakt” in the Old Town to Heidelberg Castle and to the Königstuhl.

If you’re thinking of riding the cable rail and also entering Heidelberg Castle then we highly recommend you get the HeidelbergCard to save money.

Click for the HeidelbergCard

Apart from Königstuhl, there are many other viewpoint possibilities because of the hills and rivers. You can check out the view from Neckarwiese, for which you won’t have to climb at all.

Neckarwiese is actually a flat meadow by the south bank of the river Neckar. From here, you can see the river and the castle beyond it. On a nice summer day, you will see a lot of locals and students here.

Or you can also check out the view from Scheffel Terrace, which has an observation deck within the Heidelberg castle.

Hiking Trails

Philosophenweg – Philosopher’s walk in Heidelberg via Unsplash

I have a thing for nature & viewpoints and because of this, I love to hike. Heidelberg has many small hiking trains and the most famous one is called Philosophenweg, which means Philosopher’s Way. As the name suggests, this walk was started by Heidelberg university professors and philosophers.

Necker River and hiking trails – Heidelberg, Germany

The Philosopher’s Way hiking trail in Heidelberg goes along the Neckar river and is easy to do if the weather is nice. This hike leads to the Heiligenberg mountain of Odenwald from Neuenheim.

We actually did this walk with our baby in a stroller but had to pick it up manually at some spots. The total distance of this hike is around 2 kms.

Craft Beer

Explore the Beer Scene in Heidelberg

Heidelberg has some famous breweries and an amazing craft beer scene. Head to Vetter’s Alt Heidelberger Brauhaus, which is where I had one of the best-tasting beers. It is located right in the heart of the old town. Enjoy the beer with typical German food like Flammkuchen, Weißwurst, or Schnitzel.

There are surely many other places in Heidelberg where you can enjoy craft beer. Including the one I tried, here’s a list for you for your trip here:

  • Vetter’s Alt Heidelberger Brauhaus (tried and tested by me)
  • Kulturbrauerei,
  • Heidelberger Brauerei GmbH,
  • Hopfenkind Craftbrewing Co,
  • Brauerei zum Klosterhof GmbH

Let me know if you try them. Personally, I’d love to return to Heidelberg and visit them all one by one.

Small Town Feels

Heidelberg has small-town feels

Heidelberg is popular amongst tourists but I love the fact it has retained some small-town feel. This is one thing that I miss when I visit cities like Hamburg, Frankfurt, etc – but Heidelberg wins here.

You can explore most of Heidelberg on foot and I love that kind of freedom. In fact, we camped 2 KMs outside the old town but it was a nice walk along the river to Heidelberg’s old bridge and then further to the old town.

Lively Nightlife

Heidelberg is tiny but it has more than 300 bars and clubs! Since it is a student town, the nightlife scene here is amazing. Most of the bars stay open till 1 am and even much later for student bars.

Some locals say that if you are young and can be mistaken as a Heidelberg University student, you can also find out about student parties by asking around. If you find a party like that then you are guaranteed a good time since these parties go on till 6 or 7 am in the morning. Moreover, beer is much cheaper at these parties.

So, is Heidelberg worth visiting?

Having lived in Germany, I have seen many destinations all over the country and also on an island. For me, one of the best travel destinations in the country is Heidelberg because it has everything. Exactly for this reason, it will appeal to every kind of traveler – young, old, solo, family, adventurers, party animals, wine aficionados, history buffs, Potterheads, and more.

Heidelberg is charming, and historical, has amazing nature, hiking possibilities, a dreamy castle, an old town with a romantic bridge, and a super amazing party scene. Have you ever visited Heidelberg? Let me know in the comments.

PS: Drifter Planet contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a little commission at no extra cost to you.  We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Hamburg Instagram Spots: 13 Photo Spots in Hamburg + MAP

Hamburg Instagram Spots: 13 Photo Spots in Hamburg + MAP

Here are the exact locations of some of my Instagram reels and posts from Hamburg. It took me multiple visits to find some of the most amazing photo spots and to compile this list of my favorite Hamburg Instagram spots.

Hamburg made me fall in love with Germany. There are canals, bridges, a stunning warehouse district with Dark Academia aesthetics, massive ships on the Elbe River, a tunnel, and loads of street art. There is also a narrow street with the whole Harry Potter Diagon Alley vibe.

Hamburg is where even the subway stations look gorgeous, bus interiors look adorable with a tiny bookshelf, and even the town hall is an interesting place to photograph. Is the rest of Germany also like this? Umm, no.

If you’re visiting Hamburg and you’d like to create some memorable photos too, then here’s my list that’s specifically curated for that purpose. Here are the top Instagram spots in Hamburg.

1) Brooksfleet, Speicherstadt

View of Brooksfleet in Speicherstadt, Hamburg

Speicherstadt is a German word that means “warehouse district”. It is super special because Hamburg has the biggest warehouse district in the world. And it is stunning!

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is my favorite photo spot in Hamburg because all the buildings are red. The icing on the cake is that there are intersecting canals, that make the photos look stunning.

Something about the red buildings and Hamburg’s gloomy cloudy weather give me massive Dark Academia vibes on this particular spot.

Brooksfleet Canal in Speicherstadt, Hamburg photo spots

Speicherstadt is within the HafenCity quarter. You will find many photo spots but the best ones aren’t on top of the big bridges. Get on one of the narrower bridges that go over the Brooksfleet Canal and click a picture. You won’t be disappointed!

The Brooksfleet in Speicherstadt t is the extension of the Kehrwiederfleet. I found this spot randomly in 2017 while I was getting out from Miniatur Wunderland, and I revisited it in 2022 for a few photos and reels. Yes, it definitely is one of the most Instagrammable places in Hamburg.

Exact location: the narrow bridge right behind VLET restaurant in Speicherstadt that goes over Brooksfleet.

Click Here for coordinates on Google Maps.

2) Nikolaifleet & Deichstraße

Nikolaifleet - Hamburg’s Prettiest Canal
Nikolaifleet – Hamburg’s Prettiest Canal – I photographed this in June 2017

Oh Hamburg, stop pretending to be Amsterdam! Just kidding. But yes, this spot will remind you of Amsterdam because the buildings along the canal are narrow.

Nikolaifleet is the name of a canal that is in Hamburg’s old town. What makes this photo spot special is that it is along Deichstraße, a pretty street with historical narrow buildings.

If you are there on the weekend, the place can get a little crowded. The issue can also be easily resolved in post-processing: there are modern editors that allow erasing objects and removing people from photos in a very natural way.

Nikolaifleet canal in July 2022, Hamburg Instagram spots

First mentioned in 1304, Deichstraße is the oldest remaining street in Hamburg’s old town – Hamburg Altstadt. The historical canal-side houses here are from the 17th – 19th century. This photo spot is right opposite Speicherstadt. 

There’s also a bench here so that you can sit down and take a break. If you have something nice to sip while you wait here, then that is even better. If not, then just admire the view, click a few photos, and move on.

I have mentioned this photo spot in my Things to Do in Hamburg post already. To get to this spot, arrive at Haus der Seefahrt and walk a few steps further and you will see this view. 

Click here for location coordinates on Google Maps.

3) Wasserschloss (Water Castle), Speicherstadt

Wasserschloss (Water Castle), Speicherstadt via Unsplash

The most photographed spot of Speicherstadt is the Wasserschloss, which means “the Water Castle”. It is at the end of the historical Holländischfleet-Brücke. This photo spot is interesting because of two intersecting canals – Wandrahmsfleet & Holländischbrookfleet with the Wasserschloss building in the middle. 

The Wasserschloss building was the home and working space of those who maintained the warehouse district’s rope winches. Not many were privileged to live inside the warehouse district, but they were.

Speicherstadt at night - Hamburg's Warehouse District
Speicherstadt at night – Hamburg’s Warehouse District

How to photograph the Water Castle (Wasserschloss) in Hamburg? You don’t get too close to it but find a bridge that overlooks it. In order to see it, you will have to get on to the Poggenmühlen-Brücke, which is close to the Schmidtchen Speicherstadt cafe.

Click here for location coordinates on Google Maps.

A lot of elaborate townhouses in Speicherstadt that belonged to the merchants from Holland along the Holländischfleet-Brücke were demolished to make room for new warehouses. Also, many historical buildings were destroyed during World War 2 but some were restored brick by brick.  

As of 1991, the warehouse district is under monumental protection, and since 2015 the entire Speicherstadt is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Other interesting buildings in Speicherstadt are:

Cafea GmbH, Am Sandtorkai 2 

Building along St. Annenfleet, Speicherstadt, Hamburg via Unsplash

The stunning building at Am Sandtorkai 2 next to St. Annenfleet canal is Cafea GmbH, which was a coffee store that’s permanently closed. This building is stunning and is definitely worth photographing. 

Speicherstadtrathaus

It means the Warehouse District Townhouse and is the head office of HHLA transport and logistics.

Kehrwiederspitze

This is a cute small building that you will see from the bridge as you walk around Speicherstadt.

Café Fleetschlösschen

This building was once a customs booth on Brooktorkai but is now a restaurant. 

4) Elbphilharmonie, HafenCity

The Elbphilharmonie, HafenCity or Elbphi, Hamburg, Germany via Unsplash

The Elbphilharmonie or just the Elphi is a massive concert hall in Hamburg’s HafenCity. It is an iconic glass building that you should try to photograph if you visit Hamburg.

Some people say that the Elbphilharmonie shape resembles the top of the sail. Others even say that it looks like an iceberg, or a wave, or a quartz crystal – but I will leave it to you to decide.

As per the architects (Herzog & De Meuron), the Elbphi gives the impression of a giant crystal that reflects the town, Elbe River, and the sky differently from any position and at any hour of the day. You guessed it, it isn’t a historical landmark. The Elbphilharmonie was inaugurated in January 2017.

If you want to explore the HafenCity and Elbphi, check out this 3 Hour Bicycle Tour with Elbphilharmonie that goes through many famous landmarks here and also Elbphilharmonie, where you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the city.

Because it is massive, it isn’t a good idea to get close to it to photograph it. Instead, get to a place from where you can photograph the Elbphi over the water.

In my opinion, the Pedestrian Bridge Opposite Haus der Seefahrt is an excellent spot for photographing the Elbphilharmonie.

5) Alsterarkaden & Otto Liss Gedenktafe

Otto Liss Gedenktafe overlooking Vleet restaurant, Hamburg

There is a spot right after you get out of the Rathaus complex where cars can’t go but you can stand on the bridge that’s called Schleusenbrücke. Go on the bridge to look at the water and the restaurants along with it.

If you walk 150 meters further and cross the VLET restaurant, you will find a spot that’s marked on Google Maps as Otto Liss Gedenktafe. That my friends is where I clicked the above picture.

Otto Liss Gedenktafe viewpoint overlooking Rathaus and Vleet restaurant, Hamburg

I really like this photo spot in Hamburg because you can see the iconic Rathaus building in the background with the canal and restaurants. 

The best time for this photo is at night because that’s when you can capture the romantic vibe of the canal-side restaurants because of the warm lamps.

Alsterarkaden in Hamburg with Rathaus in the background

The canals here are Kleine Alster and Alsterfleet.  This photo spot overlooks the VLET restaurant. Yes, I have mentioned them already in the first point and no, they aren’t paying me to mention them. But it seems that this chain restaurant is all over the famous Instagram spots of Hamburg.

Click here for location coordinates to click the main evening photo at the top of this section.

6) Rathaus – inside and outside

Rathaus in Hamburg – top photo spots

Rathaus is the city’s iconic building and will be a part of every single Hamburg itinerary. Now that you’re near the Rathaus, you will notice that it is an interesting building with Neo-Renaissance architecture.

The building is wide, so you have to find a way to fit it properly in a 5×4 frame that’s a preferred photo frame for Instagram. Of course, you would need a wide-angle lens but nowadays all good cell phones have that too.

Hamburg Rathaus – top IG spots in Hamburg

Don’t just stay inside the Rathaus, but go inside too and you will love the photo possibilities. The water fountain and the Hygieia sculpture behind the Rathaus also make a nice photo background.

Behind the Rasthaus when you cross the fountain and look towards the road, there is an arch. That makes a good photo spot too. I did not click a photo there but shot an Instagram reel.

As you get out of the Rathaus, walk around to see different photo possibilities. The Handelskammer Hamburg is building next to it that’s also worth photographing.

Click here for photo coordinates.

7) Stintfang for Landungsbrücken Station, St. Pauli 

View of Landungsbrücken from Stintfang, Hamburg Insta Spots – July 2022

How can a train station look so stunning? But of course, Hamburg has it all.

Landungsbrücken is a set of bridges that connect the floating landing stations for the ships to the land on Hamburg docks. But at this point, we are talking about the Landungsbrücken station in St. Pauli.

The Landungsbrücken station building is very interesting because there are certain inscriptions and also a clock tower that is used to measure the water level. This entire complex is a protected monument.

The best place for photographing Landungsbrücken is from a spot called Stintfang. It is an observation deck that’s across the road and you have to climb up. From here you will also see the Elbphilharmonie, the famous Rickmer Rickmers museum ship, and the busy Hamburg dock.

Landungsbrücken Station, St. Pauli viewpoint – June 2017

I remember I visited this spot in 2017 from a park where a lot of people were sitting with beer to watch the sunset over Landungsbrücken. This time in 2022, I saw a lot of those sitting spaces on the grass were closed off for people and instead there were just benches.

You can also arrive here directly from Landungsbrücken station as you go on the bridge that crosses the road and then climb more steps to reach on top.

Click here for photo coordinates.

8) Elbe Tunnel & Steinwerder

Inside the Elbtunnel in Hamburg – Photo Spots in Hamburg

You must have noticed that I have mentioned the Elbe River a few times. Yes, it is a major river in Central Europe and it goes through Hamburg. A lot of things and places in Hamburg have the word “Elb” because of this river.

The Elbe tunnel (or Elbtunnel in German) goes under the Elbe River and is the longest river tunnel in the world. The entry point is located in the Landungsbrücken complex, so pretty close to the previous point on this list. 

The Elbe Tunnel, Hamburg – top photo spots

There is a lift that will take you to the starting point of the tunnel. The lift doesn’t operate after 6 pm. It gets very close un this tunnel so I hope you carry something warm to wear.

On the other side of the Elbe River through the Elbtunnel – Steinwerder

You can walk from one side to another in less than 10 minutes. If you want, you can also explore the area on the other side of the harbor. It is called Steinwerder, and it is a maritime industrial area.

Click here for the entry coordinates for the Elbtunnel.

9) Strand Pauli at Sunset

StrandPauli, Hamburg – top photography spots

Strand Pauli means Pauli beach – but this isn’t a beach spot but is a bar that’s a good photo spot because of the location. I visited it while exploring Hamburg with my kid.

Like most of the spots on this list, this place also looks good at sunset. But I understand that you can’t be everywhere at sunset time. In that case, I’d recommend you arrive here before or just after sunset to capture a reddish hue before the purple hour of the photography begins.

To make things better, there is a frame of an old van here that makes a lovely photo frame. We saw it in 2022 and I hope it is still there when you visit.

Click here for the photo coordinates.

10) St. Michael’s Church (Hauptkirche Sankt Michaelis)

St. Michael’s Church Clock Tower, Hamburg via Unsplash

St. Michael’s Church is Hamburg’s most famous church and is one of the five main Lutheran churches. The building is iconic because of the 433-foot-tall clock tower that hovers over most of the background pictures of Hamburg from many directions.

St. Michael’s Church interiors – Hamburg Instagram Spots via Unsplash

The clock tower of St. Michael’s Church was once used to navigate the ships on the river Elbe. Today this tower features an observation deck with panoramic views of Hamburg from every direction. The clock on this tower has faces on four sides and these are the biggest clock faces in all of Germany.

Click here for the photo coordinates.

11) Hamburg Street Art: St. Pauli & Schanzenviertel

St Pauli Street Art, Hamburg

If you want to capture different perspectives of Hamburg, then you can’t miss St. Pauli & Schanzenviertel. This is where several artists began their journey, including the Beatles. (Yes, the band is from Liverpool but St. Pauli is where they were when the rise of Beatlesmania began.)  

To see the street art, get to the skate park in St. Pauli and walk around. Explore the area around Pauli U-Bahn station and Schanzenviertel. The walk from St. Pauli to Schanzenviertel won’t take more than 15 minutes but will take longer if you stop often for photos.

Street art St. Pauli Skate Park Hamburg
Hamburg’s Red light district – Reeperbahn is also a part of St. Pauli. For obvious reasons, you can’t click photos in that part of the city. I just wanted to make sure that you’re aware of this.

I know that the street art in Berlin is famous, but I enjoyed Hamburg too. In my opinion, it was certainly more vibrant. Get to the skate park in St. Pauli and you will find an interesting spot to photograph. 

12) Hamburg Skyline From Boat

Night view of Hamburg's skyline from the boat tour
Night view of Hamburg’s skyline from the boat tour

Hamburg’s skyline looks amazing at night, so where should you go to photograph it? Get on a night boat tour. The boats leave a little before it gets dark so that you can see the buildings along the water and massive ships that are lit up.

Hamburg Evening Tour with Lights

As the night darkens, you will see how the color changes. I have personally done this tour and many people have booked it on my website over the last many years. It is a popular tour and is one of the best ways to see the skyline in a romantic setting.

Hamburg night boat tour - sitting on the deck
Hamburg night boat tour – sitting on the deck

This tour lasts around 60 minutes and is totally worth it. There is an outdoor deck that is rooftop and tends to get full. It offers excellent photo spots.

Hamburg can get a bit chilly because of the winds so not many people want to stay on the rooftop for long. You can also sit indoors because there are plenty of levels and a lot of seats. The view from indoors is also lovely.

13) Alster Lake

Alster Lake in Hamburg

In my Hamburg Things to do post, I mention Alster Lake as a good spot for watching the sunset. I still say the same, so if you have time on your hands then definitely include this on your list.

If you like photography then you know already that the colors right before and after the sunset bring out the best in every landscape and as a result, the photos turn out amazing. This time is called “the golden hour of photography”.

There is a walking path that goes along the main road that’s next to the lake. You can walk on it and stop for photos. There are spots for going down the steps so that you are closer to the lake.

There are spots where you will see swans. You will also see a lot of locals sitting on the benches next to the lake. Opposite the Alster Lake is the Hamburg University. You will also see a TV tower in the background here.

Where to Stay in Hamburg?

Paradise Suite at Superbude Altona Hamburg

There’s just one answer – Superbude. This chain has the most stunning rooms that aren’t just hostels but also “paradise suites”. We stayed in the Superbude Altona with our toddler and loved it. The location was amazing and it was a quieter part of Hamburg. 

The room was very interesting for not just my toddler but also for us. This is how they design the rooms in all the Superbude chains with interesting elements and small interactive art pieces. I remember our room in Superbude St. George had a singing fish!

We have also stayed in Superbude St Pauli and Superbude St. George in 2017. They are all amazing in terms of location, breakfast, and comfort. More than anything, it is the design element that sets Superbude apart from all other hotels.

If you are looking to explore Hamburg with your family then I suggest you book a room at Superbude Altona. If your motive is to party and explore Hamburg’s nightlife, then you should consider Superbude St. Pauli. If you don’t mind being in a busy area and would like to be close to the central train station and the Hafencity, then consider Superbude St. Pauli.

Yes, I love the Superbude chain so much that I even have a post about them based on my trip in 2017. Maybe it is time to update that post with new information about Superbude in Altona. 

Final Thoughts about Hamburg Instagram Spots

I hope you find my list of Instagram spots in Hamburg useful. I wanted to compile this list for people like me who are always looking for the best photo spots in a destination but maybe don’t have time to do their research. 

You must have noticed that I love photographing the same spots, so I clicked some in 2017 and others in 2022 at the same place.  If you come across some more interesting Insta spots in Hamburg then please leave a comment and let me know since I’d love to add more to my list for my next trip.

Disclosure: I collaborated with Superbude Hamburg in 2017 and 2022. However, all opinions expressed in this article are my own.

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