1) Brooksfleet, Speicherstadt
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.
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
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.
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
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 that maintained the warehouse district’s rope winches. Not many were privileged to live inside the warehouse district, but they were.
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
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.
It means the Warehouse District Townhouse and is the head office of HHLA transport and logistics.
This is a cute small building that you will see from the bridge as you walk around Speicherstadt.
This building was once a customs booth on Brooktorkai but is now a restaurant.
4) Elbphilharmonie, HafenCity
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 architect (Herzog & De Meuron), the Elbphi gives an 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
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 further 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.
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.
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 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.
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. There’s the Handelskammer Hamburg building next to it that’s also worth photographing.
Click here for photo coordinates.
7) Stintfang for Landungsbrücken Station, St. Pauli
How can a train station look so stunning? But of course, Hamburg has it all.
Landungsbrücken is actually 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 actually is used to measure the water level too. 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 slightly climb up. From here you will also see the Elbphilharmonie, the famous Rickmer Rickmers museum ship, and the busy Hamburg dock.
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
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 actually in the Landungsbrücken complex, so pretty close to the previous point on this list.
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.
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
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.
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 is Hamburg’s most famous church and is one of the five main Lutheran churches. The building is iconic because of the 433 feet tall clock tower that hovers over most of the background pictures of Hamburg from many directions.
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
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.)
In order 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.
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
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.
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
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 is 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?
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 articles are my own.
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The buildings look amazing at night! The lights just hit different! Would definitely come here even if it’s just for the gram!
Thanks for posting this! Cheers!