Hamburg is a lively city with beautiful historical sites, diverse neighbourhoods and a plethora of cultural offerings. Here are 13 great reasons why you should make Hamburg your travel destination in 2017. We’re sure that there are even more grounds to stop by, visit now and discover your own.
The extravagant Elbphilharmonie
The heart of the HafenCity district – the Elbphilharmonie concert hall – opened its doors in January 2017. It has already established its place as a landmark of Hamburg and as a music venue unlike any other in the world. Enjoy a concert in the magnificent Grand Hall if you can, or in the least visit its Plaza for picturesque views across the harbour.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Fascinating historical sites
While the Great Fire of 1842 and the bombings which took place during World War II destroyed much of old Hamburg, you’ll catch a glimpse of the city’s past wherever you look. From the stately neo-Renaissance City Hall to quaint 17th-century townhouses and the engineering masterwork Old Elbe Tunnel, you’ll love exploring Hamburg’s rich historical heritage.
Hamburg’s diversity is best seen within its numerous neighbourhoods, each displaying a different facet of the bustling city. Pick and choose from the affluent Eppendorf, the alternative Sternschanze, the hipster Karolinenviertel, the multicultural Ottensen, the up-and-coming island of Wilhelmsburg, and many more.
UNESCO World Heritage
Hamburg boasts several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The historic Speicherstadt warehouse district, with its beautiful red brick buildings, canals, and bridges, is the largest of its kind in the world. Nearby, the Chilehaus office building, shaped like a giant ship, is a prime example of Brick Expressionism. Hamburg’s exclave, Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park, is located at the mouth of the River Elbe and protects a unique ecosystem.
Maritime leisure activities
Between three rivers, large lakes, and countless canals, Hamburg truly is a city built on water, and there are many ways you can explore the city’s aquatic sights. Take a harbour tour on the Elbe, or a boat tour of the Alster and the canals. Go sailing in a yacht, paddle around in a canoe or rent a water-bicycle. Alternatively, enjoy the city’s newest attraction, the amphibian RiverBus.
Hamburg is a city that is not afraid to think big. Just look at the impressive HafenCity – Europe’s largest city development project. Here a whole new district is being built, and once completed, it will include apartment buildings, offices, beautiful parks, museums, schools and universities, all showcasing the best that modern architecture has to offer.
Germany’s top tourist attraction
Germany’s top tourist attraction sits on the banks of the Elbe river. It’s Miniatur Wunderland – the largest miniature railway in the world. The museum’s nine miniature worlds are inhabited by over 1,000 trains, more than 4,000 buildings, and 260,000 figurines. A must-see for every visitor of the city.
Don’t stop at Miniatur Wunderland – Hamburg’s 40 museums ensure that there is something for everyone to visit. Art and photography lovers will enjoy the five Kunstmeile museums, and the Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte is the largest city history exhibition in Germany. For those interested in maritime history, the International Maritime Museum covers 3,000 years of seafaring history.
Unforgettable parties throughout the year
Not only does Hamburg have the Reeperbahn, the longest party street in Europe, it also knows how to throw a good celebration. Just drop by the Schlagermove parade, (dubbed the Festival of Love) in July and see for yourself. Or visit the Hamburger DOM – Germany’s biggest and longest fun fair that opens not one but three times a year.
Great music festivals
If you’re a music lover, know that Hamburg is also a renowned music festival destination. A top event is the Reeperbahn Festival, Germany’s largest club festival. The Elbjazz and Überjazz festivals will delight jazz connoisseurs. Electronic and urban music fans will love Spektrum festival, while alternative and rock music fans will feel at home at the MS Dockville.
Hamburg is one of the greenest cities in Europe and you’ll feel it everywhere you go. There are beautiful parks, including the world’s biggest park cemetery, and sandy city beaches complete with relaxing beach bars. You can go for walks on the picturesque riverbanks of the Elbe, hike in the Harburg Hills, or cycle through moors on the city’s outskirts.
Forget everything you associate with typical German cuisine and explore the fresh flavours of North Germany. Snack on fischbrötchen packed with herring, sample traditional seamen’s dishes and other mouth-watering fish specialities. Wash it down with tart local beer and sweeten it up with a freshly baked cinnamon franzbrötchen.
A trip to a unique city is best enjoyed when staying in equally unique lodgings. Perhaps in a cabin of the hotel ship Großer Michel or the large museum ship Cap San Diego? Maybe in a spacious house boat or a tree house? Or is a rock star suite with a bed for six more your style?
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.