The Best Concert Halls in Germany

Hamburgs architectural triumph, the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall
Hamburg's architectural triumph, the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall | © Sophie Wolter
Evelyn Smallwood

It would be difficult not to run into a concert hall while travelling in Germany. Even the smallest towns have one and there’s always something going on. In most modern halls, the sound and the views are equally good in the cheap seats, so catching a concert needn’t break the bank. Sunday afternoon or evening concerts are usually less expensive and there are often free concerts during the week at noon. Tickets can usually be acquired even for the most popular Friday and Saturday night shows by queuing for returns at the box office a couple hours before showtime. To help you get started, here’s a list of some of Germany’s best concert halls.

Loved by over 40s

Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg

The big news in Germany this year was the opening of the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. Five years behind schedule and 10 times over budget, the Elbphilharmonie is the most expensive concert hall in the world. When it opened in January 2017, Germany shouted a loud, ‘finally!’ The building itself is an architectural marvel, built on top of an old warehouse right on the riverbank. Even if a concert is not on the agenda, a tour of the building is now the highlight of any harbour visit.

Musikforum Ruhr, Bochum

Two months before the Elbphilharmonie, Germany’s cheapest concert hall opened in Bochum, a former industrial city in the north west of Germany now in the process of reinventing itself for the 21st century. The entrance to the hall was built inside the façade of an old church and inside the hall itself, the vibe is cosy and welcoming.

Philharmonie, Berlin

The Philharmonie in Berlin, completed in 1963, is the first of Germany’s great modern concert halls. The gold-plated tent in the Ocker neighbourhood of west Berlin was created by architect Hans Scharound. Inside, the seats are arranged in terraces, so no seat is far from the action. The resident orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker, is considered one of the best in the world and concerts are often sold out. If booking ahead isn’t possible, try lunchtime or early evening concerts for a better chance.

Stadthalle, Wuppertal

Wuppertal, a small city an hour north of Cologne in northwest Germany, doesn’t often make the news and its fantastic concert hall, the Stadthalle, is also often forgotten. A shame, considering there are not many concert halls in the country located in Neo-Renaissance castles. Opened in 1900, it was considered to be as good acoustically as much more famous halls in Leipzig and Vienna. The building was bombed heavily during the Second World War, now rebuilt and home to the Wuppertaler Sinfonieorchester.

Konzerthaus Berlin

Located in Gendarmenmarkt square in the central Mitte district of Berlin, the Konzerthaus spent most its life as the National Theatre. After the original building burned down, a new and improved version was opened in 1821 and continued as a playhouse until it was badly damaged in the Second World War. The hall was opened again as a concert hall in 1984 and now has a house orchestra, as well as concerts from many different acts. Acoustically, it has been ranked as one of the five best concert halls in the world.

Regentenbau, Bad Kissingen

Bad Kissingen is a town known for the cure, that is, a place wealthy people in the 18th and 19th century went to take the waters and recover from whatever ailed them. Since the cure usually took several months, patients needed something to do and so in 1913 the concert hall was opened. The main hall and chamber music halls were completely renovated in 2005 and the building is now the home of the Kissinger Sommer festival and various visiting musicians.

Kölner Philharmonie

First opened in 1984, the Philharmonie in Cologne is neither the standard shoebox shape like the Konzerthaus in Berlin, or the terrace shape like the Philharmonie in Berlin or Elbphilharmonie. Instead, it gives the listener the feeling of being deep inside a space ship. Cologne is a major stop on the European tour circuit, so there is always something on.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


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.


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!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


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.