The Ultimate Guide to Hamburg's Art Mile

Kunsthalle | © Hamburger Kunsthalle, Foto: Wolfgang Neeb
Kunsthalle | © Hamburger Kunsthalle, Foto: Wolfgang Neeb
Photo of Ilze Ieviņa
27 March 2017

A must for every cultured visitor of Hamburg is the Kunstmeile – art mile – an association of five renowned art museums. Together they exhibit 4,000 years worth of artefacts from across the world, covering painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, applied arts and design. Read our guide for all you need to know about visiting.

Five museums, one ticket

The best way to experience the outstanding collections of visual arts, photography, applied arts and design that the museums have to offer, is by buying a Kunstmeile pass. It costs €36, is valid for 12 months and allows to visit each museum once. A reduced rate of €22 is available for students and handicapped persons. Holders of the Hamburg CARD pay a reduced rate of €28.50, whereas children and adolescents under the age of 18 are admitted for free.

The Kunstmeile pass can be bought in any of the five museums, online through the Hamburg Tourism webpage, or via the Ticket Online hotline (+49 1806 4470 000, German landline: 0.20 € /min., mobile max. 0.60 € /min.).

Bucerius Kunst Forum | © Wolfgang Neeb

The museums

Bucerius Kunst Forum

Founded in 2002, the Bucerius Art Forum is a private art gallery that organises four exhibitions a year. It prides itself on displaying exceptional art, both historic and modern, in new contexts by drawing previously unseen connections and transcending conventional boundaries. Past exhibitions have included world-famous artwork of Matisse, Miró, Picasso, Kahlo, Turner and more.

Open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursdays to 9 p.m.

Deichtorhallen Hamburg

The scenic Deichtorhallen, once a market hall selling fruit, vegetables and flowers, is home to a museum of contemporary art and photography. The Hall of Contemporary Art is the largest of its kind in Europe and presents exhibitions by internationally acclaimed painters, sculptors and designers. The House of Photography hosts high-class temporary photography exhibitions but its permanent F. C. Gundlach Collection of fashion and art photography is truly unmissable.

Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Deichtorhallen | © Henning Rogge / Deichtorhallen

Hamburger Kunsthalle

Housed in three adjacent buildings that each represent a different architectural style, the Kunsthalle is the largest art museum in Germany. Its permanent collection reflects seven centuries of artwork, focusing on European art history. Special gems include works from the Golden Age of Dutch painting, 19th-century German and French masterpieces, a large collection of modernism art and sculpture, as well as contemporary art from Pop Art to present. Furthermore, the museum hosts up to 20 special exhibitions annually.

Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday to 9 p.m.

Kunstverein Hamburg

The Kunstverein is not a typical museum but, as indicated by its name, an art association. It was founded in 1817 with the goal to present and promote contemporary art. Accordingly, the changing exhibitions at the Kunstverein reflect current trends and socially important themes. The international artists represented here are a successful mix of young and well-established. Special events are planned for 2017 in honour of the 200-year-birthday of the Kunstverein.

Open Tuesday to Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

The vast collection of Hamburg’s Museum of Art and Industry includes half a million artefacts from 4,000 years of human history, making it one of the most important applied arts museums in Europe. The museum’s permanent collection of art, handicraft, design, fashion, photography and new media spans from ancient times to the present day. Not only European but also Middle Eastern and East Asian art is represented in the museum’s collection and its excellent temporary exhibitions.

Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays to 9 p.m.

Museum fuer Kunst und Gewerbe | © Erin Stevenson O'Connor / Flickr

Best tips for visiting

The five museums are located within a short walk from one another, making it easy to move from one to the next. You can download a printable map with the institutions from the Kunstmeile webpage here and plan your route, including public transport connections here.

For current exhibition highlights consult the Kunstmeile webpage, while more information about the current and upcoming special exhibitions can be found on the webpages of the respective museums: Bucerius Kunst Forum, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kunstverein Hamburg, and Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg.

Although it’s possible the see all of the museums in a day, pace yourself and take your time. Already the Hamburger Kunsthalle alone provides enough artistic stimulation for one day. The smaller museums are easier combined, for example, the Deichtorhallen and the Kunstverein that are located close by.

All of the museums take part in the Long Night of Museums that takes place every year in April.

Kunstverein Hamburg | © Thomas Fries / Wikimedia

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