Hamburg is the “gateway to the world” between the Alster and the Elbe. In Germany’s second largest city, 1.85 million happy people live in one of 104 districts that could not be more different.
The city is known for Germany's largest seaport, the time-honoured "Michel", the brick-built Speicherstadt, the lively Reeperbahn, the Alster and Elbe and, since 2016, for its "Elphi", as the Elbphilharmonie is affectionately known. 60 museums, 40 theatres and 5 musicals complete the metropolis' offerings - so no one will be bored here with us!
You're all here to run, but if you want to check out the city before, after or between races, here are some hand-picked tips.Download as PDF
10 places in Hamburg you should have seen
The Elbphilharmonie is located in HafenCity, is 110 m high and offers space for a hotel, the large hall with 2,100 seats, the small hall with 550 seats and the Plaza, where you can walk around the building at dizzying heights and enjoy the view. The Plaza is open daily from 10 am - 2 pm. Free tickets with a time slot are available on site (with a wait if necessary) or for €2 per person here. It's worth it, even in the evening!
Hamburg City Hall is located not far from the Alster and is the seat of the Hamburg Parliament and the Senate of the "Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg". It was opened on this site in 1897 and the entire history of the Hanseatic city can be seen on its façade. The tower is 112 m high and unfortunately cannot be climbed, but a look into the hall and the inner courtyard with the impressive fountain is enough for a first impression! Digital too!
Hamburg's Speicherstadt has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2015 and, with 300,000 m² of storage space, is the largest inner-city warehouse complex in Europe. Numerous bridges connect the inner city with the Speicherstadt, which merges into HafenCity. Today, the warehouses house museums, cafés, offices and are rarely used for (carpet or spice) storage. A walk through the Speicherstadt by day or night is something very special and a must!
Hamburg is the city with the most green spaces and recreational areas in Germany - one of them is "Planten un Blomen", a centrally located 47-hectare park that stretches in a ring from the Landungsbrücken to the Alster. There are beautiful plants and trees to admire (including the rose garden), great children's playgrounds, nice cafés and often events - all without admission! A special tip: the water light shows at 9 pm!
A harbour tour on the Elbe through Europe's third largest port with its many container terminals is also a must. There are official tours, but the trips on the HADAG ferries, which are included in the local transport ticket, are no longer an insider tip. The 62 goes from Landungsbrücken to Finkenwerder - and passes a whole lot of sights along the way. The 72 goes as far as the Elbphilharmonie. Here are the timetables!
The most famous church in Hamburg, the "Michel" (officially St. Michaelis) is always worth a visit because it is so different from the other churches. Inside there are 5 organs and seating for 2,500 people. Every day at 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. (Sundays only at 12 p.m.) the "Micheltürmer" blows a chorale on his trumpet in all directions - a beautiful spectacle. By the way: the 132 m high church tower can be visited - not only during the day, but also at night!
There are many things to see at the Landungsbrücken, for example the 3.5 m difference between high and low tide. But the Old Elbe Tunnel (free of charge) is particularly impressive, a technical masterpiece of its time: 426.5 m long, you walk here to Steinwerder, from where you have a beautiful view of the Elbe. Especially the wooden lifts, which used to be used for cars, are worthwhile! And as a reward, there is a fish sandwich at bridge 10.
The Binnenalster is centrally located in the city centre and can be easily circumnavigated in 30 minutes. The 400 x 400 m basin is surrounded by the streets Jungfernstieg, Ballindamm, Kennedybrücke and Neuer Jungfernstieg. The Alster round trips with the ATG from Jungfernstieg are fun and take you all the way to the Außenalster. By the way: the Alster is actually a small river that rises 50 km north of Hamburg and has been dammed since the 12th century.
A beach day in the big city? Hamburg also has a beach that is at least as beautiful as the one on the North Sea or Baltic Sea ;-) Take ferry 62 from Landungsbrücken to the Neumühlen/Övelgönne stop (tip: the museum harbour) and then walk left down the Elbe (via the new Elbe tunnel, by the way) to the Elbe beach. From there you can watch the colourful hustle and bustle of the ships in the harbour - and eat or drink something from the beach pearl.
If you still have time for an excursion, Blankenese is recommended (with the S-Bahn S1 from the main station): the former fishing village (first mentioned in 1301) captivates with its location and the beautiful stair quarter with a total of over 5,000 steps. Some of Hamburg's celebrities live here and the view of the Elbe river, which is already very wide here, is always worthwhile - and the stairs are lined with nice cafés and small shops.
Tips for children
Playgrounds in Planten un Blomen, Wilhelmsburg Island Park and HafenCity
The best tips for good restaurants or cafés in Hamburg can be found here - the choice is large and booking in advance is advisable: