The second-largest city in Germany with tourists going as far as calling it the most beautiful city in the world, Hamburg is an irresistible tourist destination. With its embracing architecture and rich history, the city houses the most culturally and diversely satisfying people and places. It is a home to the drooling Hamburgers and is called Gateway to the World for a reason.
Every year a whopping number of 13000 boats come into the biggest port in Germany. I have had many a business and leisure trip to Germany. On this occasion what drew us, and by us, I mean my sisters and I was my little chubby nephew. We were visiting family in Germany, so I have tried to provide a condensed version of our Hamberg itinerary into one day of exploring…
Hamburg is expensive but worth every cent. Without stressing enough, the place clearly distinguishes itself in terms of a majestic and awe-inspiring tourist destination. You might have a question about what to do in Hamburg in 1 day? Do not worry, exploring this beautiful city in just 24 hours is the primary focus of this guide. It will enlighten you on the things to do in Hamburg in 1 day but should you have more time in the city there is plenty more to do, in addition to options for day trips too.
Activities To Do In Hamburg In One Day
You cannot explore all of Hamburg in 1 day and experience everything that the city has to offer. However, you can make the most of the time you have. To get out the most from Hamburg at a pocket-friendly cost, below are the places to visit in Hamburg in one day in addition to recommended tours in Hamburg that truly deserve to be on any itinerary.
9:00 AM Hamburg Town Hall
One of the first places to visit in Hamburg is the home to Hamburg’s senate and parliament – Hamburg Town Hall. It is open for the whole week from Monday to Sunday from 8 AM to 6 PM. It is built on top of 4000 piles of oak sunk in the ground and has a staggering number of 647 rooms! This majestic building was constructed somewhere between 1886 and 1897.
In front of the hall houses, a popular venue is Rathausmarkt for markets, concerts, or fairs. If you want to know its history, you can take the help of a guided tour for 5 Euros, which can last for about 45 minutes. However, the tour is offered in German. There are tours in English at 11:15, 13:15, and 15:15. The magnificent sandstone edifice stands tall at the center of the mesmerizing city!
11:00 AM Church of St Michael
Out of the many churches in Hamburg, this is the most prominent one you should not miss visiting. This church is one of the must-sees on your Hamburg itinerary. Initially constructed in the year 1647 with many renovations being done after that, the 132-meter colossus has 450 steps to climb. There is also an elevator if you are not up to the challenge. From the observation deck, which costs 5 EUR, you can enjoy a mesmerizing panorama of the beautiful city.
The entry to the church is, however free. It is not only beautiful from the top, but the bottom also houses vast, incredible 17th-century crypts with remains of 2400 distinguished Hamburg residents. The church is open from
- 9:00 to 20:00 in May to September
- 9:00 to 19:00 in April to October
- 10:00 to 18:00 in November to March
- You can plan accordingly, depending on the month you visit.
12:30 PM Jungfernstieg
After taking a tour from the town hall, walk towards Binnenalaster. Nestled between Binnenalaster and the church that you had visited near Lake Alster, you can find a beautiful promenade. Jungfernstieg was the first paved street in Germany in 1838. Historically speaking, the wealthy families used to bring their Jungfern, German for unmarried daughter in search of a groom.
You can take a stroll here and stop for ice cream too! It is one of the primary shopping streets in Hamburg and bustling with people. You can have quality time here shopping and drinking coffee at one of the cafes. The sightseeing of water from Jungfernstieg has proved to be an overwhelming experience for the tourists.
1:30 PM Speicherstadt
Walk towards the south from the museum towards the famous Port of Hamburg. Added to the UNESCO World Heritage site in 2015, this place is the largest warehouse in the world! It was built between 1883 and 1927, representing Neo-Gothic style architecture to promote trade by doing away with the custom charges. It has 17 buildings where each building has a height of around 7 to 8 stories.
Quantifying its space, it has about 300000 sq m in the storage area. Interspersed with bridges and fleets, it looks like a city itself! Earlier, the warehouses were used to store tea, coffee, spices, etc. but now you will find many warehouses converted into residential complex and functioning offices. It is an apt place for clicking instagrammable pictures too! This Heritage is a must see in Hamburg in 1 day!
2:30 PM Kunsthalle Hamburg
Walk to the other side of the Alster lake from Jungfernsteig towards the Kunsthalle museum. A visit to Hamburg without dropping a visit to this museum would be incomplete. One of the most outstanding art museums in Germany, it houses artworks with a span of around 700 years.
The artworks include works by Manet, Goya, Munch, Rembrandt, and Vincent Van Gogh. Caspar David Friedrich’s “The Polar Sea” and Philipp Otto Runge’s “Morning” are the most famous paintings that are must watch here. If you are an art connoisseur, you will not be satisfied with 2 hours.
You can sit and admire the sculptures and artworks for days! You will also find a gallery of contemporary art, which houses a collection of canvases by celebrated Francis Bacon, Picasso, Warhol, Kandinsky, and so on. The museum is closed on Mondays and opens on Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
It is better to plan your trip on days other than a Monday if you want to cherish the artworks. Moreover, you will be charged an entrance fee of 14 EUR, which may sound expensive, but worth your money. If possible, try to book entrance tickets online as it will save you time.
4:00 PM Time for Hamburg Specials!
You have 24 hours, and you want to make sure you have had the best of Hamburg. There are a lot of things to do in Hamburg in 1 day! What’s better than all your senses enjoying the place? Your eyes have had a share of its merriment; your taste buds crave for some delicacies too! Fischbrotchen and Franzbrotchen will surely stimulate your taste buds.
With some German Bear, you can have the first one from Brucke 10 or Fischbrotchen Konig near St Pali Piers. It is a bun sandwich with fish topped with onions, pickles, and remoulade. If you want to savor pastries, Hamburg has its delicacy named Franzbrotchen. This pastry baked with cinnamon is mouth-watering. The coating is crunchy, and chocolates and other things could be used as add on.
6:00 PM Alter Elbtunnel
You can utilize your next few minutes to take a stroll through the longest river tunnel of the world – the Old Elbtunnel. It has a depth of 24 meters and 426.5 meters in length, which makes it the longest. It was constructed in the year 1911 to provide convenience to the harbor workers in commuting across the ports. However, everyone in Hamburg uses this tunnel, as it is the quickest route across.
You can see thousands of pedestrians and cyclists using this route to get across. The best part of the tunnel is, you can explore its uniqueness in just 10 minutes! Alter Elbtunnel, unlike other modern tunnels, will spark historical significance, making it a historically preserved site since 2003. The entry is free for the pedestrian and cyclists.
6:20 PM Reeperbahn
With your day ending, your last place visit must be memorable. Reeperbahn can offer you memories and make your day better. It is Europe’s most famous gambling and entertainment hub located in the St Pauli district. Hamburg is incomplete without this lovely place! The name is derived from the word Reep, which is German for heavy rope.
Early in the 18th century, the site was used for the ships in Hamburg ports. It is famously called as “The World’s Most Sinful Mile” and “kiez.” On one corner of the street, you will also find the most famous police station in all of Germany, called the Davidwache. However, the street around this area can be a cause of worry if you roam around with your family.
Herbertstrabe is a street where sex workers attract potential customers through their charms. However, worry not as the street is sealed off. Naturally, the area is under strict police surveillance. At the end of this street, you will come across Beatles Platz. They are life-like silhouettes made of steel consisting of the Beatles band. These statues can seem plain during the day but look beautiful when the sun goes down. It was here that the Beatles polished their skills, making them fab four.
7:30 PM A Splendid Dinner
Reeperbahn has some splendid restaurants to cater to your taste. If you adore Chinese cuisine, you can check out Man Wah. Traditional German dishes can be enjoyed at the Freudenhaus St Pauli restaurant. Labskaus, a traditional seaman’s stew, is of prominence here. This is the most fantastic way to end your day with a trip to Hamburg in just 24 hours. More than the dinner experience, you will take home eye-pleasing memorable viewpoints throughout Hamburg along with some beautiful instagrammable photos!
Benefits of Having Hamburg Card
With the Hamburg City Card, you can enjoy free public transport and pay only half the entrance fees for visiting top-class museums, ports, and other tourist attractions. Moreover, you can avail of discounts on your food bills in popular restaurants. You can taste Hamburg’s signature dishes at minimal prices! It can be bought online from the tourist center at around 10.50 EUR for a 24-hour benefit, which is rightly the subject of this free guide.
How To Get Around In Hamburg
After deciding upon the time of visit for one day, this question will surely pop up in your mind. Hamburg is a pedestrian-friendly city to be enjoyed on foot! The best thing about this place is the minimal distance between varied tourist attractions. However, Hamburg has an excellent transport system ranging from buses to ferries. The U-Bahns, S-Bahns are popular household metro names here. A day ticket will cost a little around 8 EUR. There are no issues in coming across a ticket vending machine as it is located throughout the city at bus stops and stations.
Moreover, you will find many people on bicycles! You can rent a bicycle from StadtRAD and the Donkey Republic, which have many service points in the city. However, it is worth knowing beforehand that taking taxis is not advisable unless vital as they will hurt your purse with a 1.6 EUR per Km. If you want to travel by taxi, you can check out the Hansa Taxi company. You can order it online, or call the taxi ranks located strategically across various points in the city.
Where To Stay In Hamburg?
Booking a hotel at a few minutes’ walk away from the railway station is recommended. For a budget hotel stay, choose Ibis Hamburg Alster Centrum or Generator Hamburg. If you want a mid-budget hotel, Novum Style hotel Hamburg or Hotel Mercedes Hamburg will be great choices. If you have a taste for luxury, Le Meridien Hamburg or Barcelo Hamburg will be your best options.
Best Time to Visit Hamburg
While May to October can be the warmest months in Hamburg, making your visit from February to July would be the most suitable time of a lovely spring. However, you can enjoy Hamburg in the months of winter, too, when Christmas celebrations are in full swing. It is purely a matter of your personal preference to choose the type of weather and climate. Visit any time in the year and mesmerize the panoramic beauty of the city.
Heading To Germany? Also See:
- Coolest Place To See Street Art In Dusseldorf
- A Weekend In Dusseldorf
- Solo Exploring In Kronberg
- Essential Items For A Trip To Europe
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