Destinations Europe

48 Hours In Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg Skyline

Hamburg, most of us know it but how many of us have actually been? When thinking of European city breaks we tend to think of the usual suspects – London, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin etc. To be honest when Hamburg was first mentioned we thought of a heavy industrial port city, but how wrong were we!

Getting There

With plenty of connections from the UK and a flight time of only 90-minutes from London, Hamburg is a very easy city to get to. Getting from the airport to the city centre is also very quick and cheap as there is a dedicated S-Bahn train service from the airport terminal to the central station, Hamburg Hauptbahnhof.

Unlike many UK cities, we found the trains clean and efficient and a perfect way of getting around.

Hamburg Rathaus

Hamburg Rathaus

Day One – Getting Our Bearings And Harbour Cruise

Often when we arrive in a new city, despite looking at all the guides we still haven’t got much of a clue where everything is, how far apart the sights are and how easy is it to actually get around. So on arrival in Hamburg, we headed straight for the city centre and the Rathaus (Town Hall), we still love that name.

We took the U-Bahn to get there and surprisingly most of it is above ground. The U3 Line gave us the first great views of the waterfront, Elbphilharmonie concert hall and the Port of Hamburg.

Hamburg Harbour

The busy Hamburg waterfront

As mentioned, when we were on the U-Bahn we had already passed the waterfront and the Landungsbrücken area, this is where most of the harbour cruises are based. The sun was out, so we headed there to try one of the harbour tours and have good look around the port, one of Europe’s busiest port.

You can read how we got on here Hamburg Harbour – Hafenrundfahrten in Hamburg.

That night we ended up having a drink in Clouds – Heaven’s Bar & Kitchen, it sits on the top of a new building at the start of the infamous Reeperbahn. We had fantastic views over Hamburg as the sun went down (the top picture was taken from the rooftop bar).

Hafencity Quarter

The Hafencity Quarter

Day Two – Chocolate, Ships and Minature Railways
Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg

Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg

The second day was slightly more overcast and colder so it was perfect weather to visit the indoor attractions and museums. There’s nothing better than starting your day off with a visit a chocolate museum – mmmm chocolate for breakfast.

The Chocoversum is a guided tour in which they take you through the whole process of making chocolate and ‘YES‘, you get to make your own chocolate bar!

Chocoversum – The Chocolate Museum

Next, it was the Maritime Museum – The Internationales Maritimes Museum. The museum is in the oldest preserved warehouse of the Hafencity quarter of Hamburg, Kaispeicher B. The museum is split into ‘9 decks‘ which show the maritime history from over 3000 years ago up until the present day including an interesting section on ocean research and a disturbing display on whale hunting complete with some vicious looking harpoons.

Inside the Maritime Museum

The impressive model in the atrium

Finally, it was our last couple of hours and what could be better to round off any sophisticated city break than a visit to a model railway. But this was no ordinary model railway, it was the famous Miniatur Wunderland – the largest model railway in the world with over 20,000 metres of track.

Miniatur Wunderland

Miniatur Wunderland model railway

Staying There

We stayed at the Heikotel Am Stadtpark near the green and peaceful Stadtpark area. A comfortable, contemporary hotel with fitness centre and parking. It was very reasonably priced (including breakfast) and less than 5 minutes from the nearest train station. Although the hotel was in a quiet neighbourhood there were quite a few very good restaurants within a 10-minute walk.

Heikotel Hamburg

Where we stayed, the Heikotel Hamburg

Our 48 hours in Hamburg turned out to be a great couple of days. We had no idea Hamburg was going to be so dynamic, interesting and above all, fun. We were really glad we visited.

If you want to read more about Hamburg check out the following posts.

Three days in Hamburg with a three-year-old

A long weekend in Hamburg

8 reasons why you should visit Hamburg

Have you visited Hamburg? Please share your hints, tips and recommendations in the comments below, thanks.

Watch Us On YouTube

You can see more of our Hamburg misadventures on our YouTube channel. See the amazing Miniature Wunderland in action!!!


48 Hours In Hamburg, Germany

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  • Mei from Travel with Mei and Kerstin
    June 10, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Great post! I visited Hamburg as a kid back in the 80s, and it’s about time we reexplore it now! And yes you’re right: people (and we too!) tend to spend a weekend in London, Paris or Barcelona, but not really in Hamburg… although, why not, right?! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      June 10, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      The city was an unexpected surprise, would definitely recommend a couple of days there.

  • Danik
    June 10, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    I love Hamburg and its one of my favourite cities in Germany. Summer months are great as I love to chill out by Lake Alster. 🙂 Think its time for a revisit. Great post 🙂

    • Mr and Mrs W
      June 10, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      We were surprised how relaxed it was compared to other cities.

  • Dannielle
    June 11, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Glad I found this post! I might be heading to Hamburg soon but don’t have any plans yet. Definitely going to try out the chocolate tour and that rooftop bar – both things seem right up my street!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      June 12, 2017 at 8:01 am

      Good views from the bar, Minatur Wunderland is a laugh too,

  • RaW | Ramble and Wander
    June 11, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Germany is the only western European country that I haven’t been to and to be honest, Hamburg is not on my bucket list for Germany. Thanks to your post though, I might consider it for a day or two if I have extra days when I (eventually) visit Berlin. I noted that, by train, it’s just a 2-hour ride and the fare is not that bad either.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      June 12, 2017 at 8:03 am

      Hamburg is well worth a visit if you are in Germany, it has a lot of history and the warehouse area is a UNESCO site.

  • Darlene | Point and Shoot + Wanderlust
    June 12, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Oh wow, the architecture there is amazing. I haven’t put Hamburg yet in my list but definitely considering it now, even for just a quick visit!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      June 13, 2017 at 9:23 am

      Hamburg is well worth a quick visit.

  • Mike Cotton
    June 12, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Hamburg has long been a destination I’d love to visit. The football team, St Pauli FC, are a great attraction. And to boot, the rest of Hamburg looks very very cool.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      June 13, 2017 at 9:23 am

      Quick to get to from the UK as well.

  • Gokul Raj
    June 13, 2017 at 6:29 am

    I have never been to Europe. Would love to visit the chocolate museum over there.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      June 13, 2017 at 9:24 am

      Chocolate museums are always nice, yum!

  • Shruti Prabhu
    June 13, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    I have heard a lot about Miniatur Wunderland! Would love to see it in person. Hamburg looks like a fun place. I would surely enjoy the Chocoversum as well. I mean who wouldn’t! The cruise sounds fun as well.

  • Jenna
    June 14, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Hamburg looks like such a great town–we’ve been hearing a lot about it lately and have been dying to visit! Love your suggestions, especially Chocoversum. It would be so fun to make your own chocolate bar! The harbor cruise would be a lot of fun too!

  • Cai Dominguez
    June 18, 2017 at 4:34 am

    Your story and photos are so inviting that I will put this on my list of cities to visit in Europe. Thank you for sharing this city. I love the architecture!