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Hamburg is a very popular city to visit, and for good reason.
But how many days in Hamburg is enough?
This is an important question to ask while planning a trip to Germany. And often it can be hard to decide how long is enough.
As a full-time traveller, and someone who has visited Hamburg, I feel confident to provide an answer to this important conundrum.
🇩🇪 When planning a trip to Hamburg, I recommend using:
✈️ Flights: Skyscanner
🏨 Hotels: Booking.com
💵 Hostels: Hostelworld
🗺 Tours & Activities: Viator and GetYourGuide
🚗 Car Rental: Discover Cars
🚌 Transport: Flixbus
🏥 Travel Insurance: Safetywing
💻 VPN: Surfshark
How Many Days In Hamburg Is Enough?
In my opinion, 3 days is the perfect amount of days to spend in Hamburg.
By staying for 3 days, it allows you to see all of the main sights and attractions, as well as allow for some downtime to relax or explore the city for yourself. It’s important not to rush travelling and to take time to appreciate where you are.
So spending a weekend in Hamburg is just about right.
That being said, it’s definitely possible to see all of Hamburg’s tourist attractions in less than 3 days, I would say Hamburg in a day is doable for sure. And of course, you can spend more than 3 days in Hamburg and still have a great time. There are so many things to do in Hamburg!
If you do spend less than 3 days in Hamburg, I recommend using the hop-on hop-off buses. It allows you to get around the city and see the main sights in a shorter period of time. Note that Uber in Germany is super expensive.
But of course, like any city, there is no golden answer to “How many days in Hamburg is enough?” It’s not a “one size fits all” question and it really depends on how you like to travel. You could spend a month in Hamburg and really get a feel for the city, or you could see the sights in a day.
That’s the beauty of travelling- it’s entirely customisable. Nonetheless, 3 days is the perfect duration for a trip to Hamburg as it allows you to see what Hamburg has to offer as well as allowing for some time to explore the city freely.
Hamburg is amazing no matter how long you spend there. There’s never too little and never too many days. There’s simply more than enough. But you’ll love it no matter what.
What To See In Hamburg
There are so many things that make Hamburg worth visiting, it’s a city filled with things to see and do. To help you decide how many days in Hamburg is right for you, I’ve made a list of 10 of the best things to see in Hamburg. In no particular order:
1) Hamburg Rathaus: One of the most beautiful sights to see in Hamburg is the Hamburg Rathaus. The city hall is absolutely huge, one of the biggest in the world in fact, and it’s really worth taking the time to properly look at. You can also go inside and even dine in a restaurant in the city hall.
2) St. Nikolai Church: Another incredible thing to see in Hamburg is the St. Nikolai Church, or memorial as it’s now known. The church was once the tallest in the world, but after being bombed in World War 2, only the steeple, some walls and ruins remain. Now the church acts as a memorial for the war. It’s a fascinating place to see.
3) St. Michel’s Church: St. Michel’s Church is probably Hamburg’s most well-known church, and it’s really impressive. The outside of the church is beautiful but the real beauty is inside the church. In my opinion, it’s as nice as some of the churches I stepped in during my time in Rome.
4) Nikolaifleet: Nikolaifleet is a really beautiful canal in Hamburg. Some of the nicest pictures you can take in Hamburg without a doubt! Seeing the curve of the canal along with the picturesque buildings, wow! The area also has a lot of history, as it’s where the Great Fire of Hamburg in 1842 started.
5) Hamburg Port: The Port of Hamburg is one of the most active ports in the world. Hamburg is nicknamed “The Gateway to the World” due to how much cargo is processed in the port. It’s also a really pretty area and definitely one I would consider photographable.
6) Elbphilharmonie: The landmark of Hamburg, Elbphilharmonie, the concert hall, is truly indescribable. You have to see it for yourself to really appreciate the architecture. The building is enormous and it looks stunning. I didn’t expect much from Elbphilharmonie to be honest, but it completely blew me away.
7) Chilehaus: Possibly the most 1920s German-looking building in Hamburg, Chilehaus is another sight you should definitely see during a trip to the city. Chilehaus is an office building but it’s an amazing example of the 1920s brickwork throughout Germany. It’s a really attractive building.
8) Speicherstadt: This part of Hamburg’s port is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Sight. The old warehouses are a protected area and for good reason. It’s a case of “pictures can’t do it justice” and walking amongst the warehouses really allows you to understand and appreciate the beauty of the area.
9) Alster Lakes: Alster Lakes are located in the centre of the city, they’re another must-see in Hamburg. The lakes are filled with wildlife, and a local legend is that as long as there are swans in the lakes, Hamburg will remain wealthy. You will also see people canoeing and kayaking across the lakes.
10) St. Jacobi Church: The last thing to see in Hamburg is St. Jacobi Church. It’s another of Hamburg’s 5 famous major churches and it’s as spectacular as any. The church is a really churchy-looking church and the brickwork is tremendous. Take a look for yourself…
What To Do In Hamburg
As well as having lots of things to see, Hamburg also has lots of things to do. There are plenty of attractions for tourists. Depending on how many of these stand out to you, dictates how many days in Hamburg is enough for your trip.
1) Take a walking tour: As with any city, Hamburg is great for taking a walking tour. A walking tour allows you to see many of the sights listed above, as well as learn about the history of Hamburg and understand a bit of context behind each of the sights. You can find the best Hamburg walking tour here.
2) Visit Miniatur Wunderland: One of Germany’s most popular tourist attractions, Miniatur Wunderland is simply incredible. It’s definitely one of my favourite things in Hamburg. It’s a miniature railway museum that goes all around the world and has miniature versions of Vegas, Rome, and more. It’s an absolute must-do!
3) Learn how to make chocolate: Chocoversum is Hamburg’s chocolate factory and you can take tours around the factory, learning how chocolate is made and seeing the process in action. You also get to make your own chocolate bar as well as taste chocolate samples along the way. It’s a real-life Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory!
4) Visit Tierpark Hagenbeck: Hamburg’s zoo, Tierpark Hagenbeck is known for being a really good zoo with some cool animals. There are even polar bears. But one of the biggest selling points of Tierpark Hagenbeck is that you can feed elephants, giraffes and more for really cheap. You just have to buy the food on the way in. It’s a memorable experience.
5) Enjoy a walk around Planten un Blomen: Planten un Blomen is Hamburg’s botanical garden and it makes for a really nice walk. There are loads of path options, and if you find your way to the university’s exotic plants greenhouses, you can enjoy some of the unique and fascinating plants on display.
6) See the view from Elbphilharmonie plaza: The building of Elbphilharmonie is beautiful, but the view from the top is also unbelievable. You can go up to the plaza and enjoy a 360° panoramic view of Hamburg, looking over both the harbour and the city. Top tip: if you go to the ticket office, you can get free tickets rather than paying online.
7) Take a Beatles tour: Hamburg is known for being the city where the Beatles did some of their earliest professional gigs. As such, the city is filled with Beatles history, and you can even take a Beatles Tour of Hamburg. It’s definitely worth doing if you are a music fan, it’s a really good tour.
8) Attend a performance: Continuing on with the theme of music, Hamburg is known for its incredible music and musical scene. That’s why the Elbphilharmonie exists- it’s a concert hall. During a trip to Hamburg, you should try to attend an opera, concert, theatre, musical or some kind of performance. You won’t regret it.
9) Walk through Old Elbe Tunnel: The Old Elbe Tunnel is an over 100-year-old tunnel nearly 500 metres long which runs underneath the River Elbe, 24 metres below in fact. It’s a pretty unique experience walking, cycling or driving through a tunnel underwater and that’s why most people go through the tunnel during a trip to Hamburg.
10) Visit one of the many museums: There are endless museums in Hamburg. And there’s guaranteed to be a museum for everyone. The most popular museums are the Dialoghaus Hamburg (Museum where you experience life as a blind person), International Maritime Museum and the Emigrant Museum. But there are so many more. There’s even a popcorn museum!
How To Spend 3 Days In Hamburg
As the answer to “how many days in Hamburg is enough?” is 3 days, you may wish to have a Hamburg 3-day itinerary. Without providing a really in-depth itinerary, here is a quick overview of how 3 days are best spent.
This is the basis of an itinerary meaning there is a lot of free time for you to slot in time to relax, explore the city for yourself, or visit some of Hamburg’s museums.
Day 1: Walking Tour, Miniatur Wunderland & Musical/Concert
The first thing I do when I visit a new city is take a walking tour. This means I can do most of the sightseeing in one go, and have a guide educate me on the city and what I’m actually looking at.
In Hamburg’s case, everything is pretty close together, so a walking tour of Hamburg will encompass almost all of the city’s sights. A typical tour includes Hamburg Rathaus, St. Nikolai Memorial, St. Michel’s Church, Nikolaifleet, Hamburg Port, Elbphilharmonie, Speicherstadt and Alster Lakes. You will notice it’s pretty much all of the things I listed to see.
A typical walking tour lasts about 2-3 hours which is more than enough time to see all of the sights above. Most tours finish in Hamburg’s port, meaning you are right beside Miniatur Wunderland.
You could easily spend a week in Miniatur Wunderland. There is so much to see and to be frank, it’s impossible to see everything. The attention to detail is mesmerising and you’ll continually notice fine details that most people miss. Likewise, you’ll miss a lot of things too.
Most people probably spend 3 hours or so in Miniatur Wunderland. There are also VR experiences, I did the 10-minute version and to be honest, I probably wouldn’t recommend it. For what it cost, it felt like a waste of money.
But Miniatur Wunderland itself is incredible. Words can’t describe it, but you can really see why it is one of Germany’s most popular tourist attractions. What a place. As I said, you could easily spend a week there and still find new things to look at.
To end your first day in Hamburg, I encourage you to attend a performance of some kind. As you have learnt, Hamburg is a city with a vibrant music and arts scene. There are lots of great opportunities to attend an opera, concert or musical of some kind.
You can find more information about what operas are on in Hamburg by clicking here. They are truly excellent and some of the best in the world.
If you choose to, you could even attend a performance in the Elbphilharmonie which would be an experience not to forget!
Day 2: Beatles Tour, Tierpark Hagenbeck & Planten un Blomen
To start your second day in Hamburg, take another tour. This time, in the district of St. Pauli where you can take a Hamburg Beatles Tour. The tours are really unique and offer an amazing insight into both the Beatles and Hamburg’s music scene.
The Beatles did some of their first professional gigs in Hamburg, so there is lots to see and learn about. Parts of the city are decorated with Beatles testaments. There is even a square named after them- “Beatles-Platz“. Of course, there are statues in the square.
I would recommend the Beatles tours to anyone, regardless of if you are a fan of the Beatles. The tour is really insightful and you’ll leave with a whole new view of Hamburg and appreciate the music scene even more.
After your tour, head slightly outside the heart of Hamburg and towards Tierpark Hagenbeck. As I said earlier, the zoo is one of the best in the world. You will probably end up spending a few hours at the zoo.
One of the biggest selling points of Tierpark Hagenbeck is the opportunity to feed some of the animals. You can feed giraffes, elephants and more. It’s not sold as an experience, you simply purchase food at the entrance to the zoo.
This makes it really affordable and you can get a really personal animal experience for a few euros, compared to paying €€€ for an “animal experience” somewhere else in the world.
Another nature-based thing to do on your second day is to enjoy the outdoors at Planten un Blomen. The direct translation of “plants and floors” tells you everything you need to know.
The park has lots of great paths and walking routes surrounded by colourful flowerbeds, plants and ponds. There are also usually ducks throughout the park. Not to mention the opportunity to ice skate if you visit in the winter.
As well as the outdoor plants and flowers, Hamburg University also has a few greenhouses filled with exotic plants which you can walk through. It’s free too!
Day 3: Chocoversum, St. Michel’s Church & Elbphilharmonie Plaza
Begin your final day in Hamburg by becoming Willy Wonka. Chocoversum, Hamburg’s chocolate factory, is an amazing experience. You can take a tour in English or German and learn about the process of making chocolate.
The tour begins right from the beginning of the process and has a jungle room to replicate South America where cocoa trees grow. Along the way, you get to try chocolate at all its different stages. I can say with confidence that it definitely tastes the best when it’s finished!
You also get the opportunity to make your own chocolate. There are tons of options for what to put in your bar ranging from pretzels to Haribos and everything in between. You can live your childhood dreams in real life!
Once you have satisfied your sweet tooth, head to St. Michel’s Church. Although your walking tour likely showed you St. Michel’s Church, it won’t have taken you inside or to the top.
Inside St. Michel’s Church is exquisite. The white decorating is so nice on the eyes, and the 4 (yes, 4) organs make the church spectacular. Of course, make sure to act respectfully while in the place of worship.
You can also go to the top of the spire of St. Michel’s and I would definitely recommend doing it. It offers the highest vantage point over Hamburg and it only costs €8 to go up. You can opt for the elevator or the stairs.
I recommend taking the elevator up (as there are hundreds of stairs) but take the stairs down as on each floor of the spire, there is something new to see. You can see right into the clockwork and see how the mechanics operate.
Lastly, enjoy another panoramic view of Hamburg, this time offering a view of the port. Elbphilharmonie Plaza is incredible. Most tourists think you have to pay, but it’s actually completely free. Do not book your tickets online.
Tickets cost €2 per person but if you simply go to the ticket office, you can get them for free. “Can I have a ticket to the plaza please?”, it’s as easy as that.
The reason is that the plaza originally cost money regardless of how the ticket was purchased. However, the people of Hamburg complained and the Elbphilharmonie compromised by allowing Hamburgers free tickets but still charging tourists. Simply head to the ticket office and claim your free ticket.
You reach the plaza by going up the longest escalator in Europe. You can walk around the full side of the building, meaning you have a free 360° panoramic view of Hamburg’s port and the city itself.
Sometimes you can only reach the viewing platform for the port side. If this happens while you are there, simply go into the gift shop and go out the automatic doors to the viewing deck on the other side to get a view of the city.
There’s no better way to end a trip to Hamburg than with such a beautiful view.
Remember, this is only the basis of an itinerary. Add in the museums and other attractions which you wish to do throughout. This itinerary basis is pretty relaxed and will leave you with plenty of spare time to fill.
Day Trips From Hamburg
If you spend more than 3 days in Hamburg, my answer to “How many days in Hamburg is enough?” then you may wish to take a day trip. There are many great day trips from Hamburg, and as it’s in the north of Germany, you can even visit Denmark! My 3 day trip recommendations are Bremen, Copenhagen and Altes Land.
You can reach Bremen in just over an hour by taking a train from Hamburg HBF. There are 38 trains a day, so it’s a popular route and an easy one to take. Bremen is a really pretty city, all the streets are picturesque and it’s got traditional German architecture. Schnoor in particular is really charming.
One of Germany’s borders is with Denmark which provides the opportunity to reach Copenhagen from Hamburg. Hamburg to Copenhagen is approximately 4 and a half hours, but the train journey is so scenic. Copenhagen is also amazing and worth visiting. You can see Nyhavn, the coloured houses and more during a day trip. If you spend 9 hours travelling and structure your day, you can still have about 6-7 hours in Copenhagen.
Another amazing day trip is to Altes Land, which takes about an hour and a half to get to from Hamburg HBF. Altes Land is filled with stunning orchids and beautiful flowers and overall, it’s known for being a scenic part of the countryside. It’s definitely worth visiting if you have more time in Hamburg and you can have a really good day.
How Many Days In Hamburg: FAQ
Below are some related questions to “How many days in Hamburg is enough?” along with my answers.
2 days would be enough time to see all of Hamburg’s sights but you may have to choose between which attractions you do. It would be hard to fit all of the museums and experiences into 2 days.
One day in Hamburg would allow you to go sightseeing and see all of the most popular tourist spots in Hamburg, but it wouldn’t give you enough time to do all of the main attractions. There are simply too many things to do.
During 2 days in Hamburg, you can see the Rathaus, St. Nikolai Church, St. Michel’s Memorial, Nikolaifleet, Elbphilharmonie, Chilehaus, Speicherstadt and more. Taking a walking tour ticks off most of the sights in 2 hours. If you have time, definitely visit Miniatur Wunderland too.
Hamburg is neither expensive nor cheap to visit, it’s in between. Flights to the city are usually cheap and once you are there everything is pretty standard pricing. A meal will cost €10-15 per person, for example.
Yes, 3 days is the perfect amount of time in Hamburg. It allows you to see all of the city’s sights, do the attractions and allows for some free time to explore the city. 3 days is a perfect balance and definitely enough days in Hamburg.
How Many Days In Hamburg: Conclusion
And there you have it, a complete guide to “How many days in Hamburg is enough?” along with recommendations of what to see and do to help you judge for yourself.
Remember, there is no right answer and it completely depends on how you like to travel. There’s never too much time in Hamburg, just more than enough.
So no matter how long you choose to spend, I hope you have a wonderful trip and an amazing time. I’m sure you till- Hamburg is great! 🙂