Tourist guide to attractions in Hamburg
Hamburg is Germany's second largest city, and attracts millions of tourist every year. The city beckons with historical monuments, great cultural experiences, good restaurants and vibrant city life. As a harbour city for more than 1200 years, Hamburg feels international and very European at the same time.
Here are five carefully selected sights in Hamburg. Some you may know, others are secret gems. What they all have in common is that they are must-see sights when you visit as a tourist.
St. Michael's Church
542 steps up and you have the whole city in your view
Churches aren't usually the most exciting, but the 18th-century St. Michaelis Church, with its 132-metre copper-clad spire and location across the harbour, is one of the most visited sights in Hamburg and the city's landmark - embracing the entire city.
The church is dedicated to the archangel Michael. He is the patron saint of knights and soldiers, and you'll find him on the steeple above the church entrance fighting the devil.
If you pass by the church at noon, you might be lucky enough to catch a 15-minute organ concert. A special experience is the 'Nachtmichel'.
Here you can climb the tower in the dark and enjoy the view of the city at night. It doesn't get much more beautiful and romantic on your weekend trip to Hamburg. If you can't face the 542 steps, take the lift.
Visit St Michaelis Church at Englische Planke 1, 20459 Hamburg.
Speicherstadt (warehouse district)
Venice, go home!
Located in the north-eastern part of Hamburg's harbour, just a stone's throw from Hamburg Central Station, Speicherstadt is one of Hamburg's special sights, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-see on your weekend trip to Hamburg.
In addition to the newly renovated red-brick Gothic-style warehouses with green gables, bay windows and towers, the area is filled with cosy cafés, exciting museums and galleries, luxurious penthouse apartments and numerous criss-crossing canals.
Built between 1888 and 1927, the area was designated a memorial to Hamburg's past in 1991. Explore the neighbourhood by water during the day and by land at night, where buildings and bridges are illuminated by a soft light reflected in the canals.
Stop by the Speicherstadt Museum for an in-depth insight into the city's rich trading history.
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Hamburg City Hall
Next stop, the city hall
One Hamburg attraction with a political imprint is the Hamburg Rathaus, which serves as the city's town hall and houses both the senate and parliament. The impressive sandstone building was built in the late 19th century and has no less than 647 grandiose rooms. That's more than Buckingham Palace in London.
Walk through the iron gate to the entrance hall, where classical portraits, huge sandstone columns and an impressive marble staircase give the hall an elegant atmosphere.
In the courtyard, you'll find a majestic ornate fountain representing Hygieia, the Greek goddess of health.
The fountain was built to commemorate the cholera epidemic in the late 1800s. In the basement is the Parlament restaurant, where you can enjoy traditional fine dining at very reasonable prices.
You can find Hamburg Rathaus at Rathausmarkt 1, 20095 Hamburg.
A beautiful walk through history
Strolling through a cemetery is rarely an uplifting experience. Nevertheless, this Hamburg attraction offers a very special one.
The gigantic cemetery, Ohlsdorf Cemetery, is beautiful, atmospheric and steeped in history.
Here you'll find memorials to victims of the Nazi era, prisoners of war who died during World War II and key figures from Germany's anti-Nazi campaigners.
Every year, two million people visit the cemetery to remember their loved ones or simply take a walk in the beautiful, historic surroundings.
Visit Ohlsdorf Cemetery at Fuhlsbüttler Str. 756, 22337 Hamburg.
North Germany's answer to Münchens oktoberfest
As well as taking in the cultural sights of Hamburg on your weekend break, the city is also known for its love of beer. Hamburger Dom is one of Germany's largest and most famous festivals with rides and beer tents.
The festival invades the city three times a year for one month at a time. Specifically, March, August and November.
The quirky name dates back to 1329, when a group of merchants, craftsmen and jugglers held a Christmas market outside the Marien-Dom cathedral. The Christmas market proved to be very popular and was subsequently repeated in spring, summer and autumn.
At the end of the 19th century, the festival moved to Heiligengeistfeld, which is also the home of the market today. Today, the event has become a festival rather than a market.
However, you can still buy local delicacies at stalls selling everything from roasted almonds and waffles to fried sausages, potato pancakes and German beer in abundance.
Some rides change, but family favourites are always on site. Don't miss out on a ride on the balloon swings and enjoy the view of Hamburg, or feel the thrill of one of the many wild roller coasters. If you're a romantic at heart, you'll love the old-fashioned horse-drawn carousel.
At this Hamburg attraction, admission to the market is free, but it costs money to try the individual rides. The market is open every day from mid-afternoon to late evening.
Every Friday at 22:30, the sky is lit up by a colourful fireworks display.
There are plenty of car parks around the festival site, so you should be able to find parking nearby.
Find Hamburger Dom at the address: Heiligengeistfeld, St. Pauli.