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Travel Guide
Hamburg featuring heritage architecture, a marina and a city

This modern port city is known for its maritime traditions, art galleries and converted warehouse districts filled with restaurants, bars and boutique shops.

Calling itself Germany’s Gateway to the World, Hamburg is the country's biggest port and the second largest in Europe. It is proud of its status as an independent city-state and of its mercantile background, which created much of the city's wealth. Today Hamburg is known for being one of the richest metropolitan areas in Europe, along with Brussels and London.

Located on the River Elbe, Hamburg’s busy port is 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the North Sea. Hamburg Harbor today is home to the International Maritime Museum Hamburg and the museum ship Cap San Diego, which jointly tell the story of Hamburg’s maritime history.

Although the port may be the heart of Hamburg, the city offers many additional features, particularly in the areas of culture and the arts. Visit the vast Hamburger Kunsthalle art gallery and the Deichtorhallen center for contemporary art, which hosts world-renowned international exhibitions. Use Hamburg’s extensive subway system to navigate between museums and galleries, which you’ll find throughout the city. Don’t miss the Miniatur Wunderland (Miniature Wonderland), one of the most visited tourist attractions in Germany.

Hamburg’s city center now contains mostly modern office buildings, as many of its medieval buildings were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1842 or reduced to rubble during World War II. Seek out the Hamburg Rathaus, or Town Hall, which was painstakingly rebuilt and restored to its original 19th-century condition.

Walk around the Speicherstadt and New Docklands areas, where you’ll find renovated former port warehouses and ambitious modern glass-and-steel structures. Admire the architecture, dine at upscale restaurants and shop for one-of-a-kind and luxury items at boutiques. These areas of urban redevelopment, currently the largest such project in Europe, show modern Hamburg at its best, embracing change and moving confidently into the future.

A short distance from the center you can find several large parks and lakes. Visit the Planten un Blomen (Plants and Flowers) park to spend time in the tranquil Japanese Garden. Rent a car or catch Germany’s fast and reliable national train network to explore nearby historic towns.

Where to stay in Hamburg

Novum Style Hotel Hamburg-Centrum
Novum Style Hotel Hamburg-Centrum
3.5 out of 5
Steindamm 68-70, Hamburg, HH
The price is $67 per night from Aug 8 to Aug 8
Located in Saint Georg, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Museum of Arts and Crafts Hamburg and Moenckebergstrasse. Miniatur Wunderland and Hamburg Dungeon ...
4/5Very Good! (1,012 reviews)
"Staff was very helpful. Midnight shift front desk worker provided excellent and over the top courteous service, making a memorable enjoyable stay."

Reviewed on Aug 11, 2020

Novum Style Hotel Hamburg-Centrum
Moxy Hamburg City
Moxy Hamburg City
3.5 out of 5
The price is $94 per night from Aug 16 to Aug 16
Located in Saint Georg, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Museum of Arts and Crafts Hamburg and Moenckebergstrasse. Hamburg City Hall and Hamburg Wholesale ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (34 reviews)
Moxy Hamburg City. Excellent.
"Outstanding. The hotel is new. It opened a week ago. The staff were helpful and friendly. The rooms were large and comfortable. WiFi is excellent. The bed was super comfortable. The location is 5 mins from Berliner Tor Sbahn and Ubahn. And 1 stop from Hauphbahnhof. I travel a lot. For the first time ..."

Reviewed on Sep 21, 2020

Moxy Hamburg City
The Westin Hamburg
The Westin Hamburg
5 out of 5
Platz der Deutschen Einheit 2, Hamburg, HH
The price is $240 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
Located in HafenCity, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Elbe Philharmonic Hall and Miniatur Wunderland. St. Michaelis Church and Moenckebergstrasse ...
4.4/5Excellent! (973 reviews)
"Nice hotel but it was overpriced. For the price we paid, we expected to have a real window with a view of the city instead of looking at the glass wall right in front of the window. The room layout was also not the best."

Reviewed on Jul 5, 2020

The Westin Hamburg
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Hamburg

Like most large European cities, Hamburg has a fantastic public transportation system that makes car rental unnecessary. All the city’s buses, trains and ferries are run by HVV, so the system is completely integrated. Buy a single ticket to cover your travel across all modes of transportation. You will probably use the S-Bahn (overground rail network) and U-Bahn (underground rail network) the most. Visit the Hamburg Transport Association website.Browse Hamburg rental cars.

Best time to visit

Hamburg has a clear seasonal pattern, with warm summers, cold winters and cool springs and falls. If sunshine is your priority, visit between May and August, when daytime temperatures will be in the mid 60s F (16 C). Spring and fall offer pleasant weather. Brave the cold to visit in December and you will be rewarded with Christmas markets and festive cheer, but bring your warmest clothes.

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