The city of Hamburg is a beautiful and active city with a lot to see and do, give yourself 3 nights and 4 good days to explore and get around. And remember to take time to sit back and enjoy the ambiance of this bustling but relaxing city in Northern Germany.
Places To See
There is certainly no shortage of interesting places to visit and things to see in Hamburg. From luxury shopping on Neuer Wall to walks in a park at Stadtpark Hamburg, or just enjoy the scenery from the steps at the end of Lake Alster. The size and ease of getting around Hamburg means you can see a lot of things in a reasonably short time, in fact I found Hamburg to be one of the easiest cities to navigate in Germany.
HafenCity is an area to the South of Hamburg that is still under construction but mostly finished. In this area you will find gorgeous modern apartment buildings along the water and cafes and restaurants with expansive patios and great food, it’s the perfect spot for anyone who enjoys a top notch dining experience.
Alongside all the modern buildings are the old structures from yesteryear, this fusion of old and new creates a wonderful cozy feeling while still being up to date and clean.
The luxury shopping street in Hamburg is filled with all your favourite designers from Louis Vuitton to Hugo Boss and Porsche Design. The bustles with people wandering about and the rare car slowly makes it’s way down the narrow passage in an attempt to find parking. The shopping isn’t restricted to this area either, on either side parallel to Neuer Wall you’ll find more luxury designers and shops, both bordering canals.
This certainly isn’t the only area that offers excellent shopping, there are numerous other parts of the city, each with it’s own style and shops, and even a large mall about 500m away that offers a wide selection of stores and a grocery.
Even if you don’t plan on buying anything at these luxury shops it’s worth a stroll down the street and around the canals, which also border the City Hall and a large open square.
Planten un Blomen
This large park is located just a few minutes West of the lake, be sure to wander through here. There is a Japanese Garden and a huge area to explore including a green house trails and a great deal of natural beauty right in the middle of the city.
Head north to find an even larger park with even more trails and exploration. The most magical part of this park is the large pond or small lake(?) that has a swimming area in the summer. With stepped shores covered in grass for sun bathing and a wooden docks for splashing and swimming, all surrounded by beautiful trees and crisp nature.
Take a few steps behind some of those trees and you’ll find a large circular pond about 30cm deep that seems to be a dedicated place for people to run their toy boats! What fun to watch on a summers day!
The Elbe Tunnel was built as a means to get people from one part of the city to the other easily and quickly at a time when there was too much traffic and it took too long to do so above ground. At the time of construction it was considered a marvel of German engineering and I dare say today it’s still mighty impressive. It’s free to go down and walk back and forth, and is currently still used today by people and cars! Check it out and afterwards walk along the docks nearby, go to Pier 1 and take the ferry (that’s included in your local transit ticket) to HafenCity.
Where To Stay
Hamburg has no shortage of fabulous places to stay, many of them within just a couple blocks of the central area around lake Alster.
Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten
Perfectly situated on the Alster with views of the water and the city, you simple cannot go wrong with this gorgeous and impeccable hotel. The building is near ancient and has interiors that no person could possibly find fault with. Add 5-Star service and you have yourself the best place to stay in Hamburg, in our opinion. It’s recommended that if possible you get yourself a room on the Bel Etage (Top Floor) facing the lake as these rooms all have amazing balconies with the best view in the city. This is also the floor with the gym (also gorgeous), and the spa on it so you have easy access to all these things too. Click here to find current Special Offers, and if you’re an American Express Cardholder you may eligible for a complimentary night when you book 3 or more nights click here for the Canadian Offers page and here for the American Offers page. And if you’re not an American Express Cardholder click here to become one.
Travel in and around Germany is really easy, it’s one of the reasons that going here is so care-free and great for tourists. If you’re arriving by airport simple take any of the S or U Bahns to the Jungfernstieg station, this is the most central and will probably get you to where you’re going, failing that always default to Hauptbahnhof (main train station) to find your connecting trains. If you’re staying at the Fairmont or any hotel directly around the lake getting to Jungsfernstieg will put you within short walking distance.
If you arrive by train from another city, then you’ll automatically be put at the Hauptbahnhof, from here you can take other trains to your final destination or if you’ve packed light and feeling adventurous walk. I discovered I could walk from the Fairmont to the Hauptbahnhof in about 20-30 minutes with my luggage! And walking always shows you more of a city than any other mode of transportation.