Alternative Things to Do in Hamburg

Offbeat and Unusual in Hamburg

Ahoy there, intrepid traveler! If you’re looking to delve into the unconventional side of Hamburg, you’ve come to the right place. Forget about the same old tourist hotspots; we’re talking about the hidden gems and offbeat activities that give Hamburg its unique charm. Buckle up and let’s explore some alternative things to do in Hamburg.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, this itinerary will help you discover the alternative side of Hamburg


#1 Start your day with a visit to the Elbphilharmonie 🎼 

The Elbphilharmonie is one of the most iconic landmarks in Hamburg, and it’s a must-visit you should add to your bucket list. This modern concert hall has an impressive glass facade that reflects the water and the sky. You can enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the city from the observation deck, and keep in mind to book your tickets in advance to avoid the queue. 

Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg

#2 Explore the historic Warehouse District 🌉 

The Speicherstadt, Hamburg’s historic warehouse district, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that dates back to the 19th century. The red-brick buildings, canals, and bridges create a unique atmosphere that’s both charming and romantic. You can take a stroll along the canals, visit the museums and exhibitions, and admire the architecture. It’s a win-win! 

alternative things to do in Hamburg: Speicherstadt
Speicherstadt (Warehouse district), Hamburg

#3 Take a stroll in Planten un Blomen 🌹 

Planten un Blomen is a beautiful park located in the heart of Hamburg featuring a Japanese garden, a tropical greenhouse, a rose garden, and a lake. Relax on the lawns, have a picnic, or watch the fountain show that takes place every day. 

#4 Try some authentic German cuisine 🍻 

Your visit to Hamburg will be 100% complete only by trying some local specialties, too. You can head to the historic Fischmarkt and sample some fresh seafood or visit one of the traditional restaurants and try some Schnitzel or Currywurst. Order a glass of beer or wine to get the full experience. Prost

Best Things to do in Hamburg in One Day: Fischmarkt
Traditional fish sandwiches at the Fischmarkt, Hamburg

#5 Visit the Miniature Wonderland 🗼  

Miniature Wonderland is the world’s largest model railway exhibit, and it’s an impressive attraction that will have you (as well as little travelers) hooked. The exhibit features detailed models of cities, landscapes, and famous landmarks from all around the world. You can spend hours exploring the different sections, admiring the attention to detail and… traveling the world. For sure one of the best alternative things to do in Hamburg!

#6 Old Elbe Tunnel 🚇 

A great experience is the walk through the old Elbe tunnel of 1911 connecting St. Pauli Landungsbrücken with the southern banks of the river in Steinwerder. Although the narrow underpass is now a popular attraction, cars still use the tunnel to switch sides of the river. Once arriving at the southern end, be prepared to enjoy one of the prettiest views of Hamburg. And the best part? This piece of city history is completely free. 

alternative things to do in Hamburg: Elbe Tunnel
Elbe tunnel, Hamburg

#7 Take a boat tour on the Alster Lake 🚤 

Taking a boat tour on the Alster Lake in Hamburg is a wonderful way to experience the beauty of the city from a one-of-a-kind perspective. The Alster Lake is situated in the heart of the city and offers stunning views of the skyline and landmarks, such as the Town Hall, St. Michaelis Church and the Elbphilharmonie concert hall. Find available boat tours throughout the day with a variety of options, from short sightseeing tours to longer dinner cruises. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, a boat tour on the Alster Lake will be an unforgettable experience. 

alternative things to do in Hamburg: Alster Lake
Alster Lakes, Hamburg

#8 Admire the view from St. Michaelis Church ⛪ 

The view from St. Michaelis Church in Hamburg is simply breathtaking. Located in the heart of the city, the church’s towering spire offers you a panoramic view of the surrounding area, including the bustling harbor, the Elbe River, and the city’s historic buildings. From the top of the tower, you can take in the beauty of Hamburg’s skyline with its modern skyscrapers in combo with the old-world charm of the city’s architecture. On a clear day, climb to the top of St. Michaelis Church, the view will worth it. 

St. Michaelis Church
St. Michaelis Church, Hamburg

#9 Explore the street-art scene in St. Pauli 🎨 

St. Pauli in Hamburg is known for its vibrant street-art scene with murals and graffiti on the walls and buildings throughout the neighborhood. The area has become a hub for local and international street artists who use the streets as their canvas to express their creativity and make social and political statements. Take a walking tour of the area to explore the various artworks and learn about the history and culture behind them. From colorful murals to thought-provoking pieces, the street-art scene in St. Pauli is a unique and powerful aspect of Hamburg’s cultural landscape that is definitely worth your time.  One of the best alternative things to do in Hamburg!

Best Things to do in Hamburg in One Day: St. Pauli
St. Pauli, Hamburg

#10 Ferry line 62 ⛴️ 

For some, it may be just a simple Elbe ferry, for others it’s the cheapest harbor cruise in Hamburg. Ferry line 62 belongs to the range of public transport and offers you an interesting exploration of the Elbe as well as great views of the city and the harbor for the price of a single ticket. The round trip starts at Landungsbrücken and ends at Finkenwerder. The return trip takes approximately 1 hour. Wondering about refreshments? They’re available thanks to a small kiosk on board. 

Best Things to do in Hamburg in One Day: ferry line 62
Ferry ride in Hamburg

Hamburg’s Offbeat Nightlife

#1 The Reeperbahn: Beyond the Obvious

The Reeperbahn may be famous for its wild nightlife, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Discover unique bars, clubs, and theaters that offer a different perspective on this famous street.

#2 Live Music in Hidden Bars

Hamburg is a haven for live music lovers. Step off the beaten path and explore the city’s hidden bars, where you’ll find local bands and artists performing in intimate settings.

In case you only have a day to discover Hamburg, we have you covered!

🛎️ Where to stay in Hamburg? 

Find our comfortable hotel in the center of Hamburg next to Altona station!

Address: Goetheallee 11, 22765 Hamburg, Germany

Visiting Hamburg soon?

MEININGER Hotel Hamburg City Center is in the center of the city, right next to Altona train station. It is an affordable and comfortable hotel that allows our guests to visit the best attractions in Hamburg with great public transport connections.

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