Have your camera ready, in this article I am going to share how you can spend a perfect long weekend or three days in Hamburg.

Hamburg is the main port city in Germany and a popular city break destination for international travelers and for foreigners looking to work in Germany. The city is crossed by a number of channels, denominated in German Fleete, while the center is surrounded by two artificial lakes: Lake Binnenalster and Lake Aubenalster.

Hamburg was bombed during the Second World War and many buildings and antiquities were destroyed but the city has since been regenerated and has so many sights and places of interest you can check out.

Now get ready to go sightseeing and discovering this incredible city for yourself. Enjoy!


Day 1

Michaeliskirche Church of San Michaelis, Hamburg

I recommend you start in the historic districts around its port: Hafen City, which can be reached by boat.

The old warehouses have been adapted, following the destruction suffered during the Second World War. The docks are now full of places where you can eat fresh fish and drink excellent local beers. If you visit on a Sunday morning the fish market is worth checking out. 

Then you should head to admire the Baroque style that characterizes the beautiful church of San Michaelis (Michaeliskirche). The interior of the church is made of white marble and the famous tower (Turm der Michel) with its 132 meters high has become a popular symbol of Hamburg which once served as a reference point for navigation on the river Elbe.

Often the pews are heated and it is pleasing given the outside temperatures outside of summer. If you visit around noon you're might be lucky to see a musical rehearsal with the organ that will make your visit to the church even more intimate.

You can take a modern elevator and fast and go up to the tenth floor and from the platform, you see out over the city, the river and the port. The view from the bell tower overlooking the canals and the harbor is very picturesque.

The price for access is € 5,00. Unlike many other churches in Hamburg which were converted to Protestantism during the Reformation, this church was built in 1786 specifically according to the parameter of the Protestant creed. The crypt of the church houses contains the remains of members of wealthy families of Hamburg from past centuries. 

After visting the church of San Michaelis you might want to check out the Kunsthalle Art Museum. Here you can admire famous works from the Middle Ages right through to contemporary art pieces.

During the evening you might want to visit St Pauli or go in search of the best best bar or restaurant – there are so many to choose from.


Day 2 

Hamburg harbour

Let’s start your second day in Hamburg! Head back to Hafen city but, this time, prepare to be amazed.

Behind the Speicherstadt, the wall near the Hafen city, there is a magic place – the Miniatur Wunderland (a modern railing attraction) where you can admire little houses, bridges and trains. You’ll love this village which is featured in the Guinness book of records due to having the largest model railway in the world controlled digitally. 

From Miniatur Wunderland you can wander to the Wax Museum of Panoptikum. Here you can admire the reproduction of famous personalities from politics, sport, literature and music. You can see Michael Jackson, Goethe, Cleopatra, Napoleon,  Frederick II , Picasso, Elvis Presley, Schiller,  James Dean, Harry Potter, the Beatles, Steffi Graf and the Princess Diana.

In the afternoon or evening you should see Rathausmarkt, a popular square in Hamburg, which has Rathaus town hall inside. This splendid building houses the offices of the municipality and has been rebuilt after it was destructed in 1800. You can see the inside on an organised guided tour which can be booked direct on arrival. 

In the evening the lighting in Rathausmarkt is very impressive and there is a spectacular fountain in the courtyard. Extending around the streets of Hamburg, you will see the Church of St. Nicholas, with its unique Gothic style. Unfortunately the only aspect of the original building that remains is the bell tower.


Day 3

Elbtunnel, Hamburg

Another day is dawning in Hamburg and another chance for you to enjoy the wonders of the city. One of the most popular Hamburg attractions located near the fish market is the Elbtunnel. This is a pedestrian and vehicle tunnel connecting the city located 426 meters long and 24 meters underground. 

If you would like to hit the shops the one shopping area of Hamburg you must visit is Jungdernstieg. In Jungdemstieg you’ll see traditional German stores, like Alsterhaus or head to the Neuer Wall shopping street which features luxury brands like Cartier, Armani, Louis Vuitton. 

Planten un Blomen, Hamburg

If you prefer to explore overland and would like to see a beautiful park there is one in the city center which will leave you speechless.

Planten un Blomen, consists of around 5000 square meters of pretty flowers, gardens and ponds. The park is between St Pauli and Alster. Inside Planten un Blomen there is a Japanese garden, a rose garden and botanical area.  If you visit in winter you can even go ice skating.


Plan a City Break to Hamburg

If you are looking for a city break in Europe, or fancy a backpacking adventure or gap year in Germany, you really need to visit Hamburg.

Three days is a good amount of time to spend in Hamburg and if you organise your visit you can see almost everything.

Expect the food to be very tasty, try typical local dishes famous for their tasty flavor. The typical dish includes sausage but there are many options available.

You could try weisswurst, a kind of white pudding, bockwurst, with a very thick skin, Plockwurst, pink and also containing the beef, bierwust, a kind of salami, bratwurst, grilled, schinkenwurst, smoked and very thick. Obviously you should not leave without trying the famous local beer.

So, are you ready for your next adventure in Hamburg? Take some of my recommendations and you will get to experience the highlights of the city in 72 hours.

If you fancy seeing more places in Germany check out this Berlin 3 day itinerary or search Germany tours.

By Elisabetta Valeri