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51 Fun + Cool Things to do in Hamburg | Germany

Cool Things to Do in Hamburg - Street Scene

This post on cool things to do in Hamburg is in partnership with Hamburg Marketing. They sponsored my trip in exchange for an honest review, but all opinions are my own!

Hamburg’s got a definite vibe. First impressions are that it’s friendlier, prettier, and altogether easier to love than Berlin, but that could just be the white wine at 3:53pm talking.

When I moved to Berlin last year, I imagined myself traveling to the farthest edges of Germany. I’ve made it as far as Budapest and Copenhagen and Sofia, after all. But some ten months later, I’ve hardly been anywhere in Germany (besides that one weekend in Munich). Happy to say that I finally worked myself up for a trip within Germany. With subterranean tunnels, squatter settlements, a warehouse district, fish markets, weird hotels, quirky bars, and street art everywhere, I had a feeling there would be plenty for me to get up to.

In Hamburg, even the most normal sounding experiences take an alternative edge. You don’t have to look very hard at all to find cool things to do in Hamburg, but let’s make this easy. Here are 51.

51 Fun + Cool Things to do in Hamburg

Very Hamburg Experiences

1. Wake up early on Sunday to catch the early fish auction at the Fischmarkt

Cool Things to do in Hamburg: The Fischmarkt in Hamburg2. Go for a morning jog through the 100+ acre Planten un Blomen park

3. Wander the very cute Karolinenplatz on a sunny afternoon

4. Check out a show inside the newly completed Elbphilharmonie

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - Elbphilharmonie

5. Go cornering –  curbside beer drinking – in St. Pauli on a Friday night

6. Shop upcycled furniture and decor at Lockengolöt

7. Poke around the very cool Sternschanze quarter (then call it “der Schanze” like the locals)

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - Sternschanze

8. Experience football fanaticism by holing up at Bacana Café for a Hamburger SV match

9. Flip through hangers at PICKNWEIGHT for some prime vintage shopping

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - PICKNWEIGHT

10. Swing by the Flohschanze Flea Market on a hungover Saturday morning

11. Explore the street art by Push, Hello Karlo, and SPÄM plastering nearly every wall

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - Street Art

12. Wander along the harbor and take in the view from Altonaer Balkon

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - Viewpoint

13. Rent a bike from StadtRAD and explore the city like a real Hamburger would

14. Wander the UNESCO recognized Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - Speicherstadt

15. Skip the Harbor Cruise and instead hop on commuter Ferry 62 for a more local experience

16. See the city on a tour with Alternative Hamburg

17. Browse the collection of Hamburg-only vinyl at Hanseplatte

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - Hanseplatte

18. Swing by betahaus | Hamburg for a day of coworking

19. Rent a canoe in Alster and explore the city via its narrow waterways

20. Explore all things tiny at Miniatur Wunderland

Eating Hamburg

21. Sink your teeth into Fischbrötchen – a sandwich of herring, onions, pickles, and remoulade

22. Eat a hamburger (duh) at Otto’s Burger

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - Otto's Burger23. Sit down for a table full of Portuguese tapas at NAU

24. Feast on some late night schnitzel at Erika’s Eck

25. Buy a package of Salzbrenner – Hamburg’s best sausages

26. Order a cake at the very cute Herr Maxx

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - Herr Maxx

27. Eat super fresh seafood at the hyperlocal Karo Fisch

28. Pick up a Franzbrötchen – Hamburg’s flatter take on a cinnamon roll – for breakfast

Drinking Hamburg

29. Drink everything Astra

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - Astra Beer30. Sip on the tiny tequila concoctions at Chug Club

31. Stop by the Reeperbahn on a Thursday and grab a beer at the St. Pauli Nachtmarkt

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - St. Pauli Nachtmarkt32. Grab a gin basil smash at The Boilerman Bar – the place where they were dreamed up

33. Order a coffee on the beach at the iconic Strandeperle

34. Grab a bite or a beer at Altes Madchen, set in a slaughterhouse-turned-cultural-complex

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - Craft Beer at Altes Madchen

35. Experience Kniepe culture at Zum Silbersack – the ultimate Hamburg dive bar

Events + Festivals in Hamburg

36. Come to Hamburg in September to celebrate all things music and art at the Reeperbahn Festival

37. Hit up the Deichtorhallen for their street photography collection during the Triennial of Photography

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - The Triennale of Photography

38. Dress up like a bird and go wild for a weekend at Vogelball

39. Venture to Scheeßel for the 3-day Hurricane Music Festival

40. Glitter up and show your support at Christopher Street Day

Love festivals? Discover more: 21 Weird + Unique World Festivals

Beyond Hamburg

41. Venture one hour by train to the St. Peter-Ording on the North Sea

42. Experience the Baltic Sea from Lübeck

43. Embark on Heidschnuckenweg – the 223km hiking trail with supreme  landscapes and lilac bloom

Keeping Hamburg Weird

44. Stay the night at Superbude – Hamburg’s edgiest hostel

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - Superbude Hostel

45. Dress in pajamas for your stay at Fitz im Pyjamas

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - Fritz im Pyjama

46. Dip into the Elbtunnel, the subterranean Elb River crossing

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - Elbtunnel

Just Because

47. Wind up playing Looping Louie at a house party

48. Wander past Rote Flora, the theater-turned-squatter-settlement in Sternschanze

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - Rote Flora

49. Grab your paddles for a round of ping pong in the park

50. Make up your own drinking game to devolving stag parties in Reeperbahn

51. Buy your cigarettes from a vending machine

Cool Things to do in Hamburg - Cigarette Vending Machine

Want to experience all the cool things to do in Hamburg? From exploring Sternschanze, to hitting up the Fischmarkt, to exploring the city by boat, here are some of our recommendations for a trip to Hamburg!

What are some cool things to do in Hamburg that you think should have made the list? And if you’re traveling in Germany…


  • Reply
    Minka Guides
    June 19, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    YAAAAAY! Love this. I going there for the first time in late November/early December!

    • Reply
      June 19, 2018 at 7:46 pm

      Hope you have as much fun as I did! Hit me up when you come through Berlin, will ya??

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