If you’re looking for what to do in Hamburg, there’s so much! I spent 3 days in Hamburg and packed in as much as I could (and packed in as much food as I could) with some great recommendations from fellow travel bloggers. I loved everything I saw (and ate), and these are all the things I recommend doing in Hamburg in just a few days! 🙂
What to do in Hamburg in 3 days
Get a French Roll
You would think French Rolls wouldn’t be a German pastry, right? French Rolls, or Franzbrötchen, originate back to Napoleon’s occupation of Hamburg when pastry chefs were inspired by French croissants. They are delicious and you definitely need to get one in Hamburg!
Grab some coffee
When I was looking for coffee shops in Hamburg, I saw so many awesome places! I ended up going to Less Political (or Hermetic Coffee Roasters), which was rated as one of the top cafes in Hamburg, and it was pretty great! I went right when it opened, so I had the whole place to myself. I saw a lot of reviews about it being a crowded spot, so I recommend going early if you want to avoid the crowds.
See where the Beatles started their international career
Did you know that the first international spot the Beatles played in was Hamburg? They played in some clubs in Hamburg, and the rest is history! You can see some artwork and street signs honoring the Beatles at Beatles-Platz along the Reeperbahn where they got their start.
I will say, the Reeperbahn in the St. Pauli District is not the nicest area in town and I don’t think I would recommend going at night
Visit the Eble Tunnel
The Elbe Tunnel was the first river tunnel in Europe. It opened in 1911, I loved the historic architecture inside. You can walk or bike through, or you can just take the elevator down for the view of the tunnel!
Walk along the water
Hamburg has some beautiful views from the harbor! I walked from the Elbe Tunnel back towards the main part of town and got to see some pretty sights. If you’re taking a boat tour of the town, you’ll likely be leaving from the main harbors so you can walk around the area before or after your tour.
You can see the Elbphilharmonie from the water!
Go on a walking tour of historic Hamburg
I love going on walking tours when I travel, and the free walking tour of Hamburg was awesome! We saw some really cool historic places and learned about the history of Hamburg that you don’t get in travel books (the tour is where I learned about the history of the French Rolls!). I definitely recommend doing a walking tour when you visit.
Hang out in a park
Hamburg has some GORGEOUS parks! I went to Stadtpark, Planten un Blomen, and Binnenalster, and I wrote a whole post about exploring the parks. I wish I had time to visit more parks! If you’re looking for a more leisurely way to see Hamburg, you should hang out in a park if the weather is nice.
See the Chilehaus
My tour guide told me about the Chilehaus, but it was out of the way of the tour so I went to it later on my way to a chocolate tour (you can read about that next!). It stands out from other buildings in Hamburg, and it’s pretty cool to see in person! It was built in the 1920s in the Brick Expressionist style with dark bricks. It’s called the Chilehaus because the person who commissioned it made his fortune by trading saltpeter from Chile.
Go on a chocolate tour!
I’m pretty obsessed with chocolate, so when I heard that you could go on a chocolate tour in Hamburg, I signed up immediately! This was one of the coolest tours I’ve been on, but fair warning, it is focused on kids. But you get to make your own chocolate bar, which was really what I cared about. And you get to try a lot of chocolate on the tour, so I was down for that!
I did the chocolate tour at the Hachez Chocoversum, which was right near the Chilehaus. I reserved my spot ahead of time, which I recommend because it was pretty busy. They talk about how chocolate is made (which is when it’s really focused on the kids and they have some interactive things), and I actually learned a lot! I know that a lot of people don’t consider white chocolate to be real chocolate, but I learned on the tour that it is made with the leftover parts from chocolate so it is actually *technically* chocolate!
Go on a brewery tour
Along with a chocolate tour, you should go on a brewery tour! I read a post about craft beer in Hamburg and I didn’t have enough time to visit all the spots, but I did get to go to Ratsherrn. The only tour that worked for my schedule was in German but I got the gist of what they were saying, and you don’t need to understand the language to enjoy the samples of beer. The beer was pretty great, and they actually give you quite a bit of it for being a tour!
Try some German fare
I made sure I got lots of Germany pastries and pretzels, and I really wanted some some schnitzel. I did some research and found that Erika’s Eck is one of the best local restaurants for schnitzel and it was right near Ratsherrn so I went there for dinner after the brewery tour. I was definitely the only non-German in there and I got some strange looks coming in with a backpack and giant camera, but the food was so good! I love going to local restaurants when I travel, and Erika’s Eck is one of my favorites.
Explore some neighborhoods
I explored Eppendorf, and it was SO pretty! The Victorian and art nouveau architecture was amazing, and walking around Eppendorf was a great way to leisurely see Hamburg. I’ve also heard good things about Altona, but I ran out of time before I got to see it all. But you can’t really go wrong with exploring neighborhoods off-the-beaten-path in Hamburg!
You can’t go wrong with any of these places when you visit Hamburg 🙂 If you have more than 3 days and need more ideas for what to do in Hamburg, I have heard great things about the Miniatur Wunderland, Altona, the Fishmarkt (open on Sundays), and going on a harbor tour!