Traveling Hamburg in One Day: Best Places to See in Hamburg

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Here is a list of beat places to see in Hamburg that you can cover in a single day on your feet. Some of these places include the main town hall,  city center, St. Nikolai church etc. Places to see in Hamburg in one day:

  • Mönckebergstraße (Main shopping street)

To the west of Hamburg Hofbhanhauf lies one of the very famous shopping streets of Hamburg called “Mönckebergstraße”. The moment you get out of the main railway station and step on this street, you can see a lot of branded stores on your left and right.

This street is a shopping street and you just have to walk straight on this road. So, Monckebergstrasse forms the main shopping area of Hamburg. Some of the brands that you can expect on this street are Promod, New Yorker, Nike, Vera Moda, Zara etc. Besides shopping area, this street has a lot of restaurants as well where you can sit and spend some time looking the shoppers crowd and after long shopping hours.

Besides shopping area, this street has a lot of restaurants as well where you can sit and spend some time looking the shoppers crowd and after long shopping hours.

There are some famous archaic and historical buildings on this street as well. If you are into history and knowing about the chronological changes of a place in history.

Mönckebergstraße (Main shopping street) of Hamburg (1) Mönckebergstraße (Main shopping street) of Hamburg (2)

  • Hamburg Rathaus (Hamburg Townhall)

After you walk almost a kilometer on the Mönckebergstraße, you will reach near the Rathaus building of the Hamburg, Rathaus is basically town hall of a city.

Hamburg is said to have one of the most beautiful Rathaus in the Germany. Basically, you will start recognizing the Rathaus from a distance. It has a beautiful church like tall structure in the middle of it. I think that’s a clock tower.

Just in front of the Rathaus, there is a big open and large space. In that open space, you will see a lot of people eating and having fun.

Alsterarkaden

Just beside the big Rathaus area, you will also see a water canal. It’s called Kleine Alster. You will see people eating there, beside the river. And, there are a lot of white arches. That actually forms a very beautiful and romantic and peaceful spot to spend some time.  You can also see the old wall and new wall in that area.

Hamburg Rathaus Timings for Guided Tours:

Monday to Thursday: 10AM-3:15PM
Friday to Sunday:  10AM-1:15PM.
Closed on official events
Languages offered: English, German, French

Hamburg Rathaus Entry fee:

  • Adult: Four Euro
  • Hamburg card holder: Three Euro
  • Free for children under 14 years of age).

Hygieia-Brunnen fountain, Hamburg Rathaus:

Just behind the main Rathaus building, there is another building which is called Hamburg’s House of Commerce (“Börse”). Between these two buildings, lies the famous fountain of the Hamburg Rathaus called Hygieia-Brunnen.

Following the canal to the right and crossing the traditional shopping road, Jungfernstieg, you quickly get to the artificial lake Binnenalster. Boat tours take you to the even bigger artificial lake, Außenalster, directly behind the Binnenalster with lots of sailing boats in summer.

Alsterarkaden near the Hamburg Rathhaus

Alsterarkaden near the Hamburg Rathaus

Hamburg Rathaus from front

Hamburg Rathaus from front

Hygieia-Brunnen fountain, Hamburg Rathaus

Hygieia-Brunnen fountain, Hamburg Rathaus

Inside Hamburg Rathaus

Inside Hamburg Rathaus

  • Binnenalster, Jungfernstieg

Situated at a two-minute walk from the Rathaus, Binnenlster is an artificial lake with a fountain in the middle of the lake. Binnenalster is a connected to another bigger artificial lake called Außenalster which is north of Binnenalster. You can go for boating in these lakes. Außenalster is famous for sailing during summer. You can also take a walk around this lake, even sit on the chair and watch the birds playing in the water.

Binnenalster, Jungfernstieg, Hamburg (1) Binnenalster, Jungfernstieg, Hamburg (2) Binnenalster, Jungfernstieg, Hamburg (3) Binnenalster, Jungfernstieg, Hamburg (4)

  • St. Nikolai Church, Hamburg

There are five main churches in the Hamburg and St. Nikolai is one of them. St. Nikolai church is situated almost at the end of the Mönckebergstraße, the main shopping street of Hamburg. This church, like other main structures in Germany, was also destroyed during the second world war. But they were restored also.

St. Nikolai front view, Hamburg

St. Nikolai front view, Hamburg

St. Nikolai side view, Hamburg

St. Nikolai side view, Hamburg

St. Nikolai under reconsturction

St. Nikolai under reconsturction

  • Hamburg Harbour area and Speicherstadt

Hamburg forms one of the biggest harbours in Europe and largest in the Germany which makes Hamburg a must see places in Germany due to harbours.

I have already written about Hamburg harbours before. Another fascinating thing which caught my attention was the Speicherstadt. Speicherstadt translates to the warehouses. And these warehouses make Hamburg in Germany the largest warehouse district in the world.

I would recommend you to read about these warehouses as they have a lot of interesting facts around themselves. Read more about warehouses in Hamburg.

Speicherstadt and hamburg harbour areas (1) Speicherstadt and hamburg harbour areas (2) Speicherstadt and hamburg harbour areas (3) Speicherstadt and hamburg harbour areas (4)

  • St. Michael church, Hamburg

Near the Hamburg Harbour and towards the west beyond the St. Nikolai church, lies the St. Michael church. The visiting fee for St. Michael church is very minimal but it worths a visit because of the view it offers.

There is an elevator that takes you to almost more than a hundred feet above the ground level at the top of the church. And trust me, from there you get an awesome view of the entire Hamburg from Hamburg harbour to even people sailing in the Außenalster lake.

Since this church is located nearer to the Hamburg harbour, the view will be simply awesome from the top of this church.

Außenalster lake view from At. Michael church, Hamburg Hamburg city view from the top of the St. Michael church, Hamburg Hamburg Harbour view from the top of the St. Michael's church Inside St. Michael's church in Hamburg

A day at Hamburg Harbour: Visit to the Port of Hamburg

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Hamburg, located in the north of Germany, is one of the largest cities and has one of the busiest ports in Germany. I had heard these things from Tobi, one of my very close German friends since Hamburg was his hometown. So, I always had a penchant for traveling to Hamburg and seeing some places.

Hamburg, just like Venice but not at such greater scale, has a labyrinth of canals. Just to give you an idea, here is a Google Maps view of the Hamburg canals:

Hamburg canals Google maps view

Hamburg canals Google maps view

So, it’s like everywhere you go, the river Elbe follows you in Hamburg.

Hamburg Port:

Hamburg port is situated on the river Elbe and trust me, I had not thought about the sizes of the containers and ships that I would see in the Hamburg. There were really big ships, containers, ferries, passenger ships and much more.

While the Hamburg port presents the modern day picture of the development and modernization, at the same time, the canals crisscrossing through the old walls of the city still gives you the feeling of the medieval times.

Most of the buildings were red in Hamburg, I don’t know why but that gave an archaic feeling. The streets parallel to the main roads which run along to the port.

The port is open to all and you can go there and sit beside the river and watch the ferries and ships leaving the port. Even though the port is always crowded, it’s so big that everyone gets a place to sit and relax.

Here are some of the pictures from the Hamburg Port:

A wheel Ferry in the albe river, Hamburg

A wheel Ferry in the Elbe river, Hamburg

Ferry wheel near Hamburg port

Ferry wheel near Hamburg port

Hamburg port and a big ship in the background

Hamburg port and a big ship in the background

Hamburg port from a distance

Hamburg port from a distance

The contrast of old buildings and modern buildings in Hamburg

The contrast of old buildings and modern buildings in Hamburg

In Hamburg, most of the buildings where red

In Hamburg, most of the buildings where red

Berlin to Hamburg Journey by ICE Train, Germany

I was always excited to visit the Hamburg because of two reasons. One was mostly because of one of my very close friends from Germany, Tobias was from Hamburg. And secondly, located in the northern part of Germany, Hamburg is one of the largest cities in Germany. Here is account of my journey:

Train System in Germany:

So that was the first time, I was traveling on an ICE train in Germany. Germany has a good network of trains and they have divided the train network into three layers.

  • ICE (The Inter-City Express)

The Inter-City Express (ICE) train in Germany is high-speed train and it connects the main cities of Germany like Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt etc. These trains once start from one station, they mostly stop at bigger station en route.

  • Regional Trains, Germany

If ICE trains connect the bigger cities of the Germany, regional trains connect the suburban areas around a city. So, they mostly cover the distance of around 150-200 Km on one side.

  • Local Trains (S-Bahn, U-Bahn)

There are local trains also known as S-Bahn and U-Bahn which run within a city and connect different areas of a city.

Inside the ICE Train:

That was my first time, I was boarding a fast train anywhere in the world. In India, the fastest trains run at the speed of around 130-140 Kph. And that was the first time, I was boarding a train that would run on almost more than double the train speed I had ever seen.

The ICE train to Hamburg started from Berlin Hauptbahnhof or the Berlin main station. Once we crossed the city of Berlin and train was running in the outskirts of the city, I was really mesmerized by the speed.

Usually, the ICE trains would also have a display system which will display the speed of the ICE train. I must confess that for the first fifteen minutes or so, I was unable to take my eyes off the speed display system. Inside, I was counting on to the speed limit of the ICE train.

The seats are very comfortable and windows are really wide. Unlike India, they doors will get locked and sealed before the train begins the journey.

I was really surprised to not to hear the sound of the train which we usually hear in India from the train running on the track. Anyways…

Berlin to Hamburg in ICE train:

Once, Berlin was left behind, the ICE train was running through the big fields. In Germany, the size of agricultural farms is very large compared to India. Sometimes, I really saw no end of a farm. They go as long as more than a kilometer sometimes in the length.

My journey turned out to be more beautiful because of the yellow mustard plants that were shining under the sun. It really felt like unending length and breadth of the yellow world along with the running train.

Imagine two tiny eyes of an innocent kid staring out of the wide train windows. He has kept his cheek against the window panes and his eyeballs are moving along with the running train as if he is trying to catch the next beautiful thing which will soon pass by the rapid train.

Sometimes, he stares at the vast azure sky and sometimes, he tries to catch the electric poles that are running in the opposite direction. Sometimes, he runs his eyes along the helm of the mustard fields which lie like a lazy yellow carpet on the green fields.

But everything aligned in his views is not in a hurry.  He looks at the slow moving fans of the windmills. Even though the world is running is so fast, the windmills fans are not in a hurry. They seem to have a lot of time with themselves.Look at the contrast here, a slow-moving windmill fan being seen from a fast moving train.

Look at the contrast here, a slow-moving windmill fan being seen from a fast moving train. Behind the windmill, is the red sun which is also running along with the train but that seems slower to him. Sometimes, the fans of the windmill cut an ephemeral eclipse over the sun but soon, the sun would glimpse out of them.

In between those tiny moments, the sun rays bounces off the windmill fan and the boy closes his eyes momentarily because of the shiny rays.

But it won’t last long because there are also small patches of trees and bushes which fall in the line of the view and it irks the kid as if he is trying to flee away the housefly which sits over his nose while he is trying to drink a glass of milk. Helpless he seems.

Sitting lost in the train, his eyes are trying to lose themselves in the white patches of the clouds that hang far below the azure sky. And then, the sun. And then, the mustard fields; and then the bushes and then he looks inside – wide cushioned seats, scattered gathering of passengers, most of them lost in themselves, and the silent which is being disrupted by the suppressed sound of the running train and his thoughts hovering over his mind.

He is lost yet he is able to figure out his existence in that little moving world.

How two hours just passed by seems a dream. The train has begun enter into another world. The labyrinth of canals, ships standing in the harbour, shining glass windows of the high rising buildings. Gradually, the train crawls into the station. It reads “Hamburg”.

“Welcome to Hamburg” – He says to himself and looks at the white engine before stepping out of the station.

Here is a short video of Mustard fields and Windmills from the Berlin to Hamburg journey: