HafenCity

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HafenCity: Our most recommended tours and activities

Hamburg: Port of Hamburg Cruise Tour

1. Hamburg: Port of Hamburg Cruise Tour

Enjoy the unique maritime flair and colorful crowds at the Port of Hamburg on this daily cruise that loops the docks. Thanks to your guide, learn about the history of the port and the city and take an exciting ride through the locks. Discover this gateway to the world up-close onboard a little ship, equally suited to a fleet. Find out just how huge the Port of Hamburg, the second-largest port in Europe, is. Hardly another city in the world is so tied to its port; Hamburg truly developed because of it. The most important sights and the skyline are inextricably linked to it. Experience the contrast between past and present, commerce and culture, the little fishing town along the Elbe, and the state-of-the-art container complexes. You'll also learn about the sinful stretches and fish market, old cutters, and massive cruise and container ships.

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Hamburg: Harbor Evening Lights Cruise

2. Hamburg: Harbor Evening Lights Cruise

Embark on a roundtrip evening cruise from the historical and romantically-illuminated Speicherstadt through the Hamburg harbor's sea of light. Enjoy a boat tour through the Speicherstadt canals and discover the highlights of Hamburg from the water. Learn about the history behind this intriguing city. See the Zollkanal, Wasserschloss, and the International Maritime Museum, and cruise along the modern HafenCity, the newest district in the Hanseatic city. See the HafenCity University, the Marco Polo Tower, the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, and the panorama of the district.  Catch a breathtaking view of St. Pauli Piers all the way to Überseebrücke with the museum ships Rickmer Rickmers and Cap San Diego. Sail through the port's sea of light again and witness the activity around the container terminals.

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Elbphilharmonie Plaza: Guided Tour

3. Elbphilharmonie Plaza: Guided Tour

Visit the Elbphilharmonie Plaza with a guide, and learn some exciting background information about this spectacular building as you discover both its outside and inside. After meeting your guide, find out about the building’s original plans, plus its construction, completion challenges, and special features. Tour the outside of the building while learning about its façade and other external features. Then, travel on up the Tube — the longest escalator in the world. Glimpse its large panoramic window before arriving at the Plaza: an activity hub connecting the historical docks to the modern glass architecture. Take a moment to enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Hamburg over the harbor and HafenCity from the Plaza. While there, hear about the music that is played inside as your guide gifts you with more tidbits about this striking modern structure.

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Hamburg: Line A Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

4. Hamburg: Line A Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

The Line A sightseeing tour leads you through Hamburg's highlights: along the Speicherstadt (warehouse city) and harbor city to the shopping areas of the town! Experience the wonderful villas in Harvestehude, the Outer Alster lake, the city hall, several museums, the famous Reeperbahn and the harbor. Your day ticket enables you to hop on and hop off at 20 bus stops. All Red Double Decker bus tours are fully escorted. A GPS steered audio system offers narration in 11 languages via headsets: English, French, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, and Portuguese. Lean back and enjoy the all-round view. In nice weather the bus goes open top!

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Hamburg: 1.5-Hour Harbor and Speicherstadt Day Cruise

5. Hamburg: 1.5-Hour Harbor and Speicherstadt Day Cruise

See Hamburg’s harbor-side attractions from a unique perspective, float past impressive container ships, and discover the historic Speicherstadt District aboard a 1.5-hour cruise featuring live commentary from a German-speaking guide and an exclusive stop at the iconic Elbphilharmonie. Start your harbor adventure on land as you cross the famous "Überseebrücke" bridge to reach the pier where you will board a traditional Hamburger boat referred to as a Barkasse. Listen as your captain decides on which route the boat will take based on weather conditions, the water tides, or, if for example, a really exciting and interesting container ship or a special boat is visiting the harbor. Set off and glide into the narrow waterways of the largest warehouse district in the world known as Speicherstadt. Take in the stunning architecture of buildings standing on timber-pile foundations and oak logs. Sit back and relax as you go past Hafen City. Explore the open decks and feel the cooling sea breezes as you wait for perfect photo opportunities from the boat’s many vantage points. Cruise past rows of massive container ships as the boat makes its way into St. Pauli’s Pier and the Hamburg Port. Learn the history of the many important landmarks from your German-speaking expert guide. As your trip comes to an end, disembark right in front of the Elbphilharmonie or you can choose to get off back at where the cruise initially took off.

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Hamburg: 1-Hour Harbor Cruise

6. Hamburg: 1-Hour Harbor Cruise

Experience a tour of the port on your visit to the Hanseatic city. No other city in Europe has more bridges than Hamburg, not even Venice. There are approximately 2,400 structures over water, canals, channels, and docks in the Hanseatic city. Climb aboard the boat and discover the many different attractions and sights in the city, depending on the tides and the day's events. Explore the historical Speicherstadt (warehouse district) with its canals, the modern HafenCity, the numerous bridges over the Elbe River, busy locks and container terminals, the Köhlbrand Bridge, and much more. Along the way you will learn more about the city, its history, the incoming and outgoing ships, and anything else that interests you. Sit back and admire the views of the city on the sun deck or in the air-conditioned lounge with large panoramic windows.

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Priority Entrance: Miniatur Wunderland inc. Booking Fee

7. Priority Entrance: Miniatur Wunderland inc. Booking Fee

The Miniatur Wunderland has been constantly growing since the year 2001. Having started with two layout areas, Harz and Southern Germany, the Wunderland has opened the seventh area, Switzerland, in November 2007. More layout areas were opened in 2014. The Miniatur Wunderland is without doubt a wonder, not only because of its landscape and surface area, but also due to the technology that underpins the exhibit.  Gerrit Braun and the model-making team have pushed the limits of model construction, with a large part of the exhibit custom-designed and built. It was not possible to use only ‘off-the-shelf’ parts and electronics, primarily because such components are not meant for continuous operation. Additionally, there is a lack of a large parts-base to support the scale of 1:87.  Thus, for example, most of the 150 push-button action sequences are custom-created, as are the Car and Ship Navigation systems.   There are also open-to-view workshops and construction areas in Miniatur Wunderland. This means that you can actually see modelers and technicians work on new parts, observe how landscapes emerge and better understand how much effort is put into these outstanding exhibits.

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Hamburg: 1.5-Hour Evening Harbor and Speicherstadt Cruise

8. Hamburg: 1.5-Hour Evening Harbor and Speicherstadt Cruise

Admire Hamburg’s harbor-side attractions sparkling at night, marvel at the illuminated Speicherstadt District, and see impressive container ships up-close aboard a 1.5-hour evening cruise featuring live commentary from a German-speaking guide and an exclusive stop at the iconic Elbphilharmonie. Start your nighttime harbor adventure on land as you cross the famous "Überseebrücke" bridge to reach the pier where you will board a traditional Hamburger boat referred to as a Barkasse. Listen as your captain decides on which route the boat will take based on weather conditions, the water tides, or, if for example, a really exciting and interesting container ship or a special boat is visiting the harbor. Set off and glide into the narrow waterways of the largest warehouse district in the world known as Speicherstadt. Take in the stunning architecture of buildings standing on timber-pile foundations and oak logs beautifully lit up. Sit back and relax as you go past Hafen City. Explore the open decks and feel the cooling sea breezes as you wait for perfect photo opportunities from the boat’s many vantage points. Cruise past rows of massive container ships as the boat makes its way into St. Pauli’s Pier and the shining Hamburg Port. Learn the history of the many important landmarks from your German-speaking expert guide. As your trip comes to an end, disembark right in front of the Elbphilharmonie or you can choose to get off back at where the cruise initially took off.

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Hamburg: Speicherstadt and HafenCity Walking Tour

9. Hamburg: Speicherstadt and HafenCity Walking Tour

With a friendly and informative guide, dive into the world of the Port of Hamburg. This tour takes you on a discovery of Hamburg’s maritime highlights. Witness many of the city's most architecturally stunning landmarks including the Elbphilharmonie and other historically important locations on this fun and informative tour. Wander to the Speicherstadt (warehouse district) and discover interesting facts about its origin and how it is used today. The Speicherstadt achieved worldwide recognition in the 19th century as a trading center, with spices, coffee, and oriental carpets as some of the most important products. Many interesting museums are located here, such as the Speicherstadt Museum and the Spice Museum, as well as the Miniatur Wunderland and the Hamburg Dungeon. Stroll through the modern HafenCity, Hamburg’s newest and most contemporary district. Explore how Hafencity is a project of urban regeneration and learn about its architecture from a unique perspective.

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Hamburg: 1-Hour Harbor Cruise

10. Hamburg: 1-Hour Harbor Cruise

A visit to Hamburg without a tour through the harbor is almost unthinkable. No other city in Europe has more bridges than Hamburg, not even Venice. Approximately 2,400 structures cross over the waterways, canals, and harbor basin. Climb aboard the boat and explore the various attractions in the city, depending on the tide and the time of day. Admire the historical Speicherstadt (warehouse district) with its narrow waterways, the modern HafenCity, the numerous bridges over the Elbe River, busy locks and container terminals, the large Blohm and Voss shipyard, the Köhlbrand Bridge, and much more. Along the way, learn interesting facts about the city and its history as well as the incoming and outgoing ships. Simply sit back and enjoy the fantastic views from the water.

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Planning Your Visit

  • Best time to visit

    As one of the HafenCity's greatest pleasures is simply walking around and admiring the incredible architecture and views across the water, it's best to visit on a sunny day. Considering Hamburg's famously capricious weather, your best bet is during the summer months.

  • How to get there

    It's very difficult to find a good parking spot at HafenCity, so you're better off with public transport. Just take the U-Bahn (subway) line U4 to either Überseequartier or HafenCity University stations and you'll find yourself in the heart of the HafenCity.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    As part of Hamburg, HafenCity is open all day, every day!
  • Is it expensive?
    It's free to visit, but you'll want to set aside a budget for food and entertainment.
  • Will I need a guide?
    With so much to see, it's a great idea!
  • How to get there
    Take the U4 to the Überseequartier or HafenCity University station.
  • Additional information
    *HafenCity at night is a different world, so try to stick around after the sun goes down for a bit!

Other Sightseeing Options in HafenCity

Want to discover all there is to do in HafenCity? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about HafenCity

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 25,483 reviews

Super organized and informative. We got there a little earlier and were actually able to take an earlier trip, completely unproblematic.

I liked the tour very much, everything was explained very well and there were many interesting stops.

You can see a lot of Hamburg in a short time by bus. The "travel guides" make a great tour.

Toller Fahrer, der viele Insider-Tipps geteilt hat. Busse waren sauber und kamen stets pünktlich.

Great city tour, very good explanation of the sights.