If you have some time away from the Congress for a bit of sightseeing, we’ve got you covered with this quick guide to Hamburg’s main tourist attractions.
The Rathaus (City Hall) is Hamburg’s seat of government but also a beautiful neo-renaissance building with impressive architecture including a lavish Great Hall, Emperor’s Hall, and a commemorative fountain. The City Hall is open Monday — Sunday from 8 am to 6 pm, with several guided tours available to visitors. The Rathausmarkt in front of the City Hall is a popular venue for fairs, markets and concerts.
The Fish Market is a genuine Hamburg institution since 1703, selling everything from fish, fruit, flowers, clothing and souvenirs. Night owls mix with early birds to shop, grab a bite and a coffee (or beer!) from one of the many food stands and enjoy the raucous atmosphere with live music usually on offer. The Fish Market opens on Sundays from 5:00 a.m. — 9:30 a.m.
St. Michael’s Church is Hamburg’s largest church and one of the city’s must-see sights. The church’s massive nave can fit 2,500 people and boasts five different organs. The centrepiece of the church interior is a 20-metre-high altar, with over 2,000 people buried in the crypts beneath the altar. The church’s bell tower offers a stunning view over the city. Admission times for the Church are every day from 9 am to 11.45 am and 12.30 am to 8 pm and the Crypt and Tower are open from 9 am to 8 pm.
Speicherstadt, which means “warehouse city” is the world’s largest warehouse complex and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The massive complex was built into the Elbe river between 1883 and the late 1920s on thousands of oak poles as a free economic zone in Hamburg’s port. The area hosts an array of leisure activities including museums, a dungeon, and an enormous model railway.
The Kunsthalle contains an art collection ranging from medieval portraiture to 20th-century classics and the best in contemporary German art. The permanent collection reflects art from eight centuries and ranks among the most substantial public art collections in Germany. (hamburgerkunsthalle.de; closed on Mondays).
Finally, music lovers can see a different side of Hamburg by going on the Beatles tour. Join Stefanie Hempel on a musical journey to the original sites where the Beatles took their first steps into stardom. With the aid of a small ukulele, Stefanie guides visitors around the infamous old red light district of St. Pauli, stopping along the way to sing the songs that the Beatles performed night after night in the smoky clubs of Reeperbahn and Große Freiheit. The tour also includes a closing concert where she performs the Beatles’ big hits. More info at http://www.hempels-musictour.de/en/
The Hamburg CARD is the cheap, convenient and flexible way to explore Hamburg and the surrounding area – alone or as a group. The CARDs are valid for 2nd class travel on all hvv services including buses, ferries, and U-Bahn and S-Bahn trains. More info at https://www.hvv.de/en