Museums in Hamburg

The port, musical theatre and the Reeperbahn are the main attractions that people associate with Hamburg. Yet this Hanseatic city is home to numerous interesting museums. From photography to emigration, there is something for everyone. What follows will give you some insight into the world of the city’s museums.

Miniatur Wunderland

A hidden world lies in the middle of Hamburg’s Speicherstadt district: Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg. This remarkable model includes 15 km of track and 263,000 figures with new countries constantly being added. The idea behind the display was to inspire and amaze men, women and children in equal measure. Visitor numbers prove the success of the venture. It’s a good idea to buy tickets online in advance to reduce the waiting time.


The contemporary art and photography in this museum is described as a 'Highlight of Hamburg’s Artist’s Mile'. The 3,800 sqm display area has showcased more than 160 exhibitions to date. No wonder, as the open steel and glass architecture provides a space for spectacular scenarios. The Deichtorhallen complex comprises the Hall of Contemporary Art, the House of Photography and the private Falckenberg Collection. Get your online tickets here.

U-Boat Museum

Dive into one of the world’s biggest submarines. Before ending up in the port of Hamburg, this submarine was used for espionage. Visitors can marvel at the Russian technology and experience what life was like for the crew. Guided tours can be booked on site and offer an exclusive entry into the command centre. This exceptional museum is not suitable for claustrophobic visitors, because the corridors and rooms are very cramped and the boat is completely underwater at high tide. Get your tickets here.

Hamburg Museum

Ten minutes’ walk from Scandic Hamburg Emporio lies a museum that encompasses the history of the city from the year 800. How did a mission settlement evolve to become one of Europe’s main port cities? You'll find out during your visit!  Alongside themed areas such as ‘Music and Theatre’ and ‘Jews in Hamburg’, you can also see the biggest model railway in Europe in action. A plus: children under the age of 18 get free admittance!

International Maritime Museum

In Hamburg’s oldest surviving warehouse you can explore the world’s biggest maritime collection. Anyone with the slightest interest in shipping will find plenty to enjoy here. The museum’s displays cover themes such as navigation and communication in the former shipping industry and the history of shipbuilding. If you like the idea of captaining a vessel, you can take the helm in the ship simulator. All genuine sailors can get their tickets here.

BallinStadt -  Emigration Museum

Accompany former emigrants with their wishes and dreams as they journey to a new world. BallinStadt deals with the many different phases of immigration and emigration. The museum itself was once a place of refuge for emigrants, set up 120 years ago by Albert Ballin. It offers a range of interactive activities: visitors can look up their family history  in the family research centre. For children there is a multimedia game, in which they can assume the role of emigrants.

Museum of Work

What is the ABC of employment? The Museum of Work is the right place to find the answer to this question! It brings Hamburg’s industrial, technological and social history to life. For example, visitors can marvel at the giant TRUDE cutting wheel, which was used to dig the tunnel under the River Elbe. For younger visitors, the museum offers attractions such as a printing workshop and a working metal press. The main museum has two open-air sites: the Hafenmuseum and the Speicherstadtmuseum.

Arts and Crafts Museum

This is just one of many art museums in Hamburg, but with more than 500,000 works it is certainly the biggest. There is a bit of everything here from 4,000 years of human history: religion, photography, fashion and a collection of musical instruments. Insider tip: The instruments are played on some guided tours. Special exhibitions feature current and cultural-historical themes such as tattoos or the dark side of the textile industry.

Scandic Hamburg Emporio

The perfect starting point for your adventure