Tourist sights in Hamburg

Hamburg, My Pearl! Germany’s second largest city attracts a great many tourists each year. Maritime flair with both Wilhelminian and Modernist architecture meets a colourful party scene. This port city on the River Elbe not only has numerous tourist sights and exclusive shopping opportunities, but also a wealth of green areas and excursion destinations. Whether it’s the fish market, the Landungsbrücken jetties, the Speicherstadt warehouse district, the Elbphilharmonie concert hall or the Reeperbahn: here are our best tips for a tour of Hamburg.


Speicherstadt is one of Hamburg’s most beautiful attractions as well as a city landmark. Since 2015 it has enjoyed UNESCO World Heritage status. The historic Wilhelminian architectural style is noted for its brick finish, turrets and bridges, which are reflected in the canals. Whether you travel by boat or on foot, Hamburg’s Speicherstadt has a romantic and secretive aura, especially when bathed in evening light. The artistic floodlighting of the red facades of the former warehouses transforms the district into a fairy-tale ambience, which is reflected in the water. Nearby is the city’s next most famous attraction: the Elbphilharmonie. This imposing building is definitely well worth a visit - even if it is 'just' for a guided tour of the concert hall.

The port

Boasting the second largest port in Europe, the city of Hamburg has plenty to offer: the Landungsbrücken jetties are a must-see for any visitor. Most people assume they are fixed in place but in fact these jetties float in the Elbe. The 200 m Abfertigungsgebäude, or terminal building is there too, which was designated a protected monument in 2003. If you have time to explore the port in more detail, you can take a lift 24 m down and walk through the Old Elbe Tunnel below the river free of charge.

The port celebrates its anniversary each May. If you visit Hamburg at this time, you'll see the port gleaming in a whole new light! From historic ships to booths and live music, there’s something for everyone. In the evening, a grand firework display lights up the city.

Fish market

“I’ll throw in a couple of mackerel with that!” This sort of comment is often heard in Hamburg’s fish market. Eel sellers stand next to cheesemongers ready to greet visitors every Sunday morning. The cries of the market traders compete in volume in an attempt to attract customers to their stalls. In the adjacent fish auction hall, live music tempts people to join in the dancing - for many night owls this is the last stop of the night.

St. Michael's Church

This church is THE landmark of Hamburg and should definitely not be missed. It is now on its third incarnation, having been destroyed twice in its history: once by lightning and once by fire. The church can seat 2,500 people and has a viewing platform 82 m high. Perfect for looking down at Hamburg from above! Twice a day, the music of the 'Michel Trumpeters' rings out from the rooftop - a definite must.

Do you prefer bright lights to candlelight?

Then you should schedule in a visit to the Reeperbahn, Hamburg’s 'most sinful mile'. Here you'll find row upon row of bars, strip clubs, discos and burlesque bars. This infamous street is not just for partygoers, as it also has various cultural offerings: The Operettenhaus with its Hollywood flair and view of the Reeperbahn stages musical productions such as 'Mamma Mia!' and 'TINA - The Tina Turner Musical'. During the day, the district is quieter with a number of attractive cafes.

Sightseeing on foot

Many of Hamburg’s attractions are located within easy walking distance of our hotel. We have put together a short tour of discovery for you:

You can start from the comfort of our centrally located hotel, Scandic Hamburg Emporio. Along Jungfernstieg you'll find any number of shopping opportunities, restaurants and cafes with views of Binnenalster lake with its fountains. Rathausmarkt square is a great place to stop and watch the daily activity on Rathausplatz over a cup of coffee or a glass of Alsterwasser shandy. At the same time, you can gaze on the historic facade of the Town Hall itself. If your feet are feeling the strain, you can book a spontaneous cruise on the River Alster and marvel at the ​'Pearl of the City'. Watching the sunset from the viewing platform at Landungsbrücken is the perfect way to end the day.

Sightseeing by bicycle

Hire one of our bicycles and enjoy a bike ride along the River Elbe. You'll pass St. Pauli Landungsbrücken and Altonaer Balkon (Altona Balcony), and can stop for refreshments at Strandperle - a rustic bar with a harbourside ambience. If you still have enough energy, you can travel a bit further and see the 'Alte Schwede', the oldest boulder in Germany. For those keen on architecture, the Elbchaussee lake is surrounded by a great many luxurious homes and properties.

Stay right in the centre

The perfect starting point to explore Hamburg is our centrally located hotel, Scandic Hamburg Emporio. From Gänsemarkt, you can visit many of Hamburg’s attractions on foot. And after a strenuous day of sightseeing and shopping you can fall exhausted into one of our comfortable box-spring beds or relax with a drink.