Hamburg City Walking Guide

Famous for the red light district and the Beatles, Hamburg

is on many taster cruises and ferry trips as well as the first or last stop on many longer cruises to the Baltics or beyond. Hamburg offers a lot to see, can be walked, but you will be tired after a long day ashore because the ship does not normally need to leave until 6.30 to arrive back at Southampton. If it is your first stop from Southampton you will arrive up the river Elbe early and it is worth watching if it is light.
Your cruise ship shuttle bus will almost certainly drop you off at the town hall, and you must go inside. see town hall film It is a fantastic building, but note, the 5 Euro tour to the upper rooms, English tours will have set times, so go there first then work your day. You can walk back past the shops to the railway station if you have plans for a trip out of town maybe to the Reeperbahn. The station itself is only worth a glimpse, it is in our walking guide film, but it is at the start of ‘museum mile’; the final art gallery is next door to the station. Alternatively, St Peter’s church is near the shuttle bus, and the road continues down to the old red brick warehouses, Wunderland, and the Hamburg Dungeon. Both of these will require a tour or booking in advance online, see below. The time you are allocated will dictate how you visit Hamburg. The boat trip is a good way to get a guide of Hamburg and it can be cheaper online.

Along the canal you will see the tower of the main church in town, and walking back you will pass bars and old houses. Jean Heard’s film on Hamburg is a very useful watch before you go, and our other films in the Hamburg section will also help if you have time.  See our own tours by Jean Heard, and the Town Hall Tour and Miniatur Wunderland. Plus an incredible find, a coffee shop that has a mini coffee bean roasting factory active for visitors to watch.


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Hamburg is a huge busy port and has been for many generations, as over 1,000 years ago it began as a Hanseatic League port. Even the Romans settled here and made it an important city. It was bombed heavily during the war and both modern and ancient have been redeveloped and restored. This is a city layered in history and art. It has cosmopolitan shopping, dining and nightlife. The city has two Alster lakes the Inner Alster lake is surrounded by cafes and like Bruges, Copenhagen and St Petersburg it has hundreds of canals and over 1000 bridges. The 17th century Zollenbrücke Bridge is fantastic. Like those other Baltic cities, it has been destroyed by fire many times throughout history. The city’s central Jungfernstieg boulevard connects the Neustadt (new town) with the Altstadt (old town), home to landmarks like 18th-century St. Michael’s Church. It is also the home of the world’s second oldest bank, Berenberg Bank and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Also in it’s history is its love for British music in the 1960s and it is where the Beatles and many other bands played before having their huge international fame. Constructed between 1886 and 1897, Hamburg Rathaus (City Hall) is in the city centre, at the Rathausmarkt square, and near Binnenalster lake and the central station. Its belfry stands higher than the many other church steeples. And, it has a paddle steamer!



And read the cruise with action leaping between above and below decks.


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