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Hamburg, the Free and Hanseatic City of Germany, is an awesome weekend getaway from Düsseldorf. After Berlin, it’s the countries largest city which means there are ample opportunities to keep on exploring regardless of what you enjoy. Whether watching a concert at the Elbphilharmonie, partying all night long in the St.Pauli district or enjoying the beautiful natural sights of Hamburg, there’s a little something for everyone.
How to get from Düsseldorf to Hamburg
Getting from Düsseldorf to Hamburg is extremely easy and one of the best weekend getaways for those of you who don’t have access to a vehicle. Hamburg is a 3.45-hour train ride or a 4.15-hour car ride away. Even if you do have a vehicle, I would definitely recommend taking the train.
You have the option of taking a FlixTrain (the cheaper option) or a Deutsche Bahn train (offers more connections and options). The FlixTrain is cheap (starting at 5 Euros), but the Deutsche Bahn train offers more comfort in their newer, more modern locomotives.
Things to see and do in Hamburg
This list could be endless but after multiple trips to Hamburg myself, there are a few things that I always do every time I return.
Visit some trendy weekend flea markets
Unlike Berlin, some of the flea markets around Hamburg are still rather cheap. You’ll find some great bargains at any one of the flea markets around the city. Here are a few worth checking out:
- Saturday’s – 8:00 – 16:00: The Flohschanze Flea Market located in the Schanzenviertel
- Saturday’s – 7:00 – 15:00: Flohdom an der Horner Rennbahn Flea Market located in Hamm
- Sunday’s – 9:00 – 16:00 (June – September): Spielbudenplatz Flea Market located in St.Pauli
Roam the Tropical Greenhouses at the Botanical Gardens
We actually happened to stumble upon the tropical greenhouse at the botanical gardens by accident. Hamburg winters can get quite chilly so we were looking for somewhere warm to go after a day at the playground. Entrance is free and it is an absolutely beautiful little oasis located just minutes away from the Hamburg Dammtor tram stop. The picture below doesn’t do it justice, I’m sorry!
Go on a boat cruise around the Hamburg Harbour
They offer plenty of different harbour cruises for as little as 15 Euros. You spend an hour either sitting in the warm and beautiful boat cabin or outside enjoying the breezy winds of the harbour. Throughout the cruise, most tours will take you to see the warehouse district, the large container terminals, the HafenCity, and past the numerous bridges crossing the Elbe River.
Admire the beautiful Elbphilharmonie
Simply standing at the edge of the building and looking up is worth it, but you can also take a tour of the Elbphilharmonie which will take you around the building and teach you more about the history and costs of building the concert hall. If you’d like to buy a ticket to visit the plaza for a beautiful view of the city, you can do so ahead of time on their website (you will also need to select a date and time for your visit). The plaza tickets cost 2 Euros (always subject to change), but unless you plan on attending a concert at the Elphilharmonie, the concert hall is not accessible.
Take a Hop-On Hop-Off tour through Hamburg
Call me a tourist, I’ll take it. I absolutely love taking the Hop-on Hop-off buses when I visit a large city. I find it allows me to get my bearings straight before I head off and explore. I usually stay a full loop on the bus while learning more about the city and making notes as to where I’d like to get off and walk around. The second loop is when I actually hop off and explore the side streets of the city.
Yummy places to eat in Hamburg
There are so many delicious places to eat in Hamburg that it’s hard to name just a few. YELP and Google will likely be your best friend when you’re researching some memorable restaurants to visit, but if you want to know about a few hidden gems, here are a couple of my favorites.
No matter where I go, I’m always on the lookout for delicious breakfast joints… mostly because I miss North American breakfast specials so much. PAULINE has some delicious breakfast options, both German and international, and an absolutely scrumptious french toast with fruit!
If mac n’ cheese, nachos, chicken wings, pulled pork, and beef brisket sound delicious to you, then you’re going to love Gefundenes Fressen. They do have plenty of healthy options too, but who needs healthy when you’ve got a load of other delicious mouth-watering options to choose from?
Just across the street from the Altona train station is KÖZ URFA, a delicious Turkish restaurant serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While Turkish food for lunch or dinner is always a great option, breakfast… as you know… is my weakness. Check out the photo below, they offer a delicious and huge selection of Turkish breakfast specialties in an all you can eat buffet for extremely cheap.
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