17 Cool Things To Do in Hamburg – Fischbrötchen, Red Light District and The Beatles

Secret Things to do in Hamburg

This is your guide to the cool things to do in Hamburg.

Welcome to Hamburg, Germany’s pearl of the North, and the city where you can party all night, and then watch the sun rise over the harbor.

17 Cool Things To Do in Hamburg - Fischbrötchen, Boat-Bus and the Beatles We cannot wait to share with you our 17 secret things to do in Hamburg you won’t find in any travel guide – make sure you make the most out of them.

Those secret tips are written by friends for friends. This is NOT your full guide to show you around the touristic part of the city.

But if you fancy local secrets, then this guide is for you!

Overview of all Fun Things to do in Hamburg, Germany

  1. Evening Illumination Cruise through Harbor
  2. Guided Tour Elbphilharmonie
  3. Crime Tour in St. Pauli
  4. For the Family: Miniatur Wunderland
  5. A hip Bar: have a drink at Möwe Sturzflug
  6. Yummy: Küchenfreunde with 10 tables
  7. The perfect breakfast place: Cafe Johanna
  8. Local Picnic at Park Fiction
  9. Listen to Hamburgs Music
  10. Red Light District
  11. Party on a boat – Frau Hedi
  12. World Famous St Pauli
  13. The Beatles
  14. Have a Fischbrötchen
  15. Hang out at the Harbour
  16. Chill at the Beach
  17. Herbertstraße and its Prostitutes

Before you run off, make sure you check our guide on best hostels in Hamburg as part of the epic guide of 29 best hostels in Germany.

Quick overview:

  1. Pyjama Park Schanzenviertel
  2. Instant Sleep Backpacker Hostel
  3. Generator Hamburg
  4. (Extra: Superbude Hamburg)

Let’s kick start this trip and start with a cruise:

1. Evening Illumination Cruise through Harbor

Have you ever heard about Speicherstadt?

It must be the most photogenic spot in Hamburg. Very beautiful!

Experience a beautiful evening cruise from the historical and romantically-illuminated Speicherstadt through the sea of light that is the Hamburg harbor.

Enjoy a great boat tour through the canals of the historic Speicherstadt and discover the highlights of Hamburg from the water.

Buy your Cruise here

Speicherstadt Hamburg

2. Guided Tour Elbphilharmonie

Visit Hamburg’s new concert hall on this informative tour.

During the one-hour tour you will get a complete overview of this fascinating building and enjoy great views of the city from the Elbphilharmonie Plaza.

Book the guided tour here

Guided Tour Elbphilharmonie

3. Adult Crime in St. Pauli (Tour for ages 18+)

Red light district and Hamburg?  Yes, there is a red light District in the city.

Hamburg is basically the Amsterdam of Germany.

Explore the red light district of Hamburg on this exciting 2-hour crime tour in the St. Pauli district.

Hear anecdotes and details about the lives and loves in this district, and visit the boxing club in the basement of the “Zur Ritze” bar.

Book the Crime Tour here

Crime Tour Hamburg

4. For the Family: Miniatur Wunderland

This is the worlds largest model railway; perfect for families!

The Miniatur Wunderland has been constantly growing since the year 2001.

Having started with two layout areas, Harz and Southern Germany, the Wunderland has opened the seventh area, Switzerland, in November 2007. More layout areas were opened in 2014.

The Miniatur Wunderland is without doubt a wonder, not only because of its landscape and surface area, but also due to the technology that underpins the exhibit.

5. A hip Bar: have a drink at Möwe Sturzflug

This must be one of the best bars in Hamburg.

If you want to get a seat on one of their comfy sofas, you should be there before 8pm.

Every day around that time, this secret bar fills all of a sudden with locals coming in for a beer or one of Möwe’s very distinct drinks (some of which contain apple-pie or pumpernickel).

Fun Fact: If you can pronounce the bars name, you might be a hero!

mowe sturzflug Bar

6. Yummy: Küchenfreunde with 10 tables

This tiny restaurant is the perfect place for a relaxed dinner with a friend.

Since they only have about ten tables, you will feel more like you’re sitting in someone’s kitchen than in a restaurant.

Küchenfreunde change their menu every week, depending on the season and availability of the produce they are looking for (and it all tastes great!).

Check their website kuechenfreunde.net for the weekly menu.

Küchenfreunde Hamburg

7. The perfect breakfast place: Cafe Johanna

Raw concrete walls combined with vintage furniture.

Imagine that with one of the best breakfasts or coffees you ever had and you’re at Café Johanna in St. Pauli. On a warm day you can also sit outside!

Also, sometimes they organize a kind of flea market here – pretty cool for vintage shopping!

Check out their website here.

8. Local Picnic at Park Fiction

You want to watch the cruise ships go by but don’t care for the crowds around the harbour?

Then buy your drink at a kiosk, bring a picnic blanket and find your place at Park Fiction.

There is always someone playing music, you will be surrounded by locals and there is no better view over the harbour.

This is a very local thing to do!

Gezi Park

9. Listen to Hamburgs Music

Hamburg is an absolute music-town!

Here are a few songs to put on your Smartphone, Mp3 player, and whatever the cool kids are using nowadays.

I would recommend you to join a concert if you get the chance.

Famous bands from Hamburg are:

  • Kettcar
  • Deichkind
  • Jan Delay
  • Fettes Brot
  • Tocotronic
  • Samy Deluxe
  • Blumfeld
  • Fünf Sterne Deluxe
  • Les Humphries Singers
  • Jennifer Rostock

10. Another Red Light Disctrict Tour: Red Light District Tour

Go on a tour of the neighborhood and see everything that the Reeperbahn has to offer – from 5-star hotels to drag queen bars.

Explore the private ‘St. Pauli Erotic Catacombs’ and hear riveting stories about the neighborhood.

Book Red Light District Tour here

11. Party on a boat – Frau Hedi

This is the best boat tour through the harbour you can get: A vintage launch with a DJ, cruising through the old and new parts of the harbour.

You can get off once an hour or stay on as long as you like.

Find more information about this boat tour at their website frauhedi.de

12. Visit the world-famous FC Sankt Pauli

Whether you like football or not, this FC Sankt Pauli is one of the most unique football clubs in the world. It is not just any football all club.

While the footballers have enjoyed only modest success on the field, the club is widely recognized for its distinctive culture and has a large popular following as one of the country’s “Kult” clubs.

FC St. Pauli supporters are highly identified with far-left politics.

For sure you have seen their famous skull, the symbol of the club.

If you have the chance, visit their stadium and even a match.

Here’s a documentary about FC St Pauli. Click it, it is quite interesting and helps you understanding Hamburg and its culture a bit better.

13. The Beatles

You may already know that, but the Beatles became famous in Hamburg, Germany.

No kidding!

The original lineup of the Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best regularly performed at different clubs in Hamburg, Germany, during the period from August 1960 to December 1962; a chapter in the group’s history which honed their performance skills, widened their reputation, and led to their first recording, which brought them to the attention of Brian Epstein.

There is a famous “The Beatles Square” right at Red Light District.

There is even different tours in Hamburg dedicated to the music band.

At night, you should walk by the famous Beatles Square. It’s illuminated.

Here is a video of The Beatles live at the Star Club in 1962.

14. Have a Fischbrötchen

Eat like a local.

Eat a famous fish sandwich at the Harbor, near Landungsbrücke.

There is different types of fish sandwiches. Just have a look which one you like and get it.

Oh, and look out for the seagulls when eating. They like to scare people so they throw away their food. Just pay attention.

15. Hang out at the Harbour

Talking about Landungsbrücke, it is one of our favorite areas in Hamburg.

You can see the full harbour, hop on a cruise and even see the now-finished Elbphilharmonie.

See the tour above; scroll up.

Landungsbrucke Hamburg

16. Chill at the Beach

Hamburg has its own beach. Seriously, that is true.

It is a small beach slightly outside the city center. You can get here by walking, by bike or take the river boat.

Here is the address of the Elbstrand.

Enjoying the Hamburg beach

17. Walk the famous streets of prostitutes

The famous Herbertstraße is a well-known street in the St. Pauli district of Hamburg, located near the main red light district Reeperbahn.

It is the only street in the city where it is still possible to find prostitutes in “windows” as in the famous De Wallen district of Amsterdam.

It is said, women are not allowed in here.

I would not recommend any women walk through this street. There is stories of prostitutes throwing things at women walking through here.

As a guy, it is really an experience.

Just walk once through, have a look and then move in. At least, that is our recommendation.

Extra 18. Pub Crawl in Hamburg

Hamburg is renowned for its energetic nightlife, and no stay in the city would be complete without a trip to the infamous Reeperbahn.

From rock and roll to luxury lounges, from thumping clubs to the home of The Beatles and the Red Light District, the New Hamburg Pub Crawl takes you to see it all.

Get your Pub Crawl Ticket here


Where to stay in Hamburg

If you want a cool place with comfy beds, great design, and a tasty breakfast, stay at Superbude Hamburg. It is a hostel/ hotel which offers activities and concerts. You will love it!

Also, there are plenty of cool Airbnb apartments in the city. It is a great option if you are traveling with your partner or with friends.

For those on a budget, make sure you check our guide on best hostels in Hamburg.

Quick overview of the best hostels in Hamburg:

  1. Pyjama Park Schanzenviertel
  2. Instant Sleep Backpacker Hostel
  3. Generator Hamburg

More tours and activities in Hamburg

By no means is this list complete. There is so much more to it!

Here you can find all tours and activities in Hamburg you can imagine.

Who wrote this guide?

Blogger Sarah presents you the best local recommendations for her hometown of Hamburg – authentic and free to download!

She lives in Hamburg and knows the city inside-out.

This is why we are sharing with you, our fellow travelers, those handy tips you won’t find anywhere else.

We added more of the best activities and things to do in Hamburg

More Guides to Hamburg

You can find more fabulous guides all over the web.

Here is a list of links we think you should take advantage of:

Enjoy the secret things to do in Hamburg, it is indeed a beautiful pearl to discover!

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17 Cool Things To Do in Hamburg - Fischbrötchen, Boat-Bus and the Beatles

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