15 Things to do in Hamburg in 2 days

by Toti

Hamburg was on our bucket list of places to visit before the end of the year. Finally, we got the opportunity to explore the beautiful city of Hamburg in 2 days during the Reeperbahn Festival. A music festival which takes place every year in September. If you have the chance to visit the northern German city, you can easily follow our recommendations of things to do and see in Hamburg in 2 days. A detailed, traditional and funny itinerary to consider along with your journey in Hamburg Germany.

There is always a reason to visit the lively Hamburg, a city of thousand faces and aspect. From the extravagance of the Red light district to the Record shops of St. Pauli, passing by the magnificent harbour and the awesome Elbphilharmonie of Hamburg.

This city makes you feel welcome since landed, Hamburg is extraordinarily unique and let be free to express yourself.

Hamburg 2 day itinerary 

Canals of Hamburg at the sunset

In your Hamburg 2 days itinerary, there are a couple of things which you can’t miss. If you have the opportunity to visit the city during the Hamburg Reeperbahn music festival, even better. Locals and people from all around the world are travelling during this period to experience this fantastic adventure. If you are visiting Hamburg during the music festival you will see how, while going around, all the important sightseeing are busier than usual. 

Festival or not, here there are 15 things to do in Hamburg in 2 days.

  • Speicherstadt
  • Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
  • Town Hall
  • Miniatur Wunderland
  • Hamburg Reeperbahn Festival
  • Beatles tour
  • St. Michael’s Church
  • Port of Hamburg
  • Fish Market
  • International Maritime Museum
  • St. Nikolai Memorial
  • Hamburg free walking tour 
  • St. Pauli
  • Visit a Record Shop
  • Inner Alster Lake

Activities to do during your 2 days in Hamburg

Hamburg canals of the city centre

There are so many places to visit in Hamburg in 2 days and, of course, you don’t want to miss anything. If you think that 2 days in Hamburg are not enough you can op for a Hamburg 3 days itinerary and have more time to explore the city better and relax as well.

We never thought that Hamburg city was so big. While doing our list of places to see in Hamburg in 2 days we come out with a perfect idea of places to visit, this will also help you to tidy up distances, and short cut it with the efficient metro system of the city.

A very detailed Hamburg itinerary with our suggestions and recommendations. Like always we will help travellers like you to get the best from their trip, and this post will also be filled with incredible experiences to do in Hamburg in 2 days.

Speicherstadt |Take a tour in your 2 days in Hamburg

Located in the port of Hamburg, the Speicherstadt is the largest warehouse district in the world. It is also an amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to the amazing architecture with the canal passing through. In your Hamburg itinerary for sure, you can’t miss visiting the Speicherstadt.

Our mission was to explore this incredible district of Hamburg on two occasions, during the day and at night. The lights as you can understand are completely different, and liking photography so much, we were incredibly curious to discover it. In both occasions it is beautiful and even if you have 1 day in Hamburg you should consider visiting it.

If you want to experience something different you should think to book an evening illumination cruise through Harbor. 

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
View of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg from the seaside

One of the most beautiful buildings in the whole city, Elbphilharmonie is a concert hall and it is today one of the top sightseeing to visit. Well combined with the surrounding, matching the Speicherstadt buildings architecture with a futuristic touch. The shape of the structure it seems a big ship, matching also the meaning of the old function of the building and the location where it is.

Every single panel of this building is built to insulate it from the noises coming from the seaport and the harbour and give the guests a unique unrepeatable experience. We have been visiting the Elbphilharmonie during the Reeperbahn Festival, attended a unique concert if this is your thought as well, we suggest you book your ticket in advance.

This is not the only way to visit the Elbphilharmonie of Hamburg, you can get more in-depth information about this fascinating building, booking a tour. This is what we suggest for you, cheap and very interactive one. Book here your tour.

TopTips: The view from the top is spectacular, it is something that you don’t want to miss.

Town Hall | Hamburg 2 days itinerary

Things to do in Hamburg in 2 days - Rataus the Town Hall of Hamburg
Rathaus the Town Hall of Hamburg

The first time we saw the Hamburg Town Hall we thought that we were in a different city. If you have ever been to Vienna you will see how the two architecture got something similar.

If you haven’t been to Vienna yet, see our ultimate guide of things to do in Vienna in 2 days.

Hamburg Town Hall, Rathaus, dominates the centre of the city with its impressive design.

The inside is stunning and it is one of the things that you can’t miss to visit in your 48 hours in Hamburg. If you are interested to visit the Town Hall inside with the Hamburg card you get a discount. Adults 4 euros instead of 5. It’s only one euro but with that euro, you can always grab a beer. Children up to 15 years the entrance is free.

Miniatur Wunderland

Miniatur Wunderland of Hamburg
Miniatur Wunderland of Hamburg

Exploring the world from a different perspective is something that you should do during your Hamburg 2 day itinerary. Explore the little world of Miniatur Wunderland of Hamburg, enjoying the little details from the main attractions in the world.

You can book here your ticket and enjoy the small world around us.

If you are visiting Hamburg with kids this place is ideal for spending a couple of hours. The inside is huge and you can pass from one nation to another without needing a visa or attending flight.

You can book another ticket as well which allow you to enter into the Miniatur Wonderland and enjoy the Speicherstadt tour.

Hamburg Reeperbahn Festival

Reeperbhan Festival of Hamburg Stage
Reeperbahn Festival of Hamburg Stage

Every year the Hamburg Reeperbahn Festival is taking place in the St. Pauli district in September. For 4 days you can attend a live music concert and have fun going from one pub to another. The tickets get sold out very easily, so if you are planning your Hamburg itinerary with a music mood, make sure you book in advance your tickets for the festival.

Don’t miss this wonderful experience, where musicians from all around the world are coming to Hamburg to play. With a single ticket to the Reeperbahn Festival, you can get access to incredible locations that have made the history of modern music.

Do you know who played in one of the bars during the Reeperbahn? A famous group called “The Beatles”, they came to Hamburg young and wild, without experience and became a pro pop band.

Beatles Tour in Hamburg

Beatles Tour in Hamburg
Beatles Tour in Hamburg

If you are a music fan, or just want to visit a city from a different perspective, Hamburg is the ideal trip for you. Until 20 years ago nobody was celebrating the great Beatles history in Hamburg. Then a few brave people started to share the knowledge about one of the best pop bands of all times. The pop band has played in Hamburg more than in their city, Liverpool.

The Beatles has started their career in Hamburg, arriving from Liverpool, cheating about their status as a professional musician. They have got their first gigs at the Indra, a small club a few steps away from the entrance of the Red light district of Hamburg. Those and many other stories are all wrapped in an amazing tour in the streets of Hamburg once walked by the famous artists.

Even if you are not a Beatles fun this tour will guide you to how they start and why today are considered one of the best bands of those years.

St. Michael’s Church

Why you should visit the St. Michael’s church during your Hamburg 2 day itinerary? As you might not know the bell tower offers a stunning view of the city and it is the most beautiful place to take pictures as well.

This is Hamburg’s largest church. Must-See sightseeing in your Hamburg itinerary, the church was damaged in WWII. Completely renowned, today with its baroque style is one of the most beautiful churches and an important landmark in the city.

Discover the port of Hamburg and its surrounding 

Port of Hamburg and surrounded area

Did you know that Hamburg offers cruise through the Harbour? This is one of the most romantic things to do in Hamburg. Intrigued? Check the tour guide, for more insight about one of the coolest things to do in Hamburg.

The seaport of Hamburg is the part of the city that inhabitants are more proud of. Usually in many cities, that becoming bigger in the time, the Harbour get dislocate outside of the city centre. Hamburg is really different, the Seaport and the city centre are blended in a unique block, one soul.

The labour area of Hamburg, that has developed the city as one of the biggest in Germany is the core. Today it is not just a port welcoming cargo ships, but also cruises. If you are strolling around the port of Hamburg, every day you will see how many people are coming and visit this place. You can enjoy a lovely walk from the port towards the Elbpilharmone while admiring the surroundings.

Hamburg Fish Market | Hamburg in two days

If you are spending a couple of days in Hamburg and happens to be a Sunday, you can’t miss visiting the Fishmarket. Every Sunday morning, the Hamburg fish Market attracts thousands and thousands of visitors. Many of them coming back from a crazy night in the clubs of Hamburg and eating a nice fresh breakfast in the fish market.

You can find almost everything from fish to flowers, clothing or souvenirs. The century-old building host lives concerts too, attracting people inside the trendy clubs just a few minutes away from the Reeperbahn clubs. During Summer (April to October) the market is open from 5 AM until 9.30 AM.

In Winter (November to March) it opens at 7 AM until 9.30 AM
We know that is an early start but it’s worth visiting.
You can easily reach the market with U3 to Landungsbrücken or S1 and S3 to Reeperbahn.

Hamburg suggestive boat tour

Hamburg Harbour at the Sunset
Amazing Sunset in Hamburg Harbour

If you are always looking for the next amazing adventure in a new city, take the chance to book a boat tour in Hamburg. There are two ways to get a ride on a boat in the canal of Hamburg. The first is through public transport.

With your Hamburg Card, you can also get access to the ferry, that is included in the public transport of the city. There are six ferry lines in Hamburg, those will serve the Harbour of the city and the River Elbe. All ferries stop at Landungsbrücken and are accessible with the HVV Ticket.

For a more in deep sail trip along the River Elbe, we suggest taking a private boat tour in Hamburg. For a cheap price, you will get a knowledgeable guide show you around. It is really suggestive to understand the history of the city, starting from the seaport, the pulse core of the business of the entire area. We can clearly tell you how magical is the view from the river of the Elbphilharmonie of Hamburg on the landscape.

International Maritime Museum

You will be surprised by the story of this Museum. The International Maritime Museum of Hamburg starts with a little boy, Peter Tamm, who became an enthusiastic collector of marine items. He collected everything related to maritime history and even the mother was buying him miniature ship when he was sick in bed. This obsession today has become a treasure which is stored into the International Maritime Museum of Hamburg.

The maritime history of Hamburg is something you should discover, interesting fun facts about Hamburg are behind the business core of this German city.

The Museum is open every day from 10 AM until 6 PM and you can reach it with U4 station “Überseequartier”, Bus number 6, station “Bei St. Annen” or Bus number 111, station”Osakaallee”.

St. Nikolai Memorial

House of WWII memorial and museum, the St. Nikolai Memorial is worth a visit during your Hamburg itinerary for 2 days. Designed in the neo-gothic style this memorial was the tallest building in the world.

Today is considered one of the most visited sightseeing and, even if you are spending one day in Hamburg, you should visit it. The church is in Gothic Revival style, once a Lutheran main church is ideal to visit to discover the history of the II World War. The surrounding area, facade preserved the marks of the World conflict. A fun fact behind this building is that between 1874 and 1876, it was the tallest building in the World.

Hamburg free walking tours 

If it is your first time in Germany and you want to know the city a bit better you can book your Hamburg free walking tour. Yes, it is free and it is a good opportunity to discover the city. Book your free tour of Hamburg.

St. Pauli

Pictoresque streets of St. Pauli district of Hamburg
Picturesque streets of St. Pauli district of Hamburg

St. Pauli area is where the main Reeperbhan festival takes place. Known around the world for its football club and the music festival, St. Pauli has more to offer than you’d think.

With its spirited bars, nightclubs and red-light district this is one of the busiest areas of Hamburg. If you are looking for a cabaret shows or musical on the main street, theatres like Schmidts Tivoli and Operettenhaus are performing most of the night.

St. Pauli hosts one of the most interesting flea markets we have seen so far. Flohschanze is a popular flea market you should place on your bucket list of places to visit in Hamburg.

Flohschanze – The best Flea market of Hamburg

St. Pauli District and markets
St. Pauli District and markets – Flohschanze

During our tour in Hamburg, we have seen many markets, biggest and smaller. One of the most interesting places to visit for markets lovers is the Flohschanze, a flea market in the heart of St. Pauli district. 

With a mix of stands of private and professional vendors, the Flohschanze is interesting and unconventional. Mixed colours, flavours and style perfectly match with the St. Pauli’s way. Strolling around the stands and floor stands you will pass by vintage vendors to jewellery, furniture, antiques, books and records.

The market is taking place just one day per week, on Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm. Click here to find the perfect coordinate on google maps.

Visit Hamburg Record Shop 

  • Hanseplatte
  • Zardoz Records
  • Groove City
  • Smallville
  • Freiheit & Roosen

Most of those record shops are in the St. Pauli and Schanze district where you can easily reach them by walking. Around the city of Hamburg, there are approximately 20 record stores which you can visit. We have never been in a record shop like those before and seeing so many concentrated in one city made us even more in love about visiting them.

Record shops of Hamburg - Zeus Records

Thanks to this record shop tour, today we can share with you all of these amazing places where you can go. Most record shops are located in the St. Pauli’s Area, the lively part of the city with old school music past and present.

Inner Alster Lake | Hamburg 2 days guide

Are you looking for somewhere to take nice and instagrammable pictures? If you follow the Kleine Alster canal, you will reach the Inner Alster Lake which is an active part of the local’s life.

Along with this artificial lake, some terraces reach down to the water and it is one of the best places for locals to hang out and enjoy a walk around the lake. Why do most people love to walk around the lake? Because of the skyline from the far side is something that needs to be seen.

Where to stay in Hamburg

Those are our suggestion for your accommodation during your Hamburg in 2 days. If you are looking for a cool place where to stay in Hamburg, the list below will help you to find what meets your requirements.

For the first time, we stayed in a Hotel/Hostel which we found amazing. Close to the city centre and well connected with the public transport the Superbude it’s on the top of our list. It was a great location to reach the live stages of the Reeperbahn Festival for us and discover the St. Pauli district in the weekend.

Superbude Hotel Hostel St Pauli.
ARCOTEL Onyx Hamburg
IntercityHotel Hamburg Dammtor-Messe
Ruby Lotti Hotel Hamburg
The Westin Hamburg
Hamburg Marriott Hotel

What to eat in Hamburg in 2 days 

German food is so delicious and there is nothing better than trying a traditional hot dog made with local sausage. I think in 2 days in Hamburg it was the only thing that we are apart from the famous croissant with cinnamon, as Toti would say.

Here you can find our suggestions for things to eat while in Hamburg:

  • Fischbrötchen 

A fish roll typically made with pickled herring some onion, pickles and remoulade sauce. When we were spending 48 hours in Hamburg we tried the Fischbrötchen while enjoying a cruise through the harbour.

  • Franzbrötchen 

The famous croissant with cinnamon, as Toti would say, is a typical pastry made with lots of butter and cinnamon. As per the story, this creation was inspired by the French croissants which were introduced in Hamburg during Napoleon’s occupation. Today you can find different types of Franzbrötchen, with chocolate or pumpkin seeds as well. What we recommend is that if you want to try something typical you should go for the original Franzbrötchen.

Have a coffee at the Nord Coast Coffee Roastery.

It is a delicious place to enjoy good coffee and start your day. Depending on what time you go you might find people queuing and when someone is waiting it means that it is one of Hamburg’s popular coffee places. 

Best time to visit Hamburg

The view of Hambrug from the Elbphilarmonique
The view of Hamburg from the Elbphilarmonique

From our experience, we think that the best period to visit Hamburg in late summer, at the beginning of September. The day is long and it gets dark late and you can explore the city better.

When it comes to winter the day is shorter and if it is cold you don’t feel to do something apart from having dinner somewhere warm.

Another amazing period of the year to visit Hamburg is Christmas. Unfortunately, we haven’t been yet there in this period of the year, but a lot of friends referred us that. Visit Hamburg during Christmas Time is on our bucket list. The city is in the north of Germany, so it will be cold. The atmosphere instead will be great and the German Christmas Markets are some of the best in Europe, to try absolutely.

Hamburg Weather Like | how to spend 2 days in Hamburg

Hamburg in winter can be tough, from November until March the maximum temperature is 5 with a minimum of 0 or even -1. If you are visiting Hamburg in February for a short break for Valentine’s day the weather will be the same, cold and with some rainy days. 

We were so lucky visiting Hamburg in September, the weather was amazing, with sunny days in the weekend too. So, September weather in Hamburg is approved. During the day the temperature was warm around 15 degrees even if during the night it was going down. 

You will never know the exact temperature, but it is always good to check in advance to make sure to pack the right clothes.

Hamburg in summer is different, it is not hot like in Spain but the maximum temperature can reach up to 24 degrees with a minimum of 13. Is not too bad if you are planning a Hamburg itinerary in Summer. Hamburg is a lively city, with a discrete nightlife around the seaside, which make it ideal during a summer afternoon.

Getting around Hamburg Germany

Hamburg in 2 days itinerary

To make the most of your time while visiting Hamburg, Germany, you need to have a smart and well plan on where to go and what to see. If you want to visit Hamburg in one day, even more, you should have a perfect plan.

When we travel we are always trying to find the best and fastest way to explore the city. We usually don’t want to stress out, up and down trains and buses, but planning ahead of the itinerary. Hamburg public transport works pretty well and with the Hamburg Card, you can also get free travel and discount on attractions. A cheap and convenient way to visit Hamburg in 2 days.

You can choose from one day to five days and be able to travel for free without worrying about tickets. Booke here your Hamburg Card and enjoy your Hamburg 2 day itinerary.

How to reach Hamburg Airport 

The first things we thought about seeing where was the airport, compared with the city centre is: How we can get there fast and secure. All our fears were cut off once landed, is too easy to reach the city centre from the airport, with just one train.

From Hamburg airport to the city centre you can use public transport, such as the S1 which connects Flughafen Airport to Jungfernstieg (Rathaus). The Metro system of Hamburg is particularly complex but easy to understand.

One of the things that we loved about Hamburg is that it is on the list of the cities of the popular App CityMapper. What is CityMapper? It is an incredible app, which we use in London as well, and it tells you how to reach your destination most easily and quickly.

The app is available on IOS and Android and it is ideal for people who love travelling and like to have the answer in their hands.

Hamburg day trips

  • Cologne
  • Munich passing by Frankfurt
  • Berlin
  • Amsterdam

If you want to explore more the German country after planning your 2-day itinerary Hamburg you can organize 2 days in Cologne and explore another small but cool city in Germany. From Hamburg with 4 hours train, you can reach Cologne for less than 10 euros. You can book here your ticket and choose between train and bus. If you don’t believe us, the train is cheaper than the bus.

Day trip from Hamburg to Munich passing by Frankfurt

I guess that no one is ready for a 20 hours bus from Hamburg to Munich, but to add another list to things to see in Germany, you can place a stop on your Germany Tour. Book a one-way ticket from Hamburg to Frankfurt.

In this way, you can spend one day in Frankfurt, explore the city and book your next ticket from Frankfurt to Munich. Munich is worth to visit and you definitely should organize your Munich itinerary for 2 days to be able to see the city.

Day trip from Hamburg to Berlin

Well, you can’t leave Germany without visiting the Capital City. Can you believe that the first time we have been to Germany was not to see Berlin? We have been for the first time in Bremen for a campaign and from there we decided that we wanted to know more about this country. If you are in love with travel photography you need to read our post about the best Instagram spots in Berlin.

If you are planning a trip to Berlin see all the things you can do in only 2 days.

If you are thinking to plan a day trip from Hamburg, you should check out Berlin. From Hamburg, with only three and a half hours, with less than 10 euros you can reach the German capital by bus.

You might also like Our first experience in a hostel dorm in Berlin as a couple.

From Hamburg to Amsterdam by public transportation 

Have you ever thought that from Hamburg you could reach Amsterdam? Well, yes, with a 6 hours bus and no more than 30 euros you can reach the Netherlands capital. It’s something different and at the same time amazing which you can’t miss doing.

One of the most beautiful Hamburg one day trips is to book a ticket to Amsterdam. This city is well connected and you can reach any places you would like.

What to do in Hamburg

Hamburg in 2 days guide

Are you still thinking about what to do in Hamburg or why you should visit this city? This is one of the main reasons why we love travelling and share with you what we think and why you should choose one destination in comparison to another one. Hamburg has to offer many things to a traveller and is one of the best cities to visit in Germany over than just Berlin.

The city is worth a visit if you would have just 24 hours in Hamburg or 7 days in Hamburg. If you have a long layover for an international flight, choose to leave the airport and visit the surroundings, you will fall in love with this city. Absolutely worth a quick visit to the city centre at night.

What looks like Hamburg at night

Hamburg at night

It is true that we can’t compare Hamburg with other biggest cities at night. Cities like Paris, London or Budapest are unique in the European panorama. But, Hamburg has got something that is special at night. More than suggestive landscapes, romantic spots or unique point of view. Hamburg has a lively nightlife that won’t let you go to bed. It will never happen that in Hamburg you don’t have a reason to stay up till late in the night, drinking a beer, talking about life with a stranger.

Every corner of this city is made for entertaining the people, don’t get bored never. This is coming from the long sailor’s history. Those coming to Hamburg had just a few nights before taking the route again, so it was the best time for parties and fun.

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