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Five Great and Unusual Things to See in Hamburg

We have been to Hamburg quite a few times and can easily describe it as our second favorite city in Germany. Because of all our visits, we decided it was time to put together a list of our favorite unusual things to see in Hamburg.

Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and can be reached from Berlin by train in less than 3 hours. The trip is worth it since Hamburg is a fantastic place to explore. From its gorgeous historical architecture filled with bricks to the modern Elbphilharmonie. From its many parks and gardens to the infamous red district and the Reeperbahn…

There are lots of things to do and places to see in Hamburg. Below are some of my favorite things to see.

Off the Beaten Path: Hamburg’s Unexpected Delights

The light show at Hafencity Universität Station

While in Hamburg, take the subway and trains and enjoy the high-quality public transport in the city. While you do that, you should find the time to go to the Hafencity Universität Station, a U-Bahn famous for its gorgeous, futuristic, colorful illumination.

The station was opened to the public in 2012, and its colorful light design represents the city of Hamburg. The blues in the stations represent the water that surrounds the city. The reds are the red brick from the wharf buildings and the metals from the ships that pass by.

Under the river in the Old Elbe Tunnel

The Old Elbe Tunnel is a piece of Hamburg’s history. It was opened to the public in 1911 and was considered by many an engineering marvel of the world. It was the first river tunnel in Europe. It connected the St. Pauli neighborhood with the harbor area with its docks and shipyards on the south side of the Elbe River.

You must pay attention to the decorated tunnel walls inside the tunnel. They are made of glazed terra cotta and display ornaments related to the Elbe River, like fish and crabs, but there are rats and some litter, which we think is amusing.

The St. Nicholas Church

It’s easy to spot the tall Gothic Tower from the St. Nicholas Church in the Hamburg skyline. Nowadays, it doesn’t appear as glorious as it used to, but this was the tallest building on Earth from 1874 to 1876, which is more than enough reason to visit it.

In German, it’s called St. Nikolai-Kirche. It was the second tallest building in Hamburg, only losing to the TV Tower. During the Second World War, the church was used as an orientation marker for the pilots during the extensive air raids.

Even though it was helpful to the Royal British Force and the United States Army Forces, the church was bombed during the war. The Tower remained, but the church was left in ruins.

In 1951, the nave and choir area were demolished, and cleanup left it close to what can be seen today. Back in 1977, the St. Nikolai Memorial was inaugurated, and it was dedicated to the victims of war from 1933 to 1945 in Germany.

The Blankenese Shipwrecks

It’s easy to spot the shipwrecks when the tide is low, but they disappear quickly later in the day. We are talking about the Blankenese Shipwrecks, which consists of two ships that wrecked around Hamburg decades ago.

Today, they serve as breakwaters to protect the Elbe shore. For some people in the city, living in the largest harbor in Germany might be part of what it means. For us, it was a great excuse to take our drone to a new piece of Hamburg and see one of the most unusual things to see in Hamburg with our own eyes and cameras.

The German Food Additives Museum

During our first time in Hamburg as Fotostrasse, we decided to explore the area where our hotel was, which is how we found out about the German Food Additives Museum. Called the Deutsches Zusatzstoffmuseum in German, this small museum is dedicated to explaining the use of various chemicals and other substances in the food we eat every day.

We thought this was good enough for us, so we headed there without knowing what to expect. But we left the museum wondering about everything presented and how people should know more about it. This is what made this museum so fascinating.

This is why we must close this list with this cool and unusual place to see in Hamburg.

Prizeotel Hamburg-City is a budget design hotel located a few minutes walking from Hamburg’s central train station and bus station. Very close to Hafencity, this hotel is located in a quiet neighborhood, had a fantastic shower and a huge bed that will make you sleep like a king. Designed by the famous Karim Rashid, this is a design hotel on a budget that beyond great. Continue reading, and you will understand why!
When I entered my room, I knew I had made the right choice. Inside my room, there were three beds, two small ones and a large one where I decided to sleep. The walls are covered in newspaper articles mentioning sights and stories from Hamburg. I loved the yellow boxed that can be used to store your bags and have keys to make everything safer. Inside the bathroom everything was clean, and the shower was as powerful as it can be. But, the thing that caught my eye was the small bag close to the sink. There you can find what can be only described as a rescue package, featuring tampons and condoms! If you forgot about it, Superbude didn’t forget about you!

We have some tips if you are wondering where to stay in Hamburg

The first hotel we advise you to visit is the Prizeotel Hamburg City. This budget-designed hotel has one of the best showers we have ever used in Germany.

Superbude is also fantastic. Try their designed hostel in Hamburg St. Pauli or their Altona Paradise hotel. We stayed on both before, and they are excellent.

INNSiDE by Meliá Hamburg Hafen is in the same area as Deutsches Zusatzstoffmuseum. It has a great view of the canals that pass in front of it, and we know you will love it there.

The Hotel City House is the most central among the ones we share here and has a more classical look. Close to Hamburg’s beautiful Rathaus and everything you’ll need to find your way around town.

Beyond the Tourist Trail: Exploring Hamburg’s Quirkiest Attractions

Felipe Tofani

Felipe Tofani

Felipe Tofani is a passionate designer with a penchant for crafting unique experiences and a mixed taste in music. As the curator behind this blog's explorations, he takes pride in discovering fascinating destinations. Whether unearthing hidden gems or sharing captivating historical narratives, Felipe is the creative force driving the stories you find here. Join him on a journey of design, discovery, and the delightful rhythm of unconventional tunes.View Author posts