They say Hamburg is all dark and weeping. However, when the sun is shining the city of Hamburg is a wonderful place to be! There are around a million things to do in Hamburg on a sunny day but as I don’t have a million hours to write about it, I’ve selected only the coolest ones. Enjoy!
I am a very new Hamburger-in. Nope, it doesn’t mean that I am a female version of hamburger, it means that I’ve started living in one of the most beautiful cities in Germany — Hamburg. It has been just a few months of being a resident of Eppendorf (one of the most favourite and prettiest areas in Hamburg) but I’ve managed to do some pretty cool things.
Are you in need of little inspiration how to spend your time in Hamburg? Great news! I’ve prepared for you a pretty long list of the coolest things to do in Hamburg on a sunny day. I hope you’ll find them helpful and feel free to share other cool activities to do in this city in the comments below.
1. Visit Planten un Blomen
Planten un Blomen (Plants and Flowers in English) in Hamburg is a gorgeous park with several thematic gardens, seating areas and sculptures. You can find there a Japanese Garden & Tea House, Mediterranean Terraces, Rose Garden, greenhouse with exotic plants and much more! There is a beautiful lake, pretty fountains and a few cosy cafeterias too.
It is located in the central part of Hamburg, very close to St. Pauli district and the central Alster area. You can get there with U-Bahn (U1 stop Stephanplatz, U2 stop Exhibition Halls, U3 stop St. Pauli), S-Bahn (S11, S21, S31 stop Bahnhof Dammtor), bus (bus 35 stop Hamburg Messe, Entrance Mitte and Ost, bus 112 stop Stephansplatz, Bus 112 Chamber of Crafts / Museum of Hamburg History / St. Pauli), by bicycle, car or by walk or any other city transport like an e-scooter (source: Planten un Blomen). I bet you’ll love it!
2. Bike to the Port
All Hamburgers (M) and Hamburgerins (F) have a bike! If they don’t have it, they definitely rent it during the ‘sunny season’ which is from May until October with some occasional rainy days in between! Biking is an amazing way how to explore Hamburg and its surrounding areas. There are dozens and dozens of bike routes and one of my favourites (so far guys, I have been here only for a few months) is the one from Eppendorf to the port.
The port of Hamburg is pretty fascinating because it is (without any exaggeration) huge! It is Germany’s largest seaport, third-busiest port in Europe and 15th largest worldwide (source: Wikipedia). Pretty impressive, right? This is the place where you can book a ferry to visit one of the islands in the Northern sea and get one of the best fish buns in the whole city! You get super cool views to the industrial port, elegant Elbphilharmonie and there are as well many ‘beach bars’ in this area.
3. Take a Wonderful Alster Route
Alster! The goddess of the city. The muse of all walk lovers! The Alhambra of Hamburg. Alster is a stunning lake in the centre of Hamburg surrounded by a gorgeous parks and river channels. The Alster Route takes approximately 1.5 to 3 hours (depending on your tempo, number of stops, etc.); and it is basically a walk around the outer part of the Alster lake.
You can start in the city centre, go up north taking the western side of the lake, turning at the Krugkoppelbrücke bridge and come back through the Eastern shore, or the other way around! You’ll have marvellous views to the busy lake’s life — you can watch sailing boats, paddle boarders, swans, ducks and so on. The park area is wonderfully green with plenty of different types of trees, seating areas and a few cafeterias and restaurants on both sides
4. See the Sunset from Schwanenwik
Alert for all sunset lovers! In case you’re in need of a bloody orange sky and a sun mirroring over the calm waves Alster, head up to Schwanenwik. It is a little park of the Mundsburg area located on the eastern side of the lake AussenAlster. It is one of the best spots to admire the altering colours of Hamburg’s sunset. Apart from having one of the most beautiful views in Hamburg, Schwanenwik is also well-known as a picnic/barbecue area. It is a hot spot of long summer nights at Alster.
5. Stand up on a Board & Paddle!
This water sport has made its boom very recently. My boyfriend — a born Hamburger says: “A few years back when I was younger nobody went paddling in Hamburg. Look now — all channels are packed with boards!” Nope he is not over 70 and yes, he is still pretty young, but his comment makes pretty much sense.
The SUP club was founded only in 2010 and SUP paddling has become extremely popular in Hamburg since then. The city is crossed by dozens and dozens of channels which are literally calling you to explore them. There are a few places in Hamburg where you can rent your stand up paddle — they’re easily searched in Google or found at the official website of Hamburg.
6. Kayak / Canoe or Sail through the Spectacular Channels
Are you ready for other water activities? If you visit or start living in one of the largest ports of Europe, you should spend some time on the water too! Rent a kayak, canoe or a little boat to discover the spectacular channels of Hamburg and enjoy a sunny day in the middle of the famous lake of Alster. Pack a little snack and have a fun picnic at one of Hamburg’s waters with great views of the city!
7. Get Lost in Nature
Nature in a city? Am I playing jokes on you? No, I am not! Hamburg is a truly amazing town, but it wouldn’t be one without the enormous possibilities of enjoying the nature within! There are dozens of parks and green areas like Eppendorfer Moor which is a smaller forest look-like area; gorgeous Stadt Park or the already mentioned Alster. In case you’re feeling overwhelmed with living in a big city (which rarely happens), you can easily escape to the nature. Greenery is all over Hamburg!
8. Go to the Beach!
Yes, there is a beach in Hamburg! It doesn’t look any exotic and the water is not turquoise, but it is lovely anyway. Don’t expect any Caribbean, the beaches are located by the river Elba and the water is rather brown-ish than blue-ish. There are a few small beaches a.k.a. Elbstrands in the southern part of Hamburg, around the city districts of Altona, Ottensen, Othmarschen and Blankenese.
9. Take a Little Trip to Blankenese
Posh but cute, Blankenese is a residential area of western Hamburg. It is well-known for fancy fish restaurants, beautiful villas built up on a hill and hundreds of steps one needs to walk down to get to the beach. The sands are yellow, the water is brown-ish (again don’t expect anything exotic it is a river beach), the atmosphere is charming, and the views are pretty!
You can get to Blankenese by bus no. 22 or you can get there easily by bike. The best bike route is alongside the shore of the river Elba where you can enjoy even more lovely views of the city! Visiting Blankenese is one of the coolest things to do in Hamburg on a sunny day!
10. Have a Drink or a Snack in Winterhude
Winterhude is a fancy district of Hamburg with enormous gastronomy options. Have a cocktail in Caipi-Colada, enjoy a glass of wine and tapas with great views in Spanische Treppen, or take a dinner in one of the plenty restaurants. You can find there everything from classic German cuisine through Italian, Greek, Indian, Lebanese, Chinese, Vietnamese to gluten-free and completely vegan restaurants like Froindlichst (highly recommended by this Vegan Guide).
Hamburg is a great city for all kinds of food lovers, including those who have food intolerances or are meat-free eaters. Hamburgers just love food! Exploring the tastes of different districts should be on your ‘what to do in Hamburg’ list!
11. Get some Views from Altonaer Balkon
Views, views, views! Raise your hand up if you’re up for some views! The views from Altonaer Balkon are a bit industrial but still very fascinating and unique. Altonaer Balkon is probably the biggest balcony in Hamburg and it has lots of greenery to enjoy. You can find there also a bronze sculpture named “Fischer” by German sculptor Gerhard Brandes from 1968 and camera obscure to see more details of the vibrant port of Hamburg. It is also an important part of a few hiking trails of the city.
12. Visit the Portuguese Neighbourhood
Are you in the mood for having a piece of pastel de nata or do you prefer seafood instead? No problem! Officially called Portugiesenviertel, Portuguese quarter is a small neighbourhood of Portuguese and southern European community which was firstly established in the 60ties (source: inyourpocket.com).
Portugiesenviertel is a perfect place to get some fresh coffee, take a dinner, breakfast or Sunday lunch. You can find there several Portuguese restaurants which serve tapas dishes, fresh seafood, pastry, coffee and mostly important delicious Portuguese wines! What a dream!
13. Have a Look at the Stunning Elbphilharmonie
Gorgeously beautiful piece of modern architecture to be seen from both the outside and the inside. The famous concert hall of Hamburg was finished in 2017 after 10 years of preparations and constructions. The cost of this phenomenal Elbphilharmonie which beautify the spectacular scenery of Hamburg’s port is €866 million!
This architectural object is perfectly photogenic from the outside and glamorously artistic from the inside. Apart from enjoying the plenty of concerts and other projects (see the programme here: https://www.elbphilharmonie.de) it offers you splendid views to the city of Hamburg. Elbphilharmonie should be definitely on your ‘what to do in Hamburg’ list. Although it has been a full part of the city only for the last 4 years it has become an untouchable icon of Hamburg.
14. Walk Through the Beautiful District of Eppendorf
It is the charming districts which give Hamburg the character! Each of them has a different vibe and Eppendorf is the green and elegant one. According to Wikipedia, the name Eppenthorp firstly appeared in 1140 and it was the very first village of Hamburg. Why do I love living and wandering through Eppendorf so much? It lies north of the Aussenalster lake which gives you great views and it is very green with altogether 6 parks.
The streets are very cosy, the buildings tall and elegant. Eppendorf has also many lovely bars, cosy cafeterias and restaurants. Moreover, the people seem to be very relaxed and kind. It is a very peaceful neighbourhood with great amenities and wonderful little streets to wander through — mostly on a sunny day!
15. Take a Picnic in one of Hamburg’s parks
Hamburg is a very green city, and this is definitely one of its biggest advantages. Thanks to the beautiful green areas like Stadt Park, Planten un Blumen or Alster, one doesn’t feel overwhelmed with the ‘concrete city jungle’ here. It is a great virtue of Hamburg to offer all people a place to sit and chill in the lawn surrounded only by trees, lakes and nature.
There are also some park areas in Hamburg where you can make your own barbecue. For example, the back part of Hayns park is opened for all BBQ lovers. Having a picnic or BBQ in Hamburg is super easy, chilled and splendid!
16. Check out the Posh Vilas in Ottensen
They call it Little Paris on the Elbe and it has turned from an industrial area to one of the most lucrative districts of Hamburg. What makes Ottensen that special? It is one of the oldest areas of the city. The first mentions are traded back to the 14th century. This means you can find beautiful architectural gems all around the neighbourhood. It is also very close to the river which gives it the ‘fisher village vibe’.
You can find there many restaurants, tiny shop corners, bars and cafeterias. It is one of the busiest places in Hamburg especially during sunny days when people gather in the district’s parks and terraces to enjoy the atmosphere. In addition to many old stunning buildings and fancy villas, you may also enjoy the cultural events and festivals of Ottensen.
17. Join One of the City’s Food & Culture Festivals
The food is of a great importance in Hamburg! One of the biggest ports in the whole world is mostly well-known for sea-food and fish cuisine. One of the tastiest ‘street foods’ is a bun with river crab salad. This love to food with the mixture of diversity has created dozens and dozens of culture & food festivals throughout the years.
Of course, most of them were cancelled this year as a result of that crazy virus destroying our lives, but they will return as soon as the world gets rid of the social distancing measures. One of the most favourites are Eppendorfer Landstraßenfest, Japanese festival, of course Christmas markets, Thai Street food festival and hundreds of more events! (Check this site to see what food festivals are coming next: geheimtipphamburg.de).
18. Have a Drink in Schanze, Two More in St. Pauli
Party and fun lovers, people who are in the mood for street gatherings, cool bars, music and underground culture should head up to two districts of Hamburg — Sternschanze and St. Pauli. Nightlife, culture, fun, great food, flea markets but also punkers, riots and all kind of weirdos can be found in these two neighbourhoods.
St. Pauli’s Reeperbahn is the centre of musical and cultural life in Hamburg. I can’t avoid mentioning that Beatles got famous by basically concerting in this district! Even though it can be pretty crazy over there (where is the party, there is the chaos, right?), it should be on your list of the things to do in Hamburg.
This is it, my lovely travellers! I am totally aware that I didn’t mention hundreds of other things to do in Hamburg on a sunny day. Hopefully this list will be growing as I’ll be exploring Hamburg and new ways of how to have fun in this beautiful place.
Enjoy Hamburg and don’t forget to share your love to the city with me!