3 Days in Hamburg: The Perfect Itinerary

Updated on January 20, 2024  

3 days in hamburg

Planning a trip to Hamburg? This straightforward 3-day itinerary is your go-to guide for making the most of your three days in Hamburg. From iconic landmarks to local hidden gems, we've got your itinerary sorted for a memorable visit to this vibrant city.

Hamburg 3-Day Itinerary – Day 1


Wander through Hamburg's historic Speicherstadt and be struck by the imposing beauty of the towering red-brick warehouses that line the waterways.

This area, holding the title of the world's largest warehouse complex, takes you back to a time when spices, coffee, and tea were stored in these monumental buildings. [1]

Speicherstadt photo

Built on timber-pile foundations and laced with canals, Speicherstadt is not just an architectural marvel; it’s a testament to Germany's industrial heritage.

Visit Spicy’s Spice Museum within this district to get a whiff of exotic aromas from around the globe. Photographers and history enthusiasts alike will revel in capturing its picturesque facades reflecting off the calm canal waters.


HafenCity is a fresh and modern part of Hamburg where you can see amazing buildings right on the water.

Built on an island called Grasbrook, it came to life in 2008 and has quickly become a place people love for its cool port, art spots, museums, lively nights out, and lots of bridges to explore.

While you're there, soak up the sights of towering glass structures that reflect the sky and sea.

Don't miss walking along the docks or popping into a gallery. Next up after HafenCity is the stunning Elbphilharmonie – let's head there!


As you leave the modern marvels of HafenCity, make your way to the Elbphilharmonie. This concert hall looks like a giant wave in the city skyline. You can't miss it! Nor can your Instagram not have a photo of it.

The Elbphilharmonie is not just a music place. It's also a symbol that shows how important culture is to Hamburg.

Elbphilharmonie hamburg photo

You should definitely go see it on Day 1 of your Hamburg trip. From far away or up close, this building will wow you with its cool design and huge size. Inside, they have concerts where you can hear great music.

Even if there are no concerts when you visit, it's still worth going inside to see the amazing views of Hamburg from high up.

Miniatur Wunderland (Miniature Wonderland)

At Miniatur Wunderland, you'll find the world's largest model railway exhibit.

Founded in 2000, it's recognized by Guinness World Records for its size. [2] The exhibit features miniature versions of cities and landscapes from around the world, with exhibits shifting from day to night every 12 minutes.

Miniatur Wunderland photo

It's a popular tourist attraction in Hamburg with long opening hours. It can get quite crowded, so plan ahead if you want to visit this fun destination during your three-day itinerary in Hamburg.

Michel (St. Michael's Church)

St. Michaelis Church, known as the Michel, is a beautiful baroque church in Hamburg. Its tower, with a distinctive copper hood, stands out in the city’s skyline and offers amazing views from its bell tower.

Climbing 453 steps leads to the lookout platform, providing a sweeping view of the city and harbor.

st michael church hamburg

This historic church, dating back to 1912, symbolizes Hamburg’s maritime history and cultural significance.

St. Michael's Church is built upon the foundation of two previous churches, adding to its historical allure for those intrigued by the city's past.

See a Musical

After exploring the elegant Michel, immerse yourself in Hamburg's vibrant arts scene by catching a musical performance.

Hamburg is renowned for its rich theatrical traditions, with numerous venues showcasing an array of captivating shows.


You can look forward to enjoying world-class productions at theaters like Operettenhaus and Stage Theater im Hafen, providing you with an extraordinary cultural experience right in the heart of the city.

In addition to its historical and architectural marvels, Hamburg offers visitors the chance to indulge in live entertainment, adding another layer of excitement to your 3-day itinerary.

Things to do in Hamburg in 3 days – Day 2

Rathaus (City Hall)

The Rathaus, located in the heart of Hamburg's Rathausmarkt, is a massive neo-Renaissance building with 647 interior rooms spread across its four floors.

Adjacent to the Stock Exchange (Borse), it is easily accessible by U-Bahn line 3 to Rathaus station, local buses, or other means of transport such as biking or taxi.

hamburg city hall

This significant landmark captivates visitors with both its impressive architecture and historical significance. A must-see on your 3-day itinerary in Hamburg, the Rathaus embodies the city’s rich history and grandeur.


After exploring the grandeur of Rathaus (City Hall), head to Jungfernstieg, one of Hamburg's oldest streets dating back to 1235.

Jungfernstieg offers a picturesque promenade with stunning views that are worth capturing.

Not only is it home to some of Hamburg's finest shops and boutiques, but it also gives access to several must-visit tourist attractions such as Speicherstadt Warehouse District, Miniature Wonderland, Elbphilharmonie concert hall, and beautiful vistas across the lake.

It's recommended you start your exploration at this historic street before delving into other parts of Hamburg.

Lombardsbrücke (Lombard Bridge)

After exploring the charming Jungfernstieg area, head over to Lombardsbrücke (Lombard Bridge) for a delightful experience. This bridge allows you to stroll over the Alster and enjoy picturesque views of Hamburg's waterways and cityscape.

In the past, it used to separate the Outer Alster from the Inner Alster, adding historical significance to its scenic charm. Lombardsbrücke is more than just a bridge; it's an attraction in itself.

Visitors can take a leisurely walk around this beautiful area and explore its cozy cafes, inviting restaurants, and quaint shops.

Outer Alster from the Inner Alster

The Outer Alster from the Inner Alster are two lovely lakes in the heart of Hamburg. The larger Outer Alster is perfect for sailing, rowing, and enjoying water activities. On the other hand, the Inner Alster is surrounded by beautiful promenades - ideal for a leisurely walk or a scenic boat ride.

Both lakes offer stunning views of the city skyline and historic buildings along their shores.

alster lake hamburg

Day 2 of your Hamburg adventure could include exploring these tranquil Alster lakes, perhaps taking a relaxing boat tour or simply soaking in the peaceful atmosphere.

Whether it's strolling along the shoreline or trying out some water sports, experiencing these picturesque artificial lakes is indeed an essential part of Hamburg's natural beauty that you won't want to miss.

Planten un Blomen

At Planten un Blomen, a vast urban park in Hamburg, you can explore over 100 acres of greenery and tranquility.

Take a leisurely stroll through the park's diverse landscapes featuring Mediterranean fig trees, a serene Japanese teahouse, tropical plants, and one of the largest Japanese garden in Europe.


Don't miss the vibrant rose garden bursting with colorful blooms. Locals and travelers favor this captivating oasis for its natural beauty and daily summer theater performances.

Planten un Blomen is an essential stop on your 3-day itinerary in Hamburg to soak up nature's splendor while immersing yourself in unique cultural experiences within the heart of the city.

Main Church St. Jacobi

St. Jacobi Church is a famous Protestant church in Hamburg. It's well-known for its recitals, impressive organ, and stunning art treasures.

This church is a significant landmark and cultural attraction in the city, offering visitors an opportunity to explore historical and religious architecture.

It's a must-see for those interested in experiencing Hamburg's rich cultural and historical heritage.

Main church St. Petri

St. Petri Church, the oldest in Hamburg, dates back to the eleventh century. It's a significant landmark and a popular site for visitors due to its rich history. As part of your 3-day itinerary in Hamburg, exploring this historic church provides insight into the city's past and architectural heritage.

Located at the center of Hamburg, St. Petri Church is an essential stop during your visit.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the cultural and historical significance of this ancient church while experiencing day two of their weekend itinerary in Hamburg.

Kontorhaus Quarter

After visiting the Main church St. Petri, head to the Kontorhaus Quarter and Chilehaus as part of your Hamburg itinerary.

The Kontorhaus Quarter is an urban area in central Hamburg known for its dense buildings, while the Chilehaus stands out as the most famous building in this district.

chilehaus photo

Designed by Fritz Höger and built by Henry Brarens Sloman, the ten-story Chilehaus stands as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The distinctive shape and striking red-brick facade of the Chilehaus make it an essential stop on any visit to Hamburg. Take a leisurely stroll around the building to truly appreciate its architectural grandeur and historical significance.

Experience the nightlife at Reeperbahn

After exploring the architectural marvels of Chilehaus, immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife at Reeperbahn.

Located in St. Pauli district, this bustling entertainment hub is renowned for its lively atmosphere filled with nightclubs, bars, restaurants, art galleries, cabarets, and theaters.


The area offers an eclectic mix of entertainment options that cater to both locals and tourists alike - making it a must-see destination to soak up the energetic and diverse nightlife scene of Hamburg.

Hamburg in 3 Days – Day 3


The Landungsbrücken is a bustling hub in Hamburg's vast port, offering breathtaking views of the harbor and city skyline.

As a major tourist attraction, it provides access to boat tours and ferries for exploring the port and surrounding areas.

Skyline Bar 20up

With its lively atmosphere, including restaurants, shops, and entertainment options, this area is a must-visit for experiencing Hamburg's maritime charm.

Moreover, serving as a transportation center with various travel modes available, the Landungsbrücken enables easy exploration of the city and beyond.

Stintfang Observation Deck

The Stintfang Observation Deck is a must-visit in Hamburg. It's located on the 8th floor and offers fantastic views of the city and the Elbe River.

You can walk up over 400 stairs or take an elevator to reach the observation deck at 106 meters for a panoramic view of Hamburg.

As part of your 3-day itinerary, visiting this observation deck provides a unique and breathtaking perspective of Hamburg. It's considered the highest viewing point in all of Hamburg and is popular among both tourists and locals alike.

So, don't miss out on this stunning view during your trip to Hamburg!

Alter Elbtunnel (Old Elb Tunnel)

After soaking in panoramic views from the Stintfang Observation Deck, head down to experience a unique architectural wonder - the Alter Elbtunnel.

This historic tunnel, opened in 1911, stretches under the Elbe River, connecting the city center with the docks on the southern banks.

Alter Elbtunnel photo

As you descend via its iconic green-hued lifts or winding stairs, marvel at tiled walls showcasing intricate designs. Once underground, take a leisurely stroll or rent a bike to explore this subterranean passage that still accommodates pedestrians and cyclists today.

It's not every day you get to walk beneath a river! The tunnel’s blend of industrial charm and functionality offers an intriguing glimpse into Hamburg’s maritime history and is sure to be an unforgettable part of your itinerary.

Hamburg Fish Market (Sundays)

On Sundays, don't miss the lively Hamburg Fish Market which draws crowds to the Elbe riverside. It's a great place for early risers and night owls since supermarkets are closed on Sundays, but the market buzzes with activity.


Experience the vibrant atmosphere as thousands of visitors flock here every Sunday morning to enjoy live music, fresh seafood, fruits, flowers, and more.

Whether you're an avid shopper or just there to soak up the ambiance, it's a must-visit spot during your 3-day Hamburg trip.

Treppenviertel (Staircase District) Blankenese

After spending a lively Sunday at the Hamburg Fish Market, take a leisurely stroll in Treppenviertel Blankenese.

This district is famous for its 5,000 steps, including the charming Strandtreppe (beach staircase), making it one of the hilliest areas in Hamburg.

Treppenviertel-Blankenese staircase

As you explore this former fishing and pilot village on the Elbe, soak in its serene ambiance and picturesque views.

Don’t miss out on visiting the quaint beach, admiring the elegant lighthouse, and savoring a delightful fish snack accompanied by a glass of wine or beer while immersing yourself in the luxurious lifestyle that Blankenese offers.

If You Have More Time after 3 Days in Hamburg

If you have more time, explore the Elbstrand (Elbe Beach) and visit the International Maritime Museum Hamburg. You can also check out the Planetarium or take a stroll through the Karo Quarter and Schanzen Quarter.

Elbstrand (Elbe Beach)

Elbe Beach, found in Blankenese, sits on the banks of the Elbe river. It's a sandy haven for barefoot strolls and stunning views of the harbor and riverside structures. 

The Elbe river in Hamburg forms tranquil lakes within various parks, offering ample opportunities for leisure and relaxation.

International Maritime Museum Hamburg

The International Maritime Museum in Hamburg is an impressive treasure trove for maritime enthusiasts.

With over 40,000 items, including model ships, construction plans, uniforms, and maritime art from Peter Tamm's collection, the museum offers a fascinating insight into maritime history and culture. [3]

international maritime museum hamburg photo

It covers diverse topics such as navigation and its impact on global history and trade. The exhibitions delve deep into the intricacies of engineering as well, making it an essential stop for anyone interested in the sea's influence on our world.

Additionally, the museum houses a comprehensive collection of artifacts that provide a unique understanding of seafaring life throughout different periods. 


Located in the Stadtpark, the Planetarium Hamburg is housed in an Art-Deco water tower and is a must-visit for its sophisticated technology. 

The multimedia orchestra under the hall's dome makes it one of the most advanced planetariums globally, offering an educational and unique experience to learn about our universe.

If you have more time during your visit to Hamburg, consider exploring these fascinating attractions as well.

Kunstmeile (Art Mile)

Discover the Kunstmeile in Hamburg, an association of five renowned art museums situated conveniently near the Alster and Elbe.

Purchase a 3-day Art Mile Pass for unlimited access to all five institutions, perfect for art enthusiasts.


Stroll along the famous Kunstmeile, take your time discovering new art, and enjoy a little goody included with the pass. It's an ideal rainy-day activity between the Alster and Elbe.

Karo Quarter and Schanzen Quarter

Explore the vibrant and trendy Karo Quarter, where you can wander through charming streets lined with unique boutiques, cozy cafes, and lively bars. Embrace the bohemian atmosphere as you soak in the local art scene and immerse yourself in the laid-back ambiance of this offbeat neighborhood.

Uncover a different side of Hamburg by strolling through the Schanze Quarter, known for its eclectic mix of vintage shops, hip eateries, and bustling nightlife. Dive into the local culture as you mingle with locals at lively pubs or browse through independent stores offering one-of-a-kind treasures.


Both quarters offer an alternative perspective on Hamburg's lifestyle and are perfect for those seeking a more unconventional experience beyond the city's main attractions. With their distinctive charm and diverse offerings, these neighborhoods provide an authentic glimpse into Hamburg's contemporary culture.

St. Marien Cathedral

After exploring the vibrant Karo Quarter and Schanzen Quarter, a visit to St. Marien Cathedral is an enriching experience. This beautiful Catholic Cathedral stands as a significant landmark in Hamburg.

Admire its imposing yet appealing red-bricked structure with twin spires that dominate the city's skyline. The cathedral was once the seat of the ancient Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hamburg, adding historical significance to its awe-inspiring presence.

Inside, you'll find a prominent statue of Bishop Ansgar, further solidifying its cultural and religious importance.

Dialog im Dunkeln (Dialog in the dark)

At Dialog im Dunkeln, located in Hamburg's historic Speicherstadt, visitors experience life in complete darkness. You rely on your senses other than sight to navigate and explore the surroundings.

Blind hosts guide you through this unique experience, emphasizing skills rather than deficiencies. The exhibition aims to connect people in a playful manner while providing an impactful and memorable journey that challenges perceptions of the everyday world.

In addition to the exhibition, there is a dinner in the dark experience where visitors can embark on a culinary journey in a completely dark restaurant.

Pro Tip: Get a Hamburg Card

When visiting Hamburg, getting a Hamburg Card is a smart move. It offers you unlimited access to public transportation and provides great discounts on various attractions.

The card comes in different durations, such as 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, 4-day, and 5-day options and can save you money if you plan to explore the city extensively.

For just €10.50 per day, it's both cost-effective and convenient for individuals or families. Whether you are planning to visit museums, galleries or simply roam around the city hassle-free with public transport, the Hamburg Card has got you covered!

Plus since it's valid from midnight until early morning of the next day - you have more time to enjoy all that this beautiful German city offers without worrying about additional expenses.

Conclusion: Hamburg 3 Days Itinerary

In essence, Hamburg's 3 Days Itinerary unfolds a captivating tapestry of experiences, weaving through an array of things to do in Hamburg. From the maritime allure of the harbor to the cultural richness of museums, each day offers a distinct palette of exploration.

One day immerses you in historic landmarks like the Elbphilharmonie, while two days beckon you into the vibrant St. Pauli district and serene parks. By blending modernity with tradition, this itinerary encapsulates the essence of Hamburg, ensuring a triad of days brimming with diverse, memorable moments.

Related: How Many Days In Hamburg is Enough?


1: Speicherstadt UNESCO Site Hamburg - hamburg.com, retrived from https://www.hamburg.com/architecture/11748606/speicherstadt
2: Model train plays record-breaking melody with 2,840 water glasses | Guinness World Records, retrived from https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/commercial/2021/4/model-train-plays-record-breaking-melody-with-2-840-water-glasses-654290
3: International Maritime Museum | Museums.EU, retrived from https://museums.eu/museum/details/832/international-maritime-museum

About the Author

Stephan Drescher, founder of germanytravel.blog, is a German travel expert and insider, providing trusted tips and advice for a perfect trip to Germany. Born & bred German.