Ultimate Guide to Exploring UNESCO Sites in Hamburg

Updated on January 16, 2024  

unesco sites hamburg

In this blog post, we'll be highlighting the UNESCO Sites in Hamburg, Germany. Hamburg, known for its rich history and cultural significance, is home to several sites recognized by UNESCO for their importance. Join us as we explore these notable landmarks that contribute to the city's global heritage.

UNESCO Sites in Hamburg


Speicherstadt stands out with its red brick buildings that line the waterways. These warehouses have thick walls and beautiful copper roofs, showing off old-world craftsmanship. This part of Hamburg was once a busy port where ships from all over would come to trade goods.

Now it's known for its unique look and historical value.

Speicherstadt photo

On July 5, 2015, this area got really special attention—it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. That means people all around the world recognize Speicherstadt as an important place to keep safe for future generations.

When you walk through these streets, you can almost feel the history in every brick and windowpane.

Kontorhaus District

The Kontorhaus District stands proud in Hamburg. Its streets line up with buildings that tell stories of the city's past. Back in 2015, this place earned its spot as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

You'll find it right in the heart of Altstadt, surrounded by Steinstraße, Meßberg, Klosterwall, and Brandstwiete.

chilehaus photo

One building you can't miss is the Chilehaus. It looks like a ship made of bricks and catches your eye from blocks away. This district isn't just big buildings though; it's about history and design coming together to show how Hamburg grew into what it is today.

People walk these streets every day without knowing they're stepping through pages of history!

UNESCO Tentative List

The UNESCO Tentative List is a list of properties that countries believe meet the criteria for World Heritage listing and Hamburg has one such heritage site.

Jewish Cemetery of Altona Königstraße in Hamburg

The Jewish Cemetery of Altona Königstraße in Hamburg is a place steeped in history. It's the city's oldest resting place for Jewish people, dating back to 1611. This large cemetery covers 1.9 hectares and holds deep importance for cultural and historical studies. [1]

Many experts think it should join other UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of its value. The cemetery stands as a strong symbol of Hamburg's long-standing tradition of freedom and tolerance.

It tells a story about the people who once lived here, leaving behind rich heritage markers waiting to be recognized on a global scale.

Special Mention

The Wadden Sea and Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park

Though not technically in Hamburg, the Wadden Sea is also a UNESCO world heritage site. It is the largest unbroken system of intertidal sand and mud flats in the world.

The Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park mainly consists of sand and mixed mudflats with shallow creeks, sand bars, and dune islands.

In 2011, the national park was added to the Wadden Sea. It represents the habitats of tidal flats, sandbanks, dunes, and agricultural areas in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

wadden sea

This unique ecosystem is protected by national parks in Germany as part of its conservation efforts.

Conclusion: UNESCO Sites in Hamburg

Hamburg boasts UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the vast Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District. These urban areas reflect the city's rich maritime history. Not to forget the Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park, also part of the prestigious list.

These sites are a must-see in Hamburg for anyone visiting this vibrant German city. Whether you're drawn by history, architecture, or nature, Hamburg's UNESCO sites offer something captivating for everyone.

Key Takeaways

  • Hamburg has two main UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District, both known for their history in trade and unique architecture.
  • The Jewish Cemetery of Altona Königstraße is on the UNESCO Tentative List because it's an important historical site from 1611.
  • Outside the city, the Wadden Sea and Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park are also UNESCO sites known for their natural beauty and biodiversity.


1: The Jewish Cemetery of Altona Königstraße. Sephardic Sepulchral Culture of the 17th and 18th century between Europe and the Caribbean - UNESCO World Heritage Centre, retrieved from https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5973/

About the Author

Stephan Drescher