Weekend in Hamburg: The Perfect 2 Days Itinerary

Updated on January 20, 2024  

two days in hamburg

Planning a quick trip to Hamburg can be overwhelming. You've only got 48 hours to soak in this German gem's atmosphere. Good news: our perfect two-day itinerary highlights the must-sees and hidden treasures, ensuring you experience the best of Hamburg.

Keep reading and let's dive into your adventure!

Hamburg 2-Day Itinerary: Day 1

Start your day exploring the historic Speicherstadt and marvel at the modern architectural wonder of the Elbphilharmonie. Take a leisurely harbor cruise, stroll through the Old Elbe Tunnel, and immerse yourself in the vibrant Portuguese Quarter before dining at Krameramtsstuben and admiring St Michael’s Church.


Speicherstadt is where Hamburg's heart beats with history and modern vibes. Wander through the neighborhood, and see how old warehouse buildings hug the canals. They stand tall, telling stories of the past while hosting cool coffee shops and tasty restaurants.

It's a place that mixes its rich history with fresh new things to do.

Speicherstadt photo

You'll love walking along the water, spotting boats as you go. Pop into a shop or grab a bite at one of the local spots. This area gives you a perfect taste of what Hamburg is all about – tradition hand in hand with today’s fun times.


You can't miss the Elbphilharmonie while you're exploring Hamburg. Located at HafenCity, it stands tall near the water's edge and shines as a modern wonder in the city. This building will catch your eye with its wave-like glass design and is known for its excellent sound inside. A great photo for your Instagram.

The concert hall is one of the top spots to see because it's not just about music; it also offers an amazing view of Hamburg from high up.

Elbphilharmonie hamburg photo

Go inside, and you'll feel like you stepped into the future! The Elbphilharmonie cost a lot to build but now hosts some of the best concerts around. Look at this place as more than just a music hall—it's a piece of art that tells stories through its structure and sounds.

Don't forget to take a moment here on your weekend in Hamburg; it's truly something special that adds magic to your 2-day itinerary.

Harbor Cruise

Get on a harbor cruise to see Hamburg from the water. Glide past big ships and busy docks. Listen to stories about how important the port is for Hamburg. Enjoy this relaxing ride as part of your first day in the city.


The 2-hour guided tour comes with live commentary. Learn cool facts about what you're seeing, like why those docks look so impressive.

The cruise gives you a fresh view of Hamburg's maritime spirit, making it a highlight of your visit.

Old Elbe Tunnel

The Old Elbe Tunnel in Hamburg is a vital part of the city's history. It is a remarkable piece of German engineering, reaching 24 meters in depth and spanning 427 meters in length. [1]

Opened in 1911, this tunnel was an impressive feat at that time and quickly became an iconic feature of the city.

Alter Elbtunnel photo

Connecting the central city to the dockyards under the river, it allows pedestrians and cyclists to cross from one side to another in just ten minutes, providing a unique experience for visitors while exploring Hamburg.

This historic landmark stands as an essential element of Hamburg's architectural heritage and continues to attract tourists from around the world due to its significance.

Portuguese Quarter

After exploring the historic Old Elbe Tunnel, head over to Hamburg's charming Portuguese Quarter. This neighborhood is famous for its excellent fish restaurants, drawing in food enthusiasts from all around.

Located a short walk away from the city center, it is easily accessible and provides a unique cultural experience. The vibrant atmosphere of the Portuguese Quarter attracts both locals and tourists, adding diversity to the city's offerings.

Visiting this area on your first day in Hamburg will give you a taste of the rich culinary scene and cultural diversity that the city has to offer.

St Michael’s Church

After enjoying a delightful meal at Portuguese Quarter, head over to St Michael’s Church, also known as the Michel. This stunning baroque church is a significant landmark in Hamburg and one of the finest Protestant baroque churches in Hanseatic style.

st michael church hamburg

With its seating capacity for up to 2500 people, it stands as the largest church in Hamburg. The highlight of this visit is ascending the bell tower, offering an awe-inspiring panoramic view of the city, making it a must-see sight on your 2-day itinerary.

The church's grandeur and historical significance make it an essential stop for visitors exploring Hamburg. The breathtaking view from its bell tower provides an unforgettable experience and captivates all who visit.

Dine at Krameramtsstuben

At Krameramtsstuben, you'll discover a charming and cozy restaurant nestled in a historic building. This popular dining spot is renowned for its warm hospitality and rich history combined with modern influences.

The varied menu offers an ideal opportunity to savor the culinary delights of Hamburg, while the surrounding area provides cultural insights and unexpectedly good shopping opportunities.

Whether you're seeking delicious food, a quaint atmosphere, or intriguing historical surroundings, Krameramtsstuben is an essential stop on your Hamburg itinerary.

Weekend in Hamburg: Day 2

Miniatur Wunderland

Step into the fascinating world of Miniatur Wunderland, home to the world's largest model railway system as recognized by Guinness World Records. [2]

Covering an impressive 15,715 meters of track and featuring 1,040 trains, it is a testament to German engineering and precision.

Miniatur Wunderland photo

The attraction showcases intricate mini replicas of renowned global landmarks and provides a captivating peek into cities like Venice and New York with meticulous attention to detail.

As you wander through this miniature wonderland, you'll be astounded by the craftsmanship that brings these tiny worlds to life.

Check out the Hamburg City Hall and Rathausmarkt

The Hamburg City Hall is a must-see stop on your 2-day itinerary in the city. With its opulent entrance hall, it offers guided tours giving insights into its history and architecture.

The city hall is wheelchair accessible, ensuring inclusivity for all visitors. As a symbol of the city, it holds great historical and cultural significance and is popular among tourists for its unique architectural experience.

hamburg city hall

Rathausmarkt sits in front of the grand City Hall, hosting markets and events.

It's a bustling space at the heart of Hamburg, drawing visitors with its lively atmosphere. Easily accessible and central, it's an integral part of your 2-day Hamburg experience.

Kleine Alster Canal

Explore the charming Kleine Alster Canal as part of your second day in Hamburg. This picturesque waterway meanders through historic old town and modern buildings, offering a unique blend of past and present.

The canal leads to the lively Inner Alster Lake, providing a perfect setting for leisurely strolls or relaxing boat rides. As you wander along the canal, take in the vibrant atmosphere and immerse yourself in Hamburg's captivating waterfront areas.

With its connection to the Elbe River leading to the North Sea, Kleine Alster Canal presents an excellent opportunity to experience Hamburg's maritime heritage firsthand during your two-day itinerary.

Inner Alster Lake

The Inner Alster Lake is the smaller of Hamburg's two lakes, facing the city center and surrounded by impressive buildings like Jungfernstieg and City Hall.

This picturesque spot offers visitors a chance to enjoy leisure activities and take in the elegant boulevards and canals that define the area.

alster lake hamburg

The southern portion of the lake, known as Binnenalster, is particularly charming and attracts locals and tourists alike for its serene ambiance.

Whether you're strolling along its banks or taking a boat ride, Inner Alster Lake provides a tranquil escape right in the heart of Hamburg.

Kunsthalle Hamburg

Explore the Hamburger Kunsthalle, a renowned art museum in Hamburg with an impressive 700-year collection of European art.

This sizable museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts and tourists alike due to its vast array of artwork from the Renaissance to contemporary times.


The museum's interconnected buildings offer visitors an underground passage for easy exploration and guided tours provide insight into the rich cultural and artistic heritage it holds.

The Hamburger Kunsthalle is part of the Hamburg art mile, representing an integral part of the city's cultural identity. As one of Germany's largest art museums, it houses famous paintings and a diverse range of artwork that captivates visitors throughout history.

Reeperbahn Red Light District

Experience the vibrant and diverse atmosphere of Hamburg by visiting the famous Reeperbahn Red Light District.

Located in the St. Pauli district, this area is not only known for its nightlife and red-light district but also offers multiple entertainment options such as bars and clubs.


Take a guided tour to explore legendary spots and hear interesting anecdotes about the lives and loves of this iconic district.

A visit to the Reeperbahn adds an exciting dimension to your 2-day itinerary, allowing you to immerse yourself in the city's diverse nightlife and entertainment offerings.

If You Have More Time (After 2 Days in Hamburg)

Discover the Hamburg Fish Market

The Hamburg Fish Market, a historic institution since 1703, bustles with vibrant energy every Sunday morning. It offers an array of goods, including fish, fruit, flowers, clothing, and souvenirs.

This lively market is situated along the riverbanks and provides visitors with a unique glimpse into the city's culture and history.


For those visiting this iconic spot in Hamburg, indulging in the famous Fischbrötchen (fish sandwiches) is a must.

Visit the International Maritime Museum

The International Maritime Museum boasts an impressive collection of over 40,000 items dedicated to ships and maritime history. [3]

Housed in Hamburg's oldest standing historic warehouse in the Speicherstadt, it offers a captivating insight into seafaring traditions and technological advancements. Spend approximately 2 hours delving into fascinating exhibits before moving on to your next adventure.

international maritime museum hamburg photo

Once inside, you'll be enthralled by the diverse range of artifacts showcasing the city's deep-rooted connection with maritime exploration and trade. From model ships to navigational instruments and historical documents, every corner holds a treasure trove of nautical heritage waiting to be discovered.

Dine and Shop at Flohschanze

Flohschanze for a unique shopping and dining experience. The market offers an eclectic mix of clothes, antiques, and knick-knacks.

It's a great place to find one-of-a-kind items while immersing yourself in Hamburg’s local culture. You can also sample delicious food from various vendors, adding to the overall vibrant atmosphere of this lively marketplace.

Flohschanze is known for its wide array of goods; it's a perfect spot to pick up souvenirs or simply enjoy browsing through the diverse offerings.

Whether you're looking for vintage treasures or trendy fashion pieces, this market has something for everyone.

If you want to extend your stay in Hamburg, then check out our itineraries for:

Conclusion: 48 Hours in Hamburg

In just two days, you can see the best of Hamburg. From the stunning architecture of Elbphilharmonie to a relaxing harbor cruise, there's so much to explore. 

Whether you're into history and culture or simply want to enjoy great food, this itinerary has something for everyone.

So grab your camera and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in this beautiful German city!

Related: How Many Days In Hamburg is Enough?

Key Takeaways

  • See historic Speicherstadt and the modern Elbphilharmonie on Day 1.
  • Take a harbor cruise to learn about Hamburg's port history.
  • Visit Miniatur Wunderland, the world's largest model railway, on Day 2.
  • Enjoy views from St Michael’s Church and explore vibrant neighborhoods.
  • If time allows, check out the Fish Market and International Maritime Museum.


1: Information St. Pauli Elbtunnel, retrieved from https://www.hamburg-port-authority.de/en/road-network/information-st-pauli-elbtunnel
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.