8 Cool and Alternative Things to Do in Hamburg in Winter
One of my favorite cities in Germany is Hamburg. While many people may not flock to Hamburg in winter, it certainly has enough to keep one for a weekend break. This is a guide to things to do in Hamburg during winter.
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8 Cool and Alternative Things to Do in Hamburg in Winter
I love traveling to places during winter. In fact, I much prefer it. I do not enjoy sweating and in Germany, where air conditioning is a luxury and commodity, I often find it hard to get off when traveling during the summer months. And while I’m having a terrace beer or coffee as well as the next guy or gal, I’ll gladly have one inside to avoid traveling during warm months.
Many people in Hamburg want to tell you to come back during the summer months, and while I’m sure summer has come to an end. There are so many things to do in Hamburg, Germany during the winter months. Some are pretty obvious, but others take a bit of research to get planned.
I am just convinced that Hamburg has a lot to offer tourists and travelers no matter what time of year they travel to the city day in Hamburg or much, much more. But, Hamburg in winter will not let you down if you plan accordingly.
What to Pack for Hamburg in winter
⇒ Mobile power bank: Hamburg does not experience a tropical winter and therefore the big weather wants to deplete your phone’s battery. Welcome to Germany. At all times, you definitely want to bring a mobile power bank along with you. I recommend this one bit heavy, but powerful.
⇒ Europe power strip (for US plugs): One of my favorite tips for traveling to Europe is to bring a power strip with you. You can either use an adapter or buy one with a different plug but then you can put all of your other cords into it. USB sections to plug things into.
⇒ Dry Bags from The Friendly Swede: I always like my dry bag from The Friendly Sweden when I’m on the road. They keep my equipment dry in otherwise lousy weather places (ahem … Hamburg). They are a great investment for travelers and do not really cost too much. Click here to see the dry bags I use.
Germany Resources to Bring With You
If you’re heading to Germany for a break that’s longer than just a weekend, you may want to invest in a travel guide or phrasebook. Below are a few of our recommendations for each. Lonely Planet is popular for its hidden gems, Fodor’s popular for its practical information on sights, and Berlitz for its great language learning.
Do You Need Travel Insurance For Germany?
Yes, you definitely need to hitch the road to Germany. While Germany is pretty safe and it is unlikely you want it, you really never know. We recommend getting insurance with the Norwegian company, SafetyWing. They have excellent policies and worldwide coverage and are an excellent choice for travelers.
>> Germany travel insurance quote
Best Tours in Hamburg
Hamburg is such a cool and quirky city but it is sometimes hard to see it all. There are our recommendations in Hamburg and here are our recommendations:
Are you looking for a car for your winter trip to Hamburg? Driving in Germany can be fun, yet a bit daunting for those not comfortable behind a wheel. Germans are safe drivers, but yes, they do drive pretty fast! I only recommend renting a car if you’re comfortable and want to experience the highway at its finest. You do not need a car in Hamburg city, of course, but outside the city you may want one.
>> Click here to rent a car in Germany
Hamburg City Pass
One of our top recommendations for getting the most out of a city is to grab the city pass if one is available. Hamburg has a great city pass and offers free and many discounts to those visiting the German city.
>> Click here to buy the Hamburg City Pass
What to Do During Winter in Hamburg
Take a Break in the Forest
I know you’re just why I listed ‘going to a forest’ first, but trust me. I like the forest probably 99% more than the average person, but I love visiting and getting lost in the woods of Northern Europe during the winter. I find them creepy and haunting and especially photogenic.
Hamburg has quite a few green spaces, parks, and city forests … which is something I was extremely surprised and pleased about when visiting. We happily walked through them when we found them and the fog was heavy which added to the mystery of the place.
Hop On a Hamburg Cruise at Dusk
While this activity may have been better in summer due to the weather, I can highly recommend it as a winter activity, too. The reason? Fewer crowds and you get to do it at dusk (which is like 3pm in Hamburg in winter).
The ship is going through shipbuilding docks, seeing historic German warships and massive container ships.
Enjoy Hamburg’s Best Cafes and Coffee
The coffee and cafe scene in Hamburg is among Germany’s best. It’s a great time to explore Hamburg in winter and that’s the best time to explore it and explore it thoroughly. I tend to prefer specialty coffee, but the city caters to all types of coffee and tea lovers.
Click here to find out which Hamburg cafes I recommend for awesome coffee.
Visit the Hamburg Planetarium
We went out to visit the Planetarium when in Hamburg and unfortunately, our tickets got mixed up, so we did not have a chance to actually do anything there. On the other hand, I really happy we actually ventured out that way as we have some cool parks along the way.
And … the planetarium looks amazing inside. I am a nerd for all things space and astro- and it seems like the planetarium I would have thoroughly enjoyed.
To find out more information, check out their website.
Indulge in Hamburg’s Craft Beer Scene
One thing I love about Hamburg is that it is the epicenter of craft beer in Germany. Many would be quick to say that Berlin reigns king, but I beg to differ. I have always found Hamburg on the cusp of something bigger and the brewers in Hamburg more willing to experiment.
Maybe it’s the Nordic feel to the city? Or maybe the locals just have that ingenuity about that that inspires them to go big or go home. Whatever it is – I’m diggin ‘it. Click here to read about craft beer in Hamburg.
Are you wanting to learn more about craft beer in Hamburg? If so, this tour takes you around the city. Definitely worth it, in my opinion!
Check out Awesome Hamburg Street Art, Markets, and Everyday Life
Hamburg has a unique feel to the city compared to that of other parts of Germany. There are a few weekend markets in Frankfurt, but maybe nothing as cool as the ones you will inevitably stumble upon in Hamburg.
Street art rules the streets and the locals go about their everyday routine in such a cool and careless manner. Down where I live in Frankfurt, life is stiff and everyone looks slightly more stressed than our neighbors in the north. I must say I prefer the effortlessness of the north.
Trace Someone’s Search for a Better Life at Emigration Museum BallinStadt
This museum is something I always wanted to check out in Hamburg. Most of my ancestors came from Eastern Europe in search of a better life across the Atlantic in the United States. In fact, some of my ancestors came through the same halls that I walked into when I went into this museum.
So many people are looking for new and better lives for their future generations.
The Emigration Museum BallinStadt does not take long to navigate through and does not just tell stories and memorabilia from emigration centuries ago, but stuff from recent migrations. If you are interested in visiting, it is easily reached via public transportation from the city center. There is a restaurant / cafe on-site.
To find more information, check out their website.
Go to Miniatur Wunderland
Off the path? Not particularly. Obscure? Yes. My partner went to the Minature Museum of Hamburg (Miniatur Wunderland) and found it very crowded, but a good time spent on the city and other cities around the world. The museum is split into different countries and has the opportunity to see scenes from the daytime and nighttime in the different areas.
Unfortunately, due to the incessant Sunday crowds, he left the museum pretty quickly, but hey said he had been on a weekday and there were fewer children around (sorry, kids!)
Where to Stay in Hamburg
I highly recommend staying at the Movenpick Hotel in Hamburg for your weekend getaway. While it may make a little more sense for some budgets, the amenities and location make up for it.
The hotel is so super-centralized and near everything I mentioned above in this guide- or it’s a quick tram or train ride away. They therefore have different tiers of rooms making up a mid-range, depending on which animal you book. I highly recommend the Movenpick Hotel in Hamburg.
Click here for rates and availability | Click here to check reviews on TripAdvisor
Are you looking for something a bit more budget-friendly? If so, Hamburg has several options but our favorite is Pajama Park. They have two locations one in St. Pauli and the other in Sternschanze. The colorful hostel is welcoming and welcoming and will be located in a great place no matter which one you choose! Pajama Park.
Is Hamburg on your list? What is your favorite thing about the city??
* I was a guest of the Movenpick Hotel Hamburg in collaboration with Come to Hamburg while in Hamburg this January. All opinions are my own.
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