Germany’s second biggest city is also one of its most cosmopolitan destinations. As such, Hamburg has a lot to offer to visitors; but it can all add up and become very expensive. If you are visiting this vibrant city and want to save some money, here is a nice selection of free things to do in Hamburg.
Go for a Stroll in the Park at Planten und Blomen
Hamburg’s most famous park stretches along the city center all the way down to the harbour. This beautiful urban park features one of the largest Japanese gardens in Europe, a daily display of fountains “dancing” to music, and a tropical greenhouse. During spring, when a lot of flowers are in bloom, the views are spectacular. In summertime, there are a few festivals and performances taking place in the park; while in winter, visitors can enjoy skating in the ice rink.
Admire the Architecture at HafenCity
This waterfront neighbourhood features some of the most ambitious architecture projects in Hamburg, with the Elbphilarmonie building commanding lots of attention. Years ago, this area used to be one of the most neglected parts of the city. Today, it is one of Europe’s biggest building projects. You can get an overview of the project at the Kesselhaus InfoCenter and take one of the free walking tours.
Soak in the Atmosphere of the Altona Fish Market
Every Sunday at the break of dawn, one of Hamburg’s best shows gets underway. Starting at 5 am, the market comes to life with the cries of fish vendors, bargain hunters looking for the best deals, and sleepy-eyed tourists eager to see the show. By 9:30, it’s all over; so you should do the effort to get there early. The market has been open for business for over 300 years, and it’s become one of Hamburg’s iconic landmarks.
Cross the Alter Elbtunnel
Also known as the St. Pauli Elbe Tunnel, this subterranean passage has been used by pedestrians for over a hundred years to cross the Elbe river to the other side of the city. The tunnel is less than a third of a mile long, but it’s worth a visit because of its historical heritage. Besides, you’ll get rewarded with stunning views of the city’s skyline from the other side of the river.
Wander Around Speicherstadt
Recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the red-brick buildings that line the Speicherstadt are the world’s largest continuous warehouse complex. The district was built as a free zone to store goods coming into and out of Hamburg’s port. The Speicherstadt lies just next to the HafenCity. Its fantastic 19th-century brick buildings stand in contrast to the modern architecture. Today, the old warehouses are still used to store goods, but some of them now house museums, such as the Hamburg Dungeon.
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Have you been to Hamburg? Are there any other free things to do that you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment and let us know!