Discover Hamburg like a local

Discover Hamburg like a local

Tips from locals are the best recommendation you can ever get when visiting a new destination. Sure, you can find out all about the main landmarks and the most popular places to eat or take a break from online travel guides - but only locals know the real heart and soul of the place, the attractions that are overrated, the ways to visit places for free, or the best facts about each corner of the city. You couldn’t ask for more! 

That is why we have gathered a unique list of tips to discover Hamburg like a local. If you are planning a trip to this wonderful German city you can read our earlier travel guide and these local recommendations so you don’t miss out on the best things to do in Hamburg! 


Things to do in Hamburg

Walk around the harbour 

The German city is famous for its harbour area, the Port of Hamburg. That is why it is not strange that the harbour promenade or Landungsbrücken is one of the favourite attractions here! These piers, located on the banks of the Elbe river, were once used as a terminal for steamships. Nowadays this area makes for a great walk, and most visitors choose to pair it with a visit to the Speicherstadt or Warehouse district. This impressive area is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you can learn a lot about the city’s history while you explore these streets. It is one of the best things to do in Hamburg! 

Take a break or have a picnic at the Planten und Blomen Park

If you want to discover Hamburg like a local, you’ll have to come here to the Planten und Blomen Park at least once. As the proud holder of the European Green Capital award, earned back in 2011, Hamburg takes good care of its large parks. The Planten und Blomen Park is considered the city’s green heart, so it is a popular meeting place for friends and families, especially during summer. As it is just a short walk from the City Hall you can easily include it in your itinerary around the center as a perfect place to rest for a while. 

Step in the Town Hall

Located in the Altstadt quarter in the city center, The Town Hall or Rathaus is the seat of local government. The beautiful facade is a good example of the Neo-Renaissance architectural style,  and it is the first thing that catches the attention when you get to the square. The building was constructed during a period of wealth, so it is no surprise that it is beautifully ornate and carefully designed. Besides taking photos of the exterior, you can step into the main lobby, as it is a public area. Not many people know about this, so make sure to keep the secret! 

Visit the Fish Market

The city’s Fish Market is undoubtedly one of the locals’ favourite. It takes place every Sunday morning, but beware of the opening hours: the schedule is from 5 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. from April to October and from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. from November to March! The reason for these early opening hours is said to be related to the church: they would only let a market take place on a Sunday if it ended before Mass time so as to not impact church attendance numbers! Here you can find a lot more than fresh fish: fruits, flowers, clothing and souvenirs are sold in stalls around the fish auction hall or Fischauktionshalle. Coming here is one of the top things to do in Hamburg! 


Things to do in Hamburg

Go shopping around the Schanzenviertel district

Who doesn’t love a quirky neighbourhood? The Schanzenviertel area is known for its independent record stores and unique boutiques. This is where locals come to escape the touristy areas and enjoy an afternoon of looking for hidden treasures in the vintage stores, taking pics of urban artworks or having a drink at a chic café. Join them to discover the essence of the city’s counter-culture! 

Travel across the Köhlbrandbrücke bridge for the best views

This impressive structure is a 3.9-kilometer bridge considered one of the main landmarks there. To cross it you can take the bus number 151 and admire the panorama over the busy harbour. As you will also enjoy the views over the waters, we suggest that you take this ride around sunset time: it will make it much more special! 

Discover the Kunsthalle Museum

If you love art, this is a must-visit in Hamburg. Housing a collection that covers seven centuries of European art, it is one of the largest museums in the country. Here you can admire artworks by world famous artists such as Rubens, Monet, Kirchner, Munch and Picasso among others. If you can, you should visit it on a Thursday evening. Between 5.30 P.M. and 9 P.M. when tickets are cheaper: Just €8 instead of the usual €14, and student price just €5 instead of the usual €8. This way it is easier to include a visit here in your travel budget! 

Take a Free Walking Tour

Walking around the city is a great way to explore every corner: why not join a Free Walking Tour to hear all about the history behind the streets with an authentic local Hamburg guide in the flesh? You will learn so much more about Hamburg this way including lesser-known facts, local legends and insider recommendations - and you decide what you want to pay your guide at the end! 

You can read more about the different free tours in Hamburg, check out the verified reviews and book online for free on Can you think of a better plan?


We hope that these tips will help you discover Hamburg like a local. As you can see, there are many interesting and unique things to do in Hamburg, so a little planning in advance will go a long way to ensuring you make the most of your time here. 

If you want to read more travel guides and tips to visit destinations from all over the world, check out our blog or watch our video guides. And keep on exploring! 


By Georgina Blasco
Better Features in the App
cashless tips
Cashless Tips
cashless tips
Google / Apple Pay
cashless tips
Nearby Map