I love visiting Hamburg. There is so much to do, see and visit to fill your time. If, however, you have an extra day or two, why not try going a bit further afield and go on one of the following day trips from Hamburg. Accessible by car or train, you could visit the coast, stroll around the capital and see the Berlin wall or visit one of the many castles in the area.
I reached out to my blogging friends for their suggestions for day trips from Hamburg and we have come up with six for you.
6 Great Day Trips from Hamburg
Recommended by Arzo from Arzo Travels
A fun and easy day trip from Hamburg is Bremen. Whether you take the train or drive yourself, it should take you about 70-90 minutes. There are direct trains routes from the train station to train station, so it is quite easy to get to Bremen.
In Bremen, you won’t even need a train to explore the city in a day.
The Bremen Hauptbahnhof (main train station) is located very close to the city centre and the old town so you can just easily walk there.
For your day, you should add following attractions to your itinerary: the Wallanlagen with the famous mill (and in the summer months, you have a flower display right in front of it), the Sögestrasse with the pig statues, and the market square with two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These sites are the stunning Rathaus (Town Hall) and the Roland Statue. Then make sure to visit the Böttcherstrasse, which is a short yet unique street with interesting architecture. One of the highlights of every Bremen trip might be the visit to the Schnoor – the Old Town of Bremen.
Colourful, old houses (dating back to the 15th century) and narrow, cobbled-stone streets filled with shops and restaurants are must-visit places.
To end your day, visit the Schlachte – a busy promenade (especially on warm days or in December) along the Weser River where restaurants and bars are lined up.
From there, it is easy to walk back to the train station or just hop on a tram that brings you back there within 5 minutes. Trains back to Bremen run all day (and a few at night), so there are no worries about getting back to Hamburg easily.
Recommended by Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan
The fascinating district of Wilhelmsburg is a very quick and easy day trip from the centre of Hamburg. It’s so close by that in some ways it could be considered part of Hamburg itself, but the vibe here is very different from what you will find in more touristy areas. In the past, this area was inhabited mainly by dockworkers. But when technological advances made their jobs obsolete, many of those dockworkers suddenly found themselves unemployed, and Wilhelmsburg gained a reputation as a poor, undesirable area.
Now, though, it’s been given a complete facelift and has become a model for sustainable and community-based urban planning. It’s fascinating to walk around the neighbourhood and admire the “case study houses” that are built using eco-friendly materials and innovative building techniques.
Be sure to check out the World War II air-raid bunker that’s been converted into a clean energy power plant. Enjoy the views from here while nibbling on a vegan cake at the rooftop café. And with all the green spaces in Wilhelmsburg, like Heuckenlock Nature Reserve and Wilhemsburger Inselpark, it’s a great place to reconnect with nature right on the doorstep of the big city of Hamburg.
About an hour and a half’s drive north from Hamburg is the pretty town of Glücksburg, bordering the Flensborg Fjord.
The main attraction is the stunning Glücksburg Castle which is surrounded by its own lake. The building of the castle started in 1582 on the site of an old Cistercian monastery and then the grounds were flooded to create the lake. You can take a guided tour around the museum or wander through yourself. Pop along to Marien-Café for coffee and cake after your visit.
The Glücksburg Castle is open from 11 am to 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays from November to April and 10 am to 6 pm daily the rest of the year.
Others places to visit in Glücksburg are the Rosarium Rose Garden at Am Schlosspark 2b and the Menke Planetarium and Observatory if you are in Glücksburg on a Tuesday, Friday or Saturday.
During the summer, take advantage of the 18kms of beach with sunbathing, swimming as well as pedalos, small boats and a few waterslides. For the more adventurous, there is also a nudist beach!
Recommended by Mamta from Mamta Naidu
Nestled on the Baltic sea coast speckled with beaches and universities, Kiel is a hidden gem. Only an hour’s drive from Hamburg, it is the northernmost city of Germany. With its cruise and ferry terminals, Kiel forms an important bridge between Scandinavia and Baltic states. Therefore, it is not an uncommon sight to see huge cruise ships docked at the port, making for a beautiful skyscape.
Every year in June, Kiel hosts the biggest sailing event of the world called Kieler Woche (Kiel Week). Around 5000 sailors in 2000 ships entertain over 3 million visitors. It feels like both open-water and open-air festival with live music, food stalls and roller coaster and other fun rides taking place across the city, a spectacular sight to witness. Also, summer is the best time to visit Kiel to make the most of the gorgeous beaches.
Kiel is popular among kite surfers and beach hoppers. One of my favourite things to do when I’m in Kiel is to make a trip to Laboe beach. I usually enjoy taking a stroll along the sandy beach up to the submarine museum, admire the submarine on the beach, and finally flop in a beach basket with a snack and a drink to enjoy the sunset.
Recommended by Lee and Stacey of One Trip at a Time
The charming and culturally rich city of Lübeck sits at the edge of the Baltic Sea and makes a great day trip from Hamburg. Founded in the 12th century, the old town centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its unique Gothic Brick architecture, cobbled lanes lined with gabled merchant’s homes, and spired churches.
Most of the attractions are in a compact area so you can easily visit several of them. Our favourites were:
- The 15th-century red-brick city gate called Holstentor has pointed slate-covered towers and inside is a museum about the history of the gate and Lubeck’s place as the capital of the Hanseatic League.
- Marienkirche is a Gothic church which has the world’s highest brick-vaulted roof, but most interesting for us are the church bells that fell in a WWII bombing and were left where they fell as a memorial.
- For great panoramic views of the city, you can’t miss the platform in the tower of Petrikirche. There is even an elevator to make this an easy choice for a view of the city below.
Lübeck is easy to get to from Hamburg, either by renting a car especially if you are visiting other nearby rural sights, or you can catch the train from Hamburg twice an hour for the 45-minute journey.
Recommended by Vanda from The Yogi Wanderer
Why not use your time in Hamburg to visit not one but two fascinating German cities?
Less than two hours away by train, Berlin makes for an easy day trip from Hamburg.
Although the German capital deserves a visit in its own right, it’s also possible to enjoy many of its top attractions in only one day.
Start your day at the Government district for a visit to the Bundestag (the German Parliament) and its famous glass dome, a unique work of architecture offering panoramic views of the city.
Then walk to the Brandenburg Gate, one of Berlin’s most iconic landmarks, and visit the nearby Holocaust Memorial in honour of the victims of the Nazi regime.
In the afternoon, head to Alexander Platz, once the centre of East Berlin, and visit Berlin’s TV Tower for some stunning 360-degree views.
From Alexander Platz, take the train to the East Side Gallery, the longest remaining segment of the Berlin Wall, and end your day admiring the spectacular street art along its 1,3 kilometres.
I’m so glad you’ve chosen to explore these day trips from Hamburg. If you have any questions or wish to share any suggestions of your own day trips from Hamburg, please comment below!
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Larch has had wanderlust all her life, travelling as much as she can whenever she can. Now in her 50’s, she writes about her adventures on her travel blog The Silver Nomad to encourage travellers of all ages to look at different destinations. In early 2019, she qualified as a CAA PfCO Drone Pilot and now travels with her DJI Mavic Pro to capture aerial videos and photos to enhance her work.