Germany Trip Plan:
5 days in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

Germany trip plan: 5 days in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg
Harbor musicians, Photo: C. Spahrbier
[ source: www.mediaserver.hamburg.de/]

Hamburg is in fact a city and a state in Germany. The city area is with 755 square kilometers, two and a half times bigger than London and seven times bigger than Paris. It is the center of Northern Germany, a shopping and cultural metropolis. Don’t waste your time and dive in the fun.




Note: This is a trip plan (self-driving, stay in a vacation apartment, explore on your own)
Duration: 5 days
Recommended Destination Airport: Hamburg Airport

Trip Plan Details:

Hamburg is in fact a city and a state in Germany. The city area is with 755 square kilometers, two and a half times bigger than London and seven times bigger than Paris. It is the center of Northern Germany, a shopping and cultural metropolis. Don’t waste your time and dive in the fun.

Hamburg\'s well developed underground- and bus-network make it easy for you to go anywhere fast and cheap. Right in the heart of the city, lies the large Alster Lake. Boat tours are offered and you will end up in the buzzing city center. Museums, theaters and cabarets stage world class entertainment, and around 4,000 restaurants feature local cuisine as well as any kind of international food you might desire. The second largest container harbor in Europe is only 75 miles away from the high seas, accommodating the biggest container ships in the world. Also a must see is the most popular street in Hamburg, the Reeperbahn, with its night- and music clubs, restaurants, theaters and red light district.

Cost Estimate:

We compiled some starting prices and rough estimates to help you better with your Germany trip planning.

Lodging: starting at $296 for 2 persons / 5 days
Admissions: starting at $250 for 2 persons / 5 days
Estimated Total Cost:2 persons, starting at $514 / 5 days
 4 persons, starting at $858 / 5 days

Travel Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

Day 1: Arrival
Harbor Birthday, Photo: M. Zapf
[ source: www.mediaserver.hamburg.de/]

Welcome to Hamburg, the gateway to the world. Make yourself comfortable in your fully fitted vacation apartment, explore your new neighborhood and have a look at local grocery stores and shops. For your vacation we recommend purchasing the Hamburg Card which gives you free public transport throughout Hamburg and exclusive benefits for various sights, museums and countless other reductions.


Day 2: Explore downtown Hamburg

Day 2: Explore downtown Hamburg
Hamburg Canal, Dyke street,Photo: C. Spahrbier
[ source: www.mediaserver.hamburg.de/]

You can choose between English language guided tours on a red double-decker bus or by the Hamburg Hummeltrain, or explore Hamburg with a map in your hand on your own. A very easy way to start your first day is a River Alster tour on a steamer boat. Embark downtown at the Jungfernsteg and enjoy the beautiful views along different canals. Later walk around in the city center along the Alsterarkaden to the Town Hall with its impressive architecture, clearly dominating the location. The Hamburg Museum with the Kunsthalle, Kunstverein and the Museum for Arts and Crafts is near the Alster bank with exhibitions that will leave you stunned. Also in the middle of the city you can take a walk through the famous park Planten un Blomen with Europe's largest Japanese garden. If you prefer shopping dont look any further. There is simply nothing you cannot buy in the downtown area. Little boutiques, huge shopping malls and department stores offer the best money can buy. For the evening choose one of the many restaurants. If you like a special place you will enjoy the lake views from the Alsterpavillion on the Jungfernstieg.


Day 3: Harbor Tour and the landmark of Hamburg, the Michel

Day 3: Harbor Tour and the landmark of Hamburg, the Michel
Landungsbrücken, Photo: C. Spahrbier
[ source: www.mediaserver.hamburg.de/]

In the morning take a extensive harbor tour which departs from the Landungsbrücken. The captain will give you a lot of very interesting information about the Port of Hamburg while you pass huge ships and get a real fresh breeze. Make sure that your round trip also passes the Storehouse City, which is a must see. In case the boat cannot pass due to the tide you can admire the historical warehouses on food later on. After your harbor tour walk through the Old River Elbe Tunnel leading to the shipyard island Steinwerder. The unique Elbe panorama with a view of the harbor quay and the landmark of Hamburg, the Michel, can be best seen from here. Also from here you get a glimpse of one of Hamburg's three famous museums ships, the Rickmer Rickmers. Between the years 1850 and 1939 about five million European emigrants started their trip to the New World from Ballin-Stadt. Today you can search for your own family routes at the Emigrant World, also part of the harbor. And then, stunning views of Hamburg awaits everybody who climbs the 433 ft high tower of St. Michaelis, or Michel. Tonight do something special. Hamburg is known as Germany's Musical capital! For tonight you can choose from musicals like Disney's: The Lion King and Tarzan, or maybe a spectacular dinner show is just what you are looking for.


Day 4: Fish Market and Reeperbahn

Day 4: Fish Market and Reeperbahn
Fischmarkt, Photo: C. Spahrbier
[ source: www.mediaserver.hamburg.de/]

On every Sunday morning the action gets going at the Fischmarkt. Morning means between 5 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. from spring to autumn- and 7 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. in the winter season! You have two choices to witness this very special mix of people, fish and other goodies. Either party through the night like many visitors do, or set your alarm clock very early. You will find the market on the bank of the Elbe River between Hafenstraße and Große Elbstraße. The freshest fish and seafood is auctioned off with a lot of entertainment by real Fischmarkt characters like Aale Dieter and Vogel Jakob/q>. Besides that it looks a bit like a flee market offering everything from old china and second hand staff to bric-a-brac. To the west of downtown Hamburg lies the Reeperbahn, Hamburg's most famous entertainment mile. This place was already multi cultural around 1900, with the first establishments operating as early as in the 17th century. Sailors as well as locals were attracted to the diverse kind of entertainment offered. Later the Reeperbahn with the Große Freiheit became a Mecca of rock music were also The Beatles earned their first fame and in the 1970s and 1980s brothels and strip clubs were everywhere. Today many restaurants, music-clubs and theaters offer only what their name implements and due to this change Hamburger citizen come back and rediscover the Reeperbahn for themselves.


Day 5: Departure

Day 5: Departure
Scene from musical The Lion King, Photo: Stage Company
[ source: www.mediaserver.hamburg.de/]

Metropolitan Hamburg has always welcomed visitors from many continents and walks of life. This has shaped the multifaceted face of the City and its residents. It is a great place for leisure as well as for business and invites everybody to make new friends. You will have collected a lot of good memories to take back home from this vacation and maybe already making plans to visit again. Schiff Ahoi!


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Where to Stay?

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[ source: Flickr ]

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Hamburg

Hamburg
[ source: Flickr ]

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[ source: Wikipedia ]

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How to maximize your savings and spend less during your Germany vacation?

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  • Instead of eating out in restaurants most of the time your vacation rental apartment comes with a fully equipped kitchen. By preparing your breakfast and dinner yourself you can save lots of money, but you can also live a more authentic Germany vacation by trying out local foods and recipes. (see some German recipe suggestions.)
  • Use public transportation instead of a rental car. We provide you with links and details on how to get around using public transportation. Check out the corresponding Live Like a German travel guide for more details.

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