17 Incredible Things Hamburg Is Famous And Known For

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In Northern Germany, you will find Hamburg, one of the country’s three combined city-states. Nicknamed Tor zur Welt, or Gateway To The World, Hamburg is famous for its unique location on the Elbe River. This not only helped boost its economy and make global connections but also gave the city beauty and charm.

Hamburg is dotted with historical buildings, immersive museums, and vast entertainment venues. There is so much to discover, both old and new.

What Is Hamburg Famous For? 

Hamburg is famous for its maritime history, countless bridges and canals, as well as a wide range of entertainment, from affordable markets to affluent operas. In the same way, the Red Light District is responsible for most of the nightlife that the city is renowned for. An exciting way to explore is by a cruise, along the beautiful harbor that Hamburg is known for.

History, Culture, And Traditions Hamburg Is Known For

The Fish Market


Since 1703, The Hamburg Fish Market has been successfully operating as the largest fish market in Germany. It is located on the Elbe River and opens every Sunday.

As its name suggests, the market flogs fresh fish, making up 15% of the fish processing in the whole country. Despite being called a fish market, it is so much more than that. Here you can find other fresh produce as well as clothes and jewelry. 

Be sure to have coffee or lunch in the dining area, sampling some tasty German food that Hamburg is famous for. Good places to start include succulent currywurst sausages and yummy fish sandwiches.

Red Light District

The Red Light District of Hamburg is located in the St. Pauli’s neighborhood, specifically the street of Reeperbahn. 

The almost 1-kilometer path is lined with loud pubs and chaotic bars, nicknamed ‘the most sinful mile’, or ‘die sündigste Meile’ in German. During the exciting Sex and Crime In St. Pauli Tour, you can hear stories about the bars and visit the area extensively.

Furthermore, the oldest wax museum in the country, The Panoptikum, is found in Reeperbahn. It has a wide array of figures that you can take photos with, such as politicians and sporting icons.

The Beatles

One of the coolest facts about Hamburg is how much it is loved by The Beatles. 

Beginning in 1960, the four-member boy band from Liverpool visited Hamburg to play their music in The Indra Club. Little did they know they would extend their gig to 48 uninterrupted nights, because of the mutual adoration between fans and the band. 

There are many dedications to The Beatles in Hamburg. A great example is their monument in Reeperbahn, four metal statues. It is located on the square, Beatles-Platz that is fondly shaped like a vinyl record in their memory.



Many might not be aware of this, but Hamburg is the city in Europe which has the most bridges. There are around 2,500 bridges in total, which is more than Venice, Amsterdam, and London altogether. 

This is likely because there are several long lakes in Hamburg. The Outer Alster Lake, or Außenalster, and the Inner Alster Lake, or the Binnenalster, are the most famous lakes Hamburg is famous for.

The Köhlbrandbrücke is considered to be the most popular bridge, built in 1970 and connecting Wilhelmsburg with the B7 highway. It is a key landmark in Hamburg that continues to serve an important purpose.

The Reeperbahn Festival

Every year in late September, the district of St. Pauli hosts The Reeperbahn Festival. Lasting four days, the festival celebrates diversity and talent in a huge show of musical performances and more.

The concerts are held in a variety of clubs, as well as unlikely venues such as St. Pauli church. Over 50,000 people travel worldwide to attend, as concerts include different types of music and attract all kinds of visitors.

Districts And Areas Hamburg Is Famous For



Altstadt is the Old Town of Hamburg, dating back to 8 BC. It has many landmarks that Hamburg is famous for, and despite the name, it is reasonably modern.

Miniatur Wunderland is one of the name attractions in Altstadt, the largest railway model in the world. Here you can explore different regions of the world and their different locomotives. 

Also in Altstadt, you will find Speicherstadt, the warehouse district. Speicherstadt is best known for its cuisine, so be sure to sample some authentic German foods like currywurst and franzbrötchen.


Neustadt, or the New Town, is an upscale area known for its shopping opportunities and extravagant cafes. It is a short walk away from Altstadt, as both are in the city center. 

In Neustadt, you will find lots of entertainment, such as the 17th-century Hamburg State Opera. This iconic venue is known for its classic ballet and lively concerts. 

The oldest shopping arcade in the city, Alster Arcade, is also located in Neustadt. Overlooking the lake, this is a great place to hang out, do some shopping maybe even sample some German chocolates. The signature historic white arches of the architecture are simply beautiful.

Landmarks And Architecture Hamburg Is Known For



Arguably one of the most important landmarks in Hamburg is the Elbphilharmonie. 

The contemporary concert hall first opened its doors in 2017, made up of 26 stories and hence housing a large capacity of people. It is now considered the most expensive hall in the world, with construction costing around $850 million.

Affectionately nicknamed Elphi, the venue was immediately a huge hit. It has three concert venues, an observation deck overlooking the Elbe River, and also affluent apartments. If you don’t want to go inside, you can also bask in the building’s charm on a scenic Hamburg Cruise.

The Miniatur Wunderland

In the World Book of Records, Hamburg is famous for owning the largest model railway system in the world.

The Miniatur Wunderland is located in Speicherstadt, the largest warehouse district worldwide. The layout is divided into sections including Hamburg, The US, The Alps, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Italy, and South America. Additionally, there are plans for future sections, as The Miniatur Wunderland is set to expand.

There is so much to explore here, typically people spend around 3 hours at this attraction but you can always hang around for longer.

Alster Lake


The Alster Lakes are two artificial lakes in Hamburg: The Outer Alster Lake, or Außenalster, and the Inner Alster Lake, or the Binnenalster. This was created in the 13th century when a dam was set up to divide them. Additionally, they are separated by The Kennedy Bridge and The Lombard Bridge.

The Außenalster is particularly popular because it is larger. Also, you can partake in many exciting activities that Hamburg is famous for. Admire the city and surroundings on water with a city lake cruise, or take advantage of a comprehensive bike tour to soak in the views along the promenade.

Hamburg Port


One of the most popular attractions in Germany is The Port of Hamburg, which is the largest in the country. Furthermore, it is the third largest in Europe. The port is located on the River Elbe between the North Sea and The Baltic Sea, spanning 110 kilometers. 

Hamburg port plays a vital part in the economy, as it allows for efficient transport and marketing between countries.

From a traveler’s standpoint, it is also the best way to see all of Hamburg’s most eminent landmarks at once. The Harbor And Speicherstadt Day Cruise sails through the Elbphilharmonie, Fish Market, St Pauli, and more.

City Hall


Hamburg City Hall is the seat of government. It was constructed in 1897 and is widely regarded to be the symbol of the city. 

The impressive architecture is predominantly Renaissance and the opulent building easily stands out with its iconic features. The central tower, The Rathaus, is 112 meters and topped with prominent blue sandstone.

Inside there are estimated to be 650 rooms, demonstrating just how grand the building is. The most popular are the Grand Hallway and Emperor’s Hall. Thankfully, it is open to the public so be sure to check it out.

Food Hamburg Is Famous For



The most popular food you will find in Hamburg is currywurst. The fast food dish is available in street markets, as well as authentic local restaurants. It’s also affordable and quick to eat, making it ideal for a snack between meals

The pork sausage is steamed and subsequently fried, before being cut up and seasoned. This included herbs like curry powder mixed with a sauce. 

The best food tours in Hamburg, such as the Schanzenviertel culinary tour, explore these traditional dishes as well as the city.


Something Hamburg is affectionately famous for is its coffee culture. The perfect pastry to pair with this is franzbrötchen, invented in 1806. Derived from French bread, as its name translates, it is the German variation of a croissant. 

A franzbrötchen is sweet and is traditionally spiced with sugar and cinnamon, shaped in a swirling pattern. The decadent pastry is golden on the outside but soft inside with a perfect chewy bite.

Rote Grütze

Rote Grütze translates to red groats. Invented as early as the Middle Ages in Germany and Denmark, the old dessert has been a household treat for centuries. 

The berry pudding is made with strawberries, cranberries, and cherries. As a result, it is most popular during the summer, when these fruits taste the best. 

Simply mix the fruits with water and sugar, then add starch to create a gloopy texture. Serve with mint for a fresh flavor.

And of course, you can try many other popular German sweets and desserts in Hamburg as well.

Famous People From Hamburg

Karl Lagerfeld

Undoubtedly one of the most famous things in Germany is its fashion; this is in no small credit to the long list of luxury designers. 

That said, Karl Lagerfeld embodied the unconventional silhouettes, sharp edges, and elegance that Hamburg is so famous for. Lagerfeld also adored Paris, from which many of his designs are influenced. 

Although he is elusive about his personal life, Lagerfeld was a celebrity figure who made many friends during his seven-decade career. His legacy continues to live on, as his brand thrives.

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel is a politician, best known for being the first female chancellor of Germany, and the first female Leader of the Opposition. Merkel was also part of the Christian Democratic Union. She is considered the leader of the European Union, as Merkel is the longest head of government of the EU.

With all of her accomplishments combined, Forbes named Merkel the “second most powerful person” in the world twice. Once was before Obama and later Putin. Overall, Merkel is regarded to be an inspiration to women for her devotion and drive.

Discovering More Things Hamburg Is Known For

This German city has a lot more than just great beer and bratwurst; although those are pretty awesome too! From its stunning architecture to its bustling port area, and the mouthwatering local cuisine, Hamburg is famous for its vivacious atmosphere. But what really makes it special is its blend of history, culture, and innovation. 

Whether you’re a lover of music, a foodie, a history buff, or just an avid traveler, you’re bound to find something that tickles your fancy here. So the next time you’re contemplating a European getaway, why not consider Hamburg? The city is buzzing with energy and inspiration to give, so be sure to take it up on its proposal!



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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