Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and a city trip to Hamburg with kids is very doable especially for a weekend. Hamburg is located in northern Germany and the city can be reached by car in just under four hours from Utrecht. Especially in the summer, it is fun to visit the city when you can go to the beach and the fair is in full swing. We list the best sights and activities in Hamburg with kids for you.
Table of contents
Hamburg with kids #1: Plants un Blomen Park
This is a very large city park in the center of Hamburg. You can walk from downtown to this park in just over fifteen minutes (public transportation gets you there just a little faster). It is a wonderful park to spend a few hours with your kids. For example, the park has two large playgrounds, and one of the two playgrounds has a large climbing frame and a kind of hilly landscape with several slides (they look kind of like colored volcanoes). There is also a small water playground, where kids can play with water.
In addition, there are plenty of chairs and picnic benches in the park to have lunch with the family, for example. Besides the two playgrounds, there is also a botanical garden, a rose garden, a Japanese garden with tea house and several lakes. Throughout the park there are plenty of tents where you can get something to eat and drink. You will also find a large greenhouse (Tropengewächshäuser Des Botanischen Gartens) in this park. In this greenhouse you can admire all kinds of tropical plants. There are several toilet blocks throughout the park.
Hamburg with kids #2: Miniaturwonderland
In an old warehouse, a city in miniature has been recreated over several floors and trains are running everywhere. On large tables, all kinds of things were recreated such as a harbor, a soccer stadium, a campground, an airport and much more. Kids can see everything just fine because of the many steps at the tables, and there are buttons everywhere where kids can make things move or turn on lights on the table. Every so often on the various tables, they create day and night with lighting effects. The worlds have been recreated in great detail.
It is also the largest model railroad in the world and for kids there is a lot to see. More than 900 trains operate in the various rooms. Because there is only a maximum number of people allowed in, the queue at the box office can be considerable. Fortunately, you can wait in a play area until it’s your turn, but it’s advisable if you don’t have much time to pre-order tickets online for a specific time.
Hamburg with kids #3: Museum of Illusions
We always think museums like this are totally awesome! It’s a bit like the Instagram museums you have in Amsterdam, where you can also take all kinds of crazy photos with your family in different spaces. The same is true in this museum. Similarly, the Vortex tunnel resembles a space we saw at the The Upside Down in Amsterdam, and also in this museum you have a space where everything is upside down.
We also remember the room where one person is a lot bigger than the other from the Nemo museum in Amsterdam. We always really enjoy having this kind of photo, but of course you have to love it.
Hamburg with kids #4: Dom Hamburg
As many as three times a year there is a month-long fair in the city of Hamburg. There are quite a few attractions and food stalls then and it attracts millions of visitors every year. The fair takes place in three seasons of the year. So you have Winterdom in winter, Frühlingsdom in spring and Sommerdom in summer.
Every day, the fair starts at three in the afternoon and you can go on one of the 260 carnival rides at the fair. For example, there is also a huge Ferris wheel, where you can get a great view of the city. Of course, there are also dozens of food stalls where you can eat a typical bratwurst, for example. A fireworks show will also take place every Friday night from 10:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds.
For kids, there are very many attractions here that they can go in and this is a great afternoon activity at the end of the day. Especially if you can plan a weekend Hamburg with kids on your own, it’s fun to check in advance when the Hamburg fair is. So check the city’s website for the days the fair is operational.
Hamburg with kids: Other activities
#5 St. St. Michael’s Church: this is the largest church in Hamburg and in the bell tower you have a great view of the city. It is one of the most famous sights in Hamburg. You can climb the tower for a few euros, but there is also an elevator that takes you to the viewing platform at 82 meters, where you have a nice view of the city and the harbor.
#6 Lohsepark: south of the city about a 20-minute walk from the center is this harborfront city park. You will find a natural playground with slide, trampoline, wood climbing equipment and a swing. There is also fine beach sand in part of the park, where the kids can play in the sand. A great place to end the day in Hamburg with kids.
#7 Maritime Museum: this museum is all about shipping, but don’t expect the same museum as in Rotterdam, for example, because for kids this museum is mostly a lot of looking. Many ships in display cases. There are some things to do for kids, but it is on the skinny side and the entrance fee is quite hefty. If your kids are absolutely crazy about ships then it might be an option, but otherwise we would skip this museum.
#8 Boat tour port of Hamburg: you can also see Germany’s largest port in Hamburg with kids from a tour boat. From April through October, a tour boat operates daily, showing a portion of the harbor in an hour. Here it is possible to get an English audio with the tour.
#9 Breakfast at the old fish auction: if you are in Hamburg on Sunday with kids and want to have breakfast in a special way, it is fun to go to this old fish auction. There is a fish market here on Sunday mornings, which also sells plenty of other products and has live bands already in the early morning trying to create a nice atmosphere. The crowd that comes here is very diverse. From people who partied all night to old people coming to do their shopping at the market. Please note that it is about 20 minutes by public transportation to get to the fish market at the waterfront from downtown.
#10 City Beach: how cool is it that in this port city you can go to the beach with your kids. From the city’s port, you can take ferry 62 for a few euros and you’ll be on this four-kilometer-long sandy riverfront beach in just over 15 minutes (you can walk there from the center in half an hour on foot). Head to beach club Strandpauli for a bite to eat and a drink. Especially if you’re in Hamburg with kids in the summer, it’s definitely cool to spend an afternoon or morning on the beach here.
#11 Chocversum: if your kids love chocolate, you can’t skip this museum. You’ll get information about chocolate here, but you can also make your own chocolate bar. In addition, at various times during the tour, there will be the opportunity to taste chocolate. The museum is fairly downtown about a 10-minute walk.
#12 Hop on Hop off Bus: If you are short on time and want to quickly see the city of Hamburg with kids then these buses are great. In 1.5 hours, the bus stops at 29 different stops in the city, where you can get off in between. You get a headset during the ride with the tour, only the audio is not available in Dutch, but is available in English.
#13 Visit soccer match: Hamburg is home to two major soccer clubs that play in the second division of German soccer. Hamburg SV is the largest club with a stadium capacity of 47,000. You also have the left-wing cult club St. Louis. Pauli play in this city. For both clubs, you can generally buy tickets for a game online quite easily. Check the websites of both clubs to see if either of them has to play at home when you take a city trip to Hamburg and visit a soccer game of either club.
#14 District Speicherstadt: This district is also one of the more famous sights of the city because of the many warehouses that are located in this district. When you walk through this neighborhood, these dozens of warehouses look impressive and many of the landmarks are found in this neighborhood so chances are you have to be in this neighborhood for something. Especially a cool place to take cool photos.
#15 View Elbphilharmonie: This iconic building in the city is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. The orchestra building has an unusual shape and the nice thing is that you can visit the building for a view of the city at 37 meters. Check the website for more information on times and admission prices.
Where to sleep in Hamburg with kids
Budget hotel: Hotel Terminus am Hauptbahnhof
Mid-range hotel: Hamburg Marriott Hotel
Luxury hotel: PIERDREI Hotel HafenCity Hamburg
To search for other hotels in Hamburg with kids click here for the whole list of hotels.
Further information Hamburg with kids
Hamburg card: like every major city, Hamburg has a card, which allows unlimited travel on public transportation and gives you great discounts (50% or more) on many attractions in Hamburg. Take a look at what you want to visit in Hamburg with kids and then calculate if the card is advantageous for your family. Generally, you will have the card out quickly and thus it is advantageous to purchase the card. Another nice thing about this card is that you can use a number of water cabs in the harbor, so you also have the opportunity to see Hamburg from the water with kids.