In 2018, we visited Germany for the first time. During our trip, we explored the major German cities like Berlin, Munich & Cologne. We also took a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich. We felt Germany was truly an underrated destination for tourists visiting Europe.
This feeling got even stronger when we visited Hamburg in November 2019. Once we got down at Hamburg & started exploring this wonderful city, we realized how different Hamburg is from other European cities. As soon as we reached Hamburg, we got out of the train station & walked towards our hotel – Baseler Hof. It is one of the best places we have ever stayed in Europe.
We had 2 days to spend in Hamburg and we decided to take it slowly. We wanted to see the attractions that Hamburg had to offer properly, without rushing for everything. So after going through all the materials that Hamburg Tourism sent for us, we decided on a few places. Here’s how we spent our time in Hamburg.
We got out in the morning to taste chocolate! We arrived at this place called Chocoversum. It is famous among all age groups because of, well, chocolates. During our hour-long tour, the guide got us through the entire process of chocolate making. Right from the cultivation, to transportation, to the making & to production, she got us acquainted through all the aspects of chocolates.
At many other places, you either see things and move on or indulge yourselves in an activity. At Chocoversum, we got a taste of both. At every stage, we got information as well as some practical knowledge like how the natural Cocoa bean tastes like. We also got to taste dried Cocoa bean, first stage chocolate, the byproduct of chocolate & much more.
During the course of the tour, we also got to make our own chocolate bar. Very personalized. We had done an elaborate Chocolate making in Interlaken, Switzerland, so this wasn’t difficult for us. We made our chocolate bars with varied toppings & got the bar in a nice bag towards the end of the tour.
Overall, the Chocoversum experience was well worth the time. If you are thinking of going for the tour, make sure you check their website & see the timings. They take people in batch-wise & there are a few English tours so if you don’t understand German, book yourselves on the English tour.
From Chocoversum, we arrived at the crown jewel attraction of Hamburg – Elbphilharmonie. If there was one building to define Hamburg, this would be it. Right from the first sight till the last one, we were in awe of Elbphilharmonie.
There was a huge line at the entrance but since we had pre-booked our tickets, we got an express entry. After spending a few minutes on an escalator, we got to the main viewing gallery of Elbphilharmonie. Once we got on top, we were presented with lovely panoramic views of Hamburg.
We were glad we chose afternoon-evening transition time to visit Elbphilharmonie. We got to see the Hamburg skyline, the harbor & Elbe river from the top. It is truly monumental. You will be blown away by its interior design & architecture. On many days of the year, there are concerts going on inside Elbphilharmonie. We didn’t get any but now it is on my bucket list to go for at least one concert in Elbphilharmonie.
It is a must-visit attraction whenever you visit Hamburg. Make sure that you book the ticket online so that you don’t have to stand in line. There is a restaurant on top where we recommend a dinner because it’s going to be magical for sure.
When I heard about Miniatur Wunderland from the tourism board, I immediately visited their website. Here, I saw a 5 minutes long video which got me even more excited. Miniatur Wunderland is the largest Model Railway in the world! It is HUGE. There are more than 250,000 figures, 9,000+ cars, 1,000+ trains, 350,000+ LEDs, 4,000+ buildings, 130,000+ trees & train tracks worth 15.4 km.
It has taken them more than 750,000 human hours & 35 Million Euros to build the current version of Miniatur Wunderland. They are still working to make more & more areas. According to them, this work never ends. We had kept about 2 hours for this attraction but we ended up spending over 4 hours & we didn’t even realize it.
At Miniatur Wunderland, there are different sections where they have created elaborate worlds. Central Germany, Austria, Hamburg, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, USA are some of the real-world places. There is Knuffingen, an imaginary German town & Knuffingen Airport. The airport is truly a work of art.
After spending lots of time in each exhibit, I concluded that it was too difficult to choose favorites from these because they all are literally a piece of art. Though, I loved the Scandinavia region the most here. Whenever you come to Miniatur Wunderland, please keep enough time for your visit.
If you are hungry, there is a huge restaurant inside the building for Miniatur Wunderland guests where we also ate. The food quality was great & the prices were very reasonable. Children, adults & seniors are equally going to enjoy their time at Miniatur Wunderland.
Boat Tour Of Hamburg On The River Elbe
Hamburg is known as the largest port of Germany & its gateway to the world. It is the 3rd busiest port in Europe, so we had to see the port for ourselves. What better than a boat tour? We received vouchers for the Barkassen-Meyer harbor cruise. We reached the harbor, exchanged it for our tickets & got inside this wonderful boat.
The boat had 2 levels. On the lower level, it was warm & had large windows from where we could see everything from the skyline of Hamburg to the port of Hamburg. On the upper level, it was open. Since it was winter, it was windy as well. Even though it was too cold on top, I spent most of the time on this tour there because of the view.
The boat took us through many interesting insights about the port of Hamburg. We also got to see the large ships from our boat! After the port, we reached Elbphilharmonie. It is always a pleasure to see this marvelous building. Seeing it from the Elbe river was even more fun.
On the boat, there was a small café/bar where guests could order hot, cold, soft, hard beverages for a very affordable price. Parampara enjoyed a glass of Glühwein on board.
Other Attractions of Hamburg
We had shortlisted a few more attractions in Hamburg which we couldn’t visit because of the lack of time. If you are going there for more than 2 days, we recommend that you include Dialogue In The Dark, Townhall, Elbe Tunnel & Planten un Blomen for sure.
We thank Hamburg Tourism for organizing such fun activities in this stunning city. We are going to come back to Hamburg soon!