So we have recently just returned from spending 48 hours in Hamburg with Kids as part of a 4 night trip to Germany over February Half Term.
Why Hamburg with Kids?
I decided on Hamburg mainly because I’d found some cheap flights from Manchester to Hamburg (£30 each one way including priority booking with Ryanair) and because I could easily combine it with a long overdue trip to Berlin.
I didn’t know much about the city it had to be said and having seen a couple of fairly uninspiring you tube videos (after I’d booked) I wasn’t expecting a whole lot, but Hamburg with Kids was a surprising hit for us and I’d thoroughly recommend it as a weekend break from the UK.
If you have younger kids also check out this slightly shorter itinerary of their top things to do in Hamburg with Kids from our friends at Travelynn Family.
The flight only takes 1hr 30 minutes from the UK, if that to be honest so it was a really quick flight and as our flight left ridiculously early, we were actually checking into our hotel in Hamburg by 10am on day one!
Where to stay in Hamburg with Kids?
I think it’s often tricky to decide where to stay when you head to a city for the weekend. We did Porto with kids in an Airbnb and stayed in a family friendly apartment in Lisbon, but what I loved about staying at the hotel Holiday Inn in Hamburg (Billwerder Neuer Deich) was the swimming pool we used both days when we had finished our day in the city. True enough the hotel was a little bit out of the city centre, it would have taken 50 minutes to walk, but it only took about 12 minutes on a bus and the bus was really easy to use particularly once we had downloaded this fantastic free app called Moovit: Public Transport Live. We stumbled across the app whilst trying to work out where to get the bus from and it was superb. I’d highly recommend downloading it.
On our way from the airport we decided to get a train into town as we had free public transport included with our Hamburg Cards, and then we got a taxi from the station out to the hotel for 13 Euros. After that we just used the bus.
The Holiday Inn in Hamburg has a few different types of rooms and we were hosted in two inter-connecting rooms on the executive floor, floor 15. The views across the city from this floor were fantastic and you get a great feel for how the city is laid out. You actually get an even better view from the roof and the team at the Holiday Inn are hopeful that during next years refurbishment everyone will get a chance to head up there as they are hoping a bar of some sort will be part of the plans. Keep an eye out for those announcements if you like the sound of this.
The rooms themselves at The Holiday Inn Hamburg were bright, had really comfy beds and great showers, free soft drinks from the minibar and free Wi-Fi too. The buffet breakfast had a huge variety of choice and my kids love nothing more than starting their day with a variety of different things, they were exceptionally pleased to find a machine that made scotch pancakes that they could use – you can see more about the hotel and the breakfast in particular on my Instagam stories from the time we spent there, including of course the pancake machine!
You can read our full review of The Holiday Inn in Hamburg here.
During our visit we had use of a 3 day Hamburg Card which provided us both with unlimited access to public transport including bus, train and harbour ferry. It also included great discounts on Hamburg tourist attractions. A Hamburg Card for one adult and 3 children aged between 6 and 14 for 3 days is only 25.50 Euros (children under 6 years travel free).
Other benefits of the Hamburg Card are:
- Harbour tours, Alster trips and city tours: up to 30% discount
- Attractions and museums: up to 50% discount
- Musicals and theatre: up to 28% discount
- Discounts for restaurants and coffee shops
What to do in Hamburg with Kids?
On the first day we had intended to do the hop on hop off bus tour but the weather was so amazing and sunny that we decided simply to head down to the harbour, just wander around and take it from there.
It was about lunchtime by the time we made it down to the harbour so we ate lunch at a pizza restaurant and then meandered down the river taking in the sights and eating ice cream before we ended up at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
Elbphilharmonie Hamburg with Kids
We had pre-booked tickets to head up to the viewing platform of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg which is a beautiful building (resembling a sail) which dominates the Hamburg skyline.
You probably don’t have to book tickets in advance in February but it saved us waiting in a queue and meant that we knew we could get in. With weather as clear as we had it would have been a shame not to go up.
You can read all about what we thought of the Elbphilharmonie Plaza in Hamburg with Kids in our full post.
After visiting the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg we made our way across the bridge to Miniatur Wunderland.
Miniatur Wunderland with Kids
I’d seen the adverts about Miniatur Wunderland, had even been given complimentary tickets to try it out, but when I read about it – it’s basically a large model railway I assumed it wouldn’t be something we would like. How wrong I was – we all flipping loved it! Miniatur Wunderland with Kids was one of the best things to do in Hamburg with kids! It was awesome!
I’ve written a full post about Miniatur Wunderland with Kids so do go and check it out.
After we had explored Miniatur Wunderland for about 3 hours, way more than I expected we were ready for dinner and home. This is when the swimming pool at the Holiday Inn came in handy as doing this before dinner was a lovely end to the day for all of us.
Sightseeing City Tour with the Red Double-Decker Buses
We were determined to do this open top bus tour in Hamburg today as you get to see more of the city from the top deck than you do if you are wandering round, particularly when you have kids and grandparents in tow. Some bus city tours are amazing and some are not. I would say this one fell somewhere in the middle. If you were German speaking/listening I think it would have exceeded your expectations. On the three buses we got on the German customers were laughing a lot at the commentary by the tour guides. I love the fact that there are tour guides on the buses as they can engage with their customers and see their reactions. We could hear them laughing although our english translation through our headphones was a lot drier.
That being said I loved seeing all the lakes and rivers in Hamburg from the top deck. We drove through some stunning areas and I learned a lot more about the city than I had known before I got on. Did you know that Hamburg is called the ‘Venice of the North’ and that Hamburg has six times as many bridges as Venice, more than any other city in the world.
We did the majority of the tour which took just over an hour if you hadn’t got off at all, but we jumped off in the middle to take in some of the shops near the river, to eat more ice cream and to grab coffee and to take a closer look at the Rathaus. The Rathaus is located in the Altstadt quarter in the city center, at the Rathausmarkt square, and near the lake Binnenalster and the central station.
Harbor Cruise in Hamburg with Barkassen Meyer
We hopped back on the bus after spending some time near the Rathaus and made our way on the bus down to the St. Pauli Landungsbrücken, Bridge 6 for a harbour tour with Barkassen Meyer. We were told that a visit to Hamburg is simply unthinkable without a tour through the global harbour. To be honest with young kids I think you could live without it. Perhaps on a very sunny day it would be more fun, and definitely make sure you book on for an English tour (Every day at 11:30 am (april to october)) if you can, as we didn’t manage the English tour and we definitely had a poorer experience as a result.
The harbour tour lasts an hour and costs E18 for adults E9 for children up to age 14. Under 4’s are free.
Actually only 5 out of the 7 of us did the harbour tour as one of the twins didn’t fancy it at all, so we took some time out and ate more ice cream and played cards!
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[ad – hosted] So sometimes with kids when you’re doing a city break you have to do some of what they want to do as well. This one really really didn’t want to go on the boat cruise so instead we sat in the sun down by the river and played cards whilst the other 5 went on the trip. It was only an hour but it made her so happy. After we finished our fab trip to the @chocoversum (check out the insta stories I’ve saved #Hamburg as a highlight) they really wanted to head back to the hotel and have a swim so that’s what we’ve done. All about compromise! We have loved Hamburg but are onto #Berlin tomorrow! Fabulous stay at the @holiday_inn_hamburg with @come_to_hamburg thanks so much for hosting us. #ukftb #familytravel #hamburgahoi #cometohamburg #fearlessfamtrav #visitGermany #wanderlustmomblogger#lovelysquares #takeyourkidseverywhere #halftermholidays #lpkids
Chocoversum Chocolate Museum got a huge thumbs up from all 7 of us. From the moment you arrive at Chocoversum Chocolate Museum and start the tour with your guide you are given your first bit of chocolate to eat. Warm melted chocolate from a chocolate fountain which drips onto the waffle you’re handed. It was delicious and really set the tone for the tour.
The kids were in heaven and actually would have been happy if that’s all they had been given – although it really wasn’t!
Read our full review about Chocoversum Chocolate Museum in Hamburg here.
Why not check out our video of our 48 hours in Hamburg with Kids and see more of the Miniatur Wunderland in it.
We loved our time in Hamburg with kids but after 48 hours it was time to move onto Berlin!
Train from Hamburg to Berlin
We connected the two cities easily by getting the train from Hamburg to Berlin (I booked tickets beforehand using my Trainline app actually) and it only took 1 hour 40 minutes.
You can read more about our 48 hours in Berlin with the kids here, or why not check out our video.
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48 hours in Hamburg with Kids
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.