Hamburg, the maritime city in the North of Germany, has one distinct climatic challenge: Rain ?️ On average it rains 10-12 days per month. So chances are high, that your city trip to Hamburg will also include some rainy periods. Without further ado – here’s our travel guide with our Top 5 Indoor Activities in Hamburg for a rainy weekend!
The Speicherstadt looks mystical on grey days
Hamburg climate through the seasons
We travelled to Hamburg two times this March and only had one day with some short moments of sunshine. The rest of the days consisted of all sorts of rain (think sideways rain, spray rain… ☔) – just like the forecast had predicted.
The temperature was at around 10 degrees centigrade, but a gusty wind made it feel colder. So our conclusion is: Maybe March isn’t the best month to travel to Hamburg! The driest month is February, but it’s even colder then. So we recommend to visit Hamburg in late spring or summer – you’ll still have some rainy days, but at least the temperatures will be less uncomfortable 🙂
A boat tour of Hamburg’s harbour has one advantage: The boats are heated!
So we packed our umbrellas, cozy knitwear and boots and didn’t let the rain stop us from discovering the city. The best tip is to plan multiple indoor activities and stops!
Museums like the “Kunsthalle” are a safe haven on days with heavy rain.
Top 5 indoor activities in rainy Hamburg
Believe us: The one thing you’ll want to do is just escape inside all the time. So here’s our 5 favourite stops, where you’ll stay dry and warm, but also discover and learn something about Hamburg:
- A concert at the Elbphilharmonie
- Exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Hamburg
- A peak into the eccentric “Miniaturwunderland“
- Verner Panton’s Spiegel canteen at the “Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe”
- Climb up the tower of “St. Petri Church“
A concert at the Elbphilharmonie
The new landmark of Hamburg is worth a visit for multiple reasons, the architecture being one of the major drawing points of the new concert building by architects Herzog de Meuron. You can visit the Plaza, which separates the old storage building’s structure from the newly built glass top, for free on any given day. Just expect tons of visitors!
We recommend getting tickets for one of the multiple concerts (be it classical, experimental or even pop concerts)! The current season is sold out, but the chances are high to grab last minute tickets if you come to the Elphi 30 minutes before a concert starts. If you don’t want to gamble – the next season will be announced by the end of May 2017 (ticket sales starting in June).
The rooftop is only accessible via a special guided tour, but quite impressive!
The grand concert hall is truly an experience, that is hardly properly described by words. Of course we’re not acoustics specialists, but it does feel like you can hear every instrument and get a sense of joining the orchestra even physically.
Officially there’s no “best seats” in the Elbphilharmonie, but our seats in the so called “Parkett” (the pit) were exceptional. We could even see the facial expressions of every musician and felt immersed into the music. The concert we experienced was quite special, as it was the “Syrian Expat Orchestra”, that performed traditional Syrian music and also some interesting contemporary pieces. One of our true highlights of the city weekend!
A Visit of the Kunsthalle
Hamburg’s top 5 art institutions have joined forces and you can buy a ticket to all of the 5 houses for 36 Euros (full price). This might not feel cheap at first, but it’s so worth it when the rain forces you to go inside multiple times a day. ?
We used our so called “Kunstmeilenpass” for a visit of the “Hamburger Kunsthalle”, the “Deichtorhallen” and the “Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe”. Our highlight at the Kunsthalle was the current photography exhibition called “Warten” (until 18th of June 2017). It features an impressive collection of pieces all about the subject of waiting, time stretched into endlessness – our favourite being a series of photos of bus stations in Armenia by Ursula Schulz-Dornburg.
The inside of “Kunsthalle Hamburg” is also quite photogenic.
A peak into the Miniaturwunderland
Well, this doesn’t need a lot of explanation – it’s one of the most visited places in the world. And rightfully so. The amount of work that every piece in this true wonderland has seen is incredible. You can stare at one of the miniature landscapes forever and find new details (who has found the Samba dancers in the winter landscape of Switzerland?). The entrance fee is 13 Euros for adults. But be prepared for masses of people!
The Elbphilharmonie can be seen in miniature form and the lighting changes from day to night.
Verner Panton’s Spiegel canteen at the “Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe”
Don’t get us wrong – the “Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe” is huge and holds treasures from every century. But there’s one absolute highlight: The Spiegel canteen by Verner Panton – it’s like a warp zone back to the colourful 60s and 70s of the last century. The canteen was really part of the former “Spiegel” office, before they moved into a new building and donated the canteen to the museum.
Another interesting option at the museum is the weekly Japanese tea ceremony at the tee house from Kyoto, which you can attend for just 3 Euros. It’s held every Saturday and Sunday in the afternoon.
Climb up the tower of “St. Petri” church
This is the oldest church in Hamburg and features the second highest tower to be climbed in all of Germany. Be prepared: It’s 544 steps to the top! But we can share a little secret with you: After “only” 330 steps there’s the first panorama platform and the views are just breathtaking enough. The entrance fee is 4 Euros, but make sure to check the opening hours – they only let visitors up if you come at least 1 hour before closing time.
As you can see we managed to climb the tower at sunset on a day with good weather!
Those were our Top 5 indoor activities in Hamburg. We have our fingers crossed for your city trip’s weather forecast!
Where to stay in Hamburg
We recommend to stay in either the Speicherstadt neighbourhood or the area around Schanzenviertel. Those are the two most interesting locations in Hamburg. We tested two hotels for you!
AMERON Hotel Speicherstadt
The location of the AMERON Hotel in the Speicherstadt is incredible and the hotel features a glass bridge over the river! On your way to breakfast you can watch the boats pass under the bridge. Rooms start at 134 Euros per night.
Make sure to upgrade to a room with views of the Speicherstadt!
The rooms are cozy and elegantly designed.
Yo Ho Hotel at Schanzenviertel
The concept of the Yo Ho hotel is young and trendy. This fits perfectly to it’s location in the hip Schanzenviertel. Double rooms start at 119 Euros.
The rooms on the back of the building have terraces, so try to get one of those!
Where to eat cake and drink coffee in Hamburg
The best thing to do when it rains: Go inside and have cake & coffee. Our favourite spot: Hej Papa café close to the popular Gängeviertel.
We hope you enjoyed our Top 5 indoor activities in Hamburg. If you want to brave the rain (or got a good weather forecast), here are our Top 5 outdoor activities!
Disclaimer: We were invited to Hamburg by the local tourist board & the Elbphilharmonie, but our views stay independent from that invitation.