Dungeons, sailboats and the “Elphi”
The Elbtower guide through HafenCity
Welcome to HafenCity Hamburg’s fascinating new development: This vibrant district has many picturesque sights on offer that are wonderful to immerse yourself in.
From parks and squares to relax in, to historic ships and warehouses as well as exciting museums and attractions – there is so much to discover. Hamburg’s history and future are reflected in the sights that you can enjoy with a simple stroll. Our Elbtower guide to HafenCity gives you the best tips for discovering this lively district on foot.
The traditional ship harbor
A striking and charming landmark is the bascule bridge that rises majestically over the water at Sandtorhafen, the traditional harbor basin between the new HafenCity and the historic Speicherstadt. From there, visitors can wave at passing ships as well as enjoy the maritime atmosphere. At Sandtorkai, Hamburg’s oldest quay wall, 20-25 historic ships and cutter sailboats are moored. They make the site a real traditional ship harbor representing Hamburg’s maritime history.
Photo: © Christoph Bellin
The Elbphilharmonie is a true highlight in Hamburg and is often affectionately known as the “Elphi”. The Elbphilharmonie on the Norderelbe’s right bank is an architectural masterpiece. It was completed in November 2016 as a concert hall for Hamburg. The 110-meter-high building was designed by the Basel-based architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron and financed by tax revenues from the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. Today, the Elbphilharmonie is a true landmark of the city. Together with the Elbtower at the eastern tip of HafenCity, it will create a fascinating future urban setting that extends across the entire HafenCity. In the Elbphilharmonie, it is not only large concerts that captivate visitors – they can also enjoy a breathtaking view of the city from the building.
Platz der Deutschen Einheit 4
Tel: +49 40 357 666 0
A lively urban neighborhood that is well worth seeing has emerged on the waterfront at Dalmannkai on Grasbrookhafen harbor. Its special feature is that the high-rise buildings and streets are located on elevated, flood-protected wharves, while the waterfront promenades run on lower levels. The high-rise buildings on Dalmannkai were designed by 27 developers and 26 architectural firms, resulting in a rich diversity in the designs. About 1,000 people live in this district today. In addition, about 50 companies, mainly from the media and logistics industries, have settled here. Gastronomy, retail and cultural facilities create an exciting mixed-use environment.
The Magellan Terraces are a popular meeting place for locals and visitors alike. The 5,000-square-meter square is interesting in terms of its design because it embraces the topography of HafenCity like an amphitheater and creates many different places to linger. A number of culinary delights can be enjoyed in the various cafés and restaurants, while the view of the Elbphilharmonie, the Elbe River and Sandtorhafen harbor creates a unique atmosphere.
Photo: Dietmar Rabich
If you want a glimpse into Hamburg’s future, cross the Nordelbe. South of the river, a new district called Grasbrook is being built in the middle of Hamburg. And another two new districts are being created, separated by the Moldauhafen harbor: the Moldauhafen quarter in the north, and the Hafentor quarter in the south. Some 6,000 people will live there and 16,000 people will work there in the future. There will be schools, daycare centers, parks, promenades, plus a wide range of cultural and recreational facilities as well as sports and play venues. Thanks to its central location, Grasbrook connects Hamburg’s city center with the Elbe island. You can still enjoy Grasbrook with relaxing walks along the water.
Photo: © Moka Studio
Lohse Park is a green oasis in the middle of the city. Like a long green ribbon, the 4.3-hectare park stretches from water to water. Lawns, seating areas and playgrounds invite visitors to linger. The green space is named after Hermann Lohse, who built the Elbe bridge. Originally, the Hannoverersche train station was located on this site. More than 8,000 people were deported from there during the Nazi era and there is a memorial in the park to commemorate them.
Photo: © BLUE Schöfer
Gewürzmuseum (Spice Museum)
Spicy’s Gewürzmuseum is a real highlight. The private museum was founded in 1991 and enchants visitors with exotic scents. Covering 350 square meters of space in an original warehouse, the museum offers some 900 exhibits from the last five centuries all telling the history of spices.
Am Sandtorkai 34
Tel: +49 40 367989
Speicherstadt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an architectural gem. The narrow canals, bridges and streets along the world’s largest continuous warehouse complex are an integral part of the Hanseatic city’s identity. The winding alleys between the historic brick buildings with their Gothic turrets and gables create a special atmosphere especially at dusk. The gastronomic choices on offer in many historic buildings invite you to spend relaxing hours enjoying their culinary delights.
Miniatur Wunderland has achieved world fame. According to Guinness World Records, it is the largest model train layout in the world. There are 1,166 trains on the tracks here and more than 10,645 carriages. The layout, which covers more than 1,400 square meters, offers a fascinating miniature world that delights with its detailed landscapes and the lovingly designed scenes and sets.
Kehrwieder 2/Block D
If you are looking for a thrill, then the Hamburg Dungeon is the place for you. The Hamburg Dungeon, which opened in May 2000, is a combination of history lesson, chamber of horrors, theater show and rides, presented by actors. Here you can immerse yourself in dark stories and experience Hamburg’s sinister side up close.
Elbtower construction site
The Eltbower is currently under construction at the eastern tip of HafenCity. Progress on Hamburg’s newest landmark is unmistakable. The foundation slab was poured in December 2022, and today, in May 2023, the tower is 40 meters into the air. When completed, it will have a height of 245 meters and accommodate 64 floors. The impressive structure will enrich the city’s skyline and offer a breathtaking view over HafenCity as well as the whole of Hamburg.