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Things to Do in Hamburg - page 2

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Hamburg Dungeon
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5 Tours and Activities

The Hamburg Dungeon takes visitors on a 90-minute journey through 600 years of Hamburg's dark history. The dungeon has different areas with various themes based on real events in Hamburg's history, as well as two rides and 11 different shows performed in both German and English by live, professional actors. A visit to the Dungeon is a fun yet scary way to experience the things that were left out of the history books.

Gripping storytelling, special effects and rides bring the history to life in a way that will make you laugh and scream. Start your tour with the Elevator of Horror before exploring the Library of Dark History where shadowy figures tell the stories in the books. Experience the Hamburg fire of 1842, try to find your way out of the Labyrinth of the Lost, and see if you can survive the torture chamber. Encounter pirates and ghosts along the way, plus much more terror. The Hamburg Dungeon occasionally has special events for certain holidays, like Halloween and Christmas.

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Harbor Museum (Hafenmuseum Hamburg)
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1 Tour and Activity

The Harbor Museum (Hafenmuseum Hamburg) is located in the remaining historical part of the free port built over a hundred years ago and showcases the history and operation of this important harbor. Due to container shipping, the look of the port has changed profoundly over the last several decades, but the museum has rented one of the last remaining wooden quai sheds, number 50A, and has worked hard to keep the history of the Hamburg harbor alive. On 2500 square meters, topics ranging from cargo handling, shipping and ship building to marine engineering are explained to the visitors. Outside the shed, the more heavy machinery is showcased. Highlights are a floating crane, a steam-powered suction machine, a barge and a mooring car.

The collection is located in the heart of the hustle and bustle of today’s hectic harbor and just as authentic as the location are the experts doing the explaining on what equipment is used and how the vessels are constructed in the shipyard. Every weekend between 10am and 6pm, former harbor workers and ship experts who have spent their whole lives around the port are available to teach visitors about the inner workings of a busy harbor and answer questions.

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Warehouse District Museum (Speicherstadtmuseum)
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2 Tours and Activities

Speicherstadt is one of the largest warehouse districts in the world, and the Warehouse District Museum (Speicherstadtmuseum) sits inside a warehouse built in 1888. Here, visitors can learn how goods have been shipped throughout the world by way of Hamburg for years. Featured are typical tools and imported goods that demonstrate the work of warehouse workers, as well as displays highlighting the weighing and sampling of goods, the refinement process and all of the considerations that must be made in the storage of valuable, imported goods such as coffee, cocoa, tobacco and rubber.

The museum hosts some exhibits on the tea and coffee trade, while another features photos and blueprints that show the history of Speicherstadt’s sconstruction. Visitors can also learn about the men who used to transport goods to the warehouses on barges.

The Warehouse District Museum holds regular guided tours, tea tastings and crime-thriller readings. There is also a cafe where you can get hot and cold drinks and cake, plus a museum shop filled with gifts and merchandise.

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Treppenviertel
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If you think Hamburg only has flat landscapes, think again! The Treppenviertel in Blankenese, Altona, is a small neighborhood located on a slope directly above the Elbe River. About 5,000 stairs lead through a cozy group of small mansions and historic houses, up to a beautiful view of the Port of Hamburg. The former fishing village is now a popular tourist destination, and a residential area for wealthy citizens of Hamburg. One of Germany’s prettiest hiking trails runs along the banks of the Elbe River to Blankenese.

With meandering alleys and white-painted houses, the Treppenviertel has a relaxed Mediterranean vibe — it almost feels like a resort on the Riviera. The Blankeneser Bahnhofstrasse (the area’s main street) is home to a weekly market, a picturesque church, and numerous cafes, restaurants, and ice-cream parlors. Wonderful views of the container ships entering and leaving the Port of Hamburg tempt the visitor to stay and watch, and there’s also a lighthouse that’s open to tourists. A great way to see Blankenese is by boat, on a harbor tour.

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Rickmer Rickmers
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2 Tours and Activities

Permanently moored along Hamburg’s waterfront, the Rickmer Rickmers is the oldest of the city’s numerous museum ships, standing in prize place next to the famous Cap San Diego. The historic trade ship was first launched in 1896 and was used to import rice and bamboo from Hong Kong, before serving in WWI and later, being used as a training ship for the Portuguese navy.

Today, the beautifully restored ship remains a majestic sight, with its three masts and eye-catching green and red painted hull looming over the riverside. Visitors can explore on-board the ship, stroll the wooden decks and peek into the crew quarters, then duck into the engine room, where an original steam engine and a Krupp diesel engine are on display.

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Hamburg Zoo (Tierpark Hagenbeck)
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One of the first zoos to house animals in moated, open enclosures rather than cages, the Hamburg Zoo's exhibits are spread over dozens of acres, where animals from all around the world live. Visitors will find elephants and giraffes from Africa, Asian elephants, tigers and lions, as well as tropical sharks and crocodiles.

The zoo’s lovely gardens are also exotic, recreating the ambiance of countries such as Japan and Nepal. Take a ride around the gardens by horse and carriage to explore the private zoo, run by the Hagenbeck family since 1907.

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Hamburg Old Town (Hamburg Altstadt)
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The focus of Hamburg’s Altstadt, or Old Town, is the Rathaus on the old market square. Streets leading off the square head to the classical arcades of the stock exchange, and to the old red-brick Speicherstadt warehouses lining the river.

Away from the Elbe, the Alsterarkaden has elegant shopping arcades lined with cafes.

Along the Deichstrasse you’ll see restored 18th-century homes, and the area has some lovely old churches, including St Petri, St Katherine, St Jakobi and St Nikolai.

The Altstadt is a fine area for walking, with bridges across canals, parklands, statues and fine old buildings to discover.

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