Cities are best viewed from above. The following list will take you to places that I think belong to the greatest highlights of Hamburg. Let yourself be inspired – my list of Hamburg’s best views has something for every occasion: for the small picnic or the next date, the panorama photo session or a breather while shopping in the city… Here you will learn everything about truly sublime Hamburg moments!
TEXT & PHOTOS: SUSANNE KRIEG
On the tower of St. Petri Church
For a long time, I ignored the St. Petri Church. No wonder. It is located next to Hamburg’s most famous shopping mile, the Mönckebergstrasse – and when you are on it, you usually have better things to do than looking at churches. A mistake! Hamburg’s oldest parish church has a tower, with the highest viewing platform of the city at 123 meters. The only catch is that you have to walk the 544 steps to the lookout on foot in order to enjoy one of Hamburg’s best views. The stairs also give you a bit of a naughty thrill, because going up you mostly have a free view downwards. But it’s worth it. St. Petri’s tower is way less crowded than the Michel tower. The panorama view can more than match! The town hall looks like a majestic fairy-tale castle from up here. And depending on the weather, the view to the Elbe, the Hafencity and the Elbphilharmonie is heavenly!
Costs: 3 euros per person / Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sundays after 10am Mass until 4pm.
→ Bei der Petri Kirche 2/ map
→ Elbchaussee / map
On the so-called Stintfang, a hill above the S- and U-Bahn station Landungsbrücken, you’ll find the youth hostel with Hamburg’s most exclusive view over the harbor. But to enjoy the grand vista, you do not even have to be a guest of the hostel. Two ways lead to the viewing platform in front of the building: either you come from the train station and take the exit on the right, from which a staircase leads past Hamburg’s only vineyard to the square in front of the youth hostel. Or you are approaching it from the street Seewarte from the other side. Then you have to turn right past the youth hostel. Especially recommended: the evening hours. Bring a beer and enjoy the most wonderful sunsets here before you leave for a night on St. Pauli, which starts only a few hundred meters further.
Steinwerder: At the Old Elbe Tunnel
There are always romantically entwined couples at this place in the evening hours … So, bringing your own sweetheart would be best. But to get here you have to go through the Old Elbe Tunnel, which is also a great experience (more about it another time!). As soon as you are back up in the fresh air, keep to your left. Right next to the tunnel building, a small path leads to the viewpoint. From here you can finally see the Hanseatic city from the other bank of the Elbe. But while enyoing one of Hamburg’s best views, please, do not forget to do some serious snogging!
→ Aussichtspunkt Alter Elbtunnel, Schanzenweg / map
Ferris Wheel At The DOM
Three times a year the DOM leaves its mark on the Heiligengeistfeld of St. Pauli. The DOM is a huge fun fair, one of the biggest of Germany. For a long time I avoided the DOM like the plague. In the meantime, however, I have reconciled myself with the recurring spectacle. In fact, the view from the ferris wheel is marvelous. It is the 60 meter high landmark of the DOM and, according to the operator, the highest transportable ferris wheel in the world. In any case, a ride with it is recommended, also because the view on the mass of caravans in which the fairground people live during the event is incredible.
→ Heiligengeistfeld / map
Le Canard Nouveau
The Le Canard Noveau on the Elbchaussee is one of the best-known gourmet addresses in Germany. I have not eaten there yet, so I can not say anything about the menu. But I have another tip: If you pass the building, in which the restaurant is located next to an architect’s office, you arrive at a construction that looks like a mixture of bridge and balcony. From here you have another beautiful view of water, ships and cranes as well as a little below the harbour museum of Neumühlen.
→ Elbchaussee 139 / map
View Point, Hafencity
What looks like a strange mixture of an orange crane and a dinosaur from afar is worth a climb! The Viewpoint (13 m) on the south side of the Baakenhafen Bridge is a must for anyone who wants to explore the HafenCity! There is no better place to take a 360 ° look at the building process. This part of the city never seems to be finished. The views range from Entenwerder over the Elbphilharmonie and from the Veddel to the old town. There are explanations for all buildings and areas that you can see from there.
How to get there: Get on the (very photogenic) subway station HafenCity University (U4) and go about 5 minutes over the Baakenhafen bridge. The viewpoint is on the right.
→ Grandeswerderstraße / map
The Coffee Shop, City Centre
The coffee shop in the Poststraße (above the Zara branch) is a café with panoramic windows and a great view over the Bleichenfleet. In addition, the coffee here tastes very exquisite and has made a name for itself in the specialty coffee scene.
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 8 am – 8 pm; Sat 9:00 – 20:00; Sun 11:00 – 7:00 pm
→ Poststraße 6a / map
The Elbphilharmonie is worth visiting not only for its excellent music program and its modern, wavy architecture. There is also a public viewing platform at 37 meters. It offers a spectacular view of the city center and the harbor of Hamburg. An 82-meter-long, curved escalator takes you through the building to the Plaza. It is accessible to everyone and free of charge. However, it can be busy (mainly at the weekend). To make sure you have access at a specific date and time, you should book tickets online one day in advance. In this case, however, a booking fee of € 2.00 per ticket will be charged.
Opening hours: daily from 9:00 to 24:00.