Embarking on this route, you will allow yourself to be completely captivated and enchanted by the Christmas spirit of Hamburg. It becomes magical and fairy-tale-like, all set within the maritime ambiance of the Hanseatic city. Everywhere you go, there are enticing aromas, shining lights, and Christmas melodies that accompany you from one highlight to the next. Enjoy it and let yourself be carried away.
On this route, a few kilometers add up. However, you will always be so enchanted and distracted that you won't even notice it. And if you do happen to get tired on foot, the next S-Bahn or U-Bahn station is not far away.
It's best to start the Christmas route where the heart of Hamburg beats - at the Landungsbrücken by the harbor. Direct your gaze toward the glittering facade of the Elbphilharmonie as winter darkness descends over the harbor. The ferries, tugboats, barges, as well as the famous Cap San Diego and the no less famous Rickmer Rickmers, illuminate in Christmas colors and create a special atmosphere and unique winter magic in the harbor with their decorated Christmas trees on board. On two weekends in November, the Christmas markets of the Nordic seamen's churches across the street on Dietmar-Koel-Straße become a popular meeting point for Scandinavia fans and Northern Lights enthusiasts. Now, stroll on the other side of Hafenstraße to the north until you reach the Spielbudenplatz on the Reeperbahn.
There, you'll find Santa Pauli - Hamburg's most sensual Christmas market. Here, conventional Christmas traditions blend with lively neighborhood life – Christmas à la Reeperbahn, so to speak. In addition to traditional stalls, you'll discover cheeky and frivolous Christmas products, and a hot strip show is not to be missed. Now, walk eastward along the Reeperbahn. At its end, you'll find the entrance to Hamburg's beautiful 47-hectare city park called 'Planten un Blomen". Stroll through the park to the north to reach the EisArena Hamburg after about 500 meters. Here, you can ice skate or try curling in a winter atmosphere on Germany's largest open-air ice rink and feel like you're in Central Park in New York. On Fridays and Saturdays, a live DJ ensures the right mood.
After this exertion, you're surely looking for some refreshment. Exit the park at Sievekingplatz and head eastward through Valentinskamp toward Binnenalster. Along the way, you'll first come across the Christmas Gänsemarkt, a bit further you'll reach the White Magic at Jungfernstieg, from where it's not far to the Historic Christmas Market at Rathausmarkt. At Gänsemarkt, you'll find an idyllic village of gingerbread houses with meticulous attention to detail. The enchantingly decorated Jungfernstieg dazzles with its lights, numerous artisan stalls, and a splendid view of the Christmas-adorned Alstertanne. At Rathausmarkt, it becomes truly magical when the flying Santa Claus floats over the heads of visitors three times a day in his sleigh, narrating the Christmas story. Another magical Christmas highlight in the city center is the Christmas Parade on Advent Saturdays at 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM, winding its way through the brightly illuminated Mönckebergstraße towards Jungfernstieg. The merrily waving Santa Claus on his gift-laden reindeer sleigh is accompanied by playful elves, beautiful angels, ice princesses, star dancers, and a brass band.
Option 1: Take the green S-Bahn lines S1 or S11 to the Klein Flottbek station. Right next to the station, you'll find the Loki-Schmidt-Garten – a botanical garden with a variety of plants, tropical greenhouses, and family attractions. From November 17, 2023, to January 14, 2024, the Christmas Garden will be on display. It takes you on an almost two-kilometer-long path with glittering illuminations and atmospheric light installations, creating a magical Christmas world nestled within the diverse nature of the botanical garden. Tickets can be purchased online in advance.
Option 2: Take the red S-Bahn lines S2 or S21 to Bergedorf. The Bergedorfer Weihnachtsmarkt with its Scandinavian Christmas village offers a truly unique atmosphere – a bit like Bullerbü! With Swedish-red wooden huts, plenty of birch wood, straw bales, cozy seating with fluffy fur blankets by crackling campfires, the real "Santa's Home," and Villa Kunterbunt amidst a fir forest. Hamburg's only castle blends into this enchanted Christmas world.
Option 3: Take the purple S-Bahn lines S3 or S31 to the Harburg Rathaus station. The Harburger Weihnachtsmarkt, with its small market stalls surrounding the large Christmas tree in front of the picturesque town hall, is simply magical. It becomes particularly impressive when the tower trumpeters play every evening from the historic town hall or when Frau Holle opens her windows, shakes her beds, and thick snowflakes and gold coins fall out."
As a route planner, we strive to put together particularly diverse routes through Hamburg's most beautiful areas. Did you like our Christmas route? We look forward to receiving your feedback. To discover even more unique corners of Hamburg, take a look at our city map.