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Maritime Culture & UNESCO

One of the most popular sights in Hamburg, the UNESCO world heritage site "Speicherstadt" has a unique aesthetic which consists of red bricks, canals, bridges and alleyways. The complex of warehouses, built from the end of the 19th century as a new quarter next to the Port of Hamburg, is so big that it could even be called a small city on its own. The world heritage is completed with the so-called Kontorhaus district in the city center, which, along with the Chilehaus, also features stunningly sensational architecture.

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International Maritime Museum

Kaispeicher B in Hamburg's Speicherstadt is home to the world's largest private collection of maritime treasures from 3000 years of shipping and naval history.

International Maritime Museum
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Speicherstadt & Kontorhausviertel UNESCO World Heritage

In 2015, the "Speicherstadt and Kontorhausviertel with Chilehaus" ensemble was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. This makes it one of the world's 1200 "masterpieces of human creativity of universal value".

UNESCO World Heritage
© Martin Elsen, luftbild.fotograf.de

From adventures at sea Museum ships

Whether they were sailing the world's oceans or always cruising close to their home port - the museum ships anchored in Hamburg could all tell stories of adventures on the high seas.

Museum ships
© Mediaserver Hamburg / Christian Spahrbier

Experiences against a maritime backdrop Entertainment on the waterfront

In the past, people mainly worked in the port, but today there are also all kinds of things to see, try out and experience. The Elbe, ships and containers provide a picturesque backdrop for concerts, festivals and tours, among other things.

Entertainment on the waterfront
© Elbe und Flut

Maritime history up close Maritime museums

In Hamburg's maritime museums you can follow the traces of the Hanseatic city. When was the second largest port in Europe founded? What role did the Hanseatic League play in Hamburg's development? How many bricks does the Chilehaus actually consist…

Maritime museums

The Speicherstadt – vibrant, steeped in history and still very much alive

A city within the city

Of course, a large and significant port such as ours requires enough space to handle all the importing and exporting going on. When construction work began at the end of the 19th century, no one would have ever believed that the complex of warehouses built here would one day become one of the most beautiful places in Hamburg. It’s safe to say that our warehouses have morphed into a wonderful little city within the city. No wonder it’s been on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites for several years now, along with the Kontorhaus district.

The Speicherstadt experience

Some of the Speicherstadt’s warehouses are open for viewing or have been converted into museums – why not take a guided tour or even a boat trip and explore the area to your heart’s content? The Speicherstadt Museum, located in one of the former warehouses, is dedicated to how working life used to be in these large buildings, in which the quality of the goods often had to be tested, and where tea and coffee were traded. Additionally, the International Maritime Museum, with its extensive collection, has also found just the right home in Hamburg’s oldest remaining warehouse – an imposing ten-storey brick building that can be seen from miles around. Spicy’s Spice Museum and the Burg Coffee Museum, for example, recount the history of the foodstuffs that were traded in the Port of Hamburg. The latter, in particular, not only shows where coffee comes from and how it is roasted, visitors are also invited to put their taste buds to the test and see if they can spot the differences during tasting sessions. The Customs Museum and its collection of smugglers’ hideouts are also well worth a visit – join us and take a look at the contraband that should never really have ended up here in the first place. The Flussschifferkirche, Germany's only floating church, is also worth a detour.

Once just warehouses, now a lively district

As an expansion to the Speicherstadt, where goods were stored, valued and packed, the Kontorhaus district was built at the beginning of the 20th century. Here, goods from the port were traded in offices and business premises. Thanks to its high-quality design, the first purpose-built office district in Europe is the true embodiment of modern architecture and urban planning. Today, the area is no longer used strictly for business purposes; beautiful boutiques and exciting eateries can also be found here. What’s more, with its pointed shape reminiscent of a ship, the uniquely shaped Chilehaus also stands out in the district. Indeed, it took almost 5 million bricks to build it, which is why the building can legitimately be dubbed an icon of clinker expressionism.

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS Maritime Culture & UNESCO in Hamburg

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Outstanding German civil engineering Alter Elbtunnel

When the old Elbe Tunnel, also called St. Pauli Elbe Tunnel, opened in 1911, it was a technical sensation. Today, it is a nostalgic and lovingly…

Alter Elbtunnel
© www.mediaserver.hamburg.de / Martin Elsen, luftbild.fotograf.de

Experience the history of seafaring Peking

Back to her home port: After decades of absence, the four-masted barque Peking returns to Hamburg. In the port on the Elbe, the Peking is the fourth…

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A piece of the hamburg harbour panorama Cap San Diego

The White Swan of the South Atlantic - The "Cap San Diego" was built in 1961 as a cargo ship and has been a museum ship with a fixed berth at the…

Cap San Diego
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A ship that has seen the world Museum Ship RICKMER RICKMERS

The museum ship RICKMER RICKMERS in the Hamburg harbour is a floating monument reminding of the times of the great windjammers in Hamburg, open daily…

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Picturesque small harbour at the Elbe river Museum Harbour Oevelgönne

The museum harbour Oevelgönne is a wonderful destination for young and old on the Elbe beach. Around 20 classic ships are moored at the Neumühlen…

Museum Harbour Oevelgönne

BOOK NOW Our travel and experience offers

Reisepaket: Hamburg für Entdecker
© Escape Filmproduktion

Hamburg for explorers On water, on land and on foot

  • overnight stay in a Hotel, with breakfast
  • Guided tours by bus, boat and on foot
  • Hamburg CARD (3 Days) – ticket worth 31,90€
Hamburg for explorers
To offer
from 206.00
Hafenrundfahrten Hamburg Tickets
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Harbour tours tickets Maritime Experiences

  • Port of Hamburg & Warehouse District
  • Different tours
  • Online, fast and secure booking
Harbour tours tickets
To the offer
from 24.00
Alsterrundfahrt Tickets
© Dietwalther – stock.adobe.com

Alster boat trips tickets Hamburg's Blue Centre

  • Sightseeing from the water
  • Different tours
  • Online, fast and secure booking
Alster boat trips tickets
To the offer
from 22.00
Stattreisen Familienführung - Der Hafen für Kinder
© Stattreisen

Family tour - The harbour for children

  • Varied city tour 
  • pictures and stories of the diverse harbor world 
  • City tour including a small ferry ride (HVV card required)
Family tour - The harbour for children
To offer
from 12.00 €*

More Hamburg
Experience & Save

Free travel by bus, train & harbour ferries,
up to 50% discount on over 150 activities,
attractions and restaurants.

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Info & Booking
from 11.90

Free travel

Free travel everywhere by bus, train & harbour ferries

Many discounts

Up to 50% discount on over 150 tourist attractions

Buy now

Online, tourist info, hotel or ticket machine

DISCOVER NOW Maritime Hamburg

© mediaserver.hamburg.de / Jörg Modrow

Shipping & Cruises

Experience the metropolis on the Elbe before or after your cruise or just watch the ships. Be there live and up close when the most amazing cruise ships arrive at Hamburg's cruise terminals.

Shipping & Cruises
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The Landungsbrücken

The Landungsbrücken are Hamburg's floating jetty and starting point for numerous harbour tours and ferries.

The Landungsbrücken
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The Hamburg Fish Market

The fish market and its long tradition belong to Hamburg just like the harbour. Since 1703, you can find anything here you desire.

The Hamburg Fish Market

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