Hamburg – The Perfect City for Summer in Germany

When many people think of cities in Germany to visit, their first thought is almost always Berlin. And whilst this is certainly a destination that lives up to all the hype, it’s not the only thriving cosmopolitan location that the country has to offer.

Let us introduce you to the second-largest city in Germany, located in the north, on the river Elbe: Hamburg. With the two Alster lakes situated in the heart of the city, the multitude of parks & green spaces and its improved urban living environment it received the “European Green Capital” award in 2011.

Hamburg is also home to Europe’s second-largest harbour and is therefore often called Germany’s gate to the world. This port is just one of the reasons why Hamburg is so popular, along with its lively nightlife and the red-light district around the Reeperbahn area.

Plenty of people flock to German cities for Oktoberfest and Christmas markets, but summer is also a wonderful time to plan a visit. Hamburg is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for the best cities in Germany to visit in summer, and this post is here to explain why you should add it to your bucket list for your next sunny holiday.


If you ask travellers from abroad, many of them will state that Hamburg is the most beautiful city in Germany during the summertime. On hot summer days, the city has the perfect set-up: two big lakes in the centre (where sailing as well as relaxing is very popular) and the River Elbe with beautiful beaches and beach clubs.

You can also take a stroll along the harbour backdrop or relax in one of the city’s big recreation areas, where you can find space to barbecue. Canals also curve through the whole inner city where you take a boat trip (like in Amsterdam) or just walk along the canal path and enjoy the scenery beside the water.

Summer in Hamburg also hosts plenty of open-air festivals (music, cinema, theatre, dinner) and summer events, including the birthday of the harbour, Alstervergnügen and the cherry blossom festival. Of course, the lively nightlife in the party areas is an ideal way to spend the mild evenings, where you can enjoy your drink outside and talk or dance with people all night long.

Plenty of people head for the beach in the middle of the year, but summer in Germany is a wonderful way to enjoy cities like Hamburg at their finest. There are plenty of exciting events organised that are ideal for tourists to get a real taste of Hamburg’s culture, and warm enough weather that you can spend all of your time outdoors visiting attractions and enjoying green spaces.


There are plenty of options for places to stay in Hamburg, so no matter what your budget is, you’ll find somewhere brilliant to base yourself for your trip.

If you want to stay in a hotel, the Tortue Hamburg and Landhaus Flottbek are both boutique hotels near the centre of the city that offer a luxurious night’s stay and an ideal location to enjoy all of Hamburg’s best attractions.

For a more budget-friendly hotel experience, the Hotel am Museum in Rothenbaum is a bed and breakfast with great facilities and excellent reviews, offering guests free wifi and a private garden space to enjoy.

If you’re backpacking around Germany or just looking for accommodation that offers great value for money, Backpackers St. Pauli is a great hostel close to the popular Reeperbahn, which is great if you want to enjoy nightlife whilst in Hamburg.


Hamburg is a European city on roughly the same latitude as London, which means that the city is known for its rain. Much like the British capital, Hamburg sees fairly wet winters and autumns, which makes summer one of the best times to visit the city.

If you have a closer look at the statistics, you’ll see that Hamburg has no more rain than Munich, which is another German city that is popular for its sunny weather. The proximity to the north sea means that you can’t be 100% assured of dry weather when you visit in the summer months, but you can enjoy average high temperatures of up to 22°C across June, July and August.


With dry and sunny weather forecast for most of the summer in Hamburg, it’s the ideal time to get out and about and see as many of the top tourist attractions in Hamburg as possible. Here are some of our top picks.

Jenisch House

For something a bit different in Hamburg, a visit to the neoclassic Jenisch House is a great idea for an afternoon in the city. Originally built in 1831, the building is set in extensive grounds and houses several special exhibitions, but the park surrounding the house is definitely worth a visit in the summer.

Miniatur Wunderland

This attraction is advertised as a model railway, but is much more than just a simple set of train tracks. Miniatur Wunderland is located in the Speicherstadt warehouse district and loved by all ages, with an incredible miniature railway system covering 2,300 square metres and including sections dedicated to Germany, the USA and Scandinavia.

Hamburger Kunsthalle

Looking for somewhere to get your fix of art? The Hamburger Kunsthalle spans three different, connected buildings on the Glockengießerwall and is one of the best galleries in Germany, with plenty of historic exhibitions as well as more contemporary pieces on show.

Altonaer Museum

The Altonaer Museum is located in the glamorous Altona district and focuses on exhibits about the geography of the Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Elbe region. Learn more about the economy and geology of the area and also admire some impressive historic models of boats and preserved pieces of old ships.

St. Michael’s Church

When it comes to beautiful architecture, St. Michael’s Church is one of the best places to visit in the city. Designed in the Baroque style in the 18th century, it’s got a tower that ascends 132 metres high and features beautiful gilded ceilings, bronze statues and a crypt.


Quite a popular reason to travel to Hamburg is for a weekend full of partying. The city has two areas that are almost entirely dedicated to nightlife venues, making it easy to spend an entire evening enjoying a range of different bars and clubs on a balmy summer evening.

The two most famous areas of nightlife in Hamburg are the “Reeperbahn/St.Pauli” and the “Sternschanze”.

The Reeperbahn is very close to the harbour and is perhaps best known for being Hamburg’s ‘red light district’. In the past, sailors ringing from long trips at sea loved to go out here after a long trip because here they found everything they had missed during their trip: the red light district, pubs, bars and live music. 

Decades later, a lot of popular musicians and bands began their careers on the Reeperbahn, such as The Beatles who played in the clubs of Hamburg for 2 years before they shot to fame. This helped to diversify the selection of venues in the area and left a musical legacy that is still around today.

Nowadays, you can find all kinds of evening entertainment on the Reeperbahn and decide what you’d like to enjoy on a night out. Dance the night away in the clubs, visit one of the ‘gentlemen’s clubs’, buy a ticket to a concert or theatre performance, or just enjoy your drink at a bar with a view over the rooftops of the city.

If you’re travelling on your own, or want an opportunity to make friends in Hamburg, why not book a nightime guided tour of the Reeperbahn?

The Sternschanze is another area for nightlife which many people refer to as the alternative quarter of town. It is the perfect place to plan a tour through the bars and pubs along the Schulterblatt area; the central street in this district of the city. 

Enjoy a pint of the German Pilsener ‘Astra’ here, have a tasty meal at one of the good restaurants or dance to reggae music in the basement of the Haus 73. After enjoying the offerings of the alternate quarter, it’s only a 15-20 minute walk to the Reeperbahn if you want to take your night out to the next level.


Planning a trip to Hamburg and looking for recommendations on what to do? Here are our top five suggestions of what not to miss.

The Elbe

The Elbe is the economic and historical heart of the city. You can make a trip here from the harbour by catching the 62 ferry from Landungsbrücken and then go for a walk in Blankenese or have a drink at the beach club “Strand Pauli” while watching the big ships passing by

Old Warehouse District & Hafencity

Historic and modern designs come together here, making it a fascinating place to visit. The Speicherstadt is the largest timber-pile-founded warehouse district in the world, and today a lot of interesting museums are located in the old buildings.

In contrast to Hamburg’s warehouse district, Hafencity is the most modern part of town. New buildings with interesting and impressive architecture (like the Elbe Philharmonic Hall) are part of the largest rebuilding project in Europe, making this a fantastic spot for architecture enthusiasts.

The Alster Lakes

The Inner and Outer Alster Lakes in Hamburg are found right in the centre of the city, and are a great spot to visit on days when it’s really warm and sunny. Both bodies of water are surrounded by parks that are great for picnics and sunbathing, or you can rent boats or hop on a guided boat tour of the Alster Lakes at Jungfernstieg.

The lakes are separated by the Kennedy and Lombard bridges, and if you’ve got a day to yourself we recommend visiting both of them. The Inner Alster faces Hamburg’s city centre and is lined with impressive buildings, whilst the Outer Alster is surrounded by more green space and is ideal for relaxing.


Deichstraße is one of the most historic streets in Hamburg and a really popular place for people to visit when they’re sightseeing. Some of the houses here are timber-framed and have somehow managed to stand the test of time over the last decades, creating a pocket of space that feels like you’ve stepped back into the past.

After you’ve admired the traditional German architecture, we recommend that you stop off at one of the area’s popular restaurants. It’s also a part of the city known for its boutique shops and enjoys a peaceful atmosphere that might be welcome during the summer when the city’s streets are busy.

Planten un Blomen

Planten un Blomen translates to ‘plants and flowers’ and pretty much does exactly what it says on the tin. This popular park is right in the centre of the city and is a surprising place with impressive amounts of greenery and historic architecture left over from reclaimed mediaeval fortifications.

There are different themed gardens in Planten un Blomen that offer everything from a collection of medicinal herbs to greenhouses exhibiting tropical plants. It’s a great place to visit in the summer if you fancy a breather but want to stay in the heart of the city, as many other Hamburg attractions are only a short walk away from the park.

Feeling inspired to visit Germany in the summer? Why not explore more destinations around Europe on our Europe page?

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About the Author

Charlotte Armitage

Charlotte is the Content Manager and copywriter at SEO Travel, as well as being an avid writer in her free time. She enjoys travelling anywhere that has a beach and is reachable by train, and her favourite holiday to date was visiting Barcelona.