Germany's second largest city has recently been voted by Lonely Planet as one of the top ten places you should see in 2018. With its riverside bars, music history, designer hostels and sizzling nightlife, it’s not hard to see why.

Here's a few things to keep you busy on your trip to Hamburg.

1) Go on a ferry tour 

Hamburg harbour

Image by Marius Brede (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Hamburg is home to one of the largest seaports in Europe and is Germany’s ‘gateway to the world’. Jump aboard the city’s ferry from the Landungsbrücken Dock 3 to Finkenwerder if you want to see the city by water. The ferry ride takes about 30 minutes and costs about 4€ per person.

2) Have drinks at the city’s tallest cocktail bar

Hamburg skyline

Image by Uwe Koch (Flickr/Creative Commons)

If you are looking for spectacular views in Hamburg, you should check out the ‘20up’ in the Empire Riverside Hotel. The cocktail bar is on the twentieth floor of the hotel and provides stunning views of the harbour. 

3) Visit the majestic Elbphilharmonie concert hall

Elbphilharmonie

Image by Robert Katzki (Unsplash)

The recent opening of the stunning Elbphilharmonie concert hall put Hamburg on the map. It is one of the Europe’s most spectacular new buildings, and a ‘must see’ for visitors. The €789m super-project sits on top of a coffee bean warehouse, and there’s a glass structure that acts as a public viewing area for the whole building. 

4) Explore the Museum Mile

Kunsthalle

Image by Christopher (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Hamburg’s Museum Mile takes in five major galleries, including the Kunsthalle, which houses one of Europe’s biggest art collections. Here you will see fantastic paintings by Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, Max Ernst and Picasso.

While the prestigious City Hall (Rathaus), is the only palace in the city, and its inner decoration has astonished visitors for centuries. 

5) Take pictures at the Binnenalster

Binnenalster

Image by Peter Hessels (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Walking through the open-air market and the elegant alleyways around the City Hall you will come across the Binnenalster, the massive lake that connects the port with the sea.

6) Check out the red light district

Reeperbahn

Image by txmx 2 (Flickr/Creative Commons)

No trip to Hamburg is complete without a trip to Reeperbahn - the city’s infamous red light district. It’s far more chilled and accessible than previous years. With gourmet restaurants, bars and coffeeshops replacing the old brothels.

If you want to go on a walking tour of the area and learn about its history, then just ask at the hostel when you arrive.

7) Eat out at the Fischmarkt

Fischmarkt

Image by Rosa G. (Flickr/Creative Commons)

Every trip to Hamburg must include a trip to their fish market, which takes place at the port and opens its doors in the early morning on Sunday. Alt-rock bands entertain the masses gathering at the port so you can start your day with a freshly cooked breakfast and live music.

Where to stay in Hamburg?

Generator Hostel Hamburg

Image by Generator Hostel Hamburg

Hamburg has a fantastic range of boutique hostels available. You can stay in the city centre for under 15€ per night if you book in advance. From no thrills properties to designer poshtels, staying overnight in Germany’s second largest city has never been easier.

*Header image by Patrick Baum (Unsplash)