How to Spend 24 Hours in Hamburg

24 hours hamburg

Hamburg turned out to a wonderful surprise for me. I had not planned to visit the city, but my 24 hours in Hamburg were very nice.

24 hours hamburg

How did I end up in Hamburg?

I was attending the ITB trade show in Berlin and after the end of it, I was supposed to fly from Berlin back to Sofia. At that time there were strikes at the airports in Berlin and my flight got canceled. So, I started to look for other options and find a flight back home from Hamburg. Basically, that’s the whole story of how I ended up in Hamburg accidentally and unplaned. 

Between Berlin and Hamburg, I decided to travel around Germany by bus – the bus passed by Dresden, which is another German city that I would like to see someday in the future. 

I didn’t know much about the city, like what kind of things are there to be seen, or what can you do, etc. After I arrived at my hostel in Hamburg I went out for a short walk, it was already 5 PM. The kind (and sweet) boy from my hostel gave me a map of the city and told me all about the highlights that are need to be seen in such a short stay.

Like always when I try to make a plan something change and it doesn’t work out. I began my walk the way he told me but then completely ditch that and continue wandering aimlessly without any plan, without anything in mind, just enjoying the city.

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24 hours hamburg

So, how did I spend my 24 hours in Hamburg and so can you:

Wandering aimlessly

That’s how I started my stay in Hamburg, after the delicious tomato soup at the Generator Hostel. I walked aimlessly around the city center where are the inner-city lake, the Hamburg Rathaus, many luxury shops, restaurants, etc. I enjoyed the beautiful architecture of the city, the clean streets, the reflections of the building in the water. I’ve also enjoyed watching the sunset at the lake, which was very beautiful, and made friends with the ducks.

24 hours hamburg


Well, you are in Hamburg for the short time of24 hours, so you need to explore the nightlife as well and have some fun. I went to a few bars, which were nice (I don’t remember their names). The beer was not expensive, the music was good, I also had good company so everything was great.

Except for the local beer, try the Mexican shots (mexikaner), too. They are similar to the Bloody Mary.

One thing that is in common between the Germans and the Bulgarians is that we both like to party, and party until the morning. After the drinks and dances, you can head out to make a night walk (if you can walk) and enjoy all of the lights of the city.

24 hours hamburg

Boat tour

Do you know that Hamburg actually has the largest seaport in all of Germany and that the Hamburg harbor is the third biggest one in Europe?

A boat tour around the harbor will take you around one hour. Usually, at the harbor, you’ll find many companies offering boat tours for about 20 euros. Well, you can also do it for free or least a lot cheaper.

In the morning I bought a day card for the trains, buses, etc, which also includes the boat tour (or at least I understand so). To use it you just have to catch the public ferry #62 which travels from Landungsbrucken.

Actually, when I went there I didn’t see where they selling other tickets, I just got on the boat, no one checked me.

Though, note that I don’t recommend just hopping on the boat without any ticket, but I believed I had one and that’s why I did. (it has been confirmed multiple times after, by locals, that that’s how you do it so no worries)

24 hours hamburg

Elbe Tunnel

This tunnel is made to connect central Hamburg with the dock on the south side of the Elbe river. It’s built 24 meters beneath the surface and is 426 meters long. It’s free of charge and it’s opened 24 hours.

24 hours hamburg

Come back again

I didn’t want just to hop from one place to another, that’s why I also didn’t explore much of the city. I wanted to go to the viewing platform at the TV Tower but unfortunately, it was closed.

From what I saw and did in my 24 hours in Hamburg, I liked the city a lot. Of course, 24 hours are not enough to have a full experience of this big city, so that’s why I’ll love to come back again.

There are also many other places that I would like to visit in Germany, such as Cologne, as so far I’ve been only to Berlin, and Hamburg (for 24 hours). Many friends have been telling me that there are many cool things to do in Cologne. I would also like to visit Munich and Dresden and along with Berlin, they can make a great Germany itinerary for 10 days.

And if you need more inspiration for things to do in Hamburg, you can read the Travelling King post.

Where to stay in Hamburg

For my 24 hours stay in Hamburg, I chose to stay with Generator Hostels. As I say I ended up there accidentally because my flight back to Sofia from Berlin was canceled.

24 hours hamburg


When I was in Berlin I was staying at the Generator Hostel (you can see my full review here). I was extremely satisfied with my stay there and that’s why I chose them again for my stay in Hamburg.

The location of the Generator Hostel in Hamburg is great. The hostel is located in the city center. The central station of Hamburg (ZOB) is on the other side of the street. The heart of the city is within 5-10 minutes walking distance. Right next to the hostel there are also train and bus stops, which are well connected with the whole system, which can bring you all around the city. Hamburg Airport is 25 minutes train ride away.

The rooms and bathrooms are very clean, the beds are comfortable.

Actually, I like the whole design of the hostels from this chain.

They also have breakfast and lunch options, good coffee, fast Wi-Fi, and a bar.

24 hours hamburg


The staff is very helpful and friendly. The boy, Janosh (I really hope I’m not wrong with his name here), was very nice, although I was probably very annoying, asking him a hundred things. Sorry! 

I would say it again and again that I would stay with the Generator Hostel again anytime. So if you looking for a place to stay in Hamburg I highly recommend this hostel.

You can book your stay in Hostel World here.

The unexpected and unplanned things always turn out as the best ones. I have many amazing memories of that kind of occasion.

I’ve had a wonderful time in Hamburg and I would go back there again someday of that I’m sure.

Thanks for reading, 


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