Going from Munich to Hamburg is one of our favorite go-to weekend trips. And if you’ve never been, don’t worry… We’ve got all the insider tips!
Together with Hannah Teslin, one of our favorite English-speaking content creators in Germany, we’ve put together this weekend trip guide to help you enjoy your visit from Munich to Hamburg!
Munich and Hamburg are often compared as sister cities, but in fact, showcase two very different sides of Germany. So if you haven’t seen Hamburg yet, we strongly recommend it as a fun weekend trip!
Why Take a Trip from Munich to Hamburg?
With a Hanseatic vibe and laidback lifestyle, this growing international city has a lot to offer.
From exploring its diverse neighborhoods and sampling its growing coffee culture to admiring its waterscapes and historic harbor with over 22 canals, there’s plenty of activities here to fill a weekend trip.
How to Get from Munich to Hamburg
To find the cheapest and fastest options, we always use Omio. It’s a free search engine that lets you compare and book transport options from Point A to Point B, and you can sort it by price, duration, departure time, etc.
Munich to Hamburg Bus
The cheapest way to travel to Hamburg is usually with Flixbus.
Flixbus offers multiple departures per day, with fares usually lower than 40 euros each way. The Direct Express buses take around 11 hours, so of course, this isn’t the speediest route, but if budget is a factor then it is a great option with a lot of time to catch up on some of your favorite online activities with their in bus wifi.
Munich to Hamburg Train
There are trains from Munich to Hamburg that you can take to cut back on travel time.
In our opinion, these can be the best option, and as long as you book in advance the price can rival Flixbus pretty well. Direct trains from Munich to Hamburg are usually around the 6-hour mark.
Changes do not affect the time as much but do remember the lovely Deutsche Bahn is well known for its lack of punctuality.
Munich to Hamburg Flight
To be honest, we are usually not the keenest on flights in Germany. Sure they are speedy quick in comparison to the other methods of travel, but once you factor in the additional to/ from the airport and preparing, testing, etc.,it really isn’t the most efficient option.
However, personal choice is always king! So if you are more into flying, use Omio to find the cheapest option for your dates!
Where to Stay in Hamburg
We always like using Booking.com to find accommodation. The rates are good, you can make a reservation without paying in advance (the best). Plus last-minute cancellations often don’t have penalties so it’s pretty nice for travel flexibility. Click here to search for the best deals on accommodation in Hamburg.
Instant Sleep Backpacker Hostel – A good option when you are traveling on a budget and/or alone. Its prices are great, the location very helpful for public transportation and its reviews boast about the good atmosphere it provides to connect with your fellow site seekers.
Motel One Hamburg am Michel – Good prices and reviews to accompany. It is very much a ‘get what you expect’ place to stay. We find it to be quite good when you don’t want to stay in a hostel environment but are also looking for more affordable accommodation.
Le Meridien Hamburg – If you are wanting to go bougie and drop the budget, then this lakeside hotel will have you living that suite life for sure.
Hamburg in a Weekend from Munich: Awesome Things to Do
Wondering what to do during your weekend in Hamburg from Munich? Here are a few must-dos for your list:
1. Take the full tourist trail
If you are ready to go all-in on that tourist game, we would recommend a good strong city stroll. Start your spazierung at the Rathaus and explore the inner city followed by a detour into the harbor & old warehouse district.
For the best views of the famous Elbphilharmonie, head to the Marco-Pollo Terrasen, where there are many places to grab an Eis or a drink. Remember, you can go into the Elphi for free, you just need to get a ticket! Additionally, if you are up for some biking (walking still applicable of course!), we would recommend heading around Alster Lake. It is about an 8km stretch but you’ll get to see a wide range of Hamburg’s nicest areas.
If it’s a sunny day you can beach bar hop along the Alster, start with an Aperol Spritz at Barca – an der Alster, and make your way the famous Alsterperle for an Alsterwasser (a.k.a Radler) and end your trip at the Red Dog or Bobby Reich for chill beer.
2. Visit a beach
Yes, you heard us, a beach in Hamburg. Sounds a bit silly right? But we can confirm it’s a fun experience!
Just go on and take the 62 Ferry from Landunsbrücken to Ovelgönne and head to Strand Perle, grab a curry wurst, beer and dip your toes in the sand. You’ll be able to tell your friends how you spent some time on Hamburg’s riverside beach.
3. Cruise in the canals
Hit the famous Hamburg water scene with a boat tour from the Alster Lake at Jungfernsteig to explore the canals. Bonus points if you are a fan of fabulous housing as you’ll get a nice view of some of the backyards belonging to Germany’s rich and famous.
If it’s a warm day, you can grab a Stand Up Paddle Board at SUP Rental Hamburg, and explore the canals in your own time. You can rent a waterproof bag and phone case from them so you will get the perfect picture, don’t worry! If you have time, paddle to Cafe Canal for an ice cream to-go, directly on your SUP.
4. Coffee Hop in Eppendorf, Hoheluft & Eimsbüttel
Coffee in Hamburg is a growing culture we are the biggest fans of. There are so many cool spots with great coffee to cozy up in and live your best-caffeinated life.
- Start at Copenhagen Coffee Club for a coffee and delicious scandi-style pastry
- For lunch, you can go to Kropka for their famous open breads sandwiches or their carrot cake – plus a flat white
- Head off the street for a sunny espresso near the Canal at Ujote
5. Get the party started
Tired of sightseeing? No problem, let’s mix it up a bit with some laid-back party vibes.
Pop by the popular (and pretty hipster/ alternative) area of Sternchanze at Sunsannestrasse or Schulterblatt and St Pauli at Paul-Roosen-Straße for an evening drink and to get the night going.
Hamburg in a Weekend from Munich: Awesome Things to Eat and Drink!
Often, people think of Hamburg as a fishy seaside city that lacks culinary variety, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! Hamburg actually has a great deal of variety and delicious places to eat and drink. Here are some recommendations that are local-approved!
Great Places in Hamburg for Food
Das Lokal – This is the spot if you are seeking some northern German food with an urban twist. With its traditional flair and cozy local vibes, it’s pretty much the best of both worlds. Get the Abend Brot platter – it’s a must!
Salt & Silver – A chic spot when you want to add a little spice to your German city trip. This place caters to a mid-range budget but a full-range flavor experience. Our recommendation is to try their Octopus or Tacos!
Meatery – If you have a big budget and looking for something for upscale and have big craving for some good meat, Meatery is the spot to go to. Personally, we are more about local flavors and this spot is about everything except that.
Great Places in Hamburg for Drinks
Tipsy Baker Bar – A super spot if your style is all about a cozy beer… with a twist. Its signature product is the ‘Herengedeck’, which is a beer and shot combo (it also comes with a pickle and some of that to die for German bread-buttered of course!)
Sternchanze – For chill beers and drinks, and late-night dancing, try a night at Haus 73 in the famous Sternchanze.
Weinladen St Pauli- Hipster wine bar with local German wines – what more could you ask for your Hamburg trip? Our tip; make sure to grab a bottle and a few glasses and stand outside if it’s a warm evening
Great Places in Hamburg for Coffee
Public Coffee Roasters- We would probably call Public the number one spot to witness Hamburg coffee culture. You can pop by for a great flat-white, or if you are a fellow coffee nerd like us, browse and stock up with their great selection of coffee bean blends.
Erste Liebe Bar – If you’re looking for somewhere away from the hustle and bustle, you can find this cafe in a cozy little corner in the city center. It’s a great spot to take a break and eat one of the best cinnamon buns you can find in Germany.
Lowinsky’s New York Coffee&Tea- One of our favorite spots is Lowinsky’s. Keep in mind it’s not the most German, as it’s owned by a fellow US expat, but the quality and variety of beverages (and food!) can’t be missed. If you are a fan of a good smeared bagel or curious about what a real tea sommelier would recommend, this is a great spot to pop by.
Other Random Tips for Visiting Hamburg from Munich
Public transportation can be quick, easy, and in English!
Download the HVV app to get all your transportation tickets on your phone. And If you like riding a bike, you can even grab one of the free bikes for 30 min intervals with Stadtrad.
Experience the Baltic Sea
If you have enough time we’d recommend you take a little day trip and experience the Baltic Sea. It is pretty simple to organize, just grab the train to Travelmünde or Timmendorferstrand.
Hit the water and explore the canals
If it’s a beautiful day, do as the Germans do and rent a Stand Up Paddleboard (fun fact: Germans really do love these countrywide) at the Alster lake to go explore the canals. And if SUP boards are not your thing, you can also rent a canoe for your exploration needs!
⚓ Find out more about Hamburg with Hannah!
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Did We Forget Any Helpful Munich to Hamburg Weekend Trip Tips?
Let us know in the comments what travel tips we should add to our Hamburg weekend trip guide, and of course, feel free to ask any questions below.