5 Beautiful Day Trips from Hamburg

5 amazing day trips to take from Hamburg, Germany! Read this post to find out about Sylt, Lüneburg, Altes Land, Lübeck, and the Harz Mountains.

Wondering where to take some super duper awesome day trips from Hamburg?

Well, you’ve come to the right place my friends!

Here are some day trips I took whilst in this amazing city. Locations are listed below from closest to Hamburg to the furthest away.

5 EPIC DAY TRIPS FROM HAMBURG

LÜNEBURG

Lüneburg is a great day trip to take from Hamburg, Germany! Lüneburg is a pretty medieval town on a river with lots of activities, like the German Salt Museum and the Water Tower!
[Pretty buildings along the river Ilmenau]
Looking for day trips from Hamburg? Lüneburg is a great town located only 45 minutes away by train.The Lüneburg main square, pictured here, is lined with pretty brick buildings and a great place for shopping and walking around.
[The main square is so pretty and perfect for having a wander]
Distance from Hamburg: ~ 45 minutes away via public transport

Lüneburg is such a cute town! The architecture is beautiful and it’s pretty small, and very easily walkable. No need to figure out public transportation once you arrive!

We really wanted to go to the German Salt Museum, but ran out of time! The town square area was so gorgeous that we ended up taking a LOT of time taking photographs, haha. It’s really a photographer’s paradise – every street is beautiful!

Lüneburg makes a great day trip from Hamburg, Germany! The Water Tower is a great place to go to get a beautiful view of the city - the water tower is the highest building in this photo.
[The water tower is the tallest building in this photo. And look at Lüneburg at night – ain’t it cute??]
We did get up to the top of the water tower, though, and the view from there was gorgeous. Inside the tower, there are also a ton of different exhibits about its history and connection to Lüneburg! We took the elevator up, and the stairs back down.

The view from the Lüneburg Water Tower. Lüneburg makes a great day trip from Hamburg!
[The view from the Lüneburg Water Tower – so pretty right?]
The view from the Lüneburg Water Tower. Lüneburg makes a great day trip from Hamburg!
[Another view from the water tower. Just look at that fall foliage! My heart be like]

WHAT TO DO IN LÜNEBURG:

  • Walk up to the top of Lüneburg Water Tower for an excellent view (€5)
  • See Lüneburg’s Town Hall
  • Photograph the Chamber of Industry & Commerce building
  • See the three churches, St. Nicolai, St. Johannis, and St. Michaelis
  • Wander around the main town square
  • Check out the German Salt Museum (€7 for a self-guided tour)
Cobblestone street in Lüneburg lined with pretty buildings.
[Just look at this street!]
Street in Lüneburg, Germany full of red brick Gothic architecture. Lüneburg is one of the best day trips from Hamburg!
[S’cute right? Look at the classic red brick Gothic architecture. Doesn’t it just make you feel some type of way?]
Love it so much you want to stay the night? I’ve got ya covered!

Bergström Hotel Lüneburg is excellent value for the price if you want to stay right on the water!

Lüneburg Wasserviertel is a little cheaper, and it’s an entire apartment to yourself! It’s about 1km from the center, so not too far at all!

LÜBECK

Holstentor is the old city gate made of Brick Gothic architecture. Lübeck is one of the best day trips from Hamburg!
[Holstentor looking epic AF with its Brick Gothic architecture (trying to sound like I know what I’m talking about here)]
Distance from Hamburg: ~ 1 hour via public transport

This is a great place to visit any time of the year! It’s got a pretty city gate, old medieval architecture, marzipan galore, lots of museums, and a shit ton of history since it was once the capital of the Hanseatic League (aka, it was super important for trade back in the day).

Lübeck Rathaus, or Town Hall, is a beautiful historic building in the center of Lübeck.
[Lübeck Rathaus, or Town Hall, is a super pretty historic building]
View of part of Lübeck Aldstadt, or Old Town, from the observation deck at St. Peter's Church.
[I’m always looking for the best views, and St. Peter’s Church DELIVERED]
Theater Museum in Lübeck, Germany on a pretty cobblestone street surrounded by red brick buildings.
[I love all the brick things]

WHAT TO DO IN LÜBECK:

View of Holstentor, Lübeck's city gate, from St. Peter's Church. Lübeck is one of the best day trips from Hamburg!
[Holstentor looks so regal]
Marzipan cappuccino at Niederegger Cáfe in Lübeck
[Sippin’ that marzipan cappuccino like a b0$$ at Niederegger]
Marzipan Museum at the Niederegger factory in Lübeck, Germany
[The life size figures made of freaking marzipan at the Marzipan Museum]
Love it so much you want to stay the night? I’ve got ya covered!

Motel One is located directly in the town center, and comes with free (delicious) breakfast. Its cozy lobby is decorated with unique light fixtures and nautical elements, while a well-stocked bar makes it nice for a night out.

ALTES LAND

Apple picking at Herzapfelhof Lühs in Altes Land, Germany. Apple season is full swing in fall and it's a great day trip from Hamburg!
[Apple picking is my jam. And also apples make good jam]

Distance from Hamburg: ~ 1.5 hours via public transport

This means “Old Country” and the activities vary each season. In the late summer and fall, you can go for apple picking and basically anything related to apples. In spring, you can pick berries and other seasonal fruits, and see the pretty blossoms on the apple trees. It’s definitely busiest during apple picking season, as that’s what it’s also the most known for.

You can find more about Altes Land on their website. You can find an interactive map with all the different fruit farms here.

The information center in Altes Land has a map where you can pin where you're from and an apple chair to sit in!
[The apple chairs at the information center were the cutest. And you can pin where in Germany you’re from on that map (I don’t think they get many international travelers there, lol)]
Pretty brick house in Altes Land in Germany
[Ow she’s a brick! HOUSE! She’s mighty mighty, just lettin’ it all hang out…Okkk I’ll stop now…]
Traditional half timbered and thatched roof house or building in Altes Land, Germany
[We saw a house for sale like this for about €250,000 and were super tempted to buy it lol]
We also brought our bikes here, and I’d recommend doing that if possible, too! It’s nice to easily go between the farms. You can also walk, but of course it’ll just take longer.

The main street in Jork in Altes Land, Germany has a cobblestone street and half-timbered brick buildings covered in ivy
[The prettiest street – it’s the main street in the main town in Altes Land: Jork!]

WHAT TO DO IN ALTES LAND:

  • Buy local & regional products at specialty shops like Jan Hinrich Feindt
  • Get fruit from the vending machine Obsthof Hauschildt’s FruchtBar
  • Learn about the history of the region at the free Altes Land Museum
  • Gawk at the beautiful half-timbered houses
  • In late summer/fall: Go apple picking! The most popular farm is Herzapfelhof Lühs, but there are many others to choose from
  • In spring: Go fruit/berry picking and see apple tree blossoms
  • In summer: Go fruit/berry picking

I wrote a post on Altes Land, too – you can read it here!

Fruit vending machine in Altes Land - Obsthof Hauschildt's Frucht Bar
[I didn’t get anything from this vending machine but I wish I did]
Love it so much you want to stay the night? I’ve got ya covered!

Make all your half-timbered brick house dreams come true by staying at Hotel Altes Land! It literally looks just like the buildings in the photos above, and has a garden and buffet breakfast loaded with regional juices and products.

SYLT

The Kampen Lighthouse from the Uwe Dune lookout on the island of Sylt in Germany. Sylt is one of the best day trips from Hamburg!
[The Kampen Lighthouse as seen from the Uwe Dune lookout. But like, that purple thoooo! Again, go in late summer if you want to see all that purplness]
Distance from Hamburg: ~ 3 hours each way via public transport

Ok, so this is kind of aggressive for a day trip, but it’s so pretty and worth it (IMO!). We just got up really early, spent the whole day there, and took a late train back.

Also, this may not be the best place to go in winter. It’s more of a beach destination, so I’d wait until late spring or summer before embarking upon this journey. Plus, in late summer the island will be covered in purple heather (or “heide” as Germans say).

Traditional brick and thatched roof house in Sylt, Germany
[We even saw some of these traditional houses still being built!]
I’d highly recommend bringing bikes with you if you have them (you will have to buy an extra bike ticket if you do this, they cost €5), or planning to rent some there. Sylt is a pretty big island, so it’s helpful to get around via bike! They also have a bus system which seems to work really well, but I personally loved not having to rely on public transportation.

I wrote a post on my day in Sylt if you’re curious about reading more!

A strandkorb, or fancy beach chair, on one of the beaches in Sylt, Germany.
[A “strandkorb” on one of the beaches in Sylt. But don’t worry, they’re literally on EVERY beach! Be aware that you do have to pay to use them, though]

WHAT TO DO IN SYLT:

  • Rent a bike and explore the island
  • Swim at one of the beautiful beaches
  • Go lighthouse hunting (there are 5 on the island!)
  • Stare at the traditional thatched roof houses
  • Walk to the Uwe Dune lookout
The Red Cliffs beach at Sylt in Germany. Sylt is one of 5 fun day trips from Hamburg!
[The beach near the the Red Cliffs. They weren’t that red, but the beaches sure were gorgeous]
Love it so much you want to stay the night? I’ve got ya covered!

Hotel Gutenburg is very reasonably priced for Sylt (Sylt is typically a more expensive destination), located directly on the main shopping street, and is only a few minutes’ walk away from a beach!

If you want something a little more lavish, Dorint Strandrestort & Spa has studio apartments and, of course, a pool and spa! It’s located a little further from the main shopping area, but still super close to a beach.

HARZ MOUNTAINS

The view from the top of Brocken in the Harz Mountains in Harz National Park
[The view starting to walk down from Brocken]
Distance from Hamburg: ~ 3 hours each way by car; 4 hours by public transport

This is probably only feasible if you have a car – we did an aggressive (apparently my new favorite word) trek where we took the train to Hannover and then my friend’s friend picked us up there and drove the rest of the way.

It is a really beautiful place, though! And the town you pass through right before going into the mountains, Wernigerode, is beautiful. Lots of colorful half-timbered houses, and there’s even a castle on the hill!

Wernigerode is a pretty town full of colorful half-timbered houses. Located in Germany, it's near the Harz Mountains and is one of 5 great day trips from Hamburg!
[Wernigerode is so pretty and cute]
Wernigerode Castle is an excellent place to visit in Wernigerode, Germany
[Wernigerode Castle sitting above the different rooftops]
In the mountains, there’s lots of hiking to be done. We did probably the most famous thing and hiked to Northern Germany’s highest mountain, Brocken. It’s really pretty but also kind of comical as it’s really not that high – only 1,142 meters. It sounds like a lot, but it’s not even half as tall as Half Dome in Yosemite!

There’s a cafeteria with food at the top, too. It wasn’t the BEST meal I’d ever had, but it wasn’t bad.

Walking down from the top of Brocken Mountain in Harz Mountains in Harz National Park. Brocken is the highest mountain in Northern Germany!
[Walking down from the highest point in Northern Germany, aka BROCKEN! Doesn’t that name sound epic. Like “THE BROCKEN”]
If you don’t feel like hiking, you can also take the historical steam train up – the Brockenbahn! It starts in Wernigerode and goes all the way up to the top of Brocken. Apparently, it’s a really beautiful and scenic ride.

Brick house in Harz National Park in the Harz Mountains
[It’s a BRICK. HOU…Ok, I won’t go any further with that again lol]

WHAT TO DO IN THE HARZ MOUNTAINS:

  • Hike or ride up Brocken on the Brockenbahn (hiking is free, expect Brockenbahn to be €28 one way and €43 round trip as of 2019)
  • Meander around the other trails & woods in Harz National Park
  • See the medeival town Wernigerode
  • Go to Wernigerode Castle (€7)
Hiking down from Brocken on a trail in the Harz Mountains in Harz National Park. Harz is one of the possible day trips from Hamburg!
[It was such a beautiful area and hike – so peaceful! Would love to go back and explore more of the trails in the area]
Love it so much you want to stay the night? I’ve got ya covered!

Altwernigeröder Apparthotel in Wernigerode is an excellent choice – it’s a rustic hotel right in the center of town, complete with a free breakfast buffet and Kartoffelhaus (Potato House) restaurant.

I hope you end up taking one of these day trips from Hamburg – if so, let me know in the comments below!

A tributary of the Alster Lakes in Hamburg with a boat near Eppendorf
[A tributary of the Alster Lake near the Eppendorf area in Hamburg]
Also, are you looking for accommodation in Hamburg? Here are some excellent options!

  • BUDGET: Backpacker’s St. Pauli is a hostel with great reviews and is located between Sternschanze and Reeperbahn, and easily walkable to either location. I’ve also biked/walked past the hostel many times myself (it was on the route to the gym I joined haha), and can attest that it’s a safe area. And, while it’s in the middle of two party places, its actual location is quiet!
  • UNIQUE: Want to see what staying on a ship is like? Try out Das Feuerschiff! While I haven’t personally stayed here myself, it sure looks cool! The food was rated really well, as were the views of the Elbphilharmonie and harbor in the dining area.
  • TRENDY: East Hotel has really cool interiors and a beautiful looking courtyard! It’s located near Reeperbahn, so ideal if you’d like to experience some night life.
  • MID-RANGE: Hamburg is not known for being cheap, but Hamburg Room will give you pretty good value for your money. It’s kind of close to Hauptbahnhof so not my FAVORITE place, but if saving money is what you’re after, this is a good option!

LOVE IT? PIN IT FOR LATER!

5 amazing day trips to take from Hamburg, Germany! Read this post to find out about Sylt, Lüneburg, Altes Land, Lübeck, and the Harz Mountains.

5 amazing day trips to take from Hamburg, Germany! Read this post to find out about Sylt, Lüneburg, Altes Land, Lübeck, and the Harz Mountains.

5 amazing day trips to take from Hamburg, Germany! Read this post to find out about Sylt, Lüneburg, Altes Land, Lübeck, and the Harz Mountains.

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