The budget was set at 75 million euros. When the building was complete, the bill landed at a cost of 865 million euros. That’s about 11.5 times more than the estimated price. But what did that do in a city like Hamburg? Germany’s second-largest city has many eyebrow-raising stories and figures to share. Join us on a slightly different discovery of the city – focused on a lot of numbers.
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Knaus Campingpark – Hamburg by Motorhome
There are few countries that are as motorhome friendly as Germany and the city of Hamburg is no exception. There are several different large campsites to choose between. Most of them are and located a bit outside the city center but, there are good connections and transportation that will take you straight to the city center. The first stop of the trip is Knaus Campingpark, which excels with its large site and fresh facilities.
Of course, considering that it is next to the autobahn – some noise is heard from the nearby traffic. But, unless you are super sensitive, this will not be disturbing. From the campsite, it takes about 80 minutes to the city center. It may sound like a lot but, the connections by train and bus work very smoothly. Another plus is for all home-sick Swedes who miss their meatballs – do not despair, IKEA is a five-minute walk from the campsite.
Visit the Elbphilharmonie
Every year, approximately 1 000 000 containers pass through the port of Hamburg. It is Europe’s third-largest port and the country’s largest. Today, the port area is no longer used for just unloading, and/or containers. The area has become a major tourist attraction. Most striking is, of course, the Elbphilharmonie, which had its first public concert on January 11, 2017. Simply put, it is a concert hall, a hotel, and residential apartments whose architecture is intended to be a symbol of the city.
And it’s impressive and grandiose, that’s for sure. It is a beautiful building located along the Elbe River. Elbphilharmonie rests on a warehouse building that has been standing here since the 60s. During the first year that the concert hall opened, it had 4.5 million visitors – something that shows what a huge interest there is surrounding this building. For those who want to see a concert, it is important to be out ahead of time. It is recommended to book a ticket about eight months in advance. There are other tricks as well, such as standing in line and hoping that someone will not pick up their ticket, but it is best to have foresight.
Lots of things to do at the elbphilharmonie
It is free to visit the building and walk around their “plaza” which is 37 meters above ground level. Just make sure to book tickets for the visit – only a certain number of people can visit the Elbphilharmonie every day. With its 1 100 glass elements and with room for 2 100 spectators in the concert hall, it is obviously impressive. But it is difficult not to mention that the budget has been much more than was planned in the beginning.
There is different information and numbers that apply, depending on who you talk to. In the end, the information can be taken from the German newspapers and the project plan and the result then shows that the budget has been exceeded by more than eleven times. An incredible miscalculation in other words!
Miniatur Wunderland – the world in miniature
A short distance from the concert hall you’ll find Hamburg and, Germany’s most visited attraction. Miniatur Wonderland has already had almost 19,000,000 million visitors since it opened in 2001. It has a place in the Guinness Book of Records and brags about having the world’s longest model railway. And it’s worth spending time here. The place is very large and consists of cities and areas in miniature. It is not possible to get enough of all the details and time disappears faster than you can imagine. But, it is only when the details are studied that it becomes very fun.
Everywhere there are small hidden messages, something that has certainly made the work more fun during the 923,000 hours it has taken so far to build the world in miniature. Cows with diving tubes, the superman, and the environmental activist Greta Thunberg herself has her own place at the museum. Every 15 minutes, it is evening and night over the cities in miniature, when 389,000 lights are lit instead and show what it looks like at night in the mini country. This is a place that must be experienced in reality quite simple. That’s Hamburg in numbers for you!
Make your senses DISAPPEAR
From a happy experience where the sight makes up 100 percent of the attraction to another experience that may not be considered as pleasant but, which is a very important one. Dialoghaus offers visitors to enter another world, somewhat as the Minuatur place does. However, this world gets darker and darker. Dialoghaus offers three different exhibitions, one of which is called “Dialogue in the dark”. This is about spending 90 minutes in total darkness. With the help of a white cane and a visually impaired guide, it is important to navigate around the world without being able to see anything.
There are no lights that will come on if it gets uncomfortable – this is as true as it can get. Sure, it is sometimes uncomfortable and some problems arise. The experience includes a boat trip, a walk in the park, and a visit to a pub. At the same time, it is a very useful experience and after a visit here, your own sight gets a different appreciation.
Different experiences at dialoghaus
At Dialoghaus there is also an exhibition where it is the hearing that disappears. In this case, the guide is deaf so it is not possible to communicate by talking. On the other hand, it is quickly noticed how well you can actually make yourself understood without the spoken word. The last exhibition is about getting older and finally getting old.
All the exhibitions at Dialoghaus are incredibly educational and they leave an impression that few attractions are able to make. If you don’t have enough time to visit all the exhibitions, our tip is to try to catch up with as many as possible. “Aha experiences” are promised.
Take a boat ride on the elbe river
Elbe river makes tourists flocks for days on end with guided boat rides. It is a pleasant excursion and a nice break from the daily walks in the harbor. Just make sure that the boat trip offers information in English because most are in German only. However, they do offer some tours that are in English so make sure to book a tour where you can understand what they are saying.
A visit to the Naval Museum Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg, which consists of nine floors, is also worth a visit. There is so much to see here and you can easily spend several hours here. Stroll around all floors and travel back in time to find out how life was before.
Camping stover strand – Hamburg by Motoehome
After a few days in the HafenCity district and the mighty harbor, it’s time to explore another part of Hamburg. Maybe it’s time to try another campsite too? Camping Stover Strand is located within the same distance to the city center but, on the opposite side of town. Here the tranquility is apparent and considering the campsite’s environment, it can be nice to spend a few days here without heading for the center. With its own beach and sauna, the days go by leisurely.
We fell in love with their glamping area where old caravans have transformed into a retro area with pastel colors and a nice small community. We came here with our motor home so no need to spend the night at the glamping. However, we ended up walking around this area because it was so beautiful.
Stroll down reeperbahn
When city life attracts again, it may be time to visit one of the world’s most famous streets. It is not possible to be in Hamburg without at least taking a stroll on the “Reeperbahn”, Hamburg’s largest “red-light district” and the number one tourist route. This is where the Beatles got their breakthrough. This is where there’s s a street where only men are allowed and this is where the sex shops are lined up and crowded. Also, this is where alcohol flows freely.
It is said that the Reeperbahn is today a popular venue due to its rich theatrical scene – whether it is true or not, visitors can decide for themselves. However, Hamburg is known for being a really big theater city. Third largest even, after Broadway in the US and London in the UK. Hamburg in numbers has a lot to brag with!
Go see a musical or theatre
The musicals and theaters that take place here are almost exclusively in German, something that often annoys the tourists. But, the fact is that even the citizens of Hamburg and the Germans themselves are annoyed by this because they do not think they understand what is being said even though it is in their mother tongue. Part of the reason is that many of the artists who appear in musicals and theaters are actors from other countries who do not really speak the language but who have only learned their lines. Sometimes the pronunciation is not as “German” as it should be.
Knowledge of German or not – visiting a theater or musical is almost mandatory. During our visit to Hamburg, we saw Cirque Du Soleil’s only musical “Paramour”. Acrobatics does not need spoken language and the show was absolutely fantastic. Which one will be your favorite“?
Check out the culinary scene
And speaking of fantastic, Hamburg is truly a culinary city. Currently, there are eleven restaurants in Hamburg that have received the famous Michelin star. Soon there will probably be at least one more star because it is impossible to avoid the shooting star HACO (which is a pun on Hamburg and the English word for corner). The owner, Björn Juhnke, puts his whole soul into the place and it shows. The restaurant currently has a recommendation in the Michelin guide, a very well-deserved one. This is not just a restaurant to satisfy hunger but an experience in itself. Here, tasting menus are offered and it is with reflection, innovation, and finesse. How about “pine shot ice cream” as a palette cleanser before dessert?!
If wine is of interest, there is the restaurant Witwenball, which specializes in wine and focuses on small and preferably local wineries. The food is matched to the different wines and considering that the menu is changed every six weeks, this is a favorite place even for the locals. Yes, Hamburg has a lot to offer. With its 104 districts and neighborhoods, more than 2,500 bridges, and with more than 120 theaters and museums, it is guaranteed that you will find your favorite spot in Hamburg in numbers.