Miniatur Wunderland is a special place, that’s for sure. We had no idea what to expect from this place. It sounded kind of awesome to see miniature things. At the same time, we weren’t sure if this place was the best to spend time during our visit to Hamburg. I can’t remember the last time I was so fascinated by a place. If we had the time – we would’ve stayed all day and all night.
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Miniatur Wunderland is a must-see in Hamburg
It all started in the year 2000 with two twin brothers coming up with an idea. Today, almost 20 years later, Gerrit and Frederick Braun must be really proud of themselves because their work is one of the most visited tourist attractions in all of Germany – if not the most visited! When I am writing this article, there have been almost 19 million visitors that have admired their work.
This place might not sound like the hottest thing in Hamburg but don’t let yourself be fooled – this place is awesome! It’s always crowded with people, but at the same time – it’s not a problem since there is so much to look at that you can’t rush this visit. And if you buy your tickets online you don’t have to wait in line.
What is Miniatur Wunderland
It’s exactly what the name implies – a whole world that is made in miniature. Ok, not the complete world but a lot of parts of the world. Stroll around Germany, Scandinavia, Switzerland, the USA and a lot of other nice countries and places. The wonderland is also partly based on imagination and the exhibitions are not correct compared to a map. However, this place is really accurate at the same time.
This place is a constant work of art. They are always working on new things and they have an open working area so that you can see how they make this magical place. And even if you are not allowed to touch the miniature world, it’s still an interactive place where you get to push buttons and see what happens! We can’t stress enough how important it is to make time to really visit all the exhibitions and study the details.
See the visitors and where they are from in real life
As soon as you enter and even before you get to the exhibition itself, we got stuck! We are both suckers for statistics and there is a wall that shows the number of visitors and what country they are visiting from. A huge computer is showing us that currently there have been 18,868,284 people visiting this place. Out of those, 91 067 are from Sweden, 181 767 from the United Kingdom and 171 412 from the United States.
So, several hours later when we are exiting the exhibition the numbers have changed. Now there have been 18,868,885 visitors in total, out of those 91 074 are from Sweden, 181 775 are from the United Kingdom and 171 419 from the United States. How awesome is that?! That means that since we entered, 601 more people have entered this place! 601 people is a lot thinking that it has only been a couple of hours. 7 more Swedes have entered, 8 from the United Kingdom and 7 from the United States. Oh, how we love our statistics! An awesome thing to keep track of during your visit to the Miniature Wunderland.
Gift shop and a restaurant in the beginning
There is (like in all places) a gift shop when you enter the complex. No worries, you will walk through the gift shop on your way out too. One thing that we noticed, is that their restaurant felt a lot like IKEA. They had self- service and they were also serving the famous meatballs. I loved the booths that they had for two people. However, since we were booked for dinner, later on, we didn’t get a chance to try out their food. But looking at all the people that were eating in the restaurant, it seemed like they were enjoying themselves. It’s a great way to have a restaurant with self-service when there are so many people visiting the place!
And then there is the gift shop. I believe that this is the only “fail” that they have done. Why are they not selling miniature people from the exhibition here?! I would have bought and paid a lot of money for some of those miniature people. And it would have been a great present for my mother too. Sure, they have a few miniature cars but it’s not the same. I want to be able to buy real things from the gift shop!
Stroll around in nine worlds – will be more soon
Ok, so it might be a bit confusing to explain, but it’s not at all confusing once you’re there. The Miniatur Wunderland consists of nine different worlds. Hamburg, America, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Mid-Germany, Knuffingen and the airport, Austria and Italy. During our visit, they were creating Monaco – making it a tenth world. This is a work in progress and will probably always continue to grow.
The technology is also incredible. The world’s largest railway, 15 400 meters of train tracks connecting a lot of the worlds. The cars that are running here, are also really well controlled. For example – the blue lights of the emergency vehicles are only lit when they are driving out to the accident in the miniature world. When they leave the scene, they are no longer lit. And when the cars are running out of battery, they drive themselves to a recharging station – how awesome is that!
Miniatur Wunderland in numbers
Oh, how we love statistics. And apparently, so do the people working at this place. Here is a little bit of the awesome information that I found on their website and at the exhibition. Those numbers are up to date right now (October 2019) but it changes fast!
- 15 400 meters of tracks.
- 923 000 working hours and counting.
- 280 moving cars.
- 1 499 square meters model area.
- 389 000 lights.
- 1 040 locomotives.
- 263 000 figurines.
Fantasy and reality in a great mix
Cows wearing diving tubes, superman, a giraffe in a car, people having fun in the bushes – the list can be made super long. There is so much fun to see here. Blink and you might miss it! Mini and I said pretty quickly that we believe that the people that are making the miniature world, must have so much fun creating internal jokes amongst themselves.
We heard that there is a couple having sex in the bushes. We didn’t find the couple but we have heard from several people that they are there, somewhere amongst all the 263 000 people that live in the Miniatur Wunderland. You will see ordinary everyday life mixed up with fun things and funny people. My absolute favorites (if I have to pick one) are the minions! But I also loved the people that were super tanned and the flock of sheep. Oh, come to think of it – it’s impossible to choose favorites.
Knuffingen airport at the Miniatur Wunderland
I love airports. They are often filled with excitement and give hopes for new adventures. In the miniature world, there is also a pretty big airport. Here, they have airplanes landing and taking off at all times of the day. I fell in love with the tiny Lufthansa airplane that is big in comparison to the people living in the miniature world.
It’s so cool to watch the airplanes and a lot of visitors agree – this place is always crowded. I believe that we spent about a half-hour just here, watching the planes take off and land. Try to get a view of both the landing and the takeoff. It’s probably super high technology that makes the planes fly but at the same time, it looks pretty easy.
Night and day each 15 minutes
Another awesome thing inside the Miniatur Wunderland is that it becomes evening and night every 15 minutes. This gives you the opportunity to see how the world looks like during the night. Lights are twinkling, the cars get their lights on and the scene completely changes. Make sure to see Vesuvius get an outburst during the evening, and of corse make sure to check out Las Vegas as well.
The night and day is an awesome feature but at the same time, it creates a problem (even if it’s a nice one). You will want to see it all in daylight and during the evening = it takes twice as much time to visit! Well, one thing that we noticed was how super fast 15 minutes goes when you are enjoying yourself. It felt like five minutes before it became evening in the Miniatur Wunderland.
Our experience of the Miniatur Wonderland in Hamburg
This place is great! And they know exactly how good they are. In the exhibition, they even offer to charge your phone. Yes, you read it right. They know that all the people visiting will take so many pictures that their phones will be out of battery. To solve that problem they offer charging for free. You deposit a euro and lock your phone into a locker and wait for it to charge. They have several chargers that stick out of the locker – what an awesome way to give people what they want!
I can’t stress enough of how everything is in the details at the Miniatur Wunderland. We kept poking each other, showing new stuff that we missed the first time we looked. If I would start pointing out the details that we found – this post would never end and I have been rambling on forever already. It’s awesome, it’s great and it’s right on point. Even Greta Thunberg has her own spot, floating on an iceberg. We did notice a few things that might make your visit to the wonderful world in XXS even better!
Get the most out of your visit
- Buy your tickets online in advance. That makes you skip the line and you can enter right away.
- Take your time! Don’t rush your visit. Make plans to spend the whole day here and try out the restaurant too.
- When you enter, you are given a visitors guide. In the guide there is also a contest. A few miniatures are photographed. Well, 15 of them. Find them in the exhibition and enter the contest.
- Be prepared to charge your phone. If you are bringing a camera, have an extra battery – you will take lots of pictures.
Information about Miniatur Wunderland
Address: Kehrwieder 2-4/Block D, 20457 Hamburg.
Opening Hours: Daily at least between 09:30 – 18:00. On weekends, holidays and Tuesdays they are open longer.
Price: 15 € per adult.
Website: In english.