Hamburg is a beautiful city with many lakes, parks, cultural heritage sites, and modern shopping malls. It has everything to call it a complete holiday destination.
However, many tourists fail to realize that Hamburg is just the tip of the iceberg. The rest of northern Germany has a lot more to offer.
Read through this guide to plan the quick and best day trips from Hamburg. Moreover, know what they are best for, their history, and their distance from Hamburg.
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Best Day Trips From Hamburg, Germany
Most of the day trips from Hamburg are easily possible through public transport. However, for better flexibility and independence, you can also choose to hire a car for cheap with Expedia. Now that your vehicle is ready, let’s start with where you should go.
Lubeck is a city of gorgeous architecture and a strong history. This city has been associated with the Hanseatic League and is full of brick gothic buildings and architecture. The quickest way to reach Lubeck from Hamburg is through a scenic and enjoyable 45-minute train ride. You can also travel by car if you have one.
Since Lubeck topped our list of top day trips from Hamburg, we will want you to start your tour with Holstentor Gate. This gate is the symbol of this city and defines what lies ahead.
The most important place to visit in Lubeck is the well-restored Old Town. The town has alleys and houses that date back to the 14th century. While you walk through the town, you will come across various cafes and shops with traditional German food and drinks. The Old Town deserves a spot on your one-day trip plan.
Lubeck also has many fascinating museums. The European Hanseatic Museum and the Buddenbrooks Museum are the most visited ones in the city. After a good day of visiting places, shopping, and eating at Lubeck, don’t forget to walk along the Trave River.
This riverside has one of the best scenery to offer. Do you know Luneburg is a town famous for its extensive salt mining? While that’s an achievement, Lunenburg’s architecture and culture are far more colorful than its economy.
As a part of the list of quick trips from Hamburg, Luneburg is a charming city for adults and kids. Simply put: It has a character of its own. Reaching Luneburg is relatively easy. You can either take an intercity train or a regional train. While the former will take 30 minutes to arrive at Luneburg, the latter might take an hour.
If you plan a city tour, your guide will explain the relationship this city has with salt and its history. However, if a tour doesn’t work, visiting the nearest museum will do that job. The two famous museums in Luneburg are the Luneburg Museum and the German Salt Museum. These museums feature fantastic saltworks and artwork for history and art lovers.
Like most other cities in Germany, Luneburg also has a famous Old Town. This town has timbered houses and cobblestone streets. Moreover, you will also find some buildings sinking into the ground. Their bases are made with the town’s hollowed salt deposits.
To end the day, don’t forget to walk along the river to experience beautiful scenery and a fresh breeze, and see an old crane by the harbor.
While Lubeck is an exotic Hanseatic city, it is not the only one. Bremen is as impressive as Lubeck. A visit to Bremen will make one of the most fun day trips from Hamburg. Bremen remained relatively unhurt during World War II, unlike the rest of Germany. That’s why its Old Town has some of the best treasures to experience.
With almost all original 15th-century buildings, a stroll in Bremen’s old town will take you several years back. Bremen’s town hall is a landmark square. With buildings covered in Renaissance and gothic architecture, you will fall in love with the old vibe. Moreover, you will also find timbered houses with unheard stories to tell.
The main Bremen square is called Marktplatz. This square proudly houses Bremen’s city symbol, the Roland Statue. There are also very similar statues all around Bremen and its outskirts.
For the art enthusiast in you, the Bremen Kunsthalle is a worth-visiting museum. This place features a considerable collection and pieces of Western art. It is pretty easy to reach Bremen by train. However, you can also ask the nearby tourist information office for any direct buses that can take you to this city.
Altes Land is a possible option for trips you can do in one day from Hamburg. This city is home to beautiful fields and meadows you may not find in Hamburg.
It is pretty convenient to get to Altes Land. You can take an hour and a half train or change to two buses to reach your destination. However, to experience the beauty of Altes Land, driving in a car is the best option. You can then freely roam around the city however you like.
Altes Land represents the German countryside perfectly. The city is a compilation of numerous small villages surrounded by vast forests with apple and cherry trees.
Spring is the best season to visit this place. Altes Land blooms with the smell of fresh flowers and delicious fruits. However, even if you visit in autumn, do visit the nearest cafes. Almost all eateries in Altes Land have scrumptious fruity desserts all year round.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in Germany
While planning for some fun day trips from Hamburg, please try the city of Schwerin. It is one of the best places to visit from the north of Hamburg.
Also, it is one of the most accessible locations to travel from Hamburg. A local train takes just an hour and a half from Hamburg to Schwerin. With stunning castles, an old town, and lots of greenery, Schwerin is a small city with great places. The best way to start a day tour at Schwerin is by visiting the Schwerin castle.
Located at the corner of the Old Town, this castle is now Schwerin’s Parliament House. However, you can still visit its main rooms, explore the in-built castle museum and walk through the exotic gardens.
The Staatliches Museum Schwerin, close to the city center, is another place that deserves a visit. If you love art, you will most likely love this art gallery.
The Schwein city center has many shops, cafes, and restaurants with delicious food and drinks. You can also visit the beautiful Schwerin Cathedral in the middle of the center. Before heading back to Hamburg, book a relaxing cruise and enjoy nature.
While planning a day trip, have you considered resort trips you can do in one day from Hamburg? Who doesn’t love soaking in the sun and simultaneously enjoying a chilled lemonade?
Travemunde is a pretty resort located very close to Hamburg. Unfortunately, there aren’t any direct trains that go to this location. You must change a train at Lubeck and then head to this beautiful resort.
However, the whole journey takes about just an hour and a half. Travemunde is an exotic seaside resort with a waterfront, expansive beaches, and a lush green park. You can either stay at busy beaches or opt for quieter ones.
Or, if you don’t want a beach day, head over to Travemunde’s main town. The place has the oldest German lighthouse, which dates back to 1539. The beautiful red-brick tower stands tall and looks fantastic at night. Travemunde is a place with lots of history. The quaint house, old ships, and museums will be enough to learn about this city.
Since Travemunde is a small city, you won’t even need public transport to move from one location to another. You can easily walk around the city. However, wear your comfiest footwear to enjoy all the recommended places.
For a short weekend getaway, Wismar may prove to be an excellent choice. It is another Hanseatic city located right next to the Baltic Sea coast. Wismar is a city divided into two parts, its town hall and harbor. Though both are equally old, the charm they hold is still priceless.
The Old Town has a beautiful market square with red-brick buildings, fountains, and shops. The Old Town is not short of unique churches. However, instead of visiting every church, visit Georgenkirche. It is one of the most picturesque churches in the whole of Germany.
Like Old Town, the old harbor has a robust historic vibe. From traditional buildings to medieval gates, the port accurately depicts ancient Germany.
While you are strolling around the harbor, stop and have a look at the Grube. It is a beautiful human-made stream, perfect for a short picnic. If visiting Wismar makes one of the best day trips from Hamburg, plan your journey today.
There are so many direct buses that travel between Hamburg and Wismar. However, taking a train will be the most appropriate decision for a short journey. Trains run from Hamburg to Schwerin and then to Wismar. The whole journey takes about two hours only.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Munich
When did you last go away for a romantic trip with your partner? If you are in the city, traveling to Stade can be one of the most romantic day trips from Hamburg.
Besides, it is just a 50-minutes train journey. Stade is a small city with a mix of both Hanseatic and Sweden cultures. However, please don’t get fooled by its size. The city has a beautiful harbor, parks, lakes, and a small old town. The port is called Hansehafen and is home to an exotic reservoir.
Right next to the harbor are a few art and historical museums. Stade Kunsthaus is a Swedish-style building with a museum and halls to host cultural exhibitions.
Stade also has beautiful timber-framed houses and many buildings that reflect its history. Since this is a small city, your tour will end before the day ends.
Getting to Glucksburg Castle on a day trip will be an excellent idea, but only if you own a car. Unfortunately, no public transport goes to this area, so you must get in a car to see this exotic place.
Glucksburg Castle is a 16th-century palace with beautiful gardens, lakes, and a jaw-dropping interior. You must take a guided tour to visit the castle and understand its history.
The guide will take you through the Red Hall and a lovely chapel. While you go from room to room, you will notice walls filled with attractive tapestries and stucco work from the Netherlands.
Besides, the exotic castle gardens are the highlight of this place. The castle’s rose garden is a picturesque place for an evening stroll. The tour may take just a few hours, but Hamburg’s car journey to Glucksburg Castle is a little long. So, as you do with long journeys, fill your car with snacks and drinks as required.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Berlin
If you are an early riser and don’t mind long travels, visiting Heligoland as one of the top day trips from Hamburg won’t disappoint. The journey from Hamburg to Heligoland is a 3-hour-long ferry ride.
However, when you reach Heligoland, you will forget the tiring and long journey for good. Heligoland is an Island with magnificent cliffs, dunes, and beaches.
Moreover, it has a variety of wildlife. From seals to exotic birds, the sky at Heligoland feels so fresh and lively. Heligoland is a wellness retreat with fresh air, zero pollution, and massive cliffs. To learn about this place’s history, Museum Helgoland is a great place to visit at the end of your trip.
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a seasoned traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers find their next adventure, whether it’s exploring new places or revisiting old favorites.
He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wonderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). He loves listening to people’s stories from around the world as well as sharing his own experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.