4 Daytrips from Hamburg, Germany

Published 08/08/2022

Do you have a trip planned to Hamburg Germany, but would also like to explore the surroundings a little? Then you are in luck, because there are a lot of cute little villages in the Hamburg area. All of them are no more than an hour away by train. So if you’re looking for a change of scenery or want to grab a bite to eat in an idyllic village, these are 4 fun day trips to remember!

1. Bremen

Bremen is the biggest of the 4. I have to say, though, that I found it a bit disappointing for its size. There are basically 2 hotspots in the town, the Marktplatz surrounded by various beautiful buildings such as the impressive cathedral. Also here, next to the town hall, you will find the “Bremen Musicians”, a famous statue of 4 animals standing on each other’s backs. It comes from a well-known Grimm fairytale about these animals who go to Bremen for a better future as musicians. In Germany, the statue is very famous and people really come to Bremen just to see the statue. The legend goes that if you grab the donkey’s front legs, your wishes will come true. Be careful: you have to grab both legs at the same time! Otherwise, you will have bad luck instead.

Another hotspot in Bremen is the Schnoor district. It is a cute little district where you can just wander around. With cute little houses and restaurants. Nice to stroll through and get lost in the district.

Personally, I found Bremen the least interesting of the 4. But I found the atmosphere very cosy and there are more than enough restaurants and bars to entertain you for days. So if you are looking for a place outside Hamburg that is a bit quieter but still has a bit of a city feel to it, then Bremen is definitely a nice alternative! Do you have only one day for a day trip from Hamburg? Then I would definitely go for one of the other 3.

2. Lübeck

In the very north of Germany you will find Lübeck. This is also the place where you can take a ferry to Denmark or Sweden. The city is also called “the city of the 7 towers”, after the 7 gigantic towers that make up the city skyline. Here you will find Germany’s third largest church with the tallest towers in Europe, dating back to before 1400. Very old and very big. This is the St. Mary church. The other towers in the town are of smaller churches and the cathedral. It is a small town, so you can easily take a look at all the towers in one day. You can also climb the St. Peter’s Church. Well, climb… There is just a lift, nice and easy. It only costs €5 and you will have a panoramic view of the city.

The city itself is a UNESCO site. Yes, the whole city. This is because everything is still in its original state. Despite the fact that it was one of the first cities that fell under Hitler’s rule and was hit hard, they immediately rebuild everything. Even new repairs are in the original style. So sometimes you see a fairly new building, in the unique old style. You will also find 2 border towers, as the town was once surrounded by a wall. The Holstentor is the most impressive of the 2 and can’t be missed, as you’ll most likely enter the city trough it.

Another building not to be missed is the townhall or “Rathaus”. You will find it next to St. Mary’s Church, so you will probably get there anyway. This building has also suffered considerable damage and later destruction and fire. It has been rebuilt in different years and different styles and therefore looks like an amazing mix of styles. With beautiful drawings, pitch-black stones but also white details. The townhall is located in the market square, where you can also find a cozy Christmas market in the winter.

3. Lüneburg

Lüneburg is a fantastically cute village just east of Hamburg. Here too, you will find the typical old German houses in a maze of small streets. Filled with cosy restaurants and terraces. This is clearly a very touristic place. The whole train emptied out and the whole crowd walked towards the old city centre. There, most people go straight to the market square, where you find another church and a load of cute little houses. Around it, you will find many little streets with coloured houses, where you can just wander.

It is certainly not a town where you can spend a week. But there is enough to see and do to even plan an overnight stay. There are enough terraces and restaurants and a lovely relaxed atmosphere. I really got a holiday feeling here, because clearly everyone is having a nice day out and doing everything at their leisure. “Alter kran im Lüneburger hafen”(photo) is an absolute must to visit, who doesn’t like such a lovely little street near the water? Take a seat at a terrace or on a boat and enjoy. From there, you can go further into town and don’t forget to look into the courtyards! They are sometimes a bit hidden, but worth a visit.

4. Lauenburg/Elbe

By far the smallest village of the 4, but definitely my personal favourite! It is like walking around in a painting with the most beautiful houses. It is also very quiet, so sometimes you imagine yourself to be in a piece of no man’s land. Walk towards the church to find the beautiful houses, you will see them automatically. Around the church are some lovely little streets with beautiful buildings. You will eventually end up at a small square with an ice-cream stall in the middle in a beautiful little house with green details. This is the oldest house in the village and dates from 1573! There is a lot of history in this village and many houses have a plaque on the wall where you can read it at your leisure.

If you really want some peace and quiet and like me, can really enjoy these kind of cute houses, then this is a place you really shouldn’t miss! You can also take the boat to Lüneburg from here, if you want to visit both villages. They are a good combination for a day trip.