Our list of things to do with your family in Hamburg proves that there’s more to the city than its art museums and notorious Red Light District. Public parks with beautiful gardens, spacious walkways, playgrounds and child-friendly facilities can be found in every neighbourhood. Hamburg is also known for its unique museums, especially Miniatur Wunderland where you can see tiny models of popular cities, railway stations, harbours, and airports.
From interactive kids’ centres to dinosaur-themed swimming pools, check out our guide to Hamburg’s best family-friendly places for a memorable holiday experience with your loved ones.
Check out miniature characters at Miniatur Wunderland
See the world’s largest model railway exhibit
Miniatur Wunderland is home to thousands of miniature models of prominent cities, railway systems, ports, and airports. Everything you see here is made in great detail and even moves like its real-life counterparts. The museum’s model railway exhibit is one of its most popular attractions, where you can see tiny locomotives cruising around the 15,400-metre-long track.
There’s also a replica of Hamburg in Miniatur Wunderland, featuring 50,000 human figurines and notable attractions such as Hagenbeck Zoo, Hamburg Central Station, and St. Michaelis Church. Adults and kids can take their time exploring this indoor museum, making it one of the best things to do with your family in Hamburg.
Paddleboat rides on Lake Alster
Rent a paddleboat from the Jungfernstieg promenade
Lake Alster is a 160-hectare lake 300 metres from Bucerius Kunst Forum that’s divided into the Außenalster (Outer Alster) and the Binnenalster (Inner Alster). It’s surrounded by beautiful villas and lush parks with winding paths for cyclists and joggers. On sunny days, locals often enjoy activities like peddling a paddleboat and kayaking on this vast lake. Lake Alster often freezes over during wintertime, turning it into one of the largest ice-skating rinks in the city. The Jungfernstieg promenade is home to department stores, luxury boutiques, cafés, and restaurant overlooking the water.
See the wildlife in Tierpark Hagenbeck
Feed pygmy and Owambo goats at the petting zoo
Tierpark Hagenbeck, founded in 1907, is home to over 1,800 animals from around the world. Aside from getting close to rare wildlife, visitors can enjoy family-friendly activities such as daily pony rides and animal feedings, as well as miniature train rides and seasonal educational programmes. The zoo’s Eismeer exhibit spans 8,000 sq m, and you can see penguins, walruses and polar bears there. Another must-visit is the Tropical World Adventure Aquarium, which displays over 14,000 exotic animals in manmade pools, tanks, and caves.
Swim with dinosaurs at Bäderland Festland
Enjoy a massage while the little ones hit the aqua playground
Bäderland Festland is a swimming club and sauna located on the northern edge of Walter-Möller Park. Dinoland is its onside children’s playground that spans 900 sq m, featuring gigantic models of dinosaurs, manmade caves, water slides, and wading pools. It’s one of the most popular things to do with your family in Hamburg – while the kids enjoy some fun in the wading pools, parents can soak in the spa pool or opt for a massage for a few euros.
Visit a real Russian submarine
Enjoy a guided tour of this Soviet-built submarine
The U-434 submarine is a fully-functional war machine near Hamburg’s Fischmarkt. The landmark is also called the U-Boat Museum, where you can climb through the airlock doors and visit its crew quarters, engine and torpedo rooms. If you want to learn more about the history and specifications of the submarine, you can pay a few euros extra for a guided tour. General admission costs about €9 for adults and €6 for children (6 to 12 years old).
Go for a stroll at Loki Schmidt Garten
See a variety of tropical plants in the greenhouses
Loki Schmidt Garten is a 25-hectare botanical park located next to the University of Hamburg. It features themed gardens with plants imported from China and Japan, as well as over 80 colourful and varied flowerbeds. Visiting the greenhouse is a popular thing to do with your family in Hamburg. The complex has 5 dedicated spaces for cacti, ferns, and seeds, as well as subtropical and tropical plants. Admission to the Loki Schmidt Garten is free of charge, making it a popular place for relaxation all year long.
Learn about the human body at KL!CK Kindermuseum
Check out the fun workshops for the little ones
KL!CK Kindermuseum is one of the many things to do with your family in Hamburg. It’s an interactive playground with a variety of activities and exhibitions. Children between 4 and 14 years old can learn how to print money, cook in a kitchen, and even work on a construction site. It also has a science centre where they can learn interesting facts about human anatomy through gigantic models, experiments, and workshops. Tickets cost around about €4.50 per person and €15 per family.