Taking a day trip from Hamburg is a great way to get more out of your extended visit to the city. Perhaps you’ve been to Hamburg before or booked a cheap flight home so have a couple of extra days where you’ve nothing left to see in the area.
In this post, we’re going to be looking at the best day trips from Hamburg. All of these trips will pick you up from Hamburg and return you back to the city on the same day. No need to travel with excess luggage, and still plenty of time to explore somewhere new.
Schwerin – Exploring Schwerin Castle
112km east of Hamburg is the coastal town of Schwerin. There are direct trains from Hamburg to Schwerin which take around an hour one way – the journey by car is approximately the same. Schwerin Castle is perhaps the most famous thing to come out of Schwerin. This castle has been expanded multiple times over its 1,000-year history.
Entry into the castle is €8.50. This price is reduced to €6.50 for concessions. Be sure to check the Schwerin Castle website before you travel as there are some dates where the castle is not open to the public.
Inside the castle isn’t the only thing you’re going to want to see on your trip to Schwerin. The surrounding parks and gardens are just as phenomenal with 1.8 hectares of land based on French-style featuring ponds and lakes.
Lüneburg – A Gothic Delight
One of our favourite day trips from Hamburg is to the gothic town of Lüneburg. Situated just 50km south of the city of Hamburg you can get to Lüneburg very easily by train or by car (one-way journey should take less than an hour).
During your day trip to Lüneburg be sure to visit the Luna-Brunnen. This central plaza is a great spot to take in the breathtaking historic architecture of the town. For a view from above, check out the Lüneburg Water Tower. This water tower took two years to build and was officially opened in 1907. Today you can climb to the top of the water tower to get a panoramic view of the town – or, if you’re me… take the lift up to the eighth floor for €4.50.
Finally, with any time to spare head to the German Salt Museum (yes, this is as weird as that time we visited the Irish Butter Museum in Cork). However, Lüneburg has long been known as the place of ‘white gold’ due to the significance sugar played in the history of the town.
Bremen – Home To A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Perhaps one of the more commonly known places on our list of day trips from Hamburg is Bremen. It will take you around an hour to get here from Hamburg by train or 1.5 hours by car (or bus, Flixbus run a direct service here as part of a larger route).
However, in our opinion at least it’s a journey worth taking. Start by taking in the 1,200-year-old Bremen cathedral – and even climbing the south tower for a view of the city. After that head inside the cathedral museum where you’ll find exhibitions of the findings of the archaeological dig in the 1970s and 1980s.
Don’t leave Bremen before visiting the cities Unesco World Heritage site, Bremen City Hall. Guided tours are available between 11am and 4pm here daily, however, be sure to still visit even outside of these hours to marvel at the architecture of this magnificent building.
Rostock – A Foodies Delight
If you’re looking to get some distance from Hamburg, then a day trip to Rostock might be for you. Travel between Rostock and Hamburg can be done by train, bus (again, Flixbus offer this service as part of a larger route) and car will take around 2 hours one-way.
First of all, let’s talk about food or be more specific the restaurant, Zur Kogge. This place is ranked #8 on Trip Advisor for the best restaurants in Rostock, but honestly, I’m biased and think it should be #1. Not only is it an Instagramable dream, but the food is also so incredibly fresh due to the proximity to the sea.
So, now I’ve got where you’re going to eat here out of the way let’s talk a little about what you can do in the city of Rostock in one day. You’re going to want to visit one of the four historic gates that border the city walls – the most common for tourists is Steintor. While there used to be twenty of these city gates dating back to the mid-1500s now, only four remains.
For something a little bit different take a trip 15 minutes outside of the Rostock city centre to Warnemünde Beach which borders the Baltic Sea.
Timmendorfer Strand – An Entertainment Plaza
For one of our final destinations on our list of day trips from Hamburg, we’re heading northeast out to the coastal town of Timmendorfer Strand. Your journey here will take you around one hour by car or 1.5 hours by public transport from Hamburg City Centre with a change at Lübeck.
We love Timmendorfer Strand as it’s home to both a zoo, an aquarium, a bird park, a water park, an amazing rollercoaster and more!
Lübeck – The City of Museums
Around one hour from Hamburg by car and by train is the city of Lübeck. Kick off your day here with a trip to Holstentor museum and the surrounding Holsten Gate which was built in the 1400s. You might recognise the outline of the architecture of the gate from a 2 Euro coin which began circulation in Germany back in 2006.
If you like museums that’s not the only place you might want to visit during your time here. Lübeck is home to a number of museums including; Buddenbrook House, Museum Behnhouse, Theater Figuren Museum and more. Culture Trip has a great summary of them all here.
If museums aren’t for you then not to worry, Lübeck still has more to offer including its cathedral that dates back to 1173 and the Marienkirche church which has been rebuilt since an RAF bombing during WWII.
That concludes our guide to the greatest day trips from Hamburg. As always, we’d love to know if there are any great day trips from Hamburg that you think we should include in this list – let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, if you’re planning on visiting more of Germany then be sure to check out our guide to the capital city of Berlin.