Where to Stay in Hamburg [5 Best Neighborhoods of 2018]

 Hamburg is a beautiful and unique city in Northern Germany. The country’s second largest city, Hamburg is packed with history, culture, delicious food and some of the best nightlife in Europe.

But, if you’re not careful, a trip to Hamburg can quickly break the bank. Which is why we created this one of a kind neighbourhood guide so you can know exactly where to stay in Hamburg.

Compiled by our expert travel writers, this no-stress guide is designed to help YOU find the best place to stay in Hamburg (and save some money in the process!). To do this, we’ve organized the areas by different travel needs, so you easily find which neighborhood in Hamburg is best for you.

Here are our top picks for where to stay in Hamburg. Some of these neighbourhoods will definitely surprise you…

Additional reading – 17 AWESOME Things to do in Hamburg, and the 17 Best Hotels in all of Hamburg!

Where to Stay in Hamburg

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Hamburg

  • Where to stay in Hamburg first time – Altstadt
  • Where to stay in Hamburg on a budget – Altona
  • Best area to stay in Hamburg for nightlife – St. Pauli
  • Coolest place to stay in Hamburg – Sternschanze
  • Best neighbourhood in Hamburg for families – HafenCity

Where to Stay in Hamburg

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Hamburg.

Best Budget Hotel in Hamburg: A&O Hamburg Reeperbahn

A&O Hamburg Reeperbahn Hamburg

A&O Hamburg Reeperbahn is the best budget hotel in Hamburg

The A&O Hamburg Reeperbahn is a charming and affordable hotel in the heart of the St. Pauli neighbourhood. It is ideal for night owls looking to experience Hamburg’s legendary nightlife scene. It has free wifi, a 24-hour reception, and guests can enjoy a number of recreational activities including bike rentals and billiards.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Hamburg: Movenpick Hotel Hamburg

Movenpick Hotel Hamburg

Movenpick Hotel Hamburg is the best mid-range hotel in Hamburg

Movenpick Hotel Hamburg modern, comfortable, and is our top pick for where to stay in Hamburg. Centrally located in Altona, it’s close to the city’s top landmarks and attractions, as well as a great variety of shops and restaurants. It has an outdoor terrace, lounge bar and a unique restaurant. Breakfast is also available.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Hamburg: Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten

Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten

Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten is the best luxury hotel in Hamburg

Wonderful views, a myriad of wellness features, and a great location are just a few of the reasons we love the Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Alstadt. Rooms are comfortable and spacious, and each comes with luxurious robes and slippers. Enjoy lounging on the rooftop terrace or sipping on a drink in the lounge.

 

Hamburg Neighbourhoods Guide

Hamburg

These are the 5 coolest neighbourhoods in Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg is Germany’s gateway to the world.

Located more than 100 kilometres upriver from the North Sea, Hamburg is built upon a series of islands in the Elbe river. It’s home to the second busiest port in Europe and has a rich and tumultuous history both by land and sea.

There’s plenty to see and do in Hamburg for intrepid travellers from sampling authentic German food to dancing the night away on the Reeperbahn as well as exploring its diverse history and fascinating culture.

Hotel Jules Insider Tip

Home to more than 1.8 million people, the majority of Hamburg’s major attractions can be found at the centre in Altstadt. The most famous neighbourhood in Hamburg, Altstadt, or the Old Town, is made up of cobblestone streets, charming storefronts, and awe-inspiring architecture. It’s where you’ll find history and culture around every turn.

When it comes to vibrant nightlife and wild entertainment, you have the neighbourhoods of St. Pauli and Sternschanze. Both are well-connected to the city centre via public transit and offer a great variety of bars, clubs and after dark fun.

Hamburg boasts a robust and efficient public transit network consisting of under- and overground trains as well as round the clock buses and ferries. So no matter where you stay you’ll be able to visit the various neighbourhoods with relative ease.

Whether you’re a family of five, a backpacker on a budget, or a group of friends looking to party, there’s a neighbourhood in Hamburg that is perfect for you! Incredible architecture, delicious food, great nightlife and interesting history; all of this and more await you in bustling Hamburg, Germany.

Hamburg’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Now, let’s take a look, in greater detail, at the best neighbourhoods to stay in Hamburg. Each has it’s own unique attractions and caters to specific interests, so be sure to check out which neighbourhood is right for you!

Neighborhood #1 - Altstadt

(Where to stay in Hamburg first time)

Altstadt, Hamburg

Altstadt is our pick for where to stay in Hamburg for your first time

Altstadt is the heart, soul and centre of Hamburg. The oldest part of the city, this district is where to stay in Hamburg if you’re visiting for the first time. It is home to the city’s most iconic and historic landmarks and is where you’ll find a great variety of shops, restaurants, bars and museums.

At the centre of Altstadt is the Neo-Renaissance Rathaus or City Hall. The home of the city’s senate and parliament, the Rathaus is a magnificent architectural gem and one of the best-preserved buildings in Hamburg.

On the other end of the spectrum is St. Nicolas’ Church. Once the tallest building in the world, St. Nicolas was almost completely destroyed in the bombing of Hamburg in World War II. Today, the remains stand as a memorial to the victims of the War. Visitors can tour the ruins or take an elevator to the top of the intact remaining spire for incredible views of Hamburg.

Away from architectural gems, Altstadt is a fantastic neighbourhood to explore on foot. From the shores of Lake Alster to the cobbled streets, there’s much to see and do in this historic old town.

Things to See and Do in Altstadt

  • Explore the impressive and spectacular Rathaus, Hamburg’s city hall.
  • Browse the stalls at Rathausmarkt, a marketplace erected in Hamburg’s central square.
  • Walk around Alster Lakes and take in the fountains show.
  • Dive deep into the delicious history of chocolate at Chocoversum, the Chocolate Museum, where you can make your own custom chocolate bars.
  • Wander through the ruins of St. Nikolai Kirche, one of the city’s main churches that was mostly destroyed during World War II.
  • Go shopping (window or actual) along Mönckebergstraße and Spitalerstraße streets.

Where to Stay in Altstadt

Best Budget Hotel in Altstadt: Ibis Budget Hamburg City

Ibis Budget Hamburg City

Ibis Budget Hamburg City is the best budget hotel in Altstadt

Less than one kilometre from the main station, you won’t find a more centrally located hotel in Hamburg. It’s close to shopping, restaurants, nightlife and Hamburg’s most famous landmarks. Rooms are outfitted with comfortable beds, modern décor and satellite TV. Guests will love the snack bar, terrace and hot daily breakfast.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Altstadt: Sir Nikolai

Sir Nikolai Hamburg

Sir Nikolai is the best mid-range hotel in Altstadt

Sir Nikolai hotel in Altstadt is by far one of the coolest hotels in Hamburg. Combining modern and retro décor, this five-star hotel is luxurious, comfortable and impossibly hip. It has free wifi, laundry service and each room is outfitted with a TV. It’s close to restaurants, bars, shops and top tourist sights.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Altstadt: Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten

Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Hamburg

Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten is the best luxury hotel in Altstadt

Wonderful views, a myriad of wellness features, and a great location are just a few of the reasons we love the Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Alstadt. Rooms are comfortable and spacious, and each comes with luxurious robes and slippers. Enjoy lounging on the rooftop terrace or dipping on a drink in the lounge.

 

Neighborhood #2 - Altona

(Where to stay in Hamburg on a budget)

Altona, Hamburg

Altona is our pick for where to stay in Hamburg on a budget

Located west of the city centre is the sprawling district of Altona. On the right bank of the Elbe river, Altona is the best neighbourhood in Hamburg for travellers on a budget. A short walk to Old Town and the vibrant streets of St. Pauli, this charming district lets travellers experience the very best of Hamburg at a fraction of the cost!

Despite being one of the older areas of the city, very little history remains in Altona. But, what it lacks in ancient landmarks and historic architecture it makes up for in greenery. Packed with parks, gardens and green spaces, this neighbourhood is one of the most relaxing areas in the city.

Altona is also where you’ll find some of the cheapest accommodation options in the city. From backpacker B&Bs to boutique hotels, this neighbourhood is packed with luxurious and comfortable yet affordable options.

Things to See and Do in Altona

  • Take a free walking tour through Hamburg to see the city’s top tourist sights and landmarks.
  • Visit the Fischmarkt on a Sunday morning to experience the hustle, bustle and excitement of the Hamburg Fish Market.
  • Eat amazing food and enjoy a great atmosphere at The Bird Hamburg, a delightful New York style bar and kitchen.
  • Take a stroll or relax on the sands of Elbstrand Beach.
  • Sit back, rest and enjoy the views from Altonaer Balkon, a popular grassy park situated along the harbour that has scenic views and lush surroundings.
  • Enjoy delicious food at unbeatable prices at Restaurant Joker.

Where to Stay in Altona

Best Budget Hotel in Altona: Baurs Park

Baurs Park Hamburg

Baurs Park is the best budget hotel in Altona

Comfortable and quaint, Baurs Park is a charming hotel in the Altona neighbourhood. Comprised of 19 rooms, this hotel has all the amenities you’ll need for a great stay in Hamburg. It has a large sun deck, a swimming pool, free wifi and a playground for kids of all ages.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Altona: Movenpick Hotel Hamburg

Movenpick Hotel Hamburg

Movenpick Hotel Hamburg is the best mid-range hotel in Altona

Movenpick Hotel Hamburg modern, comfortable, and is our top pick for where to stay in Hamburg. Centrally located, it’s close to the city’s top landmarks and attractions, as well as a great variety of shops and restaurants. It has an outdoor terrace, lounge bar and a unique restaurant. Breakfast is also available.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Altona: Hotel Louis C Jacob

Hotel Louis C Jacob Hamburg

Hotel Louis C Jacob is the best luxury hotel in Altona

Located in central Altona, Hotel Louis C Jacob is a luxurious five-star hotel and the epitome of German class. It has a variety of wellness features including a sauna, a spa and a rooftop terrace. Rooms are tastefully decorated, spacious and exceptionally comfortable. Cap off a long day of sightseeing at the lounge bar or on-site restaurant.

 

Neighborhood #3 - St. Pauli

(Best area to stay in Hamburg for nightlife)

St. Pauli, Hamburg

St. Pauli is our pick for best area to stay in Hamburg for nightlife

St. Pauli is the liveliest and most vibrant neighbourhoods in Hamburg. One of the most populous districts in all of Europe, this area is a melting pot of people from all backgrounds and ethnicities.

This downtown neighbourhood is where you’ll find the Reeperbahn, Hamburg’s red-light district, nicknamed “the most sinful mile”. It is the longest party street in Europe and is where you’ll find a great variety of bars, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs. If you’re looking to dance until dawn and enjoy a night on the town, St. Pauli is the place for you.

It should be noted that St. Pauli can be a little rough around the edges after dark. Although a very popular tourist area, you should exercise common sense and caution when exploring this neighbourhood at night. It’s quite likely that you’ll be approached by prostitutes offering their services, but if you’re not interested a polite “no” will send them on their way.

Things to See and Do in St. Pauli

  • Walk around or pull up a chair in Spielbudenplatz, a village square that is perfect for people watching.
  • Enjoy good times and great drinks at Herzblut St. Pauli.
  • Party high above the rooftops of Hamburg at NOHO Club where the drinks and dancing are just as good as the atmosphere.
  • Dance the night away at Docks, a legendary Hamburg club that is housed within a 1900 cinema.
  • Listen to great music and dance the night away at Grosse Freiheit 36.
  • Discover your next favourite band at the world-renowned Gruenspan club – which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.
  • Hear outstanding DJs and great indie and alternative music at Molotow.

Where to Stay in St. Pauli

Best Budget Hotel in St. Pauli: A&O Hamburg Reeperbahn

A&O Hamburg Reeperbahn Hamburg

A&O Hamburg Reeperbahn is the best budget hotel in St. Pauli

The A&O Hamburg Reeperbahn is a charming and affordable hotel in the heart of Hamburg’s action – and our top recommendation for where to stay in St. Pauli. It is ideal for night owls looking to experience Hamburg’s legendary nightlife scene. It has free wifi, a 24-hour reception, and guests can enjoy a number of recreational activities including bike rental and billiards.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in St. Pauli: InterCityHotel Hamburg Dammtor-Messe

InterCityHotel Hamburg Dammtor-Messe Hamburg

InterCityHotel Hamburg Dammtor-Messe is the best mid-range hotel in St. Pauli

A central location, on-site dining and comfortable lounge bar are just a few reasons this is one of our favourite hotels in Hamburg. Situated near the Reeperbahn, party animals will love having all the best bars and nightclubs at their doorstep. It has modern rooms, free wifi and a comfortable lounge bar.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in St. Pauli: Arcotel Onyx Hamburg

Arcotel Onyx Hamburg

Arcotel Onyx Hamburg is the best luxury hotel in St. Pauli

The Arcotel Onyx Hamburg is a modern and luxurious yet affordable hotel. Located near the Reeperbahn and St. Pauli Landing Stages, this hotel is at the centre of Hamburg’s liveliest neighbourhood. It has a sauna, fitness room, spa and tennis courts. Guests will feel relaxed and refreshed before a night on the town.

 

Neighborhood #4 - Sternschanze

(Coolest place to stay in Hamburg)

Sternschanze, Hamburg

Sternschanze is our pick for the coolest place to stay in Hamburg

Sternschanze is far and away the coolest neighbourhood in Hamburg. After the Reeperbahn, it’s where you’ll find the best entertainment and nightlife, as well as a great variety of creative restaurants and hip shops.

Affectionately known as ‘Schanze’ by locals, this alternative neighbourhood is where Hamburg’s cool kids hang out. You can spend your days wandering the streets, browsing the shops, sipping cappuccinos or simple people watching along the main street, Schulterblatt. No matter the time of day, there’s something going on in Sternschanze!

Love to shop? Sternschanze is a shoppers’ paradise. Whether you want to browse the flea market or the up-market shops, this is where you’ll find what you’re looking for. With trendy Karoviertel just around the corner, there’s something for fashionistas of all ages in this hip and happening ‘hood.

Things to See and Do in Sternschanze

  • Explore Rote Flora, a 19th-century theatre that today is a hub for political and cultural functions.
  • Enjoy a mix of music, sports, culture and more at Kulturhaus 73.
  • Welcome the green fairy to the party at Absinth Bar, where more than 400 varieties of Absinthe are available.
  • Browse the stalls and shop for treasures at Flohschanze, the most popular flea market in Hamburg.
  • Explore the shops, restaurants, bars and clubs that line trendy Schulterblatt street.
  • Eat at Sudhang, a trendy tavern-style restaurant that offers great food and a friendly atmosphere.
  • Explore the hip Karoviertel quarter, where you’ll find local shops, indie boutiques and many hip bars and restaurants.

Where to Stay in Sternschanze

Best Budget Hotel in Sternschanze: Hotel Domicil Hamburg by Golden Tulip

Hotel Domicil Hamburg by Golden Tulip

Hotel Domicil Hamburg by Golden Tulip is the best budget hotel in Sternschanze

Enjoy four-star accommodations at a fraction of the prices at Hotel Domicil Hamburg. This modern hotel has minimalist décor, comfortable rooms, and an on-site spa for lounging and relaxing. Great restaurants and vibrant clubs are just a short walk from this hotel. It is our top choice for where to stay in Sternschanze.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Sternschanze: Hotel Boritzka

Hotel Boritzka Hamburg

Hotel Boritzka is the best mid-range hotel in Sternschanze

Hotel Boritzka is a clean and comfortable hotel. Simple and basic, this hotel is outfitted with everything travellers need for a great stay in the city. Each room is individually decorated and has flat screen TVs, hair dryers and en-suite bathrooms. A hot breakfast buffet is also available.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Sternschanze: My Place Hotel & Apartments Hamburg

My Place Hotel & Apartments Hamburg

My Place Hotel & Apartments Hamburg is the best luxury hotel in Sternschanze

My Place Hotel and Apartments is the ideal home away from home in Hamburg. Nicely situated at the centre of Sternschanze, these apartments have their own kitchen, bathroom, and comfortable lounge area. Guests can enjoy relaxing on the terrace or have a drink at the in-house bar.

 

Neighborhood #5 - HafenCity

(Best neighbourhood in Hamburg for families)

HafenCity, Hamburg

HafenCity is our pick for best neighbourhood in Hamburg for families

HafenCity is one of the newest districts in Hamburg. Located next to Old Town on the Elbe river island of Grasbrook, this area of the city underwent revitalization in 2008 to turn a former part of the port into a multifaceted space. Made up of residential buildings, offices, museums, restaurants, playgrounds, parks and shops, it is among the largest urban regeneration projects in Europe.

An exquisite example of a modern city suburb, HafenCity is the best neighbourhood for families visiting Hamburg. Covering just 2.2 square kilometres, it is packed with activities and attractions that will thrill and enthral kids and adults of all ages. You won’t have to walk far to find a great restaurant, tourist attraction, entertainment or fun in HafenCity!

If you want to explore Hamburg’s cultural side, head to Elbphilharmonie. This controversial concert hall sits at the heart of HafenCity. Incredible to view from the outside, this architectural wonder is the largest and most acoustically advanced concert hall in the world. It boasts amazing views of the harbour and city, and hosts world-class performances, concerts, and more!

Things to See and Do in HafenCity

  • See the largest model railway exhibition at Miniatur Wunderland.
  • Hop aboard the ferry and take a cheap and fun tour of Hamburg’s bustling and expansive harbour.
  • Grab a coffee at Speicherstadt Kaffee, a funky coffeehouse where kids will love watching the bean roasting process.
  • Dive deep into Hamburg’s naval history at the International Maritime Museum.
  • Pack a picnic and spend a relaxing afternoon in lush and green Lohsepark.
  • Learn about cars of all shapes and sizes, from racing cars to traditional vehicles at the Automuseum PROTOTYP.
  • Take in a show or just enjoy the view from the iconic and architecturally unique Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.

Where to Stay in HafenCity

Best Budget Hotel in HafenCity: Prizeotel Hamburg-City

Prizeotel Hamburg-City

Prizeotel Hamburg-City is the best budget hotel in HafenCity

Colourful, vibrant and a great central location are just a few of the reasons this hotel is our top choice for where to stay in HafenCity. Close to shops, restaurants, bars and museums, this boutique hotel is just steps from Hamburg’s best tourist attractions. Breakfast is available every morning and guests will love the on-site bar.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in HafenCity: 25hours Hotel Altes Hafenamt

25hours Hotel Altes Hafenamt Hamburg

25hours Hotel Altes Hafenamt is the best mid-range hotel in HafenCity

This four-star HafenCity hotel is the epitome of cool. It has modern, hip and rustic décor, a cool and comfortable lounge, and spacious rooms. It has a variety of wellness amenities including a sauna and is within walking distance of a great variety of restaurants.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in HafenCity: The Westin Hamburg

The Westin Hamburg

The Westin Hamburg is the best luxury hotel in HafenCity

This elegant five-star hotel is located within the Elbphilharmonie building, one of Hamburg’s newest and most famous landmarks. It has spacious and luxurious rooms, and the terrace offers panoramic views of the harbour and river. It has a spa and wellness centre, an on-site restaurant and a comfortable and cool lounge bar.

 

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Hamburg

Hamburg is a city that peaks the interests of all kinds of travellers. Whether you’re a history buff, a culture vulture, a party animal, or an opera aficionado; there’s something for tourists of all ages, styles and budgets in Hamburg.

To recap; our top choice for the best neighbourhood is Alstadt. The heart, soul and centre of the city, Alstadt is where you’ll find Hamburg’s rich history, major tourist attractions, great shopping and world-class restaurants.

Movenpick Hotel Hamburg is our pick for the best hotel and where to stay in Hamburg thanks to its central location, modern interiors and a great number of wellness amenities.

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below. Safe travels and have a fabulous time in Hamburg, Germany.

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