Last Updated on
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…
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…
Table of Contents
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay 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.
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.
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 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 TipHome 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
*** Some of the links on Hotel Jules are affiliate links, which means if you do make a purchase, we may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you.) Thank you for using our links! Your support keeps the site going 🙂 ***
Gin lover. Coffee addict. Nicola has traveled the world for 7 years and is a staff writer for Hotel Jules. Born in London, Nicola first got the taste of travel studying abroad in Barcelona. Since then she's been hooked - traveling the world non-stop. Passionate about green travel and vegan lifestyle, Nicola spends more of her free time staring at maps wondering where she will head to next!