Where to Stay in Hamburg: Best Neighborhoods and Hotels

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Where to stay in Hamburg depends on your interests. The city is big and spread out, so you don’t want to be far from the center. That said, the public transport net is reliable and gets you everywhere in no time. In Hamburg, the best hotels are in the center. That’s the area around the small lake, Binnenalster, and extends to the widest canal, Norderelbe. However, since the center is mostly dead at night, we thought of other brilliant places.

We’ve been to the city several times, so we know Hamburg’s best neighborhoods. We have selected the ones that offer the most. As you know, we love to walk and usually take public transport. Thus, most of our picks are within walking distance to the main attractions or just a short metro/bus ride away. That said, we’ve included options in quaint places out of the center for those of you who want peace.

Where to Stay in Hamburg

Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Hamburg

City Center – Altstadt

To us, the best place to stay in Hamburg is Altstadt. Most 5 star hotels in Hamburg are here. The area is home to the best architecture in the city. We are talking about grand buildings like the City Hall, St. Michaels Church, two great museums, and the one and only Kontorhaus District. The latter is an entire neighborhood included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. Together with Speicherstadt, it is the biggest warehouse area in the world. If you are an architect, stay here.

Since we like authentic buildings, we’ve stayed at the Renaissance Hamburg Hotel. The luxury hotel is a former brick expressionist print house designed by Fritz Höger. You get the Renaissance experience: location, class, and unparallel service. The Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten is the epicenter of luxury in Hamburg. The beautiful 1897 Art Deco palace on the lake has splendid rooms, halls, and restaurants. Go up to the rooftop bar for cocktails and killer views.

City Center - Altstadt

St Pauli

St Pauli is the best place where to stay in Hamburg for nightlife. It’s the area to the west of the city center, next to Wallanlagen and Planten un Blomen Parks. The young and creative flock to the parks to relax. The neighborhood has some of the coolest bars in the city. Likewise, the area is favored by artists and free thinkers. Galleries, theatres, and art centers dot its streets. Be sure to check the Elbtunnel, a super cool art space below the river.

For class and design, book a room at the East Hotel Hamburg. The swank building was recently refurbished. Ideally located in the party area, the hotel has a gym and four bars! However, the rooms are comfy and quiet. The ARCOTEL Onyx Hamburg is a sleek modern tower in the heart of St. Pauli, within walking distance to the harbor and most attractions. St. Pauli metro station is a block away. The top floor rooms offer breathtaking views of the city.

St Pauli

Stern Schanze

Someone told us that the city had lost its edge and was fully gentrified. Wrong. Shanzenpark and Sternashanze are still authentic and a bit rough, and that’s why we like them. Left-wing activists, anarchists, and the free-spirited flock to its streets to mingle and come up with new ideas. The area is full of graffiti and alternative bars. If you are looking for vibrant yet safe Hamburg, this is where to stay.

August The Boardinghouse has the best short-term apartments in Hamburg. The building is a block away from Flora Park, the epicenter of Sternschanze. They have studios and two-bedroom apartments perfect for friends and families. Fritz im Pyjama is next to Schanzenpark metro station. The hotel’s airy and bright rooms are an oasis of peace in the middle of the action. We like their eco-friendly ideas and complimentary coffee.



The University of Hamburg is in the heart of Rotherbaum. The main campus building is gorgeous. As you can imagine, young students visit the neighborhood’s coffeehouses and eateries. Thus, the atmosphere is hip and cool. You have to visit the Museum of Ethnology and the Zoological Museum. Rotherbaum extends to the lake, where a couple of rowing clubs are. Walk along the Alsterufer Boulevard admiring the mansions.

The GRAND ELYSEE Hamburg has one of the best indoor pools in Hamburg. It’s part of a huge spa with all you ever dreamed of. Since it’s in the heart of Rotherbaum but overlooking a park, this massive hotel is very peaceful. The hotel has two restaurants, favored by locals. Tucked in a quiet street, the Stilwerk Hotel Heimhude is over 150 years old. The updated Art Deco mansion has big comfortable rooms, a lovely garden, and personalized service.



Hafencity is the best area to stay in Hamburg if you like architecture. Massive buildings line the canals that criss-cross the neighborhood. The whole place is the pinnacle of brick architecture. Thus, UNESCO included the Speciherstadt in is its World Heritage Site list. Don’t forget to visit the Elbphilharmonie, the most celebrated contemporary building in Hamburg. Go to the top for epic views.

AMERON Hamburg Hotel Speicherstadt is the only hotel within the UNESCO listed area. The former coffee stock exchange homes one of the best luxury hotels in Hamburg. Choose a room with views of the canals. PIERDREI Hotel HafenCity Hamburg is in front of the Ameron, favored by families and couples. It’s a modern hotel with comfortable rooms, a 24/7 shop, and a fantastic rooftop terrace.


St Georg

St. Georg is the district just east of the center, adjacent to the big lake Aussenalster. Restaurants, art galleries, and off-the-radar shops line its leafy streets. Considered by many Hamburg’s LGBT center, it’s a safe place to party the night away. It’s one of the best neighborhoods to check some art, have coffee, or dine in Hamburg. Some of the best restaurants in Hamburg dot the lake promenade.

Hotel Atlantic Hamburg is the first grand palace you’ll see as soon as you cross to the big lake. Opened to great fanfare in 1909, and it is still one of the best luxury hotels in Hamburg. You can lap in its pool and have delish pastries in the lovely coffee house. You can’t get closer to Hamburg’s main station than at the Reichshof Hotel Hamburg. It’s a superb Art Deco building that opened in 1910. Fully refurbished in 2015, it offers brilliant rooms and impeccable service.

St Georg


Though half an hour from the center, Blankenese is a great place to stay in Hamburg. The fancy neighborhood is adjacent to the river and offers unbelievable views of the port in front. The area is a Mecca for bicycle enthusiasts. You can bike across lovely fields and tree-lined paths. We walked for hours admiring the luxurious villas that dot the neighborhood. Though you can’t swim, the sandy beaches are pretty too.

Hotels in Blankenese are not near Hamburg’s center, and that’s why you should book a room. The Hotel Süllberg Karlheinz Hauser is on a slope and has a manicured garden with fantastic views. Everything is luxurious in this grand house. The restaurant is one of the best in the city. The Strandhotel Blankenese is a 1902 elegant Art Deco villa with a garden directly over the Elbe River. Choose a room with river views to enjoy breathtaking sunsets.


Where is the Best Place to Stay in Hamburg

To us, the best place to stay in Hamburg is the city center. The neighborhood is an attraction in itself and within walking distance to the best the city offers. To reach the rest of the city and beyond, all you have to do is take a train. Besides, the center is full of life during the day, but at night you’ll be mostly alone. We love it because it combines canals, trees, views of the lake, the river, and superb architecture.

Our second favorite neighborhood to stay in Hamburg is Sternschanze. Nowhere else in the city can you find anarchists, free thinkers, partygoers, artists, and people from all over the world mingle in a safe environment. It’s just a step away from most attractions, while you can take 3 lines from the metro station. In addition, the parks are quite special. Sternshanze is the best location to stay in Hamburg if you like to hang in authentic places.

Best Places to Stay in Hamburg

How Long to Stay in Hamburg

You can stay in Hamburg for how many days you want. The city is big, fascinating, and full of things to do and see. The last time we were there, we spent two full weeks. Still, we feel we could’ve stayed longer. Just covering Hamburg’s main attractions will take you at least three days. Remember that you have an entire UNESCO district to visit, some of the best museums in Germany, outstanding parks, historic buildings, and splendid canals.

Those of you who have more time should visit other Hanseatic cities. The nicest is Lübeck, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. This marvelous city is just 45 minutes by train from Hamburg. Lüneburg is another incredibly well-preserved medieval Hanseatic city just half an hour by train from Hamburg. Finally, Stade is the closest medieval city to Hamburg. You can go there by train or by boat across the river.

How Many Days in Hamburg

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