Elbphilharmonie#1 in Best Things To Do in Hamburg
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A stunning architectural marvel often compared to Sydney's opera house, the Elbphilharmonie is a concert hall and performance space designed by the Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. As soon as it opened in 2016, it became an instant architectural icon thanks to its wave-like rooftop and glass façade. Luckily, you don't need tickets to a show to enjoy the striking space.
A public viewing platform is open to everyone and offers breathtaking, 360-degree views of the city and the harbor – a particular highlight for recent visitors. While admission to the viewing plaza is free, you do need a ticket to enter. Advance booking is available and recommended by recent visitors, though a booking fee of 2 euros (or about $2.25) applies. Reviewers also recommended taking a harbor cruise to admire the building from the water.
The plaza is open daily from 9 a.m. to midnight. You can access the Elbphilharmonie via several U-Bahn stations, including Baumwall and Überseequartier. To see a list of upcoming concerts and events, visit the venue's official website.
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#2 Alter Elbtunnel
The Alter Elbtunnel (also called the Old Elbe Tunnel, St. Pauli Elbe Tunnel) is a pedestrian, bike and motorist tunnel (though cars are not permitted), which travels underneath the River Elbe. It connects central Hamburg to the southern side of the river. Opened in 1911, the tunnel was built to serve the port and shipyard workers as a connecting route between the Landungsbrücken and Steinwerder piers. It became a tourist attraction when the "new" Elbe tunnel opened in the 1970s. It has been undergoing renovation for the past several years.
While walking through the quarter-mile-long tunnel, take time to look at the tile reliefs that line the walls, which portray starfish, dolphins and other creatures. Past travelers enjoyed the experience of walking beneath the river and taking in the great view from the opposing side. Others said it provides an interesting photo opportunity, though there is little else to do.
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