Emigration Museum BallinStadt Hamburg

#9 in Best Things To Do in Hamburg
Emigration Museum BallinStadt Hamburg picture1 of 3
Emigration Museum BallinStadt Hamburg2 of 3
www.mediaserver.hamburg.de / Christian Spahrbier

Key Info

Veddeler Bogen 2


Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend


  • 3.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Just as compelling and moving as Ellis Island, this museum and ancestral research center conveys the story of European emigration to the United States and elsewhere. The museum occupies the land originally used by the Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Aktien-Gesellschaft (HAPAG) shipping company for the city's Emigration Halls, which were built 120 years ago to accommodate people from all over Europe hoping to sail across the Atlantic. To lessen the likelihood of immigrants being sent back from the United States due to illness or other reasons (at the shipping company's cost), HAPAG offered medical examinations. Millions of people passed through the complex, which at one point included a hospital, a church, a music hall, housing and even hotels.

There are several halls that detail why people were emigrating, their journey across the ocean and what happened when they reached America, with interactive exhibits, displays, photos and artifacts. For an even more immersive experience, consider grabbing a bite to eat at the on-site restaurant Nach Amerika (or "To America"), which serves meals based on recipes used in the canteens of the former Emigration Halls. Visitors can also search complete passenger lists of all the ships that left the harbor in the family research area.

Recent visitors, especially those with relatives who passed through Hamburg on their way to America, found the museum moving and educational.

From Hamburg Central Station, take the S3 or S31 S-Bahn routes (heading to Harburg/Buxtehude/Stade). Museum admission costs 13 euros (around $14) for adults and 7 euros (about $8) for children ages 5 to 12. The museum is open from March to October from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from November through February from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit the official website.

See all Hotels in Hamburg »

More Best Things To Do in Hamburg

Elbphilharmonie1 of 17
Alter Elbtunnel2 of 17
Time to Spend
#1 Elbphilharmonie

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.

Read more
www.mediaserver.hamburg.de / Ralf Brunner
See full list of Best Things To Do in Hamburg »

Explore More of Hamburg

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.


The 10 Best Jamaica Tours

Enjoy the laid-back Jamaican lifestyle and the island's beauty on these immersive excursions.

Lyn MettlerFebruary 18, 2020

The 22 Best Scotland Tours

Explore castles, lakes, national parks and more on these top-rated excursions.

John RodwanFebruary 14, 2020

The 12 Best Travel Strollers for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel strollers, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerFebruary 13, 2020

The 14 Best New York City Food Tours

Take a bite out of the Big Apple on these foodie-focused NYC excursions.

Ann HensonFebruary 10, 2020

The 11 Best Swamp Tours in New Orleans

Experience the backyard of the Big Easy on one of these trips.

Marisa MéndezFebruary 6, 2020

The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2020

U.S. News ranked 4,099 top properties for 2020. Check out the 50 best.

Mackenzie RocheFebruary 4, 2020

The 10 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the Caribbean 2020

Scenic settings, activities galore and delicious cuisine reign supreme at these hotels.

Erin ShieldsFebruary 4, 2020

The 15 Most Instagram-worthy Best Hotels

These 'grammable properties offer picture-perfect decor, settings and more.

Rachel CenterFebruary 4, 2020

10 Top Hotels for Solo Travelers

Reconnect with yourself this year with a stay at a solo-friendly property.

Nicola WoodFebruary 4, 2020

20 Hot New Hotels to Check Out in 2020

These hotels are pulling out all the stops as they invite guests to visit in the new decade.

Marisa MéndezFebruary 4, 2020