City Hall (Rathaus)#11 in Best Things To Do in Hamburg
The Rathaus (City Hall) is big – bigger than London's immense Buckingham Palace – and according to travelers, it's one of the best sights in Hamburg. Resting on a square, inspired by Venice's Piazza San Marco, the neo-renaissance building's formidable exterior opens into a lavish interior, which is peopled by Hamburg's city council and state government officials. English-language tours take about 45 minutes and wind past the opulent state rooms, a mere fraction of the 647 rooms located on-site.
Recent visitors called the building "beautiful" and recommended taking the tour if you can.
Hop off the U-Bahn at the Rathaus station to reach City Hall. Guided tours in English are offered on published tour days (which vary) at 11:15 a.m., 1:15 and 3:15 p.m. Tickets for adults 15 and older cost 5 euros (about $5.50). Visitors ages 14 and younger tour for free. City Hall is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information can be found on the Hamburg tourism board's website.
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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.
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