is home to some of the best museums in Germany - from modern art, and maritime history, to exotic exhibitions at the Spice Museum, here are the museums you shouldn’t miss on your next Hamburg trip. And if you are here in spring, check out Hamburg’s Long Night of Museums
("Die lange Nacht der Museen"), when Hamburg’s art galleries, museums and cultural institutions stay open past midnight and offer many special exhibitions, readings, concerts, and film screenings.
Between 1850 and 1939, more than 5 million people from all over Europe emigrated from Hamburg to the New World. The Emigration Museum "Ballinstadt" recreates this life-changing journey on historic grounds; you can visit the original emigration halls, and the extensive interactive exhibition (in English and German) offers a wealth of information about emigration in the 19th and 20th century. You can even trace back the journey of your own family by studying the original passenger lists and the largest genealogical database in the world.
Hamburg is home to a trio of architectural gems that house one of the most impressive art collections in Germany: Kunsthalle Hamburg is dedicated to over 700 years of European art, from medieval altars to modern paintings by German artists Gerhard Richter and Neo Rauch. Highlights of the museum include Dutch masterpieces from the 17th century by Rembrandt, art from the Romantic Period in Germany by Caspar David Friedrich
, as well as an excellent collection of the painters of the Bruecke art group.
The International Maritime Museum, which opened in a historical warehouse in Hamburg’s Hafencity, celebrates the city’s maritime heritage and brings its 3000 year old naval history to life. There is a lot to see: Displayed over 10 sprawling floors, the museum showcases 26,000 ship models, 50,000 construction plans, 5,000 paintings and graphics, and many nautical devices. Fascinating for visitors of all ages.
The Deichtorhallen, one of Germany’s largest centers for contemporary art, unites the House of Photography as well as an exhibition hall for international art shows under its roof. The two former market halls with their grand glass and steel architecture have been turned into an impressive backdrop, where art shows on Warhol, Chagall, or Baselitz are staged regularly.
Hamburg is one of the most important harbor cities in Europe, and among the many goods that arrive here daily are spices from all around the world. So it’s only fitting that the city has a great spice museum – the only one of its kind in the world. Set in an old storehouse close to the harbor, you can see, smell, and of course taste your way through 500 years of exotic spices while learning about their cultivation, processing, and packaging.
Hamburg’s Museum fuer Kunst und Gewerbe (Museum for Applied Arts) is dedicated to the fine, applied and decorative arts from antiquity to present day. Founded in 1874 and following the example of London’s famous Victoria and Albert Museum
, Hamburg’s Museum for Applied Arts features master pieces from design, photography, fashion, furniture, and musical instruments, just to name a few.
The Neuengamme concentration Camp, which was housed in a former brick factory in the outskirts of Hamburg, was the largest camp in the north of Germany, comprising of 80 satellite camps between 1938 and 1945. In May 2005, on the 60th anniversary of Neuengamme’s liberation, a redesigned memorial site was opened on the grounds of the former camp, including several exhibitions that document the history of the site and remember the suffering of over 100,000 people imprisoned here. Fifteen historic concentration camp buildings on the site are preserved.
More Holocaust and Concentration Camp Memorial Sites in Germany