Photo: shutterstock / Lina Zavgorodnia
With lots of water, numerous green spaces and hanseatic serenity, Hamburg is the ideal summer getaway. Whether recreational activities, colourful festivals or film nights under starry skies – the city has much more to offer than the popular harbour tours on the Elbe river and charming Alster lake cruises.
1. Open-air film screenings
Watching movies can feel a little wrong in summer and a bad conscience might come up when the few warm summer evenings are spent in a dark cinema instead of outdoors. Not in Hamburg! Here you’ll have a big choice on a number of excellent open air cinemas and don’t have to choose. Some of them are presented here:
Schanzenkino Open Air – Sternschanze 1A, 20357 Hamburg
From 13th July to 8th September, the open-air cinema in the “Schanzenpark” offers a variety of movies for film lovers every day. In the middle of the park, with the backdrop of the city’s television tower, you’ll enjoy the evening in a relaxed atmosphere. Seating and catering are also provided – but on first-come-first-serve-basis, so it's worth coming early! The performance starts at dusk.
Zeise Open Air – Rathaus Altona, Platz der Republik 1
There is also an open-air cinema in the city district of Altona, more precisely in the courtyard of the Altona Town Hall, which can seat up to 450 spectators. This summer, Oscar-winning masterpieces and true classics will be shown here, including "Green Book", "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "The Big Lebowski". Documentaries also flicker across the screen, sometimes even with the protagonists as prominent guests of the evening. The programme runs daily from 4th July to 24th August, starting at 9 pm at the earliest.
Movie nights at Millerntor – Harald-Stender-Platz 1, 20359 Hamburg
A special experience are the movie nights at Millerntor, which are organized by the 3001 cinema. They don't just take place somewhere, but in the middle of FC St. Pauli's Millerntor stadium at Heiligengeistfeld. From 10th to 27th July films and documentaries such as "Soul Kitchen", "mid90s" or "Hamburger Gitter" will be shown here. The advantage in case of bad weather: The seats on the south stand are covered, so the cinema evening is guaranteed not to fall through!
2. Christopher Street Day 2019
From 27th July to 4th August, it will be colourful again in Hamburg: The motto "Basically the same – for a better constitution" runs through all the various events that are part of Hamburg's Pride Week in order to set an example for tolerance and self-determination. Above all, the CSD Street Festival on the banks of the Inner Alster Lake (Binnenalster) with the political CSD Parade on 3rd August is a highlight for visitors with loud and joyful protests for equal rights. Almost 150,000 visitors and more than 15,000 participants are expected to attend this highlight of the Hamburg Pride Week along the route through Hamburg city centre. The entire programme is available here.
3. Summer, sun and sandy beaches in Hamburg's Beach Clubs
A cool drink in your hand and your feet in the sand – this is how summer feels best. We introduce you to the best places in Hamburg to enjoy the summer sun in a hanseatic casual way.
Beach Clubs at the St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken, 20359 Hamburg
Whether "Dock 3" and "Hamburg Del Mar" with lounge atmosphere at the St. Pauli Landungsbrücken or the hip and somewhat more alternative "Strand Pauli" a little further on, the always well-attended beach clubs with magnificent views on the Elbe and the harbour cranes promise maritime flair and pure holiday feeling.
Strandperle – Övelgönne 60, 22605 Hamburg
The HVV harbour ferry (public transport) takes you to the museum harbour Övelgönne and the Elbe beaches. Here the "Strandperle" with cold drinks and down-to-earth food offers the best backdrop for the summer in Hamburg – right by the water and relaxing without any booming music. Our tip: Wait until sunset.
Central Park – Max-Brauer-Allee 230, 22769 Hamburg
Summer is enjoyable even in the busy city centre. “Central Park” in the middle of the trendy Schanzenviertel offers a relaxed atmosphere. With its deckchairs in the sand, a small bar and seats in the shade, it is the perfect place for a little break.
4. Music summer at the Elbe river
Even if the weather in Hamburg's summer isn't always as good as you'd like it to be, the exuberant atmosphere at the annual MS Dockville Festival doesn't stop there. From 16th to 18th August 2019 the Open Air Music and Art Festival will take place in Wilhelmsburg and offers its visitors more than 130 musicians and bands as well as numerous creative projects by artists from all over the world. This year, among others, Bausa, Billie Eilish, Parcels and Juju will be on stage. The Duckstein Festival (19th to 28th July 2019) in the heart of the HafenCity takes place within walking distance of the Adina Hamburg Speicherstadt. It offers a somewhat smaller but no less appealing music programme great for spontaneous visits. There are live music performances, small food snack bars and stands presenting jewellery and other handicrafts. With concerts by Big Daddy Wilson, Mrs. Greenbird, Jon Flemming Olsen and other artists, the festival is a great option to enjoy the afternoon sun or relax at the end of the day. Look for information on tickets and line-up of the MS Dockville Festival at www.msdockville.de. Further information about the Duckstein festival available here (only German).
5. Pony riding for the little ones
Especially children love Hamburg’s green spaces that offer so much fun in summer. Whether splashing around in the outdoor pool of the City Park (Stadtpark) or romping around on the generously designed playground of the Planten un Blomen park: it certainly won't get boring and there are also plenty options to cool down in between. If you're looking for a bit more action in the nature: children can gain their first riding experience at the pony farm in the "Niendorfer Gehege" north of the city centre and let their parents guide them through the extensive grounds. Afterwards, the nearby "Waldcafé" offers some refreshment and hearty food or snacks. In addition, the local recreation area with two large playgrounds invites kids to play and climb; in the wildlife enclosure deer and roe deer can be observed. Further information about the pony farm at their website (only available in German).
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