Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Family Travel - 48 Hours in Hamburg

As a family we love to explore and visit new towns, cities and countries. We are therefore always on the look out for new places to visit and regularly visit Skyscanner to try and find some bargain flights. Back in July, I visited the website one evening and entered Manchester as the departure airport and then selected "everywhere" as the destination and August for the month. To be honest, I wasn't expecting to find anything super cheap due to it being the school holiday period, but couldn't believe my eyes when flights came up for Hamburg for only £8! I double checked that I had entered the information correctly, thinking that I must have made a mistake somewhere, but after clicking through to the Ryanair website, I was astonished to see that the price was indeed correct! I added seat selection and the total price for 2 adults and 3 children from Manchester Airport to Hamburg from the 15th August to the 17th of August, came to a grand total of £89.72. That is cheaper than a return ticket to London for just one of us on the train!

I immediately began to do my research, in order to find out what there was for families in the area and whether there would be enough to keep my children entertained. Whilst searching, I came across the Come to Hamburg scheme who help bloggers & journalists arrange their visit to Hamburg and also help them to find accommodation. This sounded an absolutely brilliant idea, so I submitted my application and within a couple of days I received an email back stating that they would love to welcome us to Hamburg and help us with our trip!

We were allocated some lovely accommodation at the Appartello Smarttime Living hotel and received some suggestions on places to visit. The Miniatur Wunderland came highly recommended on Tripadvisor, as did Hagenbeck Tierpark, so we decided that we would have to visit both of these places whilst staying. I also continued my research for other events that were on in the area and found out that the Hamburger Dom would also be taking place, so gradually began to put our itinerary together and got our flights booked! The Hamburg Tourist Board also kindly offered to provide us with a Hamburg Travel Card which would allow us to make use of the public transport in the area to get us around the city without the need for a car. Everything began to come together and we all started to look forward to our trip.

We had an early morning flight on the 15th August, so we arrived at Manchester Airport a little tired, but in plenty of time for our journey. The flight only took 1 hour and 30 minutes, so it was a really comfortable short flight time for us all. We travelled hand luggage only, with it being a short trip, which meant that we were soon out of the arrivals area in Hamburg and ready to find our bus stop for the short journey to the Appartello Smarttime Living Hotel.

The bus trip was only 10 minutes long and we exited the bus at the Alsterdorfer Damm bus stop, which was located just down the road from the hotel. I had arranged in advance to drop off our bags prior to exploring, but we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived, to be told that our room was already available and that we could check in straight away.

Our apartment was lovely, tastefully decorated and with a modern decor. There was ample space and it was immaculately clean and tidy. It was a great place to have a quick rest and freshen up before heading to our first attraction of the day. The staff on reception were wonderful and even printed off a bus timetable for me, to help make sure we had all the directions we needed for the day. The whole hotel was just fantastic and we would definitely recommend it to others. You can read more about the Appartello Smarttime Living Hotel in our blog post here: Our Stay at the Appartello Smarttime Living Hotel

Our first attraction was the Miniatur Wunderland and so we caught the train to Baumwall before having a nice walk around the area. We saw the magnificent Elbphilharmonie building on the waterfront which was absolutely stunning and the kids enjoyed watching some of the street performers. We had a nice drink and snack from one of the local cafes before making our way to the attraction, which was located just next to the Hamburg Dungeons.

The Miniatur Wunderland is situated alongside the River Elbe and is easily accessible by public transport. It is home to the worlds largest model railway and features an extensive collection of miniaturised countries, all displayed in an amazing and unique way. It first opened in the year 2000 and is not expected to be completed until 2028.

Riley loved watching the trains journey around the exhibits and we were shocked to find that as of Autumn last year, there are a staggering 1040 trains in total, in addition to more than 10,000 wagons. The longest train measures in at 14.51 metres and the total track length is an astonishing 15,400 metres. You can read more about the Miniatur Wunderland in our blog post here: Our Family Visit to Miniatur Wunderland

Once we had finished our visit to Miniatur Wunderland, we made our way back to the U-Bahn station. We then caught the train again to the Hamburger Dom which is a huge fair packed full of stalls, rides and delicious food. The train journey was literally only a couple of stops away in Heiligengeistfeld and the Dom was right next to the station, in the event area by St Pauli stadium.

My children loved the wide range of rides that were available and each of them chose a few to go on. We bought some delicious sausages from one of the food stalls that tasted incredible and enjoyed a refreshing drink whilst walking through the fair in the sunshine. Some of the rides looked spectacular, although a bit scary! After a very early start and a long day on our feet, the children were beginning to get tired and so we made our way back to the hotel for a good nights sleep, ready for the following day.

We all had a lovely sleep that evening and woke up bright and early the following day feeling refreshed and re-energised. We made our way to the Appartello Living Room for breakfast, before catching a bus to the Hagenbeck Tierpark which was a 30 minute bus ride away. We had read on Tripadvisor that you could feed the elephants there, so we were all very excited at being able to get up close to such beautiful animals.

Shortly after entering, we saw a small crowd gathering to the right hand side, so we made our way over to see what was happening. As we approached, we saw the most beautiful elephants, who were all reaching out with their trunks, to collect fresh fruit and vegetables from the visitors. They looked well cared for and the size of their enclosure was very impressive, along with a large pool for them to cool off or play in. It was amazing for the children to be able to get so close to such a large and stunning animal and they just couldn't believe that they were actually feeding them by hand. You can read more about our visit to Hagenbeck Tierpark in our blog post here: Our Trip to Hagenbeck Tierpark

We spent the whole day at Hagenbeck Tierpark, before returning to the hotel and popping out for an evening meal. We couldn't believe how much we had managed to fit into just 48 hours, but were a little sad that our visit had almost come to an end and there was still so much we wanted to see and do.

We enjoyed a final visit to the Appartello Living Room where Riley had a play with the train sets, before heading back to the room to pack for our journey home. We had such a wonderful time in Hamburg and I have already been looking at returning in November for the Christmas markets and to experience Winter in the city. We would also love to watch the fountain shows that take place late in the evening, so we will definitely be visiting again soon.

I would like to thank Come to Hamburg, Appartello Smarttime Living Hotel, Hamburg Tourist Information & Miniatur Wunderland for helping to provide us with such a fantastic experience. We look forward to visiting you again in the future!

Disclaimer: We received complimentary accommodation from Appartello Smarttime Living through the Come to Hamburg Scheme, along with a complimentary Hamburg Travel Card & Miniatur Wunderland tickets from the tourist board for the purpose of providing a full and honest review of our visit. Our review is based on our own experience & we have received no additional payment for the blog posts. Opinions and photographs are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains affiliate links.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had a great time. I have some great memories of visting my penfriend here when I was 10 years old. Such a great city :)