Hamburg's Churches Walking Tour, Hamburg

Most of Hamburg's population belongs to the North Elbian Evangelical Lutheran Church and to the Roman Catholic Church. There are also numerous smaller Christian churches. Take this tour to discover the religious environment of Hamburg!
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Hamburg's Churches Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Hamburg's Churches Walking Tour
Guide Location: Germany » Hamburg (See other walking tours in Hamburg)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 km
Author: Gloria
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The Anglican Church of St Thomas Becket

1) The Anglican Church of St Thomas Becket

The Anglican Church of St Thomas Becket is situated on Zeughausmarkt, midway between the St. Pauli district and the modern city centre. Housed in an elegant, listed neoclassical building with a white façade and imposing columned entrance, it has represented the Church of England in Hamburg since the 17th century. The parish has existed in some form since 1612, and was one of the first non-Lutheran churches to thrive within the city of Hamburg. The church was set up to allow British seamen and maritime traders access to a place of worship whilst they were in port. Following decades of steady growth, the church moved into its current home in 1838.

Today, the church of St Thomas Becket hosts a diverse congregation, with British ex-pats, Germans and worshippers from other countries all regularly attending the Sunday morning Eucharist service, which starts at 10.30am. The church has flourished within Hamburg’s cosmopolitan confines, despite the turbulent relations between Germany and Britain in the 20th century. A progressive place of worship, it welcomes Christians of all nationalities and denominations. The church is open throughout the week, and is fully wheelchair accessible. It hosts a regular choir, as well as a Sunday school and coffee morning alongside its Eucharist service.
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St. Michaelis Church

2) St. Michaelis Church (must see)

St Michaelis Church is located in the Neustadt quarter, on the banks of the River Elbe. Its distinctive 132m high Baroque copper spire is a landfall marker for ships approaching the Port of Hamburg, and is one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks. The church, known locally as Michel, is arguably the most famous of Hamburg’s five Protestant churches. Its name derives from the archangel Michael; a large bronze statue in the church portal shows the archangel defeating the devil in battle. The church has its own cemetery, which houses the final resting places of composers Johann Mattheson and Carl Philipp Bach.

A central part of Hamburg life for nearly four centuries, St Michaelis Church has led a troubled existence. The first church on this site was built between 1647 and 1669. It was opened as the church for the new town area (known as Neustadt), which was built in 1625. The original church was struck by lightning in 1750, and completely destroyed. The current building was constructed in its place in 1786, designed by Johann Leonhard Prey and Ernst Sonnin. It was reconstructed twice in the 20th century, following a fire in 1906 and bomb damage during the Second World War. Now Hamburg’s largest church, it can hold 2500 worshippers. The spire has a lift fitted inside it, allowing access for all to one of the best views over Hamburg.
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Church of St. Nicholas

3) Church of St. Nicholas (must see)

The Church of St. Nicholas is a ruined church located in the centre of Hamburg. Previously one of the five Lutheran Hauptkirchen, or main churches, found within the city’s medieval centre, it was briefly the tallest building in the world. The towering Gothic Revival style spire, which stands 482 feet tall, is all that remains of the church; the main building has been demolished. The ruins are still an important tourist landmark, hosting events and displays, as well as an information centre in the old crypt.

A church has stood in this spot since the beginnings of Hamburg in the 12th century. A pillar of ecclesiastical life in the city for centuries, the previous church building was destroyed in the Great Fire of May 1842. The replacement was devised by British architect Gilbert Scott, and built between 1846 and 1863. The spire was completed in 1874, and made the church the world’s tallest building for two years, before being overtaken by Rouen Cathedral in Northern France. The ruined spire is still Hamburg’s second tallest structure, after the TV Tower.

The great height of the church spire proved to be its downfall, as it became an easy target for Allied Forces planes during World War 2. The nave of the church was destroyed, and the congregation moved to a new facility in an outlying suburban area. Restoration works have included the installation of an elevator within the spire, which takes visitors up to a 75 metre high platform, allowing great views over the nearby Speicherstadt district.
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St. Catherine's Church

4) St. Catherine's Church

St. Catherine's Church is one of the five principal Lutheran churches in Hamburg, Germany. The base of its spire, dating back to the 13th century, is the oldest building preserved in the city, after the lighthouse on Neuwerk island. It is situated on an island near what was formerly the southern boundary of the medieval city, opposite the historic harbor area on the Elbe river. It traditionally served as the church of the seamen. The earliest attestation to the existence of the church dates back to 1256. The main body, consisting of a triple nave, was rebuilt during the mid-15th century in the north German Brick Gothic style. In 1657, a Baroque rooftop was added to the spire, thus elevating its height to 115 meters. The church was heavily damaged in an air raid during World War II, on July 30, 1943. It left only the outer walls and the base of the spire standing. The building was restored between 1950 and 1957.
Sight description based on wikipedia
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St. Peter's Church

5) St. Peter's Church (must see)

Hauptkirche St. Petri, known in English as St. Peter’s Church, was built by order of Pope Leo the Tenth in the early 11th century. Whereas most of Hamburg’s other churches were originally built outside the city walls, St. Peter’s has always stood within the ancient walled settlement, known in those days as Hammaburg. It was first documented as a market church in 1195. The present Gothic church building was completed in 1418. The 132m tall tower, almost Scandinavian in appearance, was accompanied by an even higher second tower until 1807, when it was torn down, having been used as a stable by Napoleonic soldiers.

The church was badly damaged by the Great Fire of Hamburg in 1842. It was restored and rebuilt in the original Gothic style, with many of the church’s original features rescued from the fire. These include the lion head door handles found in the west portal, which date from 1342. They are believed to be the oldest surviving artwork in the city of Hamburg. Still a functioning Catholic church, St. Petri has suffered from a dramatic change in its surroundings – once a busy residential area, the church parish now comprises shops and offices. The congregation have embraced this change, allowing stores to advertise on the church building to pay for upkeep of the building.
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St. Jacobi Church

6) St. Jacobi Church (must see)

St. Jacobi Church is one of the five Lutheran churches found in Hamburg city centre. It is located in the Neustadt quarter, close to Mönckebergstraße, one of the city’s main shopping streets. The first recorded mention of the church was in 1255, when it was listed as a small chapel outside of Hamburg’s city walls. It soon became a central part of the growing medieval city, and was replaced by a three naved hall church, similar to the nearby St. Petri church. The fourth nave was added in the 15th century. .

St. Jacobi was destroyed by the extensive bombing of Hamburg during World War II. The church was rebuilt in 1963, in an unusual style featuring medieval design and a modern spire. Many of the church’s original features, including its 60-register baroque organ, survived the bombings and were installed in the new church. The organ, the largest in Northern Europe, can be heard at the church’s main service, held each Sunday morning.

Other medieval relics held within the modern church building include three altars dating from the 14th century, and the historic Ministers’ Room, featuring murals and landscape paintings by Johann Riesenberger. The stained glass windows, created by Charles Crodel, are a modern addition to this aesthetically pleasing place of worship.
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The Trinity Church

7) The Trinity Church

The Trinity or St. Georg Church's original Baroque building from 1747 was destroyed by bombs in July 1943. The present church was rebuilt in 1957. It is considered a particularly good example of the religious architecture of the 50 years of the 20th century.
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St. Mary's Cathedral

8) St. Mary's Cathedral

St. Mary’s Cathedral was the original Hamburg cathedral, serving this function in the city from 1035 to 1804. Known locally as Hamburger Dom, it was twinned with the cathedral in Bremen, another important city state in what is now Northern Germany. One of the first places of worship built in Hamburg, St. Mary’s Cathedral was located between the rivers of Alster and Elbe, close to Speersort Straße.

The cathedral survived for over 750 years in the city, through the Reformation period in Germany, largely due to its ownership by the Duchy of Bremen, which prevented the increasingly protestant city of Hamburg from closing it. When the Duchy of Bremen ceded the cathedral in 1803, a decision was made to demolish it. Some believe that this was in keeping with Hamburg Senate’s prioritization of mercantile interests throughout the 19th century. Others feel that it was down to the strong anti-Catholic sentiment in the city following the Reformation.

The location in modern Hamburg is marked by a park, just south of St. Peter’s Church. Steel blocks mark the former walls of the early cathedral, whilst 39 white benches indicate the former columns of the nave. One column foundation can be seen through a glass paving stone. The park is intersected by Domstraße, a pedestrian street named after the former cathedral. St. Mary’s Church in the Sankt Georg quarter, built in 1893, became the new Hamburg Cathedral in 1994.

Walking Tours in Hamburg, Germany

Create Your Own Walk in Hamburg

Create Your Own Walk in Hamburg

Creating your own self-guided walk in Hamburg is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Famous Brewpubs in Hamburg

Famous Brewpubs in Hamburg

Hamburg, like any other city in Germany, is famous for its beer. Hamburg has a few brand names of beer that are considered among the best in the country. The brewpubs are the ideal place where you can taste genuine German beer and just have fun while in Hamburg. This self-guided tour will help you to find the best brewpubs in the city.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Hamburg Architecture Walking Tour - 1

Hamburg Architecture Walking Tour - 1

Hamburg is well known for the combination of its history, culture and the aspects of modern life in its architecture. The old buildings, harmonized with the recent, extravagant urban development, make for an unforgettable tour of the city. Take it to enjoy the vibrant and diverse beauty of Hamburg's buildings!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 km
City Orientation Walk I

City Orientation Walk I

Hamburg is the second-largest city of Germany with a population of 1.8 million people, located where the river Elbe meets with the rivers Alster and Bille. With more than 120 000 enterprises such as factories, radio and television broadcasters and publishers it became the major media and industrial center in northern Germany. The city is also a major tourist destination both for domestic and overseas visitors. Here is the list of the top attractions in Hamburg

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 km
Famous Bridges of Hamburg

Famous Bridges of Hamburg

It appears that Hamburg made the Guinness Book of Records as the city with four and a half thousand bridges. This is more than Venice, Amsterdam and London put together! Take this tour to enjoy the unique design and history of Hamburg's bridges!

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 km
Galleries in Hamburg Walking Tour

Galleries in Hamburg Walking Tour

This tour will offer you insight on the cultural riches of Hamburg. The galleries in Hamburg cover modern and historical aspects of the city's culture. Take this tour to learn more about Hamburg's diversity.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
Hamburg Architecture Walking Tour - 2

Hamburg Architecture Walking Tour - 2

Magnificent, modern, breathtaking architectural projects in Hamburg, as well as classical and historical buildings from last century. Take this tour to discover the most attractive architectural constructions of Hamburg.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Hamburg for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Hamburg has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Hamburg, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.