Hamburg's oldest standing historic warehouse is home to the International Maritime Museum. With nine exhibition decks, it is recommended to start at the top and work your way back down to see the world's largest private collection of maritime treasures covering 3,000 years of maritime history.
There are 26,000 model ships plus 50,000 construction plans, 5,000 illustrations, 2,000 films, 1.5 million photographs and much more. There are whole sailboats and engrossing curios such as Admiral Nelson's letters and a reproduction of Ernest Shackleton's lifeboat. A highlight is the ship simulator on Level One that lets you navigate a 300-metre-long container ship through the world's largest ports including Rotterdam and Singapore.
7. MUSEUM FÜR KUNST UND GEWERBE HAMBURG (MKH)
Like London's Victoria & Albert Museum, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKH) is dedicated to fine, applied and decorative arts from antiquity to today.
Founded in 1874, MKH features masterpieces from design, photography, fashion, musical instruments and more. The impressive 'walk-in' fully-furnished period rooms, from Renaissance to Rococo salons and a contemporary kitchen, illustrate the different ways of life in Europe over the last 500 years.
The museum's varied and extensive collection of art and objects includes ancient Greek armour, medieval chests, Egyptian burial objects, Japanese swords, 18th-century women's shoes and a huge chandelier of recycled plastic objects in the foyer. The photography gallery alone has with more than 75,000 works.
8. EMIGRATION MUSEUM BALLINSTADT
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 in the original emigration halls.
Where these brave Europeans sheltered before departing for the New World, now has extensive exhibits (in English and German) offering a wealth of information about emigration in the 19th and 20th century. Learn about daily life here from the living and sleeping arrangements and the experiences of the immigrants through interactive and traditional displays. With records of the over five million Europeans who left from this port stored here and access to the original passenger lists, this is a fascinating opportunity to trace family connections.
9. MS CAP SAN DIEGO
MS Cap San Diego is a floating museum as it is a former cargo ship. At 159-metre long, the vessel is said to be the largest seaworthy museum ship in the world. As she can be moved, several times a year there are day cruises along the Elbe.
Also known as the 'White Swan of the South Atlantic', from 1961 to 1988 the ship transported goods such as coffee, cotton, cocoa, beef and clothing to Germany. You can explore independently with the audio guide or join a regular guided tour to learn about the ship's history including how the officers dined, the ship's past routes, visit the machine room and see the ship's storage capabilities.
10. MINIATUR WUNDERLAND