The main attraction at HafenCity so far is the striking Elbphilharmonie that opened in 2017. Known locally as Elphi, this concert and performance venue, at the point of the Grasbrook peninsula, has a six-storey brick, former cocoa, tea, and tobacco warehouse at its base with an additional twenty storeys on top with over 1,000 curved glass panes. It stands at over 100 metres high and its profile has been compared to waves, the sails of a ship or a quartz crystal.
The Great Concert Hall has seating for over 2,000 in one of the most acoustically advanced venues ever built. But you can visit without a concert ticket to enjoy the harbour view from the Plaza. For a couple of Euros, you get to enter and travel up on Europe's longest escalator to the wraparound balcony. (The main escalator takes you to the 6th floor with window views and then a shorter escalator connects to the Plaza on the 8th floor.)
Tip: To really get to know this landmark building, there are guided tours you can book in advance. Available in English and German.
7. MINIATUR WUNDERLAND
Open 365 days a year, Miniatur Wunderland is the world's largest model railway. Not just for kids, this place is huge! Filling a whole warehouse, there are 10 miles of track with 900 trains.
Admire the Swiss Alps, Rome's Colosseum, St Peter's Basilica or even the Las Vegas casinos. The biggest crowds gather around a replica of Hamburg airport where every few minutes a model Lufthansa plane glides along the runway and actually takes off. There are 260,000 tiny human figures to spot too. And it's interactive, as visitors can flick around 200 switches to control things like windmills, a helicopter or space shuttle. This is one of the most visited attractions in Germany, so book your ticket online in advance to avoid the long queues.
Tip: After your visit, explore the surrounding Speicherstadt. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2016, this is the world's largest warehouse district. Stop amongst the 19th-century warehouses and narrow canals for coffee and cake in the Speicherstadt Kaffeerösterei.
6. HAMBURGER KUNSTHALLE
With more than 700 artworks on permanent display, the Kunsthalle is one of the most important museums in Germany. Its European art includes works from the Renaissance to the present day.
In three connected landmark buildings on the Glockengießerwall, there are medieval altarpieces, works by 14th-century local artists, Dutch masters of the 16th and 17th centuries and more plus substantial contemporary art too. The old masters include Goya, Rembrandt, Rubens, Lucas Cranach the Younger and Canaletto. And the illustrious names keep coming with Paul Klee, Picasso, Francis Bacon, Edvard Munch and Andy Warhol. Oh, and the views from the gallery's huge picture windows are also worth seeing.
Tip: Yes, it can get busy here so why not come for the late opening on Thursdays when the gallery is open until 9pm? And there's a really good multimedia guide available in English and German.