Hamburg’s best sunset: The Elbphilharmonie


Looking for some of the best skyline and harbor views in Hamburg? Go no further than the observation deck at the Elbphilharmonie, the new concert hall that opened in January. In addition to its incredible architecture and concert hall in the building there is a public plaza on the 8th floor that offers spectacular views of the river below and city beyond. Even better: It is free to access the observation deck.

Panorama from the south side of the Elbphilharmonie observation plaza
Panorama from the south side of the Elbphilharmonie observation plaza

The space is new enough that even the locals are still coming out in force to look around. It is not only tourists crowding the balcony at sunset.

A couple police officers on the Elbphilharmonie observation deck, enjoying the view
A couple police officers on the Elbphilharmonie observation deck, enjoying the view

Speaking of crowds, no surprise that the Elbphilharmonie expects there will be plenty. So, while it is free to access the space my recommendation is to pay for it, especially if planning a sunset visit. Rather than going for the same-day free option at the building itself it is possible to book online in advance for 2 euro per person. The system seems to support bookings up to 110ish days out and up to 6 tickets can be reserved at a time.

Booking advance access tickets to the Elbphilharmone plaza is cheap and easy; highly recommended.
Booking advance access tickets to the Elbphilharmone plaza is cheap and easy; highly recommended.

And, if that’s still not up to your liking there is a third option to secure access. Hotel guests at the Westin Hamburg which is also in the Elbphilharmonie building can move between the hotel lobby and the observation deck with their room key.

Sunset from the Elbphilharmonie observation balcony
Sunset from the Elbphilharmonie observation balcony
Staring out at the sunset from the Elbphilharmonie observation platform
Staring out at the sunset from the Elbphilharmonie observation platform
The curved escalator in the Elbphilharmonie is apparently the only of its kind in the world.
The curved escalator in the Elbphilharmonie is apparently the only of its kind in the world.

No matter which approach you take to access the space it is well worth a stop when visiting the Hamburg waterfront area. You can even get there by ferry if you want.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

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