Home » Hamburg with a Toddler {Part 2}

Hamburg with a Toddler {Part 2}

Mother and daughter on Bridge in Hamburg on sunny day | Hamburg with a toddler

H ello and welcome back to the second part of my round-up of our lovely break to Hamburg courtesy of the Come to Hamburg project. I was 7 months pregnant when we took this trip and Ettie was a month off her second birthday.

So not the easiest of circumstances but we had the most amazing time and were overwhelmed with all that the city had to offer. You can find the first instalment of our trip here: Hamburg with a Toddler {Part One]. The second part of our trip starts on our second day in the city ….

Day Two

After a rather overcast start on our first day, we awoke on day two to clear skies and bright yellow sunshine. We headed down to breakfast at the Appartello Smartime Living Hotel, where we were staying and filled up on lovely open sandwiches, pastries and fresh coffee. The restaurant area was lovely and clean and even had a play area for children which kept Ettie entertained whilst we were finishing our coffee.

Once we were satisfied that our tummies were full, we headed out for the day, walking a few minutes round the corner to the bus stop which connected us with the rest of the city.

FAther eating breakfast with daughter | Hamburg with a toddler

Not the most exciting photograph, two people eating breakfast! But I love it because of the looks on their faces, I love the way Ettie is copying her Daddy and just look at that concentration on breakfast from Stu.

Our first stop was to the Speicherstadt (Warehouse District) area to visit the Dialogue in Silence exhibition. This is an exhibition designed to provide an insight into what it would be like to live in a world without sound. All the facilitators are deaf or hard of hearing, and whilst it wouldn’t usually have been top of my travel itinerary,

I am so glad Come to Hamburg recommended it as I found it really interesting. So much so that I have written a separate blog post about it here: Dialogue in Silence exhibition.

Mother and daughter on Bridge in Hamburg on sunny day | Hamburg with a toddler
A rare photo of Ettie in her new buggy, We decided to buy this especially for the trip as her usual buggy is pretty heavy, however she decided pretty quickly that she would prefer to explore the city by foot! So it ended up being more of a a little cart for our bags!


After visiting Dialogue in Silence we decided to have a little walk around the Warehouse District because the architecture was so fantastic. Built in 1883, it’s the world’s largest integrated complex of warehouses and the huge brick buildings line the sides of long narrow canals that connect the area with the River Elbe.

You can really imagine it being an important location during the height of its operation with warehouse workers all bustling about their daily business, throwing things on and off the barges that travelled up and down the canals. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site and somewhere you really shouldn’t miss if you are to visit Hamburg.

The Speicherstadt area is one of Hamburg’s main tourist destinations and there are tonnes of activities dotted around such as the Miniatur Wunderland and the Hamburg Dungeon which would have been great places to visit, however because it was such a lovely day we wanted to make the most of the sunshine so decided to try to find a park for Ettie instead so she could get out of the much hated buggy and burn off some excess energy.

Hamburg with a Toddler {Part 2} | Ettie and Me

The majority of habour tours take you through the canals that make up the Speicherstadt.

A short walk around the corner from the Speicherstadt is Hafencity, a new and modern area of the city, which is partly still under construction. The Hafencity area is completely different to the Speicherstadt area. Instead of impressive red brickwork, the buildings are modern and made from glass.

There’s also water practically everywhere you look as its surrounded by either the sea, canals or the River Elbe, so it makes for a really interesting walk around. The perfect mix of old meets new.

As if the Gods heard our plea, we found an open air play park with splash area and sandpit that was exactly what we were looking for. It was such a hot day that the break from walking was a welcome relief for all three of is and it was so lovely to see Ettie splashing around so care free in the water with the other children. Poor Stu even got roped into playing on the wooden pirate ship which I used as a perfect opportunity to rest my weary pregnant bones.

Hamburg with a toddler part 2

After our splash stop, our tummy’s were rumbling so we decided to try and find somewhere for lunch. A few meters from the play park was a shopping area which had loads of cool little stalls selling street food. Had we not had Ettie this would have been perfect for a quick bite, but because it was hot, we thought a restaurant like setting would be safer to keep little wandering legs at bay!!

A short walk around another corner, we were back in the Speicherstadt District, but this time at a lovely wharf with a couple of restaurants overlooking the water. Hamburgs International Maritime Museum had been one of the top things listed on our To Do list before arriving in Hamburg and the restaurant was located just off the main square so we popped over to take a look.

‘Catch of the Day’ is a seafood restaurant serving fresh fish caught locally that day and I honestly don’t think we could have found nicer fish and chips in the whole of Hamburg. I’m always a little dubious eating out at major tourist attractions as they often don’t serve the best food, but everything here was delicious!

I had pasta with the local fish of the day whilst Stu and Ettie opted for Fish and Chips. Everything was really fresh and totally delicious and our table outside was ideal for a leisurely relaxing lunch (well as leisurely and relaxing as it can be with a toddler darting around between your feet!) If you do ever pay a visit to Hamburg, then I would thoroughly recommend eating here for lunch.

I mentioned earlier, that it was a really hot day so we didn’t want to rush off anywhere too quickly before our dinner had settled. In the square right in front of the Maritime Museum is a giant four blade brass ship propeller and Ettie had great fun running around it and pretending to hide. We played there for ages, such a silly little thing to do, but it was so much fun having a little giggle as a family.

By this point the cool and welcoming air conditioning inside the Maritime Museum was calling our name so we decided to venture inside and have an explore. Set inside one of the huge brick warehouse buildings, the building itself is very impressive, however if you are into any aspect of Maritime History then this is definitely the museum for you.

With nine floors of exhibits there really is something for everyone. We spent two hours in there because it coincided with Ettie’s nap time, but we didn’t even scratch the surface. Every floor is dedicated to a different aspect of maritime history collection and we spent our time looking at communication, mysteries of the deep and the history of ship building.

There was also a whole floor dedicated miniature models of various ships from around the world. The detail that had gone into them was incredible. Most of the exhibits are in German and English (though not all), and there is a tour of the museum available for €14.

After our walk around the museum Ettie was still napping so we stopped at one of the local bars and had a drink outside, people watching and taking in the sunshine. Remembering Binnenalster Lake from the evening before and how lovely sunset would be, we decided to make our way there using the U-Bahn and our Hamburg cards.

The views didn’t disappoint and instead of sitting on the steps at Jungfergstieg which we had done the night before, we opted to have a walk around the lake instead. It was so peaceful and such a lovely thing to do. I think Hamburg would be an amazing city to live in if you had the opportunity.

Binnenlaster lake on a sunny day | Hamburg with a toddler

Daddy and Daughter at Binnenalster Lake, Hamburg with a Toddler | Ettie and Me

By this time we were getting peckish again and we decided a Hamburger from Hamburg was the only thing that would satisfy our tastebuds so off we went in search of the perfect burger. As luck would have it, Come to Hamburg had kindly given us vouchers for a meal a Better Burger Company which is a cool little fast food restaurant just up the road from the lake.

All burgers were cooked to order with a choice of five toppings and the fries were really fresh! Again our luck was in, because it was the perfect pit stop and exactly what we needed after a long day on our feet exploring the city.

After our burgers we had just enough time to walk back down to the lake and capture the sun actually setting before heading back to the hotel using the U-Bahn. The area around Jungfernstieg where we caught the U-Bahn from was really buzzing at this time of night and there were lots of street entertainers and people just soaking up the cool evening air.

Looking back now its hard to believe that we fit so much into day two when it was so hot, but we had a lovely time, and to my mind hadn’t even covered the best bits yet.

Day Three

The heat on day two made us change quite a lot of our plans and so we woke on day three with a full itinerary of things we wanted to try and fit in before departing that evening. First on the list was a harbour tour along the River Elbe as we’d been meaning to do that since first arriving in Hamburg.

There are loads of companies offering Harbour tours and they all depart from the waterfront at St Pauli’s Piers. We chose Barkassen Mayer as recommended by Come to Hamburg and it was brilliant.

English speaking tours depart at 1pm every day and you can grab your ticket on the day or pay for one in advance. The trips depart from St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken and take you past the amazing Elbphilharmonie concert hall, through the canals of the Warehouse District (Speicherstadt), past HafenCity and out into the port to see the sluice gates which control the tides and all of the container terminals and ship yards.

It’s a really interesting mix of cool city vibe meets industrial history and I think it’s a must for any travel itinerary if you are planning a trip.

Mother and daughter at the edge of the River Elbe |Hamburg with a Toddler | Ettie and Me
Taking in the sights at the waters edge of St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken

As luck would have it there was only one other couple on our boat tour, and so it felt like we were having a private tour which was perfect with an almost two year old in tow!

Father and daughter looking out over river | Hamburg with a toddler

They kindly offered to take our photograph which was lovely as it’s actually the only photograph we got of all three of us from the whole trip. I love photo’s like these, because I know once Baby Number 2 is out and into the world our time as a family of three will seem like a distant memory, so they will be really special.

The guide on our boat provided a brilliant commentary as we were sailing around and told us the Elbphilharmonie concert hall cost over €866 million to build – almost double the initial budget! After sailing past it on such a beautiful day, we really wanted to see more and decided to head straight there after our boat trip.

Again I would say this is something you don’t want to miss if you visit Hamburg as the views our over the waterfront and through the Warehouse District were fantastic. The building itself is also stunning, with the lower half made from brick, so as to represent the industrial heritage of the area, and the upper half an amazing glass structure designed to provide perfect acoustics.

It was really interesting to go inside, and the best thing was access to the 8th floor was absolutely free. There was also a lovely coffee shop on the observation level and the cakes looked a.m.a.z.i.n.g!! We didn’t stop to eat because we had already eaten before the boat tour, but we both agreed that this was an error and we should have saved space for cake!

The Elbharmonie building from a boat Hamburg with a Toddler | Ettie and Me
The Elbphilharmonie concert hall
One of the views from the Elbphilharmonie

We arrived at St Pauli around 11am so had just enough time to take a walk through the Elbe Tunnel and see Landungsbrücken from the other side of the river before departing on our boat tour.

Ettie slept the whole way so it felt like Stu and I were on a little mini break just the two of us and it was really nice to have a little relaxing stroll. The views from the other side of the river were brilliant too so I’m really glad we had time to do it.

Walking through the Elbe Tunnel
Waterside area of Hamburg | Hamburg with a toddler
View back towards Landungsbrücken

Kids at Work

We had one last place we wanted to visit before travelling home late that evening and it was back towards the hotel, so once we were satisfied that we’d taken in all of the Elbphilharmonie, we jumped on the U-Bahn and headed to a play cafe called ‘Kids at Work’ which Come to Hamburg had kindly provided us with tickets for.

We really wanted to visit here as it was something specifically for Ettie which we knew she would enjoy and it was kind of like a little treat for her being so good throughout our trip.

I’m so glad we made the effort to take her, because she absolutely loved it. The cafe itself had lots of interactive areas, all designed around a different element of ‘work’. So for example, there was a beach, a kitchen, a construction area (complete with plumbing room which I think Stu had more fun in than Ettie 😉 and my personal favourite, a magic garden.

Whist it was around 30 minutes outside of the city centre, if you are in Hamburg and looking for something that is particularly toddler friendly, then I’d definitely recommend it.

All in all we had a fantastic time in Hamburg, and I think you can see from the number of photos I’ve taken that there was so much to see and do. Its been really difficult to narrow them down and only show the best bits.

I can’t thank Come to Hamburg enough for inviting us along to sample such a special city and will be recommending it to all who ask as an ideal city break, particularly if you’re looking for something a bit different, away from the usual Paris/Rome/Barcelona -which are very pricey and busy in comparison.

Goodbye Hamburg, until next time xx

Some more photos because I really couldn’t narrow them down …

Locks on the bridges interlinking the canals of The Warehouse District, Hamburg with a Toddler | Ettie and Me
Locks on the bridges interlinking the canals of The Warehouse District
Daddy and Daughter at Binnenalster Lake Hamburg with a Toddler | Ettie and Me
Sunset at Binnenalster Lake
The Dialogue in Silence Exhibition, Hamburg, Germany | Ettie and Me
Dialogue in Silence
Travelling through the canals of the Warehouse District by boat

Kids at work play kitchen Hamburg with a Toddler | Ettie and Me

Little girl playing in pretend kitchen, Kids at work, Hamburg with a Toddler | Ettie and Me

Kids at Work play shop, Hamburg with a Toddler | Ettie and Me

NB: ‘Come to Hamburg’ very kindly invited us to Hamburg, providing us with Hamburg Cards to cover the cost of public transport and complimentary accommodation. All flights and other expenses were paid for by us

3 Little Buttons
Suitcases and Sandcastles


  1. 30th July 2018 / 1:07 pm

    So many wonderful photos and memories! I just love your daughter’s expressions in those photos with the giant propeller. It’s those kinds of unplanned moments on any family vacation that make all the planning worthwhile.

    • 30th July 2018 / 3:18 pm

      This is so true!! It was quite hard work being pregnant and running after a toddler in that heat, but the look on her face made it all worth it 🙂 xx

  2. Anonymous
    2nd August 2018 / 9:32 am

    Interesting blog, Emma! I love the breakfast photo.

    • 2nd August 2018 / 5:43 pm

      Ha ha yes thankyou! It makes me chuckle every time x

  3. 2nd August 2018 / 9:52 am

    Sounds like a lot of fun! I love to discover European cities with my kids. I’m noting down all the good stuff!
    PS I didn’t know you were expecting, congrats <3

    • 2nd August 2018 / 5:42 pm

      Thankyouuu!! Yes due date was yesterday so just oh the waiting game now 😊 xx

  4. 4th August 2018 / 11:09 pm

    It looks like such a stunning place to visit, and look at all those beautiful photos and memories you have captured. A perfect getaway before the big day. Wishing you all the best for the birth and sending you all big hugs from us and the #dreamteam xx

  5. Clare Thomson
    13th February 2019 / 3:57 pm

    We loved our trip to Hamburg last December – it’s such a great city. Thanks for joining this week’s #FarawayFiles

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