While Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany after Berlin, it still lags behind the capital and Munich when in comes to the number of foreign visitors, particularly those who are seeking cultural and historical values that the aforementioned cities offer abundantly.
However, these numbers have seen a steady rise in the past few years as more people are discovering the charms of this delightful city. Hamburg is also home to the fallen giants, Hamburger SV, the only football club that has competed in the highest tier of the German football league since its inception, until they succumbed and were relegated to the second tier just last year.
Meanwhile, tucked away between the meandering canals of Hamburg, along the historic warehouse district of Speicherstadt, lies the most popular destination for local and foreign visitors alike, the Miniatur Wunderland. This attraction houses thousands of miniature figures such as beautiful European towns and the vast desert landscape of the USA with its eye-catching mini Las Vegas as the pivotal piece of the model. The attraction spreads over three floors in a former warehouse in the docks area of the city and among its miniature towns, it also houses the largest model railway system in the world!
Among the many European towns and natural landscapes on display, the Italy section will definitely catch some attention. Inspired by regions such as South Italy with the Amalfi coast, South Tyrol, Rome, Tuscany, and Liguria, this 190 m² of “la dolce vita” model boasts crystal clear ‘water’ with beautiful buildings at the sides of the cliffs, as well as some notable monuments in Rome such as St Peter’s Basilica and the Colosseum.
As you walk along the mini towns of Europe, you will surely come across the massive Knuffigen airport that spans over an area of 150 m² and is arguably the highlight of the attraction. The airport model comes equipped with humongous airport terminals, with various passenger figurines inside them, the airplane hangar, and even take-off and arrival runways for the departing and arriving planes. To add to the excitement, there is even a schedule of planes that are arriving or departing, with their own unique flight designator (just like in a real airport!) so you can catch your favourite miniature airlines in action.
Miniatur Wunderland doesn’t just offer small-scaled models of towns and cities, but it also sneaked in plenty of Easter eggs and surprises for the keen-eyed tourists, as well as special events that happen ever so often in the model towns such as fire trucks rushing to a nearby fire breakout or a bunch of mini figures performing a score from a model of Hamburg’s own renowned Elbphilharmonie (Elbe Philharmonic Hall) It provides more than just the typical adorable mini towns that can be found in other places in the world and with 15€ (~£13) per admission, it will be worth both your money and time.