May 19, 2024

When individuals consider Germany, they have an inclination to think about mountains with castles clinging to them, cows grazing on high-altitude meadows, and lederhosen-clad males swigging beer. But, the north of the nation, the place I’m from, has not one of the above.

The 2 German cities of Hamburg and Munich would possibly lie at reverse ends of the nation, some 375 miles aside, and have very differing environment, languages, meals, and attitudes, however each are lovely cities stuffed with historical past, artwork, and loads of issues to do and see. Each very a lot signify a slice of the nation, with 16 very distinct states, that might not be Germany with out the variations and similarities.

So, if you wish to actually get to know Germany, don’t simply head to the long-lasting and considerably stereotypical south, however take a look on the north, too.

Listed below are some concepts of what makes the cities so totally different, and why you need to put each in your itinerary.

people surfing in the middle of Munich

In Munich, you possibly can go online in the course of the town.

Photograph credit score: Pani Garmyder /

Hamburg vs Munich: 8 Key Variations

1. Measurement And Getting Round

After Berlin, Hamburg is Germany’s second-largest metropolis with round 1.8 million individuals. Munich is the third largest with roughly 1.5 million. There may be not a lot of a distinction in inhabitants, actually. Each have a serious river, the Isar in Munich and the Elbe in Hamburg, however the place water is anxious, Hamburg wins each time. It has three rivers, two lakes, an unlimited port, and numerous canals, all crossed by extra bridges than Venice, Amsterdam, and London mixed. That stated, whenever you go to Munich, you possibly can go online proper within the middle of the town.

Each cities are served by an outstanding public transport community, making it straightforward and low cost to get round, without having for a automobile. In each cities, an all-day move to be used throughout the metropolis middle, legitimate for all modes of public transport, prices at most 8.20 euros — roughly $8.30.

The airports differ in that Munich is Germany’s second largest and busiest airport, whereas Hamburg is a a lot smaller and quieter affair, with far fewer worldwide long-distance flights. If you wish to go to Hamburg, likelihood is you’ll have to journey via London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, or certainly Munich, which might mean you can catch two birds with one stone, as they are saying.

2. Language And Folks

German is German, proper? Not so. At my faculty, we needed to communicate excessive German, an accent-free, pure model of the language. One of the best type of excessive German is reportedly spoken in Hanover, simply south of Hamburg. However step exterior of faculty and Germans communicate with usually thick regional accents very distinctive to their states, and even cities. 

In Hamburg, there was once Plattdeutsch, a neighborhood quasi-language that’s now almost forgotten. In Munich, they communicate Bavarian. Watch TV in Hamburg when a Bavarian is interviewed, you usually get subtitles on the display screen to assist the poor northerners to grasp higher. So, whereas the locals might nicely perceive you, whether or not you’ll perceive the response or not is one other matter altogether. Your likelihood is infinitely higher in Hamburg.

The individuals are one other matter. We northerners are famously reserved and quiet, not as loud and welcoming because the Bavarians. If you find yourself on public transportation in Hamburg, you’ll most likely see that if there are single vacationers on the practice or bus, each will sit in their very own compartment or not less than away from others. In Munich, the probabilities are a lot larger that folks will sit subsequent to one another and begin a dialog. However don’t let that put you off, we Hamburgers will not be boastful, just a bit shy and extra introverted than these sociable Bavarians.

3. The Climate

The local weather is formally the identical in each cities; in spite of everything, 375 miles just isn’t such a protracted distance. Whereas the general temperatures differ little between the cities, Hamburg has far fewer sunshine hours than Munich — 210 fewer hours actually. In Hamburg, we discuss Schmuddelwetter, which is one thing like grubby, soiled climate that’s gray, damp, if not downright moist. It’s the climate the place you’re a bit depressing and you find yourself most likely wanting to vary your garments when you get residence. 

In Munich, alternatively, they’ve the Föhn, a neighborhood phenomenon bringing dry, heat air throughout the Alps. The Föhn brings a static-charged environment that appears to trigger complications or dizziness to locals, but additionally brings very clear air and nice views.

waiter holds several beer steins at Oktoberfest in Hamburg

Munich hosts Oktoberfest

Photograph credit score: rawf8 /

4. Issues To Do

In terms of touristy issues to do, each cities are once more fairly totally different. Being a big metropolis, Munich has world-class museums, together with locations such because the Pinakothek and the Deutsche Museum. Hamburg is all concerning the port space the place a myriad of boats bustle alongside the well-known Philharmonic sitting on prime of the UNESCO-rated warehouse district and the previous tunnel that takes you underneath the river. The place Munich has the beer-drinking sights such because the annual Oktoberfest, Hamburg has develop into Germany’s prime musical and theater metropolis. 

There are many parks, artwork galleries, and excellent procuring and consuming in Hamburg and Munich. Each cities even have examples of fantastic church buildings and structure, every lending itself to a metropolis break that lasts not less than a protracted weekend. As for the winter season, each cities are excellent throughout Christmas time, with markets all throughout every metropolis, on each sq., and completed correctly, the normal German method.

5. Exterior Of The Metropolis Limits

It’s exterior of the town limits that you simply discover the largest variations between every metropolis. Round Hamburg, the land is flat, so flat, certainly, that I needed to study hill-starts throughout my driving classes in a multi-story automobile park. In Munich, you’ve gotten the Alps on the horizon. Hamburg has two seas inside an hour’s drive, the North Sea to the northwest, and the Baltic Sea to the northeast. Each seas are dotted with excellent islands which can be value a aspect journey, from Rügen within the Baltic to quite a few North Sea islands not far in any respect from Hamburg.

Bavaria, the German state the place Munich is positioned, has lengthy been a favourite with vacationers from all over the world. There may be a lot to see and do, magical castles to discover, and a complete big mountain vary to find right here.

North German Hamburg Labskaus is a delicacy with corned beef, potatoes, beetroot, pickled gherkins, fried egg and herring on porcelain plate

North German Hamburg labskaus is a delicacy with corned beef, potatoes, beetroot, pickled gherkins, fried egg, and herring.

Photograph credit score: Christin Klose /

6. Consuming And Ingesting

Whereas there are a lot of similarities in eating places and standard dishes served throughout the 2 cities, there are additionally distinct variations. For instance, we Germans are well-known for our love of sausages, however a sausage in Hamburg may be very totally different from a typical sausage you get in Munich, and even Nuremberg, for that matter. Germany has very distinct and typical meals gadgets and dishes and discovering the native specialties is what makes journey so fascinating. Properly, not solely, however meals all the time performs an enormous function in my journey experiences. In Hamburg, you completely want to begin the day with a franzbrötchen, a cinnamon roll solely obtainable in Hamburg. Head to the harbor and revel in a fischbrötchen, a fish filet roll, after which, strive the native labskaus, admittedly, not an appealing-looking dish, however pure consolation meals.

In Munich, alternatively, the very first thing to accompany some typical meals, like a big salty pretzel, is a stein of beer. A weisswurst sausage and leberkäse, a meatloaf, are a should. To spherical off the meat-heavy native delicacies, strive your hand at a schweinshaxe, a pork knuckle that’s, fairly truthfully, one thing of an acquired style. It’s similar to labskaus, however the locals find it irresistible. Guten Appetit!

Copenhagen, Denmark - August, 13, 2017: Nyhavn pier with colorful buildings and boats in Copenhagen, Denmark

Colourful buildings and boats at Nyhavn Pier in Copenhagen, Denmark

Photograph credit score: Olga Gavrilova /

7. Additional Afield Day Journeys

There are such a lot of methods to increase a metropolis break from both of those cities. Hamburg is roughly an hour’s drive away from the Danish border, with the capital Copenhagen nearer than Munich, a mere 4.35 hours by practice. The German capital of Berlin is even nearer. One expertise to not miss is the seal sanctuary on the North Sea Coast, the place they nurse orphaned child seals earlier than releasing them again into the ocean. It’s cuteness overload. Hamburg can also be an ideal setting-off level for a visit throughout former East Germany with its amber-strewn Baltic shoreline and cities corresponding to Leipzig and Dresden.

In Munich, alternatively, you’ve gotten Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Czechia, and Austria virtually on the doorstep, making it an ideal start line for an alpine highway journey. These getaways are excellent for taking in some actually beautiful sights alongside the best way, perhaps towards Italy. Bavaria itself is gorgeous and the castles alone can maintain you busy.

So, which metropolis wins? Neither. As a result of they really are so totally different, in such polar reverse settings, you simply should put each in your to-visit record. It’s an ideal excuse to look slightly deeper at what Germany has to supply.

8. Inexperienced Areas

With numerous parks, nature reserves, seashores, and open-air meals stands, each Munich and Hamburg invite you to take pleasure in a metropolis break in shut contact with nature and revel in a soothing but extremely numerous vacation expertise.

In Hamburg, inspiring city environments and soothing greenery go hand in hand. Boasting 31 nature reserves, Hamburg is certainly one of Europe’s most environmentally aware cities. This mix of city aptitude and pure splendor affords guests an unparalleled expertise.

Why not discover certainly one of Europe’s largest Japanese gardens or take a leisurely stroll across the 200-year-old Planten un Blomen Park? You may as well enterprise out for a climbing journey within the close by Harburg Hills, adopted by a refreshing shandy on the legendary Strandperle with a view of passing container ships. 

Munich can also be a splendidly inexperienced metropolis stuffed with city and wild parks excellent for out of doors recreation. Protecting an space of 910 acres solely steps away from the town middle, the English Backyard in Munich is the biggest city park in Germany, so reserve a day for a picnic or stroll.
Visiting Nymphenburg Park is one other fantastic strategy to spend a day. Aside from Schloss Nymphenburg, or Nymphenburg Palace, you possibly can discover the hidden lakes, ponds, and grassy areas branching off the central inexperienced that make Nymphenburg Park.

Professional Tip: To attach these two cities and traverse the size of Germany if you are at it, hop on a practice that, in underneath 7 hours, takes you from the north of Germany to the south, with spectacular views alongside the best way.


What Makes Hamburg So Particular?

Hamburg is the town with the very best variety of bridges in Europe and the very best variety of church buildings surpassing 330 ft worldwide. Not solely is Hamburg near each the Baltic and the North Sea, nevertheless it additionally has three rivers, Elbe, Alster, and Bille.

Why Go to Munich?

Munich affords loads of sights and sights. Munich is famend for its culinary delights, vibrant nightlife, procuring, and big-city actions. Munich has a number of of the biggest breweries in Germany and its well-known annual Oktoberfest celebration.

Munich vs. Hamburg: Which Is Greener?

Each Munich and Hamburg have tree-lined streets, public gardens, sprawling parks, and loads of pure magnificence on supply. Nevertheless, Munich is extra famend for its parks just like the world-famous English Backyard, Nymphenburg Palace Park, and Westpark.

How Lengthy to Keep in Munich and Hamburg?

Often, 2-5 days is an effective period of time for Munich, and a couple of Days in Hamburg could be simply the proper stability. In fact, you probably have slightly bit extra time, 3 days in Hamburg is good. Guests have a tendency to increase their stays in Munich as there are usually extra actions and issues to do. 

The place to Go for a Higher Procuring Expertise, Munich or Hamburg?

Each huge cities supply the whole lot, from flea markets to worldwide high-end manufacturers, so no matter your finances or type, you’ll discover it there. Nevertheless, Hamburg is a considerably cheaper vacation spot and also you’ll spend much less cash total.