Alster Lakes Tours

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Alster Lakes
The Alster Lakes—the Inner Alster (Binnenalster) and Outer Alster (Aussenalster)—are the scenic heart of Hamburg. Created when the Alster river was dammed in the 12th century, the lakes are linked to the Elbe River via a maze of canals and lined with green parks and waterfront promenades.

The Basics
Boat cruises and ferries run around the lakes in summer, affording magnificent views. Set sail on a sunset cruise and sip champagne as you watch the sunset across the lakes, or opt for a sightseeing cruise around Hamburg’s lakes and canals and admire landmarks including the Alster fountain, the Elbphilharmonie, and the HafenCity quarter.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • There are over 4.5 miles (7 kilometers) of public pathways around the Alster Lakes.  
  • Hamburg’s main Tourist Information Center is located along the Jungfernstieg on the south bank of the Inner Alster.
  • The waterfront promenades are easily accessible to wheelchair users. Many boat tours are also accessible, but it’s worth checking in advance.

How to Get There
The Alster Lakes are located in Hamburg’s city center. The Kennedy and Lombard bridges divide the two lakes, while the Alsterfleet canal runs from the Binnenalster down to the Elbe. Boat cruises typically set out from the Jungfernstieg on the south bank of the Binnenalster. The closest S-Bahn station is Hamburg Jungfernstieg (S1, S2, and S3).
 
When to Get There
Visit in summer (June–August) to enjoy water sports around the lake and the Alstervergnügen City Festival (August), a 4-day street festival with live music, markets, and performances. In the evening hours, the banks of the Binnenalster are a popular spot for dinner or drinks. 

Outdoor Activities Around the Alster Lakes
The parks along the eastern banks of the Outer Alster offer ample space for walking, jogging, and cycling, and it’s also possible to rent paddleboats and rowboats. Swimming in the lakes is not recommended, but water sports, including canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, and wakeboarding, are popular. 
Address: An der Alster, Hamburg 20099, Germany
Admission: Free
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Hamburg Small-Group Sunset Sailing Cruise on Lake Alster

Explore the city of Hamburg, Germany with a 1-hour, small-group sunset cruise along the Alster. Enjoy a panoramic view of Hamburg from the lake, a right tributary of the Elbe River. See green parks, plenty of old buildings, some of the biggest churches in Hamburg, plus Alster fountain and the Elbphilharmonie, a new concert hall in the HafenCity quarter, in the distance. Relax, enjoy a refreshing beverage on board and admire the scenic view.
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Duration: 1 hour
From  
$36.22 USD
From  
$36.22 USD
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Private Guided Tour: Hamburg

Discover top city attractions and famous landmarks in Hamburg on this private 3-hour guided tour. Follow a private guide through the bustling streets of Hamburg and gain insight into the city’s rich history. Travel by public bus and ferry, and take in sites of interest including Elbe Philharmonic Hall, Elbe Tunnel and the Kontorhäuser. Admire panoramic views over Hamburg and the Alster River from St Michael's Church, soak up the atmosphere in buzzing districts including HafenCity, Landungsbrücken, Mönckebergstraße and Speicherstadt, and explore the historic Portuguese Quarter.
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Duration: 3 hours
From  
$310.48 USD
From  
$310.48 USD
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Essential Hamburg Combo: Hop-on Hop-off Tour, Cruise and Lake Alster

Enhance your Hamburg experience with a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour by land and water! Aboard a double-decker bus, pass main city attractions and disembark at any of the 28 stops for close-up views of sights like St Michael Church and the renowned Reeperbahn red-light district. Your ticket includes two 60-minute boat trips through Hamburg’s historic harbor and Lake Alster. Do everything in one day, or spread the three activities over three consecutive days!
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Duration: 3 days
From  
$50.60 USD
From  
$50.60 USD
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Festival of light tour

Enjoy a wonderful introduction to Hamburg on this 3-hour illuminated Hamburg city tour with evening cruise. Travel by double-decker bus from Hamburg’s train station to Outer Alster Lake. Hop aboard your sightseeing boat and enjoy a peaceful cruise on the gentle waters. Take in fine views over the lakeside as the city lights dance on the water. Then, travel onward by double-decker bus to the ‘Planten und Blomen’ gardens. Sip Champagne and enjoy the park’s beautiful light and water show. Afterward, discover top city attractions by night aboard your bus. 
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Duration: 3 hours
From  
$33.92 USD
From  
$33.92 USD
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NEW TO VIATOR

Hamburg - Sightseeing Flight in a Private Plane with Wingly (30 minutes)

Join a pilot on a unique flight and share the cost with him. A great way to discover the beautiful landscapes of this region aboard a private plane.Your Wingly pilot will happily share with you their passion for flying and take you on an unforgettable trip around Hamburg, providing stunning views of the port, Elbphilarmonie or Altster lakes. Please note that the flight schedule is subject to changes depending on the pilot’s availability.Wingly is a Flight Sharing platform. This is not a commercial flight but a private flight operated under the European cost sharing rule. We work with the EASA to provide an Allianz insurance on each flight.Be aware that cost-shared flights don’t have the same safety rules as commercial air transport flights. The risks involved can be higher, as private pilots are not subject to the same level of continuous checks and strict oversight rules from the authority. They still apply safety checks for every flight and are responsible for passengers safety.
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Duration: 30 minutes
From  
$142.59 USD
From  
$142.59 USD
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NEW TO VIATOR

Hamburg - Sightseeing Flight in a Private Plane with Wingly (1 hour)

Join a pilot on a unique flight and share the cost with him. A great way to discover the beautiful landscapes of this region aboard a private plane.Your Wingly pilot will happily share with you their passion for flying and take you on an unforgettable trip around Hamburg, providing stunning views of the port, Elbphilarmonie or Altster lakes. Please note that the flight schedule is subject to changes depending on the pilot’s availability.Wingly is a Flight Sharing platform. This is not a commercial flight but a private flight operated under the European cost sharing rule. We work with the EASA to provide an Allianz insurance on each flight.Be aware that cost-shared flights don’t have the same safety rules as commercial air transport flights. The risks involved can be higher, as private pilots are not subject to the same level of continuous checks and strict oversight rules from the authority. They still apply safety checks for every flight and are responsible for passengers safety.
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Duration: 1 hour
From  
$272.53 USD
From  
$272.53 USD
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THE HAMBURG EXPERIENCE - PREMIUM SIGHTSEEING TOUR HAMBURG

Maximize your time in Hamburg with a personal chauffeur and a custom-made itinerary. Travel in the comfort of a private vehicle, visit the sights that interest you most, and spend as long as you like at each stop. Perhaps jump out to admire landmarks like the Elbphilharmonie or Hamburger Dom, take a walk around the Reeperbahn red-light district, explore the historic port, or soak up the scenery around the Alster Lakes.
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Duration: 6 hours
From  
$658.89 USD
From  
$658.89 USD
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