In 1881/82, the customs union treaty between Hamburg and the Reich was negotiated and concluded. Hamburg lost its customs privileges, but was allowed to exclude large parts of the port from the city area as a duty-free enclave. Suitable warehouses and storage facilities now had to be created for goods of all kinds.

For the construction of the approx. 1.5 kilometre long Speicherstadt in the free port, approx. 20,000 people were resettled within a few years. The construction work began with the demolition of the houses on Kehrwiederinsel in 1883, which meant that the picturesque baroque quarter with merchants’ canals and workers’ harbours was completely lost. The architectural model for the Speicherstadt was the brick Gothic of the northern German Hanseatic cities. Behind this medieval backdrop, however, were prefabricated iron skeletons and other highly modern achievements of the time, such as hydraulically operated winches and electric lighting.

Each block is accessible both from the streets and from the canal side. The buildings rest on oak piles driven deep into the Elbe mud. A total of about 3.5 million wooden piles made of Prussian pine were driven into the subsoil, usually 12 m deep. All the warehouses have two hatches for picking up or setting down the goods. The goods are still transported vertically by winches. The various warehouse buildings were given a uniform, neo-Gothic brick dressing by F.A. Meyer. Many architectural details such as turrets, blind niches and friezes as well as ceramic ornaments and glazed stones lend the Speicherstadt a special charm. With its island location, its bridges over the Zollkanal and the canals, the Speicherstadt lends Hamburg’s cityscape a further distinctive character.

Wasserschloss © ELBE&FLUT / Heinz-Joachim Hettchen


The largest warehouse complex in the world founded on wooden piles.

For over a hundred years, the neo-Gothic brick architecture has provided one of the most striking views of the Hanseatic city. The Speicherstadt is considered the main attraction of any harbour tour. A trip across the narrow canals in one of the small harbour launches is a “must” for visitors from all over the world. Only from the water can you see many of the architectural details of this former cathedral of goods. The Speicherstadt as a structurally closed ensemble of warehouses and storage facilities also offers a fascinating, often fairytale-like and theatrical atmosphere. The Speicherstadt has been a listed building since 1991.

More and more service agencies are moving in where spices, coffee, wood and cotton had their historical storage place. It is almost only the carpet dealers who still remind us of the characteristic old economic forms.

These firms, active in the import and export of oriental carpets and serving not only the European market from here, but also supplying overseas and as far as Australia and South Africa, still have a strong presence. Hamburg and the Speicherstadt still represent the largest carpet trading centre in the world.

Hamburg, Speicherstadt, Block Q, H u. O, Neuerwegsbrücke, Eis


Bridges of the Speicherstadt

  • Poggenmühlenbrücke
  • Holländischfleetbrücke
  • Wandrahmfleetbrücke
  • Wandbereiterbrücke
  • Kornhausbrücke (towards city)
  • Jungfernbrücke (towards city)
  • Kan­nen­gie­ßer­brü­cke
  • Kan­nen­gie­ßer­ort­brü­cke
  • Neu­er­weg­s­brü­cke
  • Pick­hub­en­brü­cke
  • Brooks­brü­cke Sandbrücke
  • Kehr­wie­der­steg
  • Brooks­brü­cke (towards city)
Sandthorquai-Hof © ELBE&FLUT / Heinz-Joachim Hettchen


A visible change is also taking place in the Speicherstadt. Where barges, ewers and other watercraft used to throng, launches now cruise the canals with tourists.

Coffee, tea and spices
The Speicherstadt smells of coffee, tea and spices. Many a Hamburg merchant became rich with such exotic goods. They are still stored on the warehouse floors, where massive walls ensure optimal climate control. Right next to it, numerous trading agencies have their offices.

The carpet trade.
Hamburg has been the most important international trading centre for oriental carpets for decades – thanks to the Speicherstadt. Here, traders find sufficient suitable space for storage and presentation.

Modern services
An office near the harbour, which is also within sight of the town hall? Rooms in historic warehouses, equipped with the latest technology and sophisticated interior design? This mix inspires and convinces media companies, advertising agencies and other modern service providers. Even small companies or start-ups will find their dream office in the completely renovated Kontorhäuser. Die kleinen hervorragend ausgestattet und absolut effizienten Büroflächen halten jeden Vergleich mit Büros „von der Stange” stand. Zudem sind sie schnell verfügbar.

New uses
New tenants are also constantly discovering ways to use the Speicherstadt properties. Fashion and textiles are making their way into Speicherstadt. Showrooms, sales and presentation areas in characteristic styles enliven the quarter. Gastronomies and restaurants cater for the physical well-being of guests.

Culture and attractions
The Speicherstadt is increasingly a place for culture. Exhibitions and entertainment, open-air theatre and musical school attract the curious to the unique area. The Miniature Wonderland alone attracted over 2 million visitors. Hamburg’s Everyman has become a “cult”. The Stage Entertainment musical school is known beyond Germany’s borders, and the same applies to the musicals produced there.

Recently, a modern multi-storey car park for customers, tenants and visitors was opened in a block of the Speicherstadt. The multi-storey car park is located in the Speicherstadt at “Am Sandtorkai 6-8”.

Erstes Verwaltungsgebäude der HFLG. © ELBE&FLUT / Heinz-Joachim Hettchen


German Customs Museum
Customs history from antiquity to the present is gathered in the old customs office “Kornhausbrücke”: Documents, smuggling hiding places, uniforms and relics from the offices of days gone by. Even a disused customs cruiser is on display. Around 2,000 exhibits ranging from A for agricultural duties to Z for customs seals convey living customs history of the present on 800 square metres.

Alter Wandrahm 16 . 20457 Hamburg
Tel. 040-3008 76-11 Fax 040-3008 76-20


Admission and guided tours 2 euros, free for children and young people up to 17 years of age.

The German Customs Museum is barrier-free.

Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Monday closed

Meaningful darkness: blind and visually impaired people open their eyes to visitors and show them a world that is not poorer, but merely different. In this exhibition on the discovery of the invisible, there is nothing to see but much to discover. For those accustomed to the light, it is a fascinating and irritating journey that appeals to the senses and touches the soul.

Alter Wandrahm 3. 20457 Hamburg
Bookingline: 0700 44332000 (max 12 Ct./Min.)

Admission: children 6 euros, adults 14 euros, concessions 9 euros, families 38 euros

As the exhibition can only be visited on a guided tour, reservations by telephone are required! The guided tours last 60 or 90 minutes.

Tuesday to Friday 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 11.00-19.00 hrs
Monday closed

HafenCity InfoCenter
The future on a scale of 1:500 – the HafenCity InfoCenter in the former boiler house shows everything worth knowing about the most important urban development project in Hamburg and will continuously accompany the planning process. The centrepiece is an 8 x 4 metre model of the planned area.

Am Sandtorkai 30. 20457 Hamburg

Free admission

Tuesday to Sunday 10.00-18.00 hrs
Closed on Monday
From May to September extended opening hours: Thursday 10am-8pm

Hamburg Dungeon
History, suspense, fun: the Hamburg Dungeon takes its visitors into the gruesome realms of Hamburg’s past, as the name Dungeon suggests. The 2,200 square metres of the creepy dungeon are designed down to the last detail and packed with terrifying effects and technical refinements.

Kehrwieder 2. 20457 Hamburg
Tel. 040-36005500 . WK: 040-30051512.

Admission prices: from 15.95 euros (children) to 19.95 euros (adults).
Not suitable for small children. Children under 14 are only admitted when accompanied by an adult.

Monday to Sunday 11.00 – 18.00 (last admission).
In July and August 10.00 a.m. – 7.00 p.m.

Miniature Wonderland
H0 as the scale of all things: this layout of miniaturised superlatives is one of the largest model railways in the world. Nevertheless, it is not only rail traffic that can be marvelled at here, but the very special everyday life between reality and fantasy. Im 15-Minuten-Takt wird ein Tagesablauf simuliert und die blaue Stunde legt sich über das wunderbare Miniaturland.

Kehrwieder 2. Block D. 20457 Hamburg
Tickethotline (TZH): 040–30051505

Eintritt: 6 bis 12 Euro

Monday to Friday 9.30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday 9.30 – 21.00
Saturday 8.00 – 21.00
Sunday, public holidays 8.30 – 20.00 hrs



A museum you can touch! Griepen, rubber bales, coffee sacks and tasting dishes: in the authentic setting of a 100-year-old warehouse, the Speicherstadtmuseum shows typical goods and tools from the traditional warehouse companies and trading houses of the Speicherstadt. Historical photos and plans illustrate the history of this unique architectural monument.

St. Annenufer 2. 20457 Hamburg
Tel. 040-321191 Fax 040-321350

Admission: 3.50 euros, reduced 2.50 euros

Opening hours
1 April to 31 October: Monday to Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
1 November to 31 March: Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Group tours are also available outside regular opening hours

Spicy’s Spice Museum.
The Spice Museum loves it spicy: over 800 exhibits from five centuries illustrate the history of spices from preservation to flavour enhancement of food. You can safely smell and feel around 50 spices and culinary herbs here and let them melt in your mouth. The production process from spice cultivation to the finished product is explained.

Am Sandtorkai 32. 20457 Hamburg
Tel. 040-367989

Admission: 3.50 euros, children 1.50 euros
Opening hours:
July to October: Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Monday closed

Coffee Roastery
In the coffee show roastery, you can enjoy a delicious coffee with a tasty piece of homemade cake, look over the roasters’ shoulders or find out about rare coffees. To get a perfect coffee in the cup requires a multitude of human influences. All steps require a lot of care, experience and passion. In a rustic ambience, you can get an idea of how interesting the product “coffee” is. The operators produce their own coffee and also sell it on site.

The Burg Coffee Museum in the Genussspeicher.
In the only vaulted cellar in the Speicherstadt, hundreds of objects from the Burg Collection have created a world where you can learn all about the prima donna of useful plants. Coffee is the favourite drink of Germans and many other nations. Take a journey from its cultivation all over the world to the Hanseatic trade office and the shop from grandma’s time. Discover the different ways of preparing coffee and enjoy good, traditionally roasted coffee. 

In the only vaulted cellar in the Speicherstadt, hundreds of objects from the Burg Collection have created a world where you can learn all about the prima donna of useful plants. Coffee is the favourite drink of Germans and many other nations. Take a journey from the cultivation of coffee all over the world to the Hanseatic trade office and the shop from grandma’s time. Discover the different ways of preparing coffee and enjoy good, traditionally roasted coffee.

Start your journey with the legend of the discovery of coffee. Learn how much manual work goes into growing, harvesting and processing the coveted beans. Tools and machines, roasters and mills, filters and pots, advertisements and curiosities, crockery and furniture convey the diversity that the subject of coffee offers.

Even coffee experts and collectors will enjoy marvelling at old advertisements and publicity of various coffee brands from the last 100 years.

Hamburg, Speicherstadt, Illumination Block V und X


Size of the Speicherstadt:
– approx. 300,000 sqm in total
– 100,000 sqm office and account use
– 170,000 sqm warehouse and showroom use
– 30,000 sqm culture and events
– as well as the multi-storey car park with approx. 20,000 sqm.

The warehouses in the 1888 Speicherstadt are arranged alphabetically.


Bridges of the Speicherstadt:
Poggenmühlen Bridge
Holländischfleet Bridge
Wandrahmfleet Bridge
Kornhaus Bridge (to the city)
Jungfernbrücke (to the city)
Kannengießer Bridge
Neuerwegsbrücke bridge
Brooks Bridge Sand Bridge
Brooksbrücke (to the city)

Fleet names:
Kehrwiederfleet – Brooksfleet
Little Fleet
St. Annenfleet

Memory city blocks:
Block W
Block P
Block V
Block O
Block M
Block N
Block D
Block E
Block L
Block X
Block G
Block H
Block S
Block U
Block Q
Block R

Street names in the Speicherstadt:
New wall frame
Old wall frame
Dutch Brock
At St. Annen
St. Annen shore
At Sandtorkai

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