Discover Hamburg from a canoe

3 minutes to read

Did you know that Hamburg has more bridges than any other city in the world and more canals than Amsterdam and Venice combined? Hamburg is practically surrounded by water. The Alster river is divided into two lakes that lie on either side of the city center, the Binnenalster and Außenalster (inner and outer lake). Additionally, there’s the big river Elbe which is flowing right through into the North Sea. Among locals, it’s a common Sunday activity to get on a canoe and enjoy the sun on the water. It’s without a doubt the most beautiful way of visiting the city, getting the chance to see sides of Hamburg you’d otherwise wouldn’t notice. Discover Hamburg from a canoe and make your way through the many stunning canals of the Hanseatic seaport that Germans call the most beautiful city in the country.

© iStock/Matthäus Rojek
© iStock/Matthäus Rojek

There are many different canoe rentals spread in the entire city. Depending on which kind of tour you’re planning to do and which part of the city you’d like to discover, you should decide on your starting point. If it’s your first time in Hamburg or your first time exploring this city with a canoe, I’d recommend you to take the most iconic and classic route. It’ll take about three hours in total, leading you through the districts Winterhude, Eppendorf and Uhlenhorst, past impressive villas with idyllic gardens. For this trip, you should ideally rent a canoe at the rental "Bootsvermietung Dornheim & Restaurant Zur Gondel." The costs depend on the number of people: two people pay 33€ for 3h (or 55€ for the day), three people pay 40,50€ for 3h (or 67,50€ for the day), four people pay 45€ for 3h (or 75€ for the day), and up to six people pay 54€ for 3h (or 90€ for the day).

© iStock/Sabine Wagner
© iStock/Sabine Wagner
Dornheim Bootsvermietung und Restaurant Zur Gondel in Hamburg
Dornheim Bootsvermietung und Restaurant Zur Gondel in Hamburg
Kaemmererufer 25, 22303 Hamburg, Deutschland

Once you get on your canoe, paddle to the left and take a turn into "Barmbeker Stichanal." This leads to the famous Stadtpark (central park), where you can take your first rest, enjoy the sun or even get off the canoe to walk around or make a barbecue. From here, the route continues straight across the "Goldbekkanal," leading through lusciously green shores with old willows looming in the water. On the last stretch of the canal, it’ll narrow until it joins the "Rondeelkanal." Here, the trees are so towering that it’ll make you feel like paddling through some green tunnel. Watch out for the spectacular view on your right side, revealing white art nouveau villas with ancient trees and magical gardens. That’s one of those unique views; you’ll only get to see from the perspective of a canoe! After a while, you’ll reach the quite "Leinpfadkanal" which leads directly to the Alster river. Here you will pass by three beautiful parks: Seelemannpark, Heilwig Park and Eichenpark. My tip: since the shore of the Eichenpark falls flat in the river; you can easily dock with your canoe to settle on the shadowy green spaces and enjoy nature. After a short break, you can look forward to the probably most impressive view of this tour: the skyline of Hamburg above the wide water. This view shows up shortly behind the bridge "Krugkoppelbrücke" where you enter the lake Außenalster. From here you can take slowly make your way back through the "Mühlenkampkanal" and stop at my highlight of any canoe tour in Hamburg: Café Canale. Why is this my highlight? Because you can access the café through a window by the canal and get ice cream, coffee or cake while sitting on your canoe in the water. Isn’t that the coolest thing you can imagine?

Café Canale
Café Canale
Poelchaukamp 7, 22301 Hamburg, Deutschland

Get a different perspective on the city and discover Hamburg on a canoe: Ahoi Captains!


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The author

Paulina Kulczycki

Paulina Kulczycki

I am Paulina, I am from Germany with polish roots and living as ‘digital gypsy’ across the globe. I am passionate about traveling and fascinated by art, vegan food and dark techno music.

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