This is one of Germany’s biggest and best-known events, with roller coasters, carousels and beer tents rolling into town three times a year.
The Hamburger Dom is North Germany’s answer to Munich’s Oktoberfest, except this festival is a month long and happens three times a year. Scores of families and young people come from around the country to ride roller coasters and Ferris wheels, fill up on carnival treats and drink beer.
Every March, July and November, this long-standing Hamburg tradition guarantees fun, excitement and nostalgia. In total, the three events attract over nine million people a year.
The name dates back to 1329, when a group of merchants, craftsmen and jugglers held a Christmas Market outside the Marien-Dom Cathedral. It proved very popular, reconvening for new seasons in spring, summer and autumn. At the end of the 19th century, the fairground’s showmen and merchants found their new spot on Heiligengeistfeld, the home of the Dom today.
Today the fair is more about roller coasters and beer tents than market stalls and crafts. Buy local produce offered at brightly colored stands. Highlights of the Dom include a medieval fort and a witches’ village during the spring fair, known as Frühlingsdom. Come in summer to explore a Wild West town at the Hummelfest, and wear medieval costumes at the winter event. Each fair is open daily from midafternoon until late at night.
Some rides and attractions change at each fair, but family favorites are guaranteed. Ride the Ferris wheel for views over Hamburg, or one of many roller coasters. Romantics will enjoy the old-fashioned horse carousel.
Stop for a snack at one of the many stands offering roasted almonds, fried sausages, potato fritters or waffles. Sample a German beer or two and enjoy the party atmosphere. Every Friday night during the fair a fireworks display lights up the sky.
Admission to the fairground is free. Prices for individual rides vary.
Parking is available nearby, but can be expensive, so catch public transportation to save money. Hamburger Dom is accessible from St. Pauli U-bahn station and Reeperbahn S-bahn station, and several bus lines pass close by.