The first time we went to Hamburg, it was for work. My husband was there with a team of chefs from the Philippines to promote our cuisine and I was tagging along so I could write about it and help promote the work the embassy is doing. There was so much to see but we only made it up to the old town on the way home as there was a lot of work to be done. Alvin made sure that we’d come back though because he had a must-visit place in this city – Miniatur Wunderland.
If you’re a fan of trains and planes (like my husband) and have been wanting your own miniature city at home complete with train tracks and an airport but your wife keeps saying no, then this is the place for you. Alvin was lucky enough to find a friend with the same interests in my friend Sarah’s boyfriend – Sergio.
So, on the last weekend of 2017, we drove to Hamburg. We did a pitstop in Schwerin too which you can read about in another article by clicking here. It was a win-win situation. Sarah and I get to talk all day while the boys get their geek on.
Planning your visit
Miniatur Wunderland is one popular spot in Hamburg. It is best that you buy or at least reserve your tickets online. Waiting can take up to hours as they get so many visitors.
To reserve, click here.
To buy your tickets, click here.
Adults usually pay EUR15 (USD18.05) and children up to 15 years old pay EUR7.50 (USD9.03). If your child is less than a metre tall, he/she gets to go in for free.
Here’s a tip: If you reserve or buy tickets like from 7 pm onwards, you can get 10-20% discounts on your tickets! They also offer group discounts which you can check here. Just make sure you have Google Chrome and allow your browser to translate it for you since it’s in German.
Arrive around 15 minutes before as there may be a line to get your reserved tickets.
Miniatur Wunderland: What to Expect
For starters, a lot of people and a whole lot of fun. I didn’t expect to enjoy myself as much as I did since I’m no plane or train geek.
But I do love travelling and visiting Miniatur Wunderland lets you do a bit of miniature sightseeing in some popular areas of Europe, the US, and even a make-believe place called Knuffingen. That city of ‘cute’ or ‘cuddly’ may exist only in miniature but it has its own website.
One of the first things you’ll see after a preview of their artists at work, are miniature depictions of important events in Germany’s history.
Which is immediately followed by a miniature version (but it’s actually a massive display) of the Olympiastadion Berlin. Complete with lights and a sound system, it actually feels like you’re there singing “Atemlos durch die Nacht” with Helene Fischer. Ah, I love her!
What? You don’t like Schlager? How dare you?! Leave Germany at once! 😜 Just kidding. You’re obviously lying so I’d let that slide.
Travelling in Miniature
Mountains, rivers with actual water, and trains that are actually moving. I thought Sarah and I would just sit somewhere and chat while our boys ran amok in this place. It turns out we would be having so much fun too. I was just snapping photos and going ‘oooh’ and ‘aahh’ all through our visit.
Oh, and another thing – it gets dark every 15 minutes. So, you get to see the miniatures light up. Miniature Vegas was such an electric dream. With all its blinking lights, it can even look trippy if you stare at it long enough. If you’re epileptic, I wouldn’t advise looking at it for too long though.
Another thing you should do while visiting is to check out the tiny people. Some of them are doing weird/funny things. Like this:
If you have kids with you, you may wish to direct their attention somewhere else.
Look at how happy
our boys the men in our life are!
One of my favourites were the Scandinavian areas. The snowy areas show the Northern Lights when it gets dark. The water in the photo below is real and that big ship moves through it seamlessly.
If you’d like to see the Northern Lights without the long journey, wait for it to get dark in the snowy areas of Scandinavia.
While the enormous Switzerland display was truly something, it was the airport that really took my breath away.
No, it wasn’t because Air Berlin is still flying through Knuffingen. It was because of this:
Yes, the Millennium Falcon was there for a visit. We saw it getting serviced. That alone was enough to make my Star Wars loving heart go into overdrive. But what really got to me was that it was scheduled to fly.
Yes, there’s a runway where planes were taking off and landing. And they’re actually strict in following that flight information display board up there. I made my way through the crowd and cemented myself on a spot facing the runway just so I can film this:
On to the rest
It won’t be a showcase of Europe’s best without the Neuschwanstein Castle and Oktoberfest.
But seeing Southern Italy in miniature made me even more excited to go! The Amalfi Coast is really part of my bucket list!
Rome too, of course.
I just love how the people behind this place add some humour every chance they get.
And for the train geeks like my husband, try to get a meal in their restaurant. They’ve got train seats and tables.
I was rather reluctant to go to Miniatur Wunderland when Alvin first broached the idea. But he was right – I ended up enjoying it too. So did Sarah. Do alot at least three hours here though. There is so much to see and if it’s a little crowded, you may have to wait for a better view.
Kehrwieder 2-4/Block D, 20457 Hamburg
Parking: Just outside the building. Free and Paid options available.