Hamburg Port Anniversary

Hamburg Port Anniversary

May 09, 2024May 12, 2024

Hamburg Port Anniversary is a yearly celebration of the pride of Hamburg – the city’s historic port. Even after more than 800 years, the port of Hamburg is still always a dynamic place where there’s something new to discover. The 835th Hamburg Port Anniversary (Hafengeburtstag) is celebrated on May 9-12, 2024.

The event celebrated by the Hamburg Port Anniversary is the declaration of Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa, in 1189, that Hamburg's port was a custom-free zone. It was this tax exemption that enabled Hamburg to prosper and eventually become the third-largest port in Europe, and so it is celebrated at this triumphant anniversary, year after year.

Image credit: Port of Hamburg / Jochen Wischhusen Hamburg Port anniversary boat

Hamburg Port Anniversary highlights 

Expect to see over 250 sea vessels arriving for the special event. Historic tall ships, modern cruise ships, tug boats and traditional yachts will converge on the vast port. The Tugboat Ballet is an annual sight to behold, as well as the spectacular fireworks display that usually takes place.

Historic yachts, tall ships and everything in between: the port anniversary is typically an opportunity to jump aboard different ships, from vintage to modern. 

There are usually events for children, such as learning Morse code, tying nautical knots, dressing as pirates and taking part in treasure hunts, as well as sea shanty singing. The event is also renowned for its funfair rides. Let's see what this year has in store!

Image credit: Port of Hamburg / Jochen Wischhusen Hamburg port anniversary pirate ship

The Elbphilharmonie performs for the occasion

The port of Hamburg is flanked by one of the world’s most stunning modern concert halls, the Elbphilharmonie. For the anniversary, the Elbphilharmonie Orchestra is teaming up with the NDR Orchestra to give music lovers a real treat: concerts for everyone to enjoy.

Visit Hamburg’s celebrated UNESCO World Heritage Site

For historically-minded folks, the Speicherstadt UNESCO World Heritage Site is well worth a visit. The Speicherstadt, which means warehouse city, is the world’s largest complex of warehouses in the world, spanning 260.000 square metres. It was built along the River Elbe in 1883, in the prime economic zone of Hamburg.

Image credit: Port of Hamburg / Jochen Wischhusen Hamburg port anniversary ship

Plan your visit to the Hamburg Port Anniversary

More than a million visitors are usually expected on the waterfront of Hamburg for the Hamburg Port Anniversary, so it is recommended to make use of public transport to get to the event!