[HAMBURG] — Okay, this was my favorite part of going to Hamburg. Miniatur Wunderland. Hamburg is a great city, but it’s worth a trip here just to see this awesome, quirky museum.

An entire world done in miniature: trains, cars, airports, stadiums. But this is way, way cooler than just a big model railroad. Dozens of complete themed dioramas spread out over multiple floors of an old warehouse.

This is so much fun. Think: a model railroad on steroids.

Sure there are lots of “miniature” places around the world, but this one is different and the best I’ve seen. Of course there are hundreds of model trains spread out all through the place, but not just trains; moving cars, people, ships, boats and airplanes. But what makes this place special is the Little Scenes, told in absolute detail.

Miniatur Wunderland bridge bike riders

Focus in to any square foot and there are all these little stories placed out:

  • A fire in an old building, with dozens of firetrucks putting it out.
  • A small Swedish town, with a snow, a taxi cab and an old inn.
  • A freighter moving into a big port, unloading its cargo.
  • An autostrada under construction, a huge bridge pier with workers crawling all over it.
  • A Western cowboy movie set, with wrestling scofflaws on the roof, a director and cameramen filming the whole thing.
  • A fully functioning airport, with planes boarding, luggage loading, taxing, takeoffs and landings. A huge parking lot, but you zoom in and see a bi-racial couple unloading the car, she’s pregnant, the guy in a soccer jersey. Loading up for a big journey
  • A soccer team posing in front of St. Peter’s in Roma.
Miniatur Wunderland group photo

Just watch this!

Seriously, this was a blast. Not just for my inner 11 year old, but adults, too, who love it even more because they appreciate the details.

There’s a movie plot in every square foot. I spent hours there, but could spend days to take in everything I missed. And then went back the next day.

If you go thru the two full floors of Miniatur Wunderland, there are dozens of different sections, each built around a central theme. Alpine village, Hamburg, a bustling port, a snowy Sweden town, the American Southwest. One Italian alps scene is two stories tall. And they keep adding new dioramas every year, so there’s always something new.

Miniatur Wunderland bridge construction

Each has realistic details, exact replicas of buildings, compressed to maximize the real estate. Like this Roma section, which includes the Tiber, the Coliseum, the Wedding Cake, etc.

Miniatur Wunderland Roma scene
If you look closer, all these individual people are made just for here, so there are faux Gladiators posing for pictures, the Pope in St Peters, Carabinieri in plumes posing with tourists on horses, a water fight in front of the Quattro Fiume. You could spend an hour on each country just discovering all the little fun details.

Clic a pic and open up the gallery to see all the amazing details:

Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg Airport
Here is an exact replica of the beautiful Hamburg airport. From the gleaming terminals to the variety of car parks. Every type of plane imaginable, pulling out of a gate and taking off at precise intervals. There’s even a Departures board, listing flights and far-flung destinations. There are a million tiny details. Even the parked cars are all individually crafted. But look closer (on the next post) and you can see how there is a story in every inch. (Or 25.4 millimeters, if you’re civilized). It just shows why this whole place is such a hoot.
Miniatur Wunderland cityscape
“Ce n’est pas une << traffic jam >>…” For scale, check out the people on the left. Then look back at all the detail. Every car. Ever building. Every inch.

It’s mind blowing. If you go, make sure you book a reservation in advance, this is one of the largest tourist attractions in Germany, so they stagger the crowds.

Here’s their website.

It even has five stars on TripAdvisor.

Last visited December 2017

Here is a related post on Hamburg I made on my favorite places to go. And this post on my favorite restaurants.


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