During the summer of 2022, my family and I went on a Baltic cruise. While we didn’t love the cruise line we picked (you can read all about the drama here), we really enjoyed each place we went, including our day exploring Hamburg with our kids.
The first port stop on our Baltic cruise docked in Kiel, Germany, which is actually a good hour away from Hamburg. We could’ve stayed and explored Kiel, but I heard about this place in Hamburg called Miniatur Wunderland, which was supposed to be epic for kids and adults, so that’s where we went.
Well, I’m here to sing its praises, because if you find yourself in Hamburg with or without kids, you have to check out Miniatur Wunderland.
Quick Tips for Miniatur Wunderland
So What is Miniatur Wunderland?
Miniatur Wunderland is home to the world’s largest model railway, but that simply doesn’t do it justice. Seriously, trust me; this place is soooooo much cooler than just a regular ol’ train museum.
If you’re in Hamburg with kids and checking out Miniatur Wunderland, keep in mind that it’s massive—we spent close to four hours here (including lunch) and could easily have stayed longer.
One way it sets itself apart from any other model train museums is that there are entire replica cities set up inside, including places like Rome, Venice, Rio de Janeiro, Las Vegas, and Pompeii (with a volcano that you’ve gotta see!). There are also entire countries featured like Switzerland, Italy, Germany, America, etc.
They all have the most intricate details and fun things to see. It’s the attention to every single detail that makes it amazing. You’ll catch yourself saying, “WOW,” and, “Oh, cool!” over and over.
But watching the planes taxi, land, and take off? That was one of my favorite parts.
An Actual Running Model Airport
Because then there’s the airport. Yes, an actual running model airport.
When I was researching this place people said that this section gets full pretty quickly, so we made a beeline toward it as soon as we got there.
Thankfully, it didn’t let us down.
Miniatur Wunderland has a fleet of 47 aircraft and experiences around 250 takeoffs and landings a day! Not only that but there’s an accurate arrival/departure board and a parking lot with interactive parts. They have a fire brigade (with tons of vehicles to help if there’s an emergency landing), buses to take passengers, water and tank trucks, and other fun “working” cars around the whole land.
Kiel (Hamburg), Germany (docked from 7am till 6pm)
In case you’re exploring Hamburg as an excursion from your cruise that docked in Kiel, here’s a look at the technical parts of getting into Hamburg.
We walked to the train station from the doc (about 30 minutes), but we could’ve taken a taxi. The train journey to Hamburg was around 1 hour long. From there we took a taxi to Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland.
We stayed at the Miniatur Wonderland for a good four hours and probably could have stayed longer, but I wanted to get back a little early since we had dinner reservations at a specialty restaurant on board at 6 pm.
The only thing we did in Hamburg was check out the Minature Wonderland, which honestly wasn’t part of our plan. I thought we’d have a little bit longer to see some other things, but I started getting anxious about getting back to the ship.
I was paranoid about something happening (train strike/delay) and not making it back on the ship on time, especially since Kiel was an hour’s train ride away.
We did the same journey in reverse as when we arrived and got to our ship at 4:30 pm (one hour before the final call), so it was a good thing we left when we did. I probably would’ve been riddled with nerves if we got back any later.
If we had more time in Kiel/Hamburg we would have…
Our Baltic Cruise Ports
Here’s a look at the other places our cruise went, just in case you need ideas for other places around the Baltics to visit.
- Gdynia (Gdansk), Poland — read the post
- Klaipeda, Lithuania — read the post
- Riga, Latvia — read the post (coming soon)
- Tallinn, Estonia — read the post (coming soon)
- Stockholm, Sweden — read the post (coming soon)
Have You Been to Miniatur Wunderland?
Did I wish we had more time in Hamburg? Yes—the very small part of the city we saw looked beautiful. But the only thing I really wanted to see was Minatur Wunderland, so I’m glad we could cross that off the list.
Next time we’ll explore more!
Have you been to Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland? I’d love to hear about your experience!