The Elbphilharmonie or the Elphi is a massive concert hall, located in the HafenCity quarter of Hamburg, attracting more than four million tourists every year.
Besides the concerts, tourists also love to know the history, check out the interiors, and enjoy the city’s 360-degree panoramic view from the building’s Plaza.
Elbphilharmonie is also the home to an 82-meter (269 feet) escalator, the longest in Europe.
1. How to reach
2. Elbphilharmonie entry
3. Opening hours
4. Elbphilharmonie tickets
5. Free Plaza entry
6. Guided Tour of Elbphilharmonie
7. Elbphilharmonie, Speicherstadt & HafenCity
8. Elbphilharmonie with Harbor Cruise
9. Tours in German
10. What to see inside?
11. Concert Hall entry
12. Food at Elbphilharmonie
13. Elbphilharmonie concerts
How to reach Elbphilharmonie
It is best to reach Elbphilharmoni by public transport.
Baumwall station is half a kilometer (one-third of a mile) from Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, and you can board the U3 Line to get there.
Uberseequartier station can be reached via U4 trains and is almost a kilometer from the Hamburg attraction.
Elbphilharmonie’s multi-story car park has 435 parking spots and is always open.
After parking your vehicle, follow the signs to go to the ground floor from where you can take the tube escalator to the Plaza.
It costs €10 for four hours of parking. You must shell out an additional €5 for every extra hour spent.
The fixed price is only applicable for online booking made at least two hours before entry.
The other car parks nearby are:
- Parkhaus Speicherstadt, located at Am Sandtorkai 6, 750 meters (about half a mile) away
- Überseequartier underground car park, located at Überseeallee 3, 850 meters (a little more than half a mile) away
All Plaza entry ticket holders and concert ticket holders must enter the building via the main entrance.
You can take the 82 meters (269 feet) long curved escalator from the main entrance to go up to either the Plaza and foyers of the Concert Halls.
While the long escalator leads the visitors to the panorama window on the 6th floor, to go to the Plaza on the 8th floor, they can take a smaller escalator.
Plaza entry from the parking garage
The Elbphilharmonie Concert Halls and the Plaza cannot be accessed directly from the car park.
You must first take B Group elevators to travel to the ground floor.
On the ground floor, admission security will check your tickets, after which they will guide you towards a ground elevator called the Tube.
Elbphilharmonie opening hours
The Elbphilharmonie is open from 10 am to 11 pm every day.
The last entry for ticketed visitors is at 11.30 pm.
Enter the Elbphilharmonie early in the morning or towards the evening to avoid rush hours.
Visitor Center hours
Elbphilharmonie’s visitor center is open from 10 am to 8 pm.
Located at the building’s main entrance, it offers tickets to the Elbphilharmonie Plaza throughout the day.
However, it is better to book your tickets online to avoid waiting for your time slot.
Elbphilharmonie Plaza is the most popular attraction in Hamburg and gets approximately eleven thousand visitors every day.
In this section, we share everything you must know about Elbphilharmonie tickets.
Elbphilharmonie for free
Elbphilharmonie Plaza is open for all – music patrons with concert tickets, guests of the restaurant and the hotel, and anybody else who wants to enjoy the views.
In short, entry to the Elbphilharmonie Plaza is free of charge.
Since there is a limit on the maximum number of visitors allowed inside Elbphilharmonie Plaza at a time, visits are regulated by free tickets.
These free tickets are available only at the Visitor Center, and only on the day of your visit.
You can also book these free tickets on Elbphilharmonie’s website for 2 Euros, up to 18 weeks in advance. However, these timed tickets get sold out soon.
All of this leads to long lines in front of Elbphilharmonie during peak times (morning and evening) and on weekends.
That’s why guided tours to Elbphilharmonie are a massive hit – they allow for last-minute entry into the Hamburg attraction, without wasting any time waiting in the lines.
Besides, the local expert taking you around makes the trip even more meaningful.
We recommend three of our favorite guided tours at this Hamburg attraction –
1. Guided Tour of Elbphilharmonie
This one-hour trip is the cheapest and most popular guided tour of the Hamburg landmark.
A local guide takes you on a tour of Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and shares information about the spectacular concert hall.
It starts with a tour outside the building to learn about its facade and its other exterior features.
Then you enter the Elbphilharmonie on the Tube and reach the Plaza while listening to the guide explaining the various concert halls and facilities within the building.
Then you walk along the Plaza and circle the entire building, discovering Hamburg’s sights from all directions.
2. Elbphilharmonie, Speicherstadt & HafenCity Tour
This two and a half hour tour starts with a visit to Elbphilharmonie.
The first hour is spent exploring Hamburg’s most beautiful building and taking in the stunning views from the Plaza.
Then you step out to discover the historic Speicherstadt warehouse district and listen to the stories of your knowledgeable guide.
On the last leg of the tour, you cross over to the modern Hafencity and marvel at its futuristic buildings.
3. Guided Elbphilharmonie Tour and Harbor Cruise
Besides a guided tour of Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg’s new landmark, this ticket also includes a harbor cruise.
On the one-hour boat cruise, you sail close to the massive containerships and admire the Elbphilharmonie from the water.
If the water level is high enough, the boat also travels through the canals of the Speicherstadt – the Hamburg Warehouse District.
The boat cruise’s boarding point is close to the Elbphilharmonie.
Adult ticket (14+ years): € 29
Child ticket (4 to 13 years): € 14.50
Infant ticket (up to 3 years): Free entry
German tours to Elbphilharmonie
The newly constructed Elbphilharmonie is very popular with the local Germans, and many reach Hamburg to experience it.
Hamburg also gets many tourists from German-speaking nations such as Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, etc.
That is why Elbphilharmonie guided tours in German are very much in demand.
There are three ways to experience this Hamburg landmark in the local language –
1. Elbphilharmonie guided tour in German
This one-hour tour is an excellent way to discover Elbphilharmonie Plaza in Hamburg, in German.
The tour guide shares exciting information about the building and ensures you don’t miss any must-see sights from the Plaza.
2. Elphi Premium Tour including Snack & Coffee
Besides exploring the beautiful tourist attraction, you also enjoy a coffee and Franzbrötchen, a traditional pastry from Hamburg, on this premium guided tour.
This walking tour starts from Subway station Baumwall.
3. HafenCity 3-Hour Food Tour and Elbphilharmonie visit
This tour is a 3-hour guided walking trip that starts from Überseequartier Subway station.
During this tour, you savor tasty international appetizers in up to 5 great restaurants.
The group also visits Speicherstadt, a historic warehouse complex that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The final destination is Elbphilharmonie’s Plaza for a panoramic view of the harbor and the city.
The last of the five appetizer tasting happens at Stortebekers restaurant on the 6th floor of Elbphilharmonie.
4. Express Outer Elbphilharmonie Guided Tour
This is a short 45-minute tour where you get to learn all about the impressive Hamburg landmark, its scandalous history, and hidden secrets.
However, entry to Elbphilharmonie is not part of this tour.
At the end of the tour, if you are intrigued, you can enter the building on your own and enjoy breathtaking views of the harbor from the Elbphilharmonie Plaza.
What is inside Elbphilharmonie
The Elbphilharmonie is an impressive building with fascinating things to see and do once you are inside.
The Elbphilharmonie interiors include three concert halls, 15 floors hosting 45 apartments, a Westin hotel, the longest escalator in Europe, and, of course, the Plaza with a 360-degree panoramic view of the beautiful city.
The highlights of the Elbphilharmonie include the famous escalator, Plaza, Smart table, Grand Hall, Recital Hall, and the Kaistudios.
1. Elbphilharmonie escalator
The Elbphilharmonie escalator is famously known as the Tube or the 82-meter long curved escalator of Hamburg.
This escalator begins at the building’s entrance and takes you to an observation platform in four minutes.
On your way up, you will notice interesting illusionary effects designed on the sidewalls of the Tube.
The escalator’s course is slightly curved so that visitors can’t see the end at the beginning of the journey.
2. Elbphilharmonie Plaza
The Elbphilharmonie sightseeing experience is incomplete without a visit to the Plaza, on the 8th floor.
Located 37 meters (121 feet) above the ground, this Plaza offers beautiful 360 degrees panoramic views all around the building.
From Elbphilharmonie’s viewing platform, you see Hamburg’s sprawling city, the beautiful river Elbe, and tall spires of the city’s tallest buildings.
You can also access the Concert Halls from Elbphilharmonie’s Plaza.
Interesting: Sneak peak of Elbphilharmonie Plaza on Google’s StreetView
3. Elbphilharmonie’s Smart Table
Elbphilharmonie’s Smart Table is developed by SAP to give visitors a memorable experience.
You get to play the organ, fly through the Concert Hall using a drone, or find out the history and architectural details of the Elbphilharmonie.
The Smart Table offers visitors a high-speed drone flight to view the entire building and its views.
You also get to see several amazing pictures.
4. Elbphilharmonie Grand Hall
The Elbphilharmonie Grand Hall, with a capacity to seat 2100 guests, is a beautiful space designed to have perfect acoustics.
Guests are seated around the orchestra in the middle with rows of seats steeply in tier formation.
Internationally renowned Yasuhisa Toyota created the acoustics of this space.
With grooved plaster and paper panels, he has created a balanced resonance that dazzles the crowds at the Elbphilharmonie.
5. The Recital Hall
The Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall can seat up to 572 guests in the classically designed space.
It is outfitted with flexible seating, fantastic acoustics, and other stage elements to give its guests an exceptional musical experience.
The Recital Hall hosts musical shows such as Chamber music, Lieder, Jazz, solo recitals, etc.
The Kaistudios is a musical space designed to give its guests a free space for imagination and music expression.
It is on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the Elbphilharmonie building and often gets is referred to as the ‘World of Instruments.’
With a capacity of 150, Kaistudios is perfect for the seminars, workshops, and music rehearsals.
Elbphilharmonie guided tour with Concert Hall entry
If you want to enter the Concert Hall at Elbphilharmonie, you have two options – either book a concert or take an official tour of the Concert Hall.
During these tours, besides seeing stunning views from the Plaza on the 8th floor, visitors also visit the Concert Hall to understand its operation and music programming.
- Duration: 90 minutes
- Language: German, English
- Max. group size: 10 participants
- Cost: € 15 per Person
- Duration: 90 minutes
- Available in a variety of languages
- Fixed price: € 200 for a group of up to 10 participants
Here are some crucial pointers you must remember before booking one of these tours.
- You should be at the venue at least 15 minutes before the tour’s mentioned starting time.
- You can only purchase guided tours with Concert Hall entry online as they are scheduled with concerts and rehearsals in mind. The idea is not to disturb the artists.
- Kids below eight years of age don’t tend to like guided tours to Elbphilharmonie Hamburg with Concert Hall entry. However, they can participate in the tours.
The Störtebeker restaurant is one of the best places to dine in Hamburg and offers stunning views of the docks and the River Elbe.
The long Tube gets you to the restaurant, which is next to the panoramic view on the 6th floor.
Diners require a ticket to access the restaurant and the Elbphilharmonie Plaza.
You will find excellent and homely food during the day and a sophisticated menu for dinner.
Störtebeker is known for its fresh and delicious food along with the award-winning beer on tap.
Restaurant’s Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday, 4 pm to 9 pm
Bar is open from 12 noon to 10.30 pm
Bonus: This three-hour Hamburg food tour ends with a visit to the Störtebeker restaurant.
The cafe is on the 8th floor, at the Plaza of Elbphilharmonie.
It is known as ‘Deck & Deli’ and offers light snacks and refreshing drinks.
You can choose from a wide variety of sandwiches, cakes, and biscuits.
Many types of wine, coffee specials, and various Störtebeker cask beers are available on tap.
Cafe’s Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10 am to 8 pm
A trip to the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg concert is a unique experience where music is the main attraction.
Inside the Grand Hall, the rows rise in a circular and terraced fashion, and the Yasuhisa Toyota’s acoustics are bound to leave you stunned as you can hear every note crystal clear.
The program at Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle is mainly about quality, Transcending Genre Boundaries, and diversity.
The performances are always by the best artists of the World and the resident orchestra of the two halls, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and Ensemble Resonanz and Symphoniker Hamburg.
Every season, Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle offer a unique concert schedule in terms of scope and variety.
Plaza access with concert tickets
Visitors get access to the Plaza for two hours before the event when they purchase tickets for concerts at Elbphilharmonie Grand Hall or the Recital Hall.
Most visitors come early to enjoy the breathtaking views from the Plaza and then attend the Concert.
Free transport with concert tickets
Concert tickets also include a round trip to Elbphilharmonie.
On the day of your visit, you can use the concert tickets to travel on vehicles of HVV-Gesamtbereich, a company coordinating public transport in and around Hamburg.
The Plaza entry tickets do not include public transportation access.
Popular attractions in Hamburg
Having grown up amongst beaches, Ankita Roy prefers coastal holidays. Besides seafood, she is a sucker for the way sand feels on her feet, and sea breeze on her face. Favorite Cities: Cape Town, Edinburgh, Tokyo, Sydney