Courtesy of Hamburg Tourism Department

Ring in a budget-friendly 2016 in this festive German town.

Yolanda Evans
December 21, 2015

After all that holiday shopping, the mere notion of spending more to celebrate New Year's Eve might cause you a panic attack or two. But you don't need to break the bank on a fancy party with overpriced drinks to have an enjoyable one. Think outside the box and go big on fun without spending a dime for a cheap and easy New Year's Eve in Hamburg.

Stroll the St. Pauli Elbetunnel

Opened in 1911, the St.Pauli Elbetunnel was the first river tunnel on the continent and became a necessity with the growth of the Port of Hamburg. Stage your own photo shoot in front of this historical landmark, and then take a little stroll through the tunnel, ending with a panoramic view of the edge of the harbor, St. Michaelis, and the "Rickmer Rickmers" from the southern bank of the Elbe.

Walk Around the Reeperbahn

Notorious for its wild nightlife, saucy bordellos, and boisterous bars, the Reeperbahn is a great place to people-watch. Enjoy a few beers, go dancing, or just wander around and watch this hectic night go by in a blurry haze. Be on the lookout for some impressive street art that's hidden in area. Or better yet, stop by the INDRA Musikclub, an old Beatles haunt, for cheap drinks and live music.

Take Guided Tour

Discover the history and legend of this maritime city with a free walking tour by Sandeman's New Europe. Hear pirate tales and learn all about the WWII bombing of Hamburg while you pop by the city's top attractions—like St. Petri, Hamburg's medieval church, St.Nikolai church, and Trostbrücke—on this two-and-a-half-hour excursion. (While the tour is free, tips are appreciated.)

Fireworks Along Landungsbrücken

It's not really New Year's Eve unless you see some fireworks lighting up the sky. Head over to the floating docks of Landungsbrücken, Hamburg's glittering waterfront, and welcome 2016 with an impressive pyrotechnics show accompanied by acoustic signal horns from all the ships docked in the port. Dress warm and brings some ear plugs—this celebration tends to get loud.

Christmas Market and Fireworks

For a quieter, less crowded affair, the Christmas Market in Jungfernstieg might be more your speed. Browse the craft and artwork stands while sipping on mulled wine, or take a ride on the historic Ferris wheel for a stunning view of the city. There's also a dazzling Christmas light show that ends at 2 a.m. with fireworks along the beautiful Alster Lake.

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