Miniatur Wunderland model railway museum

Miniatur Wunderland in the German city of Hamburg is the largest model train museum in the world. Check out these photos to see how crazy this place is!

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. A journalist for more than 20 years, he's been travelling the world since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.


When you think of Germany’s most popular tourists sites you think of castles and nature and beer festivals and historic town centres. You don’t think of toy trains.

Well, I certainly didn’t. Not until I visited Miniatur Wunderland, that is.

Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg, Germany

The promotional brochure puts it like this:

“It’s the only time you’ll see Mount Rushmore next to Cape Canaveral. And it’s the only place that’s managed a direct train from Hamburg to the US!”

Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg, Germany

It’s easier to defy spatial rules when everything is smaller and the model train museum in the Germany city of Hamburg has mastered that.

One way to get to Miniatur Wunderland is with the Hamburg Hop-On Hop-Off bus that will take you to all the city’s main sights.

Unfortunately Miniatur Wunderland has yet to work out how to miniaturise the crowds and it’s busy inside. More than 11 million people have visited since it opened and on some days there are long queues to get in.

Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg, Germany

So why is Miniatur Wunderland so popular, yet so unknown?

Well, partly it’s because the majority of visitors are German, not international.

And partly because it’s in Hamburg which, despite turning out to be a very cool city, is not on the typical tourist path through the country.

Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg, Germany

Those who know about Miniatur Wunderland clearly feel the long waits are worth it. I’ve decided to head inside to see for myself.

Inside the old building in the Speicherstadt part of town, the displays take up two large floors.

Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg, Germany

The train tracks with their model engines and carriages run through entire lands that have been created with small figurines, cityscapes, cultural events and realistic natural panoramas.

Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg, Germany

At the moment there are seven lands: Middle Germany, Knuffingen, Austria, Hamburg, America, Scandinavia and Switzerland. In the coming years, they plan to open Italy, France, the UK and Africa.

Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg, Germany

It’s hard to get a sense of how large this miniature world is until you see it for yourself. But, to help, let me throw a few facts and figures at you:

  • There are 13 kilometres of track
  • There are 930 locomotives
  • There are 215,000 figurines
  • 64 computers run the whole thing
  • And it’s taken 580,000 work hours to build
Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg, Germany

One of my highlights is the airport they’ve built where model planes pull out from the terminal, taxi to the runway and then take off, disappearing behind the set.

Eventually, they will come back to land and a departures and arrivals board shows you what’s coming and going.

Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg, Germany

Miniatur Wunderland is a fantastic place for train-lovers and for families. You could definitely spend a long time looking at all the small details.

The displays even turn from day to night every fifteen minutes as the lights in the building are dimmed.

Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg, Germany

If you like model trains, this would be heaven. If you don’t like crowds, it could be hell.

Either way, it’s worth a visit to Miniatur Wunderland when you’re in Hamburg.

Visiting Miniatur Wunderland

Hamburg is one of my favourite cities in Germany and I recommend you spend some time exploring the different neighbourhoods in Hamburg and going a bit deeper into its fascinating maritime heritage.

But a must-do while you’re here is to visit Miniatur Wunderland.

It’s really easy to get to Miniatur Wunderland, which is in the Speicherstadt neighbourhood. It has lots of public transport options or it’s a relatively short walk from the city centre.

However, an option you may like to consider is the Hamburg Hop-On Hop-Off Bus, which will take you to many of the city’s other sights with commentary along the way.

Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg, Germany

You could spend as long or as short a time as you want exploring Miniatur Wunderland. I would recommend about two hours as a minimum because you’ll often find yourself spending ten minutes at one display just watching everything change.

There are limited places to visit Miniatur Wunderland and the museum does get full.

To save yourself from a long waiting line – or even not being able to get in at all (which happens a lot) – you should book your ticket in advance for a set time slot.

If you want to go behind the scenes, there are a couple of guided backstage tours that you can do for an additional cost (€17.50 per person, or €13.50 for children aged 6 -15). In groups of no more than six people, you’ll learn all about what happens behind the scenes.

It’s worth booking a tour in advance because they fill up very quickly.

Miniatur Wunderland, Hamburg, Germany

For food and drink, there are two restaurants at Miniatur Wunderland. There’s the main bistro with a range of meals, and there’s the newer Wunderland Diner with a focus on burgers.

Where is Miniatur Wunderland?

Miniatur Wunderland can be found on the southern edge of Hamburg’s city centre. Its address is at Kehrwieder 2/Block D, 20457 Hamburg.
You can see it on a map here.

How do you get to Miniatur Wunderland?

If you’re coming by public transport, you can take a bus that stops at the Auf dem Sande bus stop.
Coming from the city centre, it’s about a 15-minute walk.
Miniatur Wunderland is a large building that is hard to miss. Use the entrance to the right of the Hamburg Dungeon entrance and take the stairs up two floors.

When is Miniatur Wunderland open?

The standard opening hours for Miniatur Wunderland are:
Daily: 9:30 – 18:00
Tuesdays: 9:30 – 21:00
Fridays: 9:30 – 19:00
Saturdays: 8:00 – 21:00
Sunday/Public holiday: 8:30 – 20:00
(But opening times vary on a daily basis)

How much does it cost to visit Miniatur Wunderland?

The admission price for Miniatur Wunderland is €20 for a standard ticket and €17 for concession. The price for children under 16 is €12.50.

You can find out more information at the Miniatur Wunderland website.

While you’re here, make sure you make some time to explore other parts of the Speicherstadt neighbourhood, which has been listed as a World Heritage Site.

There are also some other excellent experiences in Hamburg that I would recommend here:

This is a city where it’s easy to spend a few days (or more). Just make sure that your time here includes visiting Miniatur Wunderland, because it will be a highlight of your trip!


There are some wonderful luxury and design hotels around HafenCity, but you’ll also find good options in most neighbourhoods


For an affordable and friendly hostel, I would recommend Jugendherberge Hamburg-Auf dem Stintfang.


For good value right near the train station, Hotel Terminus am Hauptbahnhof is a decent option.


I absolutely love the design at the very cool 25hours Hotel Altes Hafenamt.


And when it comes to views and architecture, The Westin Hamburg is absolutely stunning!

Time Travel Turtle was a guest of the German National Tourism Board but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.

11 thoughts on “Miniatur Wunderland model railway museum”

  1. I wish you hadn’t told everyone that Hamburg is cool. I was trying to keep it to myself. Loved Miniatur Wunderland. The exhibits are amazing. I’m not necessarily a model train fan — I was mostly dazzled by all of the settings. I was there on a very cold and wet winter’s day and didn’t have to wait in line at all.

    • Ha ha – I’m sure there’s still enough there to share 🙂
      I had the same reaction to Miniatur Wunderland as you. The trains are kind of cool but I was really amazed by all the detail that had gone into the huge settings. You could stand there and study them for so long and still be discovering new things. Oh, and the airport – that was the coolest!!

  2. I’m not a huge toy train person, but I went to a miniature museum in Victoria, Canada last year and thought it was fantastic. This one in Hamburg looks great as well. Definitely not something I would have thought to check out before, but it seems like a fun way to spend a few hours.

    • I think if you don’t have kids it wouldn’t be an obvious place to go but I really enjoyed it as an adult. I haven’t heard about the one in Victoria but I would be curious to compare them now. This Hamburg one is supposed to be the biggest in the world… but not sure what that actually means! 🙂

  3. Better not tell my nephews and Dad about it. They will be clamoring for a family vacation there next year with their model train hobby. Great shots.

  4. This is amazing! I didn’t even know I loved miniature train sets until I saw your photos! Now I might turn out to be obsessed and it will be all your fault :c) It looks like a must-see destination, but I would have read about it and ignored it… Until I saw fantastic shots like yours. This is definitely going on the ever-growing list so thanks for sharing!

    • The Germans certainly don’t think it’s a secret – it is packed full of them most of the time! But it’s weird how it doesn’t have a bigger international reputation. There are plenty of train nuts in the world who would love it!


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