Hamelin: The Complete Guide
Hamelin (also spelled Hameln in German) is a town in Lower Saxony, Germany, located on the banks of the River Weser. The town is famous for its association with the medieval folk tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, which tells the story of a piper who lures away the town’s children with his magical pipe after the townspeople refuse to pay him for ridding them of rats.
Hamelin is a charming town with a rich history, beautiful architecture, and picturesque cobblestone streets. Its historic center features many half-timbered buildings, including the famous Hochzeitshaus (Wedding House) where wedding ceremonies have been held for over 400 years.
In addition to the Pied Piper legend, Hamelin is known for its Christmas market, which draws visitors from all over Germany and beyond. The town is also home to several museums, including the Hamelin Museum, which showcases the town’s history and culture, and the Museum Hameln, which focuses on the life and work of Heinrich von Kleist, a renowned German writer.
Visiting Hamelin for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Hamelin on the first visit. Top help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!
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This complete guide to Hamelin not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.
This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Hamelin and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!
Rattenfängerhaus (Pied Piper's House)
The building known as the Pied Piper's House or Rattenfängerhaus ("Rat Catcher's House") is a half-timbered building in Hamelin. The house derives its name from an inscription on its side, which references the tragic event of the Hameln children's disappearance in 1284, making it the earliest known version of this tale. According to the inscription, on 26th June 1284, a rat-catcher with a pipe lured away 130 children. The inscription reads:
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Address: Rattenfängerhaus, Osterstraße, Hamelin, Germany | Distance: 0.06km
Hamelin Tourist Office
As you explore Hamelin, you'll encounter rats scattered throughout its streets. Whether in the form of bronze sculptures (which point toward local heritage sites) or painted murals on walls, rats populate the village, beckoning you to befriend them.
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Address: Hameln Marketing und Tourismus GmbH Deisterallee 1 31785 Hameln Germany | Hours: Mon - Fri 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sat. 9.30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sundays and public holidays closed | Website | Distance: 0.06km
Rattenfängerstatue (Pied Piper Statue)
Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Pied Piper Statue during your time in Hameln. This captivating bronze statue, situated on a fountain, was generously gifted to the city in 1998.
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Address: Osterstraße 15, Hamelin, Germany | Distance: 0.15km
Museum of Hamelin
When you're in Hameln, a visit to the Museum Hameln (Museum of Hamelin) is highly recommended. The museum is housed in a captivating building located in the pedestrian zone. It provides a fascinating journey into the town's history, offering a vibrant portrayal of various aspects of life throughout different eras. As a visitor, you have the opportunity to interact with the exhibits by pulling out drawers, opening shutters, rolling balls, and, of course, asking questions.
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Address: Museum Hameln, Osterstraße 8-9, 31785 Hamelin, Hameln-Pyrmont, Germany | Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on Mondays | Price: Adults €6 | Website | Distance: 0.22km
Rattenfängerstatue (Pied Piper Statue with children)
Located in the Rathausplatz, you'll discover a captivating fountain adorned with statues of children (pictured). This fountain was presented to the town in 1975 by Karl Ulrich Nuss, whose design emerged as the winning entry from a competition that received 132 submissions.
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Address: Rathauspl. 5, 31785 Hameln, Germany | Distance: 0.23km
The Hameln Glockenspiel, also known as the Rattenfänger Glockenspiel, is a famous tourist attraction located in the town of Hameln (or Hamelin) in Germany. The town of Hameln is renowned for the folktale of the Pied Piper, who led away the rats from the town with his magical pipe and later took away the children when the townspeople refused to pay him. The story of the Pied Piper has been passed down through generations and has become an integral part of Hameln's cultural identity.
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Address: Hochzeitshaus, Osterstraße 2, 31785 Hameln, Germany | Distance: 0.31km