The Miniatur Wunderland is enormous as it includes 930 trains made up of over 14,450 carriages, 335,000 lights, 228,000 trees, and 215,000 human figurines. Besides there are a large number of airplanes from Cessna to Airbus 380 and the entire airport depiction from passengers to maintenance buildings and runways.
When I went to Germany last year, and visited Hamburg, I had all the intentions to visit the Miniatur Wunderland - but despite my hectic and best efforts, I could not find a parking place for the car as all roadside parkings and parking lots were full to capacity at around 11 AM. We kept making rounds around Miniatur Wunderland in the hope of someone pulling out and we parking in, but were not lucky. And I and my family left the city with a very heavy heart.
The Wunderland is the brainchild of Frederik Braun - who loved model trains since his childhood. Together with his brother Gerrit, he has established this huge entertainment Wunderland. Established since 2001, the Wunderland has grown by investing 500,000 working hours and nearly 9 million Euros.
The Wunderland is today home to the largest model railway in the world, and one of the most successful permanent exhibitions in Northern Germany. There are more than 100 trains seen running on the numerous tracks across the model city. The railway is located in the historic Speicherstadt.
As per information available, by 2020, this model railroad will feature 1900 signals, 4000 switches, 6000 buildings and bridges, and over 500,000 lights. Presently only seven sections are on display.
Parking garage at Knuffingen Airport
For those who love airplanes, there are plenty of these here - parked in different ways and even seen taking off from the runway. Here the Knuffingen Airport is depicted with all its ground terminals, passenger areas, aircraft parking and taking offs. Spread over 150 square meters in floor space, the model airport cost $5 million to build in incredible six years to replicate the Hamburg Airport, which is one of the major attraction for the model lovers. It is the largest miniature airport model in the world made on a 1:87 scale.
Passenger aircraft scattered across the apron at Knuffingen Airport
Night lights at Knuffingen Airport
It may be added for information that Miniatur Wunderland has featured on the British Television Series James May's Toy Stories twice, with Sebastian and Gerrit helping BBC Top Gear presenter James May building an OO-scale Hornby model railway along the Tarka Trail abandoned railway between Barnstaple and Bideford (Wikipedia)
Besides Germany, there are exclusive sections that depict Austria, America, Scandinavia, Switzerland. Italy is under construction while France, England and Africa may come up between 2017-2020.
At places like Miniatur Wunderland, no one can resist a selfie - not even my son!!
A football stadium based on Volksparkstadion
The Volksparkstadion stadium located in Bahrenfeld, Hamburg, Germany. It is the home ground of German Bundesliga club Hamburger SV and was one of the 12 stadia used in the 2006 Football World Cup.
The American section was put on display in 2003, mainly focusing on Las Vegas - the city of lights in the USA. As per an estimate more than 1/10 of all its 300,000 lights are installed in this small Sin City. There are also more natural landscapes to take in, like the Florida Keys and Yosemite National Park, the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore.
Address: Kehrwieder 2-4/Block D, 20457 Hamburg, Germany
Hours: Open today · 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
Phone: +49 40 3006800
Word of caution: In order to avoid long waiting times, it is recommended booking tickets in advance - otherwise it may take upto 45-60 minutes to purchase tickets at the museum. If advance booking is not done, try visiting on a quiet day - but when is it?
All Photos Credits:
Wahaab Jalal Bhatti: Wahaab JB is studying in the Kiel University of Applied Sciences and doing his Masters in IT. He has a flare for gadgets and has been fascinated with model cars 'Dinkys' since his childhood - which why he was attracted to the place that infused in him his childhood nostalgia once more. As of now he has his sights set on software development and engineering and has already developed a few prototypes apps which he may someday field into Android world. He has taken these photos with his One+1 smartphone.