This quaint town on the steep Elbe hillside was once a fishing village favoured by retired ship captains. Today it has become popular with locals as a weekend excursion from Hamburg, and foreign visitors also throng the narrow alleys between picturesque houses packed together on the cliffside. The village offers an abundance of cafes and restaurants where patrons can relax and watch ships steaming in and out of the harbour, and there are more than half a dozen pretty parks in which to spend a few hours on a nice day. The stunning views from the river-facing portions of Blankenese have resulted in many beautiful homes and hotels being built on the steep hillside, much of which is inaccessible to cars and has tiny pedestrian-only streets which are very charming - there are also 4,864 stairs. There are two lighthouses on Blankenese, and other attractions include a Roman garden, a doll museum and the many parks and walking trails.

There is a ferry service to Blankenese from St Pauli-Landungsbrucken in Hamburg's Free Port and the Blankenese waterfront is serviced by various other water shuttles as well. There are many buoys in the river to help guide all sizes of watercraft, since this part of the river has many sandbars and is subject to tidal shifts.