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About city Gallery Where to stay

Hamburg is the largest city in Germany after Berlin and home to around 2 million people. Situated in the northern part of the country where the River Elbe meets the North Sea, it’s the most densely-populated non-capital city in the European Union.

Hamburg’s Warehouse District - a 200-year-old tourist attraction - is the largest one of its kind in the whole world. Due to the way they look, the sooty, 6- to 7-storey red brick warehouse buildings, arranged in blocks on islands in the middle of Elbe, along with the channels, which are used as streets, become excellent sets for movies – especially those about Sherlock Holmes.

The famous Binnenalster lake with its fountain in Hamburg, Germany at night.
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  The famous Binnenalster lake with its fountain in Hamburg, Germany at night.

At 74 km2   the Port of Hamburg is the largest port in Germany, second-largest in Europe and third-largest in the world. Once you’re here, however, what you’ll notice will be its sleek environment rather than the city’s potential for industry.

Hamburg is also Germany’s greenest city – as much as 14 per cent of its area is covered in parks, reserves and gardens. Looking for buildings that have more than 10 storeys here is futile, while the large Lake Alster, located in the centre of the city, occupies a larger area than the whole of Monaco. The city also has 2,400 bridges – more than in Venice, Amsterdam and London combined!

People visit Kleine Alster canal in Hamburg.
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  People visit Kleine Alster canal in Hamburg.

Hamburg’s City Hall – built more than 100 years ago and boasting 647 chambers with exquisite wooden and gold-encrusted interior – is one of its symbols. The Church of St. Michael, with its 132-metre-high tower is another one. Here you can also find a few well-preserved islands of the old town: the Neo-Gothic Church of St. Peter with its excellent 1470 sculpture of the Virgin Mary; the Gothic Church of St. Jacob with the largest Baroque organ in Northern Germany; and the 13th-century Church of St. Catherine. They were all lovingly rebuilt after the terrible fire of 1842 and even more terrible bombardments during the Second World War.

Every tourist who lands in Hamburg on a Sunday must visit the Alton Fish Market, in business since 1703. The market, open 6 to 10 AM, is famous for its fish auctioning hall with tons of delightfully fresh fish on sale.

Everyone knows Hamburg’s Reeperbahn – the entertainment district chock-full of thrills for party people. The district, and several areas around it, is full of discos, bars, night clubs and restaurants. In Reeperbahn you can see the famous musical Cats (performed here since 1986); a musical about the first rock music star Buddy Holly, which had a theatre built specially for it in Landungsbrücken (the audience is brought here in boats); and the musical called Fountain, which also had a whole theatre, the Neue Flora, built just for it. In terms of the number of developed and performed musicals, Hamburg is the third in the world.

View over frozen Alster
Photo taken by NordNordWest - wikimedia.org.  View over frozen Alster

The festival Hamburg Dom, attracting millions and millions of people, takes place three times per year. After the inaugural parade, different events are held for an entire month, and the fairs alone stretch for entire kilometres.

By the way, in 1960-62, The Beatles – virtually unknown in the UK at the time - began their career in Reeperbahn.

And let’s not forget that Hamburg is also one of the wealthiest cities in Germany. Its peculiar souvenirs are usually sea-related: mariner-style clothes, traditional bottled ships, vessel-shaped fridge magnets and other knick-knacks.

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