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Blick auf die Alster in Hamburg, Bild: Allard One / shutterstock

Hamburg – Nordic port city with a special charm

With around 1,830,000 inhabitants and an area of almost 755 square kilometres, Hamburg is the second largest city in the Federal Republic of Germany. The history of the city dates back to the 7th century. The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg was one of the founding places of the Hanseatic League in 1241. It has the second largest port in Europe and has plenty of culture and tradition to offer.

Visitors to Hamburg should take time for this city. There are so many sights that it is difficult to choose “the best”. Below are some of the most famous sights and special places of this city.

The “Michel” – Hamburg’s number 1 landmark

The approximately 400-year-old church of St. Michaelis, also called “Michel” in Hamburg, is the main landmark of the city. The church is located not far from the Landungsbrücken and offers 5 organs and interesting catacombs in the nave. The highlight, however, is the 132-meter-high church tower, which is open to visitors and offers the best view of the city.

The Harbour

Port of Hamburg
The Port of Hamburg, Image: sweasy / shutterstock

Especially visitors who live far away from the water are immediately enthusiastic about the fact that Hamburg is a port city, with everything that goes with it. Huge ships, incredibly large cranes and the typical smell of the sea fascinate you from the first arrival. It is an experience in itself to stroll along the harbour in a metropolis and enjoy the unique flair.

Outer and Inner Alster

The Outer and Inner Alster can be described as lakes within the city. The waters are known and loved by locals and tourists as an oasis of relaxation within the metropolis. Whether joggers, walkers or water sports enthusiasts, everyone will find rest and relaxation here. The Inner Alster, with its picturesque south and west banks, adjacent to the beautiful and expensive shopping mile and architecturally impressive buildings and luxury hotels, invites you to stroll and stroll. The Outer Alster with its adjacent green strips and larger circumference is particularly popular with joggers.

Reeperbahn Hamburg

Hamburg, Reeperbahn
The Reeperbahn, Image: ilolab / shutterstock

Germany’s most famous red-light and entertainment district is located in Hamburg’s St. Pauli district. In addition to the typical cabarets, strip clubs and nightclubs, the Reeperbahn offers a variety of bars, restaurants and cafés for visitors who want to enjoy the nightlife and party exuberantly. Among these are many landmarks that have made St. Pauli famous, such as the restaurant “Zur Ritze” (including its own boxing club in the basement) or the famous police station “Davidwache”, which has often been the subject of various television programs and documentaries.

Herbertstraße is also located in the Reeperbahn district. This is a pure brothel street, which is closed off from the surrounding streets by privacy protection. A visit to the Reeperbahn and the surrounding streets is also worthwhile for visitors who are not interested in the red light area. The district has now achieved cult status and is particularly popular with partygoers. The best way to capture the unique “Kiez” atmosphere is to take an extended stroll with pub visits.

The nightlife of Hamburg

Hamburg is known for its diverse and exciting nightlife. Here are some tips for going out for different tastes:

Bars and pubs

  1. Clouds – Heaven’s Bar & Kitchen A stylish bar on the 23rd floor of the Dancing Tower on the Reeperbahn. Here you can enjoy a fantastic view over the city while sipping a cocktail.
  2. Le Lion – Bar de Paris An elegant cocktail bar in the city centre, known for its high-quality drinks and stylish atmosphere. Perfect for a quiet evening with excellent cocktails.
  3. Hafenklang A cult bar and club on the harbour, known for its live music and alternative scene. Here you can enjoy a variety of musical styles, from rock to reggae to electronic music.

Clubs and Discotheques

  1. Mojo Club This legendary club on the Reeperbahn offers a mix of jazz, funk, soul and electronic music. The unique atmosphere and interesting program make it a must-see for night owls.
  2. Evil & Dangerous A club in an old flak tower in St. Pauli, known for its diverse events and concerts. Both local and international artists perform here.
  3. Golden Pudel Club A small, alternative club right on the Elbe, known for its underground scene and experimental music. The club has cult status and attracts a diverse crowd.
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Live music and concerts

  1. Factory A historic cultural centre in Altona that offers a variety of concerts and events. Here you can experience everything from rock and pop to jazz and classical.
  2. Heel A popular live music club in the Schanzenviertel that regularly hosts concerts by local and international bands. The relaxed atmosphere and good acoustics make it a favorite place for music lovers.
  3. Elbphilharmonie For fans of classical music, a visit to the Elbphilharmonie is an absolute highlight. The impressive concert hall offers first-class performances in an architecturally stunning setting.

Theatre and cabaret

  1. Thalia Theater One of the most renowned theatres in Germany, performing a wide range of classical and modern plays. A visit here is a must for theater lovers.
  2. Schmidt Theater A lively theatre on the Reeperbahn, known for its entertaining and often quirky shows and musicals. A colourful programme of comedy, variety and musical theatre is offered here.
  3. Ohnsorg Theatre A traditional theatre that performs plays in Low German. It is known for its humorous and heartwarming performances.

Food and Drink

  1. StrandPauli A relaxed beach bar on the Elbe with a view of the harbour. Here you can enjoy delicious cocktails and snacks in a beach atmosphere.
  2. Bullerei A trendy restaurant in the Schanzenviertel, run by the well-known TV chef Tim Mälzer. Here you will find high-quality, creative cuisine in a relaxed ambience.
  3. Fishing Harbour Restaurant A traditional restaurant with fantastic views of the harbour, known for its first-class fish and seafood dishes.

More tips

  • Neighbourhood tours A guided tour of St. Pauli and the Reeperbahn offers exciting insights into the history and nightlife of this famous district.
  • Late-Night Shopping in the Sternschanze Many small boutiques and shops in the Schanzenviertel are open until late at night, perfect for a relaxed stroll after dinner.
  • Night market on Spielbudenplatz A colourful night market with various food stalls, live music and handicrafts. Ideal for a fun evening in the open air.

Casinos in Hamburg

Passionate gamers get their money’s worth in Hamburg in four ways. The three Hamburg casinos are spread around the centre. Of course, a casino on Germany’s most sinful mile is not to be missed. Here you will find everything a gambler’s heart desires, from slot machines to classic American roulette.

However, things are a little more noble in the immediate vicinity of Jungfernstieg. The Casino Esplanade invites you to play upscale. In addition to roulette, there are also classic card games, such as poker or blackjack. However, it is important to pay attention to a certain dress code here.

Two other casinos that focus more on slot machines and poker are located on Steindamm and in the Mundsburg Center.

However, if you go to a casino for the very first time, you should prepare well for the games there so as not to come out as a newcomer and have a streak of bad luck first. Online casinos offer good training here. So it can be practiced comfortably at home and you can still win, as with onlinecasinosdeutschland.de. This is the perfect preparation for your next trip to Hamburg.

Rote Flora and the Schanzenviertel

It is described as the center of the German autonomous left scene. The “Rote Flora” is a house in Hamburg’s Schanzenviertel that has been squatted for over 20 years. Among supporters and supporters of this scene, the building and its symbolic power are considered a centre for the social, cultural and political commitment of the “radical left”. Whether you are a supporter or not, the squatted former theater “Rote Flora”, the squatted buildings around the street “Schulterblatt” and the Schanzenviertel in general are unique in Germany and worth seeing.

Elbphilharmonie

Hamburg, Elbphilharmonie
The Elbphilharmonie, Image: sunfun/shutterstock

The concert hall was completed in 2016 and is therefore one of the new landmarks of the city. The “Elphi” is 110 meters high, has 26 floors and is located on the banks of the Norderelbe at the tip of the Großer Grasbrook. Visually, the building with its glass façade is reminiscent of waves or sails and is intended to show off Hamburg’s connection to the sea and the harbor.

The building, which cost almost 866 million euros, is intended as a cultural monument and center, but also houses a hotel and several condominiums. Throughout the year, the acoustically perfected concert halls serve as venues for orchestras. The concert program is varied in order to accommodate as many visitors as possible.

Fish market

A visit to Hamburg should include a detour to the fish market. The stalls with their seafood specialties and the stall operators who loudly advertise and sell their goods is unique and world-famous.

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The Speicherstadt & the Miniatur Wunderland

Before exploring the city further, we recommend enjoying a coffee in the Speicherstadt. It has been one of the hubs of the coffee trade for over 200 years. Immerse yourself in the world of coffee and coffee roasting and enjoy the high quality of the gourmet varieties on offer.

Visitors can admire a world on a scale of 1:87 on an area of currently around 1500 square meters in the Miniatur Wunderland in the Speicherstadt. The small world is simply impressive and, according to surveys, one of the most popular sights in Germany. Tourists from all over the world are drawn here in large numbers every year.

The Wunderland is not limited to the reconstruction of Hamburg and its landmarks such as the Landungsbrücken, the Michel, etc., but also recreates other sections of the world such as sections of the USA, Scandinavia, Switzerland or Italy. Admission is currently 15 euros for adults, seniors and children under 15 years of age receive reduced admission and admission is free for children under one metre.

Hamburg Speicherstadt
The Speicherstadt in Hamburg, Image: foto-select / shutterstock

Hamburg’s football stadiums

Football fans get their money’s worth in Hamburg. The “Millerntor Stadium” in St. Pauli is the home of the cult club FC St. Pauli. The FC plays its home games on the “Heiligengeistfeld”, which are known for their unique atmosphere. Due to the excellent location, the football experience ends for many with exuberant celebrations on the Reeperbahn.
Much more modern and larger is the Volksparkstadion, the home of rival HSV. The somewhat remote stadium is located in the northeastern district of Altona, but is easily accessible by public transport.

City Destination Hamburg

The sights mentioned above are a small selection. The city of Hamburg has much more to offer. Due to these numerous sights, countless leisure activities and the unique Nordic flair, Hamburg is one of the most popular destinations for city travellers. The locals are friendly, open and ready to share stories about their city and the region at any time, e.g. over a regional beer in the pub.

The most important information about Hamburg

Location and geography Hamburg is located in the north of Germany and is the second largest city in the country. It is located on the Elbe, about 100 kilometers from the North Sea. The city is known for its important port, which is one of the largest in the world.

History Hamburg has a rich history that dates back to the Middle Ages. The city was a member of the Hanseatic League, a medieval trading alliance, and over the centuries it has developed into an important commercial and cultural center.

Sights

  1. Elbphilharmonie The striking concert hall, also affectionately known as the “Elphi”, is an architectural masterpiece and offers first-class acoustics. It is located in HafenCity and is a symbol of modern urban development.
  2. Speicherstadt The historic warehouse district is the largest of its kind in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It offers picturesque canals, interesting museums such as the Miniatur Wunderland and the Hamburg Dungeon.
  3. Port of Hamburg The port is the heart of the city. A harbor tour offers fascinating insights into the huge container terminals, the Speicherstadt and the modern port facilities of HafenCity.
  4. Ropewalk The most famous street in the St. Pauli district is famous for its nightlife, music clubs and historic entertainment district. The St. Pauli Theater and the Operettenhaus are also located here.
  5. Town hall The imposing neo-Renaissance building is the seat of the Senate and the Parliament. It can be visited as part of guided tours and is centrally located on the Rathausmarkt.
  6. Planten un Blomen A large city park that offers various themed gardens, a botanical garden and regular water light concerts. A perfect place to relax and walk.

Activities

  • Harbor Cruise One of the best ways to get to know Hamburg is to take a boat trip through the harbor and the Speicherstadt. There are many providers who offer different tours.
  • Museums and culture Hamburg has a variety of museums, including the Kunsthalle, the Museum of Hamburg History and the International Maritime Museum. The city is also known for its vibrant theatre scene.
  • Shopping The city center offers numerous shopping opportunities, from luxurious boutiques on Jungfernstieg to trendy shops in the Schanzenviertel.
  • Musicals Hamburg is an important centre for musicals in Germany. Productions such as “The Lion King” and “Hamilton” attract visitors from all over the world.

Tips for travelers

  • Best time to visit The best time to visit is from May to September, when the weather is mild and pleasant. The summer also offers numerous festivals and events.
  • Locomotion Hamburg has an excellent public transport system that includes S-Bahn, U-Bahn, buses and ferries. With the Hamburg CARD, tourists can travel cheaper and receive discounts at many attractions.
  • Accommodation The city offers a variety of accommodations, from luxurious hotels to budget hostels. Popular areas for overnight stays are the city centre, St. Georg and the Schanzenviertel.