Hamburg is a fascinating city with loads of attractions, beautiful places and many stores and restaurants to discover. With more than 1,7 million inhabitants, Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city and – interestingly enough – the largest one within Europe that doesn’t hold the status of a capital city.
Hamburg combines the typical dynamic atmosphere of a big city with a very unique maritime charm thanks to the popular harbour area as well as the beautiful Alster with its scenic fountain in the center of the city. The inner Alster is a great place to relax from sightseeing and shopping before moving on to your next point of interest. If you take a break at the
lake river (that actually only looks like a lake) and love ice cream as much as I do, I’d suggest enjoying a cone full of tasty ice cream from Warneke Eis, located directly at Jungfernstieg’s pier.
To start off – Where is Hamburg?
Hamburg is located in northern Germany, quite close to the North and Baltic Sea. Both coasts offer further destinations to travel to if you consider to extend your stay to experience the surrounding area. Popular excursions for people living in Hamburg are to spend a weekend on the island Sylt, in St. Peter-Ording, or at Timmendorfer Strand to enjoy sunny summer days at the beach
swimming in turqouise water and relaxing under palm trees, ooops, that was somewhere else. But you can have a blast especially at the North Sea with its tideland and characteristic dunes behind the beach. During spring and autumn, following stormy weather, you will not only find shells but even little ambers if you (or your kids) watch out for browny-orangey-reddish-shiny dots along the waterfront of St. Peter-Ording – my personal favorite recreational area nearby.
Alternative beautiful places close to Hamburg are Lübeck, Schwerin, or Lüneburg in case you prefer additional city trips. It will for sure be interesting to complement your view of Hamburg’s buzzing big city life with a visit in at least one of these smaller cities to gather a variety of impressions to remember. Each of them can be reached by car or train quickly enough for a one-day side trip.
Curious about Hamburg’s skyline?
Hamburg is a very green city that lacks high skyscrapers – church steeples characterize the landscape instead. The following snapshot shows the already mentioned Alster in the center, surrounded by the main shopping areas Mönckebergstraße to the east and Jungfernstieg to the south, and the historic Speicherstadt warehouses as well as the HafenCity with the impressive
but way too expensive Elbphilharmonie in the front. The port of Hamburg is just a bit more to the left and you can see the bright blue-white paddlewheeler, either MS Louisiana Star or MS Mississippi Queen, moving towards the pier.
If you are looking for an informative harbour boat trip, English guided harbour cruises on the Elbe river take place daily from April 1st to October 31st at 12 pm starting from Landungsbrücken Pier No. 1 or Pier No. 4 operated by Rainer Abicht. The tour lasts one hour and costs 20 € per adult and 10 € per child. Have fun!
Images © Clearlens-Images (1); Verena Münch (2) / PIXELIO