The past, present, modern and maritime combine to sensational effect in the mesmerising architecture of Hamburg's emerging HafenCity, which is connected to the city centre via the unique warehouse district. Excavators and cranes can still be seen in many places, alongside the futuristic, steel-and-glass office towers that have already been completed – there's a definite sense of excitement in the air.
The new HafenCity comprises ten distinct areas, each one a bastion of cutting-edge design with an unmistakeable identity. An eclectic collection of architectural styles has emerged around the Sandtor harbour: modern apartment blocks with elegant glass exteriors line the historical quayside, where you can see traditional sailing boats and steamships and soak up the maritime atmosphere. Inside a historical red-brick building dating from 1886/87 is the HafenCity InfoCenter, where you'll find out everything you need to know about HafenCity and the latest developments in the project.
Terraces and parks, such as the Magellan terraces and the Marco Polo terraces, make great places to absorb HafenCity's distinctive vibe and admire the best of its architecture. The Magellan terraces command a fantastic view of Hamburg's spectacular new landmark, the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, which rises majestically from the western tip of HafenCity. It is also where you'll find the Elbe Philharmonic Hall information pavilion, a glass-fronted cube that gives a fascinating insight into the design of this world-class concert hall. In summer, locals and visitors head to the terraces to enjoy a diverse programme of music, dance and theatre. Across the road, Coffee Plaza by acclaimed architect Richard Meier, and Sandtor Park complete the picture.
The heart of HafenCity beats loudest in the Überseequartier. Nestled between Speicherstadt and the port, this maritime world of discovery with its many small stores stretches along a broad boulevard to the Hamburg Cruise Center, where some of the world's most impressive cruise ships are moored. At a height of 13 metres, the View Point observation tower offers a fabulous vista of HafenCity and the passing ships.