A distinct maritime character and international outlook make the Hanseatic city of Hamburg one of Europe's finest destinations. Urban sparkle and natural beauty are the hallmarks of Hamburg, which boasts a wide range of hotels, restaurants, theatres and shops, chic beaches along the Elbe river, the verdant banks of the Alster, a buzzing port district and landmarks reflecting more than 1,200 years of history.
Leafy parks, glittering lakes and tranquil waterways within a pulsating urban jungle: for years Hamburg has proved that living in a big city is no impediment to having natural beauty on your doorstep. Long hailed as the 'green city by the water', it has been named the European Green Capital for 2011. And it's not difficult to see why. Green spaces, parks, woodland and nature reserves occupy nearly half the metropolitan area.
In addition, the port, the canals and the Alster lake give Hamburg a wonderfully maritime feel. From the beaches, quays and moorings to the luxury cruise liners, container-laden behemoths and lovingly restored museum ships, this international port city has so much to offer and will give you a yearning to experience distant shores.
No visit to Hamburg is complete without a tour of the port and the historical Speicherstadt district with its warehouses and old bridges. You can also see the world's largest model railway in Speicherstadt at Hamburg's Miniature Wonderland.
Fashion and the arts are flourishing in Hamburg. Its chic shopping arcades, high-end boutiques, antique stores and delicatessens are perfect for indulging in retail therapy. For the evening, there are over 300 venues featuring concerts, variety, comedy and theatre, as well as international smash-hit musicals such as Disney's The Lion King – world-class entertainment for a world-class destination. At the Elbe Philharmonic Hall in HafenCity, you can witness the emergence of a breathtaking new Hamburg landmark and a touchstone for the future of classical music.
For a night out to remember, hit the clubs, cafés and bars along the Reeperbahn, Hamburg's legendary party capital. Other Hamburg institutions with big reputations include the Alstervergnügen festival, the celebrations for the Port Anniversary, the Sunday fish markets, the Japanese cherry blossom festival, the many Christmas markets with their festive charm and the Hamburger DOM – northern Germany's biggest funfair.
Hamburg Tourismus GmbH