In Hamburg, Germany’s self-proclaimed ‘gateway to the world’, a strong maritime culture fuses with innovative designs and vibrant nightlife.
Huge container ships trundle daily into the city’s vast port, where Speicherstadt – the old warehouse district – creaks with history. Over a century old, its giant storehouses are built on oak logs and divided by canals where ships bound for destinations across the globe are loaded. Other points of interest in this area include the St. Nikolai Memorial and Miniatur Wunderland – one of the world’s largest model railways. When the tide is in, you can cruise these narrow waterways by barge to get a close-up view.
More architectural delights like Hamburg City Hall await in the city centre, while a stroll along the banks of the River Elbe reveals Hamburg’s biggest attraction: the cutting-edge Elbphilharmonie concert hall. Clad with over a thousand individually curved pieces of glass, this building is the city’s tallest and well worth visiting.
Germany’s second biggest city is also the unlikely setting where The Beatles rose to fame. Take a guided tour of the lively Reeperbahn district, where the ‘Fab Four’ lived before they were famous, for the chance to visit bars and clubs where they performed. After a day’s sightseeing, refuel in one of Schanze’s laid-back restaurants and try the local food – ‘fischbrötchen’ (fish roll) and ‘aalsuppe’ (eel soup) are particularly popular.