Hamburg, the second biggest city in Germany right after Berlin, is situated beside River Elbe and connects Germany’s intricate web of inland waterways and islands with the sea. The city’s most famous attraction is the Port of Hamburg harbor. However, it isn’t just a hub for transportation; Hamburg can be counted among the most prolific cultural centers in Europe and a hotspot for tourists and various commercial interests. Since the medieval ages, Hamburg has been an international port and a Free City. Even today, it’s Europe’s second busiest harbor. The city-state has always been a top choice for seafarers, which has lent the city its debonair and reckless reputation. Here are some of the best places to go and the best things to do in Hamburg:
- The port
Locally known as ‘HafenCity,’ the Port of Hamburg stretches across one hundred square km. as a tidal harbor and is considered the gateway to Germany through waterways. The port is also home to the biggest attractions of the city.
The new quarter at the waterside was officially announced in 2008. River Elbe has shown kindness, and HafenCity will get bigger in the next 15 years because of the land reclaimed. So a big part of the freed-up port is already regenerated. You’ll get ultra-modern architecture cohabiting the heritage quarters in a beautiful mix of the past and the present.
Have a walk in the evening, enjoy the breeze and the surroundings full of glitzy apartments and offices that give the serene natural view a touch of panache and boldness.
Hamburg joined the customs zone of Germany in 1888 and almost immediately started building a warehouse district for storage and easy trade. You can still see all of that walking down a scenic walkway that nestles around the essence of that old district, Speicherstadt.
Tall buildings made of bricks line up in this time-capsule of a place. Those were built to store dried fruits, coffee, and tobacco. It took many years to create the district, and the construction went on from 1883 to 1927.
The original residential buildings along the Zollkanal were replaced with storage houses made from oak piles and followed the architecture that unmistakably follows the Gothic Revival style. Some of these warehouses are still in work, some have been transformed into apartments, and some have become tourist attractions.
Today, it’s the biggest warehouse district in the world, and it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. Visit once, and you’ll meet a subliminal atmosphere around the place with all those red bricks, the canals, and the masterfully decorated gables.
- Michael’s Church
Like many historical European cities, Hamburg has some exquisite churches that are the best specimens of the arts, passion, and wisdom of the bygone eras. The most famous amidst them is the St. Michael’s (Hauptkirche Sankt Michaelis).
One of the most renowned churches in Germany, it’s a Baroque church built in the 17th century. Its 132-meter-long cupola at the tower’s top is visible from every little corner of the city, working as a mighty fine landmark.
It has seen its fair share of mishaps, but God’s grace seems abundant for this communion. In 1750, it tumbled due to a strike of lightning. In 1906, it was destroyed by fire. And after it was heavily damaged in World War II, the church was repaired again by the time the 1950s came knocking.
There’s an observation dock for a breathtaking view of the entire harbor. There’s enough space for 2500 people inside to pray at once, with further 2425 people resting eternally in the crypt. If you are looking for divinity, this crypt hosts concerts too, which may do it for you.
You can also go to the top of the 132-meter-high tower called ‘Michel’ through elevators and stairs. And don’t forget to pay your respect to the fascinating artworks, including the magnificent statue over the entrance showing Michael, the Archangel, killing the Devil, made of bronze.
Now, Hamburg is not all high-art. But, it’s also full of fun. So, if you’re a party animal and have no shortage of energy for some more rounds, then follow the tradition and roll down to the fish market, Fischmarkt, at the harbor, where you can let go of all inhibitions and just get on with it till the sun shows up.
The market opens early in the morning (in the months from March to November). So, you’ll always have a place if you want to prolong the night. There are DJs and live bands too, at Fischauktionshalle.
Have a Fischbrötchen, a roll filled with salmon or shrimp, along with pollock, herring, and mackerel. There are flowers, fresh fruits, fish, and all those interesting conversations you can have with the fish traders.
It’s a place where those who don’t want the comfort of the bed go to. But, after a long day, if you need a bit of time in bed, and rather than rolls, you prefer to eat a different sort of soft delicacy, then contact Elite agency in Hamburg for some exquisite company.
Hamburg is a popular choice for tourists from all over Europe and other continents, and it’s not really surprising. The city has its history, modern landscape, good food, and great weather; something for everybody.