Most tours to Germany include Berlin, Munich, and perhaps the Black Forest or a trip along the Rhine. These are fantastic areas to visit, but there is so much more to Germany. Essence of Berlin also provides private tours to Hamburg of different lengths and places. Tucked away in northern Germany, Hamburg, the country's second-biggest city, has a personality of its own and is well worth a stop on a trip around Germany.
Here are just a few of the many reasons to visit Hamburg:
The citizens of Hansestadt Hamburg, the city's official name, are very proud of their home's maritime history. Located on a river that connects the city to the nearby North Sea, Hamburg has been in a significant position for centuries. In 1189 the city was declared an Imperial Free City, meaning Hamburg enjoyed tax-free access up the Elbe River to the North Sea. The city officially joined the Hanseatic League in 1321, and over time became an important trading hub due to its port and harbor. Today it is one of the busiest ports in Europe, and many cruises include Hamburg on their itineraries
Art and Museums Of Hamburg
Art lovers can enjoy seven centuries of art, from medieval to contemporary, in the three different buildings of Hamburg's Kunsthalle. Aside from its permanent collections, the museum receives international recognition for its special exhibitions which attract thousands of visitors a year. For more contemporary art and photography, visit the Deichtorhallen. But there are several other types of museums and interesting places in Hamburg as well. Nikolaikirche is one of the best examples of north-German, neo-gothic architecture that witnessed the devastation caused by Allied bombing raids in WWII. Of course, this, and many other places can be discovered in Hamburg private tours from Essence of Berlin
Outdoors in Hamburg
Like in most of Germany, Hamburg's residents enjoy spending time outside. Due to its far northern latitude, Hamburg enjoys long days during the summer, encouraging everyone to go outside. Many people use bicycles as their main mode of transportation, even in cold or rainy weather. The city has lots of parks and outdoor spaces, but one of the most popular parks is the Planten und Blomen park in the center of the city. The old botanical garden is located here, as well as the largest Japanese garden in Europe, a tropical house, an open ice rink in the winter, and plenty of children's activities such as playgrounds and miniature golf.
With so much water around, relaxing along the banks of the river or near the Alster Lakes is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Since this is still Germany, find a beer garden and try some of the local brews while enjoying some fresh air.
Hamburg’s Youthful vibe
With many universities and an active nightlife, Hamburg maintains a very youthful vibe. St. Pauli and the Reeperbahn area is an area full of clubs where young people spend their Friday and Saturday nights. More laid back bars can be found in Schanzenviertel. When the weather is nice, lounging in the park or at an outdoor cafe can make anyone feel young at heart. The city just feels more alive, like something fun might be just around the corner. Summer brings plenty of free events to the city for the budget-conscious crowd.
Boats and Water Activities In Hamburg
Not only does Hamburg sit along the Elbe River, it also has the Alster Lakes located right in the city, just north of the main train station. Go swimming, kayaking, sailing or take a boat tour of the lakes during the summer, or during the winter try ice skating. Hamburg also has a long tradition of rowing. The first rowing club in Germany was founded there. Various clubs train on the Outer Alster Lake, certain sections of the Elbe River, and in some of the city's many canals.
At the Hamburg Port, join a boat tour of the harbor to get a taste of Hamburg's maritime culture up close. Some tours even journey into the canals of Speicherstadt, the largest single warehouse complex in the world. If you would rather watch the boats than ride in them, take a seat at Landungsbrücken and see the port at work.
Hamburg has a variety of architectural styles throughout the city. There are many significant churches, including St. Nicholas which was the tallest building in the world for a short time in the 19 century, and St. Michael's where you can climb the bell tower for a beautiful view of the city.
Hamburg's Rathaus (city hall) is an elaborately decorated building that was completed in the late 1800s. The city also boasts more bridges than any other city in the world. Take a stroll through the cobbled streets of Speicherstadt to see the brick buildings of the warehouses and the many bridges that cross the canals. In fact Hamburg has over 2,300 bridges throughout the city.