The second largest city in Germany, Hamburg, is also the 13th largest German state. Officially the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the region’s official name refers to Hamburg’s history as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, as a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire, as a city-state, and as one of the 16 states of Germany. Hamburg also serves as a major transport centre in Europe. It is located on the southern point of the Jutland Peninsula, bordered by Continental Europe to the South, Scandinavia to the north, the North Sea to the west, and the Baltic Sea to the northeast. Hamburg experiences an oceanic climate due to its proximity to the coast.
What to see & do
Even though not abundant in skyscrapers, Hamburg’s cityscape is notable with its architecturally significant structures in the form of various styles. Some of the important landmarks in the city include its churches such as St Nicholas’, as well as the tall spires of St Michael’s, St Peter’s, St James’, and St Catherine’s. Hamburg is also iconic for its more than 2,400 bridges, more than London, Amsterdam, and Venice combined. It also has more canals than Amsterdam and Venice put together. Hamburg’s town hall is of Neo-Renaissance style, with a tower that is 112 metres or 367 feet high; and its façade represents the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire. Parks and recreation areas are also scattered within the city, with the biggest parks including Stadtpark, the Ohlsdorf Cemetery, and Planten un Blomen. The Statdpark is Hamburg’s ‘Central Park’, which features a great lawn and a big water tower, housing one the biggest planetaria in Europe. The city also boasts over 60 museums and galleries including the Kunsthalle Hamburg, the Museum for Art and Industry, the Deichtorhallen/House of Photography, the Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg, Archaeological Museum Hamburg, the Museum of Labour, and museums of local history such as the Kiekeberg Open Air Museum. Hamburg is also home to the largest model railway museum in the world, the Miniatur Wunderland, with 12 kilometres or 7.46 miles total railway length. Other major sights in Hamburg also include the Port of Hamburg, Elbe Philharmonic Hall, the warehouse district, HafenCity, Reeperbahn (entertainment district of St. Pauli quarter), Große Freiheit adjacent to Reeperbahn, the Dockland, the Jungfernstieg Boulevard, the hills and mansions in Blankenese, and the Hamburg State Opera. A tour of Hamburg can be done via the sightseeing buses which connect the city hall, the grand church of St Michaelis, the old warehouse district, and the harbour promenade; and via the harbour and canal boat tours that start from Landungsbrücken.
How to get around Hamburg
Bridges and tunnels connect the northern and southern parts of Hamburg, such as the Elbe Tunnel, which serves as the crossing of a motorway. Public transport in the city is provided by the Hamburger Verkehrsverbund, operating the rail, bus, and ship network in Hamburg. There are nine mass rail transit lines across the city, over 600 bus routes that fill the gaps in the rail network, and six ferry lines along the River Elbe.
How to get there
Serving the city-state of Hamburg in Germany is Hamburg Airport, located 8.5 kilometres or 5.3 miles north of the city centre. The airport serves as a base for Germanwings, Condor, TUIfly, and easyJet. As the fifth busiest commercial airport in Germany in terms of passengers served, some of the busiest routes it serves are Zurich, Palma de Mallorca, London, Munich, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart.