Hamburg: Wind, water, and wide spaces

Geheimtipp Hamburg

Hamburg invites you to enjoy a city break in close touch with nature: with its countless parks, nature reserves, urban beaches, open-air food stands and its unique urban shore, Hamburg ensures a relaxing and yet highly diverse holiday experience. That’s because in Hamburg, inspiring urban environments and soothing greenery go hand in hand.

This summer, there is really no need for lengthy journeys, complex planning, or rushing. Instead, you are invited to enjoy the simple things in life: with its 36 nature reserves, Hamburg is one of the greenest cities in all of Europe, allowing visitors to enjoy urban flair combined with beautiful nature experiences.

So why not venture out for a hiking trip in the nearby Harburg Hills, followed by a refreshing shandy at the Strandperle with a view of passing container ships. Or take a leisurely walk around the 200-year-old Planten un Blomen park and pop over to the adjacent Karolinenviertel afterwards for fair fashion and natural cosmetics. Or how about a bike tour along Hamburg’s urban shore? With a fresh tailwind, you can cycle alongside giant container ships, from the stairs quarter of Blankenese via the Oevelgönne beaches and past the St Pauli Fischmarkt all the way to the city centre. You can stop over at the Landungsbrücken for a fresh fish roll and enjoy a cool drink on the Elbphilharmonie’s Plaza at sunset.

Hamburg is a green pearl, with countless bodies of water, a fresh breeze, tree-lined streets, and residents who love their city just as much as Hamburg’s guests do. Hamburg offers an excellent climate especially in the summer months – and not just in terms of temperatures, but also in terms of street food locations, outdoor cafés, and lush green getaway destinations within easy reach.

Did you know that Hamburg has more bridges than Venice and Amsterdam? Little wonder, though, when you consider the countless canals and tributaries of the Alster and the Elbe. In Hamburg's urban ecosystem, water and nature are embedded in a unique way. To discover the city from an entirely new angle, you can rent a stand-up paddle board or a canoe at the Alster Lake in the city centre. From there, you can make your way along the Alster canals that will take you to green residential areas and to Stadtpark Hamburg, the city’s green lung and a much-loved location for open-air events – summery temperatures and a refreshing breeze included.

Hamburg provides a laid-back holiday experience – on the water and on land. A relaxing summer in the city can also take the shape of browsing around the city centre, strolling through the countless inner-city parks, or chilling out on the waterfront. That’s because Hamburg’s retail opportunities go well beyond shopping centres, and because Hamburg boasts Europe’s largest Japanese garden as well as Europe’s most extensive park cemetery. And because Hamburg is one of the few cities to have its own urban beaches.

The city’s cultural life is being rebooted cautiously and, due to current circumstances, Hamburg’s cultural venues will not be overcrowded this summer. But that’s just fine, because Hamburg’s locals have their own way of enjoying a long summer’s night: in the street cafés, at the beach clubs, beer gardens and open-air restaurant terraces – some of these with a maritime view of the Elbe, and others with a view of lush greenery on the banks of the Alster.

And all those wishing to escape from city life can get a train from the central station to the countryside on Hamburg’s doorstep: in the matter of one hour, you can reach the seaside resorts on the Baltic Sea as well as the national parks and the Wadden Sea on the North Sea. The unspoilt nature around the Lauenburg Lakes to the east is also worth a day trip, as are the extensive hiking areas of the Lüneburg Heath in the south of Hamburg.

And even as a stopover on the way to the Baltic Sea, the North Sea or the route to Denmark, Hamburg is the ideal place to enjoy two or three days of urban flair combined with wind, water, and wide spaces.

More info on Hamburg’s green spaces at

There is always a fresh breeze in Hamburg – and not just weather-wise. The vibrant port city of Hamburg attracts businesses, workers and tourists from all around the world. The city’s economy is flourishing amid a multi-cultural environment. Cosmopolitan, creative and colourful: that’s Hamburg in a nutshell.

West of the Alster Lake you will find magnificent villas towering above landscaped gardens. Long-established families live here, and distinguished physicians and solicitors have their practices here. This time-honoured quarter of town also hosts numerous diplomatic missions – more than 100 in total, which makes Hamburg the world’s second biggest consular location just after New York. Hamburg, and not Berlin? That’s right: more than 35,000 international corporations and companies are located in the Hanseatic city of Hamburg, making this thriving economic hub the German location for international diplomats.

Hamburg’s extensive international links can be traced back to the Middle Ages. In the early 11th century, when many German cities were nothing but fortified villages, Hamburg maintained flourishing trade relations with foreign countries. The incoming ships on the River Elbe brought not only goods from the northern and eastern allied cities of the Hanseatic League in England, Flanders, Norway and France, but also people with their own customs, traditions and religions. And they continue to arrive: 29 percent of Hamburg residents have a migrant background, which is a significantly higher rate than the national average (18 percent). Narrow-mindedness and fear of “the other” is something you won’t find in Hamburg. This has been true for centuries and still holds true today.

Global companies have their headquarters in Hamburg

Today the container port of Hamburg is the third largest in Europe. Mighty cruise vessels and container ships move through its waters, and massive cranes rise high above its docks. The humming sound of loading and unloading can be heard 24 hours a day. Hamburg is the most important trading hub in Northern Europe. For Asian countries in particular, Hamburg is the most important location in all of Europe. More than 500 companies from China alone have their headquarters here.

But it is not only the port that attracts people from all over the world: international companies such as Airbus and Unilever employ experts and skilled workers from across the globe; professors of international repute teach at the city’s universities; Facebook opened its first and only German branch in 2010, and even Google chose Hamburg as one of its three European locations. With nearly 4000 companies from the digital media industry, Hamburg is reputed to be the gaming capital of Germany, where professionals develop computer games that are played all over the world. And not just expats come to Hamburg: each year about six million tourists visit Hamburg and enjoy the special port atmosphere, the city’s outstanding musical productions and museums – and of course the Reeperbahn, the famous entertainment district with its countless clubs and live shows.

International flair in Hamburg’s alternative quarters

Hamburg’s international flair can best be experienced during a stroll through the city’s multicultural quarters such as St Georg and the Schanzenviertel. In the immediate vicinity of the port, between the St Pauli Landungsbrücken and the Baumwall underground station, you will find the Portuguese Quarter. Do you fancy fresh fish and seafood, and a delicious Galão to finish off your meal? All of this can be found on the Ditmar-Koel-Strasse. With its countless Portuguese cafés, restaurants and bars, this street exudes a truly Southern European atmosphere during the summer months. The Portuguese Quarter owes its name to the 1970s, when hundreds of Portuguese and Spanish port workers made this area their home. And even today, many of the locals can trace their roots back to the Iberian Peninsula. Also located on the Ditmar-Koel-Strasse: the four Nordic seamen’s churches (Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Norwegian). An insider’s tip: the magical Scandinavian Christmas markets during the Advent season are well worth visiting.

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