- One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo
Travel to Hamburg, Germany
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and the eighth largest city in the European Union. It is the second smallest German state by area. Its population is over 1.7 million people, and the Hamburg Metropolitan Region (including parts of the neighbouring Federal States of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein) has more than 5 million inhabitants. The city is situated on the river Elbe.
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 other museums
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 in Hamburg as well. The Maritime Museum explains Hamburg’s history as a trading and shipping center. Spicy’s Spice Market is a fun way to learn about the spice trade. One of Hamburg’s most popular attractions, Miniatur Wunderland has the largest model railroad in the world, as well as full model cities and a working model airport.
With many universities and an active night life, Hamburg maintains a very youthful vibe. St. Pauli and the Reeperbahn area is an area of 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
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.
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 19th 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.