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We may earn a commission from affiliate links. Hamburg, the largest city in Germany after the capital of Berlin, lies at the head of the long funnel-shaped estuary of the River Elbe. Its location makes it an important link between the sea and Germany's network of inland waterways and numerous islands. The city is best known for its famous harbor area, the Port of Hamburg. In addition to being a major transportation hub, Hamburg has become one of Europe's most important cultural and commercial centers, as well as a major tourist destination.
The only part of old Hamburg to survive centuries of fires and wars, the narrow, curving Deichstrasse gives a sense of the city's past. Built long before the 19th-century warehouses and 21st-century harborside complexes, the street offers a glimpse into the city's Hansa past.
The Hanseatic League was a medieval association of independent port cities and merchants along the Baltic and north Atlantic from the 11th to the 18th centuries, Visiting top seeks bottom even into the 19th century. Its distinct architecture is found throughout Baltic Germany. Deichstrasse takes you straight onto a bridge over one of the city's many canals. Massive brick warehouses, built a couple of centuries after the Hansa's power faded, form a canyon along the canal's sides. Many of the most interesting things to do in Hamburg are in this port area.
To help find the best places to visit in Hamburg, be sure to refer to our list of the top attractions in this important port city. Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues. The Water Castle in the Speicherstadt, Hamburg.
The Port of Hamburg, the Hamburger Hafen - also known as "HafenCity" - encompasses square kilometers of tidal harbor and is known as the Gateway to Germany. It's also where you'll find many of the city's most-visited tourist attractions, and on summer evenings and weekends, it's full of local residents relaxing. A lovely pedestrian trail takes in the old 19th-century Warehouse Districtthe Speicherstadtwith its continuous lines of tall brick buildings once used to store tobacco, coffee, dried fruit, and spices.
Miniatur Wunderland alex. Although billed as the world's largest model railway, Hamburg's Miniatur Wunderland is really much more than simply a toy train layout. This is definitely one of the best places to visit in the city's historic Speicherstadt warehouse district.
It's the world's largest model railway, boasting more than 15, meters of track Visiting top seeks bottom 1, trains so expect to spend plenty of time here, especially if you're traveling with. Built on a truly massive scale, the attraction covers an impressive 2, square meters. Highlights include areas dedicated to the USA, Scandinavia, and Germany, as well as an airport with planes that actually take off, plus somevehicles that actually move, all of it illuminated by more thanlights and containing sometiny and unique human figures.
As this is one of the most visited attractions in Germany, you can avoid a long wait by reserving your ticket online. Fun, behind-the-scenes guided tours are available and are highly recommended. Dining and snacks are available on-site, including a restaurant for the. Official site: www. The magnificent Elbphilharmonie. Located at the point of the Grasbrook peninsula, this new building has become the city's major landmark, and is considered one of the largest - and most acoustically pleasing - concert halls in the world.
Opened to great fanfare inits base consists of a s-era, six-story-tall former cocoa, tea, and tobacco Visiting top seeks bottom built of red brick, above which rise an additional twenty stories of curved, shining glass.
The largest of its three concert halls seats 2, and features 10, plates specially deed to tune sound waves. The building is also home to a major hotel, residential apartments, restaurants, and other features, including parking. A publicly accessible observation platform, the Elbphilharmonie Plaza provides splendid views of the harbor and the city. Classical music fans should also plan on an evening at the Hamburg State Opera Staatsoper Hamburgmuch-admired for its rich program of opera and its excellent acoustics.
Hamburger Kunsthalle. Highlights include numerous altarpieces, works by local artists of the 14th century, and Dutch masters of the 16th and 17th centuries. Also of note are its fine collections of 19th-century German and French paintings, plus substantial modern and contemporary art collections. Tours and fun programs for children are available.
Another notable art collection is housed at the Deichtorhallenone of the largest galleries of contemporary art and photography in Europe. Hamburger Rathaus City Hall. Notable features include the spectacular painted ceiling in the Kaisersaal, which depicts the importance of German merchant shipping. Guided tours are available, as are opportunities to observe the local government in action. Peter's Churcha cathedral and fine example of brick Hansa architecture notable for its meter bell tower. A column in the south part of the church bears a painting called Christmascommemorating citizens Visiting top seeks bottom were locked in the church that year for refusal to provide food to Napoleon's troops.
Michael's Church. The most famous of Hamburg's many churches, St. Michael's Hauptkirche Sankt Michaelis was built in the Baroque style between and and is one of the city's most important landmarks. One of the top things to do when visiting this catholic church is to ascend its meter-high tower, known locally as "Michel.
Also, be sure to look out for the stunning bronze statue of Archangel Michael killing the devil, a fascinating piece of artwork that can be seen over the entrance. Also of note is the church's crypt, the final resting place of some 2, people, and one of the city's most interesting concert venues. In a courtyard to the east of the church are the Krameramtswohnungendwellings originally built to house the widows of members of the local Shopkeepers' Guild, as well as a museum.
Another nearby church of note is St. James's Hauptkirche St. Jacobia splendid 14th-century building housing medieval altars and an Arp Schnitger organ. Rickmer Rickmers and Cap San Diego. Built inthe ship returned to Hamburg in and, after four years of restoration, is now a museum focused on the role of the merchant marine in the 19th and early 20th centuries there's even a restaurant onboard.
The MS Cap San Diegoa s cargo ship, is another merchant marine ship museum with visitor access to the entire vessel, from the bridge to the engine rooms fun overnight stays are also available. A different view of the Cold War is available in the former Soviet submarineBnow open as a museum and docked at St. Pauli Fischmarkt For those interested in maritime-themed art, a visit to the Altonaer Museum is well worthwhile, and features numerous important paintings, sculptures, and cultural artifacts related to shipping.
International Maritime Museum. Housed in the city's oldest warehouse, a massive red-brick heritage building in the HafenCity area, the museum's fascinating exhibits cover more than 3, years of human connection to water. The oldest artifact displayed is a dugout boat, hollowed out of a tree trunk thousands of years ago, that was recovered from the Elbe.
Models show how shipping has progressed, from Phoenician galleys to Viking long ships to the caravels of the Golden Age of Discovery. An entire floor there Visiting top seeks bottom 10 all told is devoted to the latest in marine research, with films taken by diving robots and recordings of undersea sounds. Another gallery is filled with maritime art.
The newest addition is a superb ship simulator, which allows you to try your hand steering a container ship. A variety of tours and workshops are available, and there is a great little bistro here called, aptly, "Catch of the Day. Alster Lakes. The focal points of Hamburg's inner city area are the Inner Alster Binnenalster and Outer Alster Aussenalstertwo artificial lakes connected to the rivers Alster and the Elbe.
It's here you'll find Hamburg's most picturesque city squares and historic avenues, as well as its famous pedestrian areas, the passagens. The lakes are also popular for sailing and kayaking in summer and skating in winter, and are lined by many beautiful parks and gardens.
The area is also popular among cyclists. Founded in and modeled after London's Victoria and Albert Museum, it's particularly well known for its displays of china, furniture, and silver from northern Germany; applied art from East Asia; and a collection of works by Oskar Kokoschka. Also of interest is a large collection of keyboard instruments, as well as a fine display of porcelain. English-language guided tours are available, and a restaurant and bookshop are located on the premises.
Dating back to the s, the museum is home to a large collection of artifacts that, together with their accompanying displays and information, offer a detailed look at life in the city over the centuries. Ohlsdorf Cemetery. Not only is Ohlsdorf Cemetery Ohlsdorfer Friedhof the world's largest rural cemetery, it's one of the most important. Covering acres and boasting 12 chapels, more Visiting top seeks bottom 1. The cemetery is also where you'll find the Hamburg Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemeterywhere more than allied prisoners-of-war are buried, along with many who died in battles on German soil.
Other notable memorials include those dedicated to victims of Nazi persecution, the Hamburg Firestorm of WWII, and members of the city's anti-Nazi resistance. Don't be put off by the fact that the site is a cemetery. More than two million people each year visit its memorials, monuments, and museum while strolling through the pleasant gardens along its 17 kilometers of streets and paths. Another important Hamburg memorial is the Bismarck Monumentthe best known of Germany's many towers commemorating the country's most revered politician.
Fascinating English language guided tours are available, and are highly recommended. Planten un Blomen and Wallringpark. At the St. Pauli landing stages in Hamburg is the Wallringpark, a large recreational area that includes some of the city's most popular open spaces, such as the Old Botanic Garden and the Kleine and Grosse Wallanlagenthe gardens laid out on the line of the old fortifications.Visiting top seeks bottom
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18 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Hamburg