The old hanseatic city of Hamburg, with its maritime flair, is worth a journey at any time of year. In the summer, the Elbe River banks offer countless locations, terraces and beaches for relaxing while excellent fish restaurants provide culinary adventures. In the autumn and winter seasons, the city is immersed in a cool blue light that directs your attention to Hamburg’s interesting architecture and undeniable charm. Simply put, Hamburg’s pleasant atmosphere is quite unique. Here are ten tips to make your visit to the northern metropolis a wonderful one.
1. Bridges, bridges and more bridges
Germany’s second largest city has more bridges than London, Venice and Amsterdam combined. With more than 2,300 bridges serving three rivers, two lakes, and a canal system, it’s easy to see the city’s maritime charm and beauty by water. In a city defined by the water, it’s necessary to take a boat ride on the river Elbe for the most breathtaking views.
Hamburg exudes the pride of a historic Hanseatic city. The impressive architecture expresses the wealth of the merchants of times past, who profited from import and export commodity trading using the city’s vast harbor. That being said, get to know the city by foot. Take a casual stroll through the banks of Alster Lake or the harbour and feel the fresh ocean breeze!
3. St. Michaelis Church
St. Michaelis Church
The St. Michaelis Church - otherwise known as the “Michel” - is one of the most distinctive landmarks in Hamburg. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful churches in northern Germany with baroque influence. Furthermore, the top of the tower offers a closer look at the detailed architecture as well as a breathtaking panoramic view of the city.
4. Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
Although speaking fluent German isn’t necessary, knowing some important phrases will only help during your stay in Hamburg. Here are some lines you should keep on hand:
“Danke schön” - Thank you
“Guten Tag” / “Auf Wiedersehen” - Hello / Goodbye
Ich spreche kein Deutsch. / Sprechen Sie Englisch? - I don't speak German / Do you speak English?
“Ein/zwei/drei Bier, Wein, etc, bitte” - One / two / three beers, wines, please
“Wie viele?” - How much?
5. Hamburg’s cuisine
The Germans have a saying that goes "eat breakfast like an emperor, lunch like a king, and dinner like a beggar" which surely holds true in Hamburg. While the food is certainly diversified, the cuisine is dominated by various choices of seafood. During your stay, be sure to choose a restaurant serving delectable fish from the river Elbe or the nearby Baltic Sea. If you’re looking for a different taste, however, of the 4,000 restaurants in Hamburg, 2,400 offer foreign cuisine.
6. Rain, rain, go away
It may be a good idea to pack a raincoat for your visit to Hamburg since heavy precipitation occurs even during dry months. Regardless of the weather, Hamburg will still be dazzling.
7. Culture is everywhere
Hamburg boasts 31 theatres, 6 music halls, 10 cabarets and 50 state and private museums. With so many choices, it’s impossible not to get a taste of the rich culture that the historic city has to offer.
8. Party like The Beatles
St. Pauli, getyourguide.com
Like many German cities, the active night scene in Hamburg draws most visitors in. The main nightlife and entertainment are in St. Pauli when the streets completely transform at night. The pulsating vibes of the area even brought The Beatles to Hamburg where they played at the Star-Club and even released recorded live performances from. What better footprints to follow?
9. Shopping districts
Instantly recognisable brand shops as well as small local boutiques sprinkle the streets of Hamburg. The shopping hub, especially in the area of Jungernstieg, can satisfy any fashion taste. The impressive shopping streets near the Gansemarkt square will prove just how much world-class shopping there is to be had in Hamburg.
10. But the best way to see Hamburg...
... is on the water! Whether you're going for a swim, sailing across the lake or taking a boat tour of the river, Hamburg's maritime charm will have you remembering the city for years to come.