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Hamburg - The highlights

This picturesque, vibrant and friendly port city in the North of Germany is in fact the second biggest port in Europe. This is our top 7 pick of attractions. Enjoy!

1. The harbour (Landungsbrücken)

As a port city, Hamburg's historic harbour is one of its main attractions - it is a bustling and exciting place with cruise ships and container ships stopping off from around the globe. From here you can hop onto a scenic boat tour, walk on the beach or stop for dinner and drinks. Most of the tours will take you to the Speicherstadt, the impressively restored warehouse district, which now has UNESCO historic monument protection.

2. Hamburg Fish Market

No trip here would be complete without a very late or very early visit to the famous 'Fischmarkt' in the port  (depending whether you are ending your night out or starting your day).

From 5.00am to 9.30am (and in the winter from 16th November to 14th March it is from 7.00am), it is not only fish that is traded at a bargain price but many things including flowers, fruit, sausages and clothes. There is a live band to entertain the crowds and please make sure you try the fish rolls (Fischbrötchen) for breakfast! 

3. St Michaelis Church

'The Michel' as it is known, was built back in the 17 Century and is one of the most famous churches in the region. The dominant feature is the 132 m high tower so make sure you head to the top for spectacular views of the city, harbour and nearby countryside.

4. Reeperbahn, St Pauli

The area of St. Pauli has historically been a working-class area of Hamburg, located near the harbour. It includes the famous red-light district around the Reeperbahn, which is the biggest in Europe but it also features some fantastic bars, music venues and theatres, which you must explore. Did you know that even The Beatles played here in the early part of their career?

5.  Town Hall (Rathaus)

Located in the heart of Hamburg, the grand Town Hall is an impressive sight and includes a 112 metre clock tower. It is home to the offices of the major and city administration and you can join a guided tour to take a peek of some of the 647 rooms.

6. Hamburg Zoo - The Tierpark Hagenbeck

This well known zoo is one of the oldest in Europe and was founded in 1907 by Carl Hagenbeck. It was the first zoo ever to have barless enclosures for the animals, dividing the visitors by natural obstacles instead. It is definitely worth seeing the animals and while you are here head to the fantastic tropical aquarium. www.hagenbeck.de

7. Blankenese

You can take a boat trip from Hamburg harbour to this pretty, affluent suburb right next to the banks of the river Elbe, in the West of the city. It even has its own sandy beach so take a stroll and admire the elegant houses and villas.

Other highlights:

Planten un Blomen Park - This is Hamburg's most popular park. During the summer months there are some great concerts and a fantastic fountain and lights show held here. plantenunblomen.hamburg.de

Schanze - This young, trendy and relaxed neighbourhood has some lovely street cafes, bars and restaurants to explore. It is also a great breakfast spot.

The George - A quick mention for this hotel with an amazing roof top terrace to see views across the whole city, including a view of Lake Alster. www.thegeorge-hotel.de

The Alster - Talking of the lake, make sure you take a walk around it or hire a pedalo to relax on in the summertime.

The Hamburger Dom - An exciting funfair held in Hamburg three times a year, it is the biggest as well as the longest running fair in Germany. Please check the details. www.hamburg.de/dom

Finally, make sure you try the speciality in this region called 'labskaus', pictured below. The ingredients include salted meat, potatoes, and onion with a fried egg on top.



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