Holidays in

Waterfront charm in Germany

Famed as Germany’s largest port and with a bustling economy, you might think that Hamburg is all about business. However, you’d be wrong. On Hamburg holidays, visitors will discover a destination packed with culture, culinary surprises and waterfront views. Vestiges of pre-war Hamburg dot every district, from its 17th-century bridges to its 19th-century Town Hall. The reconstructed St Nikolai church tower offers sweeping views of the city, while the Speicherstadt district has seen centuries-old warehouses transformed into funky apartments, which attract a cool, arty crowd. Hamburg’s a real city in motion, where contemporary media and technology industries thrive, yet it reveres its historic past.

Numerous museums are dedicated to topics as diverse as maritime history and immigration, while the Hamburg Museum details the city’s rapid growth over the years. While days can be spent getting a cultural fix, nightlife options on holidays to Hamburg are plentiful, too. Evenings are electric, with a range of live gigs (everything from classical to electro-pop) and plenty of bars for weekend partying if you want to let loose. Food is another highlight, and local specialties include fried fish and kale and sausage, not to mention the sweet treat ‘Franzbrötchen’ (a buttery cinnamon roll). For a break that brings together the best of historic and modern Germany, Hamburg makes for a memorable trip.

All resorts in Hamburg

Three tips for a top trip

Board the ferryExplore Hamburg from the water using the many ferries that run regularly along the River Elbe – they’re a fun alternative to the bus and train.
Celebrate the harbourIn early May, a huge party with live music and boat ballet celebrates the harbour’s birth. The tradition started in 1989 when the harbour turned 800 – better late than never!
Try the catch of the dayOn Sunday mornings, head to Hamburg’s oldest fish market – it’s been operating since the early 1700s. Seeing the locals hawk their wares (not just fish) is an unforgettable experience.

Best attractions to see in Hamburg

The watery views

Whether it’s the canals, lakes or river, Hamburg begs to be explored by boat. Plan at least a few hours on one of its ferry or cruise services.

Saint Nikolai

Take the glass elevator up the spire of this rebuilt 19th-century neo-Gothic church tower to the 76-metre-high viewing platform for some of the best views across Hamburg.

The lively harbour

Running along the River Elbe, Hamburg’s harbour is home to scores of shops, bridges and interesting buildings between the contrasting Speischerstadt and modern HafenCity districts.

Your Hamburg questions, answered

Berlin has Berliners, so Hamburg has, yes, Hamburgers. Pronounce it correctly (and avoid any confusion with the meaty dish) by stressing the ‘a’ when you say it.

It doesn’t have to be – like any big city, prices vary hugely, so visitors should find a range of dining and cultural offerings at price points to suit every wallet.

Not at all. In fact, the name dates back to the 9th century and a castle built under the Emperor Charlemagne, but eventually it lent itself to the popular sandwich.


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