Hamburg is known Germany as the "gateway to the world" and is the largest port in the country and the second largest in Europe. The city is proud of its status as an independent city-state and on its trading history, to which the city owes much of its wealth. Today, Hamburg is known as one of the richest metropolises in Europe, along with Brussels and London.
The busy port of Hamburg is situated on the River Elbe, 100 kilometres from the North Sea. You can learn about Hamburg’s maritime past at the International Maritime Museum Hamburg and in the museum ship, Cap San Diego.
The port may be the heart of Hamburg, but the city has far more to offer, especially in the field of art and culture. Visit the massive Hamburger Kunsthalle Art Gallery and the contemporary arts centre Deichtorhallen, which holds world famous international exhibitions. With its extensive subway system, it’s easy to find your way around Hamburg. Don’t forget to visit the Miniatur Wunderland, one of the most visited tourist attractions in Germany.
The city centre of Hamburg is made up mostly of modern office buildings, since many of the medieval buildings were lost in the Great Fire of 1842 or during World War II, when it was bombed to rubble. Visit the Hamburger Rathaus (Town Hall), which has been painstakingly rebuilt and restored to its original 19th century state.
Stroll through warehouse district and the HafenCity, with its renovated former port warehouses and ambitious modern buildings of glass and steel. Admire the architecture, dine at the best restaurants and stroll the boutique shops for unique luxury items. This urban renewal project is currently the largest of its kind in Europe and it’s here that Hamburg shows itself embracing change and confidently moving into the future.
Near the centre you will find several large parks and lakes. Visit the Planten un Blomen park to unwind in the Japanischer Garten. Rent a car or take advantage of the fast and reliable national rail network to explore nearby historic sites.