One of Europe's largest ports, and Germany's second-largest city, Hamburg was a strategic settlement in the Holy Roman Empire. Today it benefits from fantastic air links to the rest of the continent and is noted for its very high quality of living.
Hamburg could quite easily be nicknamed the 'city of bridges', because it is home to more than 2,300 of them, more than Amsterdam and Venice put together. This city has an enviable reputation for its excellent shopping, and surrounds the enormous Alster Lake, a haven for water sports enthusiasts.
Places of interest:
The Miniatur Wunderland
The largest model railway exhibition in the world, Miniatur Wunderland celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2010 and is the perfect choice for a fun, family day out. Here you can see hundreds of trains and more than 200,000 human figurines across numerous themed sections from countries and regions all over the world.
Museums – two suggestions
At the Hamburg Museum, you can discover the history of Hamburg from the Early Modern Age to the 20th century and find out about some of the key events in the city's history, from the 1842 Fire to the Weimar Republic in the 1920s. If you're keen to see some mesmerising art collections, go to the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, which exhibits many impressive artefacts from the 16th to the 20th centuries, ranging from 17th-century porcelain to early-20th-century Art Nouveau sculptures.
Almost a kilometre in length, the Reeperbahn Street was regularly visited by The Beatles before they rose to fame, and is home to plenty of bustling bars and nightclubs. The Reeperbahn Festival, one of the highlights of the city's calendar and one of the most prestigious music festivals in Europe, takes place here and includes hundreds of concerts from some of the world's leading musicians.
Accommodation in the city
Enjoy first-rate hospitality and beautiful interior furnishings at the popular Park Hyatt Hamburg, or consider booking a room at the Steigenberger Hotel Hamburg or Le Meridien Hamburg, two other highly-regarded Hamburg hotels. Other top-rated places to stay in the city include the value-for-money, well-presented ARCOTEL Onyx, the sophisticated Scandic Hamburg Emporio, and the chic Sofitel Hamburg Alter Wall.
Eating out in Hamburg
Enjoy some fabulous French food at the Restaurant Haerlin, head to the Caramba Especial for delightful Spanish and Portuguese-inspired dishes, or choose the Restaurant Hala if you're a lover of delicious Lebanese dishes. The Estancia Steaks restaurant also provides other tantalising steaks, while the Liman Fish Restaurant is the place to be if you're after some divine seafood.
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