The city of Hamburg is situated on the banks of the river Elbe and is an important port in the north of Germany. It is the country’s second biggest city in terms of population size with nearly two million people in the city itself and over four million in the Greater Metropolitan Region, which is also one of the Bundeslander – German states. The city-state of Hamburg enjoys its independence and has always had a reputation as an international city in terms of both trade and politics. If you are planning a stay in a luxury hotel Hamburg is the perfect choice as the city’s reputation as the “gateway to the world” means that it is both a tourism and business hub with hotels that have the first class facilities and services that are expected of such a cosmopolitan center.
From very early on Hamburg has been a wealthy area, with riches built on an originally mercantile background. This position of wealth was attained as early as the 12th century and was greatly enabled by its position as one of Europe’s most important harbors. Today the region is considered one of the European Union’s wealthiest metropolitan areas. At least fifty percent of Germany’s media are rooted in Hamburg and it is also one of the main arms of the international aerospace industry as it is home to an assembly plant for Airbus aircraft. The architecture of the city reflects its wealthy mercantile background and there are numerous large and expensive villas and houses surrounded by green spaces, which merchants and captains of industry have made their homes. Unfortunately, much of the city was destroyed during World War II and much of Hamburg’s former splendor has been lost. Hamburg has a major international airport with plenty of European connections, so air travel is the obvious choice when visiting the city. It is possible to fly one of the budget airlines; however, these flights land 50 miles from Hamburg at Lubeck-Blankensee necessitating a bus trip from this airport to the central bus terminal, followed by travel to your choice of luxury hotel Hamburg International Airport is far more convenient. Hamburg has a good network of public transport links, with trains, ferries, buses and night-buses running regularly – in some cases round the clock, as well as a developed series of motorway routes. Taxis are usually easily available and the city is particularly bicycle friendly if you are feeling energetic.
The city is full of historic and cultural interest and there are many things to see. Something not to miss is the Rathaus, the neoclassical city hall, for which guided tours are available in French, German or English. There is a market square out front where summer events are held. The city has many shopping malls; Hanse Viertel at the Alsterarkaden canals is one of the most popular. Near Trostbrucke is the remains of the church of St Nikolai, which has been left un-restored after it was damaged by Allied bombing during WWII. All five of the main churches in the city were damaged but St Nikolai now stands as an anti-war memorial. In the harbor area, there are a number of attractions such as Hamburg Dungeon and Miniatur Wunderland, the largest model railway in the world, as well as the largest non-nuclear Russian submarine, the U 434. There are quite a few parks and open spaces, as well as several small beaches on the Elbe where swimming is safe, although not common and it is possible to barbecue. During summer there are several beach clubs that operate between the Ovelgonne and Fischmarkt areas.
If museums are your cup of tea then be sure to pick up the Museemswelt Hamburg pamphlet that details all of the city’s local museums. These may be available at the reception desk of your chosen luxury hotel Hamburg tourist information also distributes them. There are a number of theaters and also the opera house, which host musicals, operas and other shows and events and for classical music visit the Laeiszhalle. Note that musicals are performed in German and are regularly sold out; however, last minute tickets are often available for mid-week performances at a greatly discounted price. The city has a number of sports stadiums and arenas and most forms of sports are available. During summer Hamburg is a memorable city of markets, fairs, festivals and street parties and is an experience for tourists and business visitors alike.