Hamburg is a harbor city – its port, which was founded in the 12th century and is located at the river Elbe, is the second busiest in Europe. Start your visit with a stroll down at the pier called "St. Pauli Landungsbrücken"; from here, you can watch the huge container ships and cruise ships, see historical museum ships from the 19th century, or take a harbor boat tour, which is one of the best ways to experience one of the world's largest working harbors.
Getting there:St. Pauli Landungsbrücken, 20354 Hamburg
Subway stops: St. Pauli Landungsbrücken and Baumwall
Sights and Attractions:
- The “Speicherstadt”, Hamburg’s historical wharf area, is the world's largest warehouse complex. The 125-year old warehouses with their signature red brick stones and steeped gables store coco, spices, and silk. Come here in the early evening for the colorful light projections that create a magical atmosphere on buildings, bridges and canals (subway station "Baumwall").
- Hamburg's Fischmarkt is a must for every foodie. The open-air market is open on Sundays mornings and the bustling atmosphere of the 300-year old market is unique.
- Take a walk through Hamburg's 100-year old underground Elb-Tunnel, situated at the western end of the pier. Opened in 1911, this historic landmark is 0.3 miles long; it brings you to a small island where you can enjoy the spectacular view of Hamburg's cityscape. (Bei den St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken 7, 20359 Hamburg)
- Visit Hamburg's future in its Hafencity, the largest urban building project in Europe of the 21st century. At 155 hectares, this harbor city within a city is expected to double the population of downtown Hamburg with thousands of new waterfront apartments, gleaming high-rises, stores, restaurants and a new symphony. The ambitious project will be finished in 2025, but you can already get a glimpse of some of Europe’s most visionary architecture here. (Subway station Messberg)
- Between 1850 and 1939, more than 5 million people from all over Europe emigrated from Hamburg to the New World. The museum complex Ballinstadt recreates this life-changing journey on historic grounds and in the original emigration halls. You can even trace back the journey of your own family by studying the original passenger lists and the largest genealogical database in the world. (Veddeler Bogen 2, 20539 Hamburg)
- The International Maritime Museum, set in a historical warehouse in Hamburg’s Hafencity, celebrates the city’s maritime heritage and brings its 3000-year-old naval history to life. Displayed over 10 sprawling floors, the museum showcases 26,000 ship models, 50,000 construction plans, 5,000 paintings and graphics, and many nautical devices. (Kaispeicher B, Koreastrasse 1, 20457 Hamburg)
- For the freshest fish in town, book a table at Restaurant Rive, which offers Michelin-starred seafood cuisine and views of the harbor.(Van-der-Smissen-Straße 1, 22767 Hamburg)