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Hamburg Travel Information

Famous for its historic harbour and non-stop nightlife, Hamburg today is a cosmopolitan city of many faces.

Reputedly the greenest city in Germany, at its heart lies an attractive network of canals, bridges, boulevards and lakes.

View of Hamburg

There's something for everyone here from 1,200 years of history to stylish shopping.

Go on and see for yourself by booking a flight to Hamburg today!

Hamburg Flights and Travel Information

This modern, dynamic, sophisticated and well-designed city is one of Germany's largest commercial centres and site of its largest port; with a municipal area covering 472 square miles and about 1.7 million residents, it is also the country's second largest population centre. Its commanding position on the river Elbe is enhanced by lakes, lots of green areas and several canals (it has more bridges than even Venice). Its long, proud history of sea trading has shaped much of the city's character. Said to have been founded in the 9th century by Charlemagne, by the 12th century it was already an important commercial centre for N Europe. Largely rebuilt following World War II, the city has regained its status as a thriving metropolis. Port activities form the economic base, but Hamburg is also a banking, insurance and media centre and has one of Europe's largest fruit, flower and vegetable markets. Most activity centres on the main station, with good shopping and some tourist attractions in the Altstadt (the old city) and the more residential Neustadt (new city). The St Pauli district was the original home of many port-related trades, but today is notorious for its red-light industry, particularly along the Reeperbahn "sin strip". It is a popular area and the source of much curiosity, though visitors should exercise a little caution after dark.

In Northern Germany. 190 miles North West of the capital, Berlin. 120 miles South of the Danish border. 65 miles North East of Bremen. 65 miles South East of Cuxhaven (on the North Sea). 55 miles South West of Travemunde (on the Baltic Sea). Hamburg airport is 6 miles South of the city and Lubeck airport 50 miles to the North West.

Hamburg is placed on largely flat land on the rivers Elbe and Alster, with numerous waterways (known as "fleeten") and several lakes. Mainly surrounded by farmland and woodland.

Where to Stay
There is a good range of accommodation and hotels, including a handful of impressive 5 star properties. Mainly middlemarket options cluster around the main station. Several properties in the St Pauli red-light district, though some are not quite what they seem!! Pensions and bed and breakfasts generally towards the leafy outskirts. City prices apply and availability is at a premium during trade fairs, Christmas and the German public holidays.

What to Do
Daytime: Over 40 museums and galleries, with exhibits ranging from fine art and waxworks to maritime history (some housed in ships in the port); the Rathaus, one of Germany's finest city halls; St Katharinen, a restored Gothic church; Speicherstadt, a historical working complex of warehouses with traditional port activities; zoo; planetarium; Dom amusement fair (held 3 times a year); many sport and leisure activities. Harbour tours, canal trips, lake & river cruises, city walks and bus tours with English commentrary are all available.

Nightlife: Vast and varied, from trendy bars to a thriving jazz scene, musicals to rather seedy adult entertainments - St Pauli and the university district have some of the best bars; opera and ballet at the Hamburgische Staatsoper (one of the world's leading venues); classical music performances at the Musikhalle; over 40 theatres, including the highly regarded Thalia Theatre; several live-music venues; many popular nightclubs. Pop concerts and festivals throughout the year, including a film festival; "Die Nacht der Clubs", a lively event in Sept; and the Alster Fair, with hundreds of theatrical performances culminating in an impressive firework display. The tourist office publishes a useful magazine with listings.

Must See
There are numerous art galleries and museums. Enjoy a city tour and visit the Seaman's Widow's Houses dating to the 17th century, the Warehouse Complex, the Town Hall and quaint historic streets such as Deichstrasse.

Must Do
Take a cruise on the Alster Lake, a harbour tour or a canal trip. Hamburg is a shopper's paradise with two large pedestrianised areas and a choice of malls around Jungfernstieg. For fashionable shops and boutiques, try Monckebergstrasse.

This is one of Germany's gourmet centres, with several acclaimed restaurants, numerous snack bars, bistros and cafes. Good selection of restaurants around the main station although prices are higher in the city centre. The university district offers a good range of more affordable options. International cuisine is well represented, with Spanish and Portuguese in the port area, Asian in St Pauli and anything from Turkish to Italian restaurants scattered throughout. Seafood, soups and the traditional Hanseatic "hash" are local specialities.

Seemingly endless shopping opportunities here, with a full range of quality goods at competitive prices. Main area is the city centre, in particular Monckebergstrasse, which is lined with department stores. Nearby Jungfernstieg and Neuer Wall have many designer boutiques, with speciality stores and antique shops in the myriad smaller streets surrounding. Several covered arcades dotted about the city.

Full day tours: Boat excursions along the Elbe; Medieval port of Lubeck; City of Bremen; North Sea and Baltic coasts; Luneburger Heath in Lower Saxony.

Two day tours: Port of Flensburg (close to Danish border); Quaint fishing port of Husum; Town of Schleswig (capital of the Schleswig-Holstein state); Picturesque hills and lakes of Holstein's "Little Switzerland"; North Friesian Islands.

Getting Around
An efficient network of buses, S-Bahn trains and the U-Bahn (undergound) covers the centre and the suburbs. Day cards, group tickets, 3-day tickets and the HamburgCARD (including discounts on some attractions) are available. Ferries across the River Elbe and River & Lake Alster. Cycling is popular and cycle paths are everywhere. Four railway stations serve destinations across Germany and Europe. Ferries to many European ports. Hamburg offers an extensive, efficient and cost effective network of underground and suburban rail. Taxis are readily available.

Who is it for?
With its many business and leisure attractions, Hamburg draws a broad range of visitors, including many from the rest of Germany. Backpackers and discerning guests alike will find plenty of interest and variety, from fine art to boat trips on the River & Lake Alstar.

Getting There

Various flights from the UK to Hamburg airport are available at discount rates with Hessle Travel.

Hamburg Flights
British Airways, Lufthansa and BMI British Midland all fly direct flights to Hamburg direct from the UK.

To Relax
Relax in the Japanese gardens in the Planten und Blumen Park. A range of nightlife is on offer from classical music to the theatres, bars, restaurants and discos of St Pauli. The infamous Reeperbahn is the self proclaimed "most sinful mile in the world"!

Reeperbahn, Hamburg

Daily average temperatures in Hamburg (Approx) 'C

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Hamburg by Hessle Travel

Hamburg Highlights

> More than a busy port, Hamburg is Germany's second largest city

> Its charm radiates from the fascinating, magnificent boulevards, stylish shops, arcades and theatres

> Don't miss the panoramic views from the top of the Television Tower

> Visit the worlds largest storage complex - 'Speicherstadt'

> The city is carved by waterways, canals and more bridges than Venice, London and Amsterdam combined

> Visit the Fish Market on Sunday mornings - you'll be suprised, there's no fish but an excellent food and entertainment area

Book yourself a flight or city break to Hamburg with Hessle Travel.

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