Accommodation & places to visit in Hamburg

Despite its location along the River Elbe, roughly two-thirds of a mile (1 km) from the North Sea, Hamburg is Germany's biggest port city and the second busiest in Europe. The city might be an industrial powerhouse in Germany, but it is far from a drab destination. With 4 million residents in the Greater Hamburg Metropolitan Area, the city's residents are proud of its status as a "Free and Hanseatic City." Hamburg shares the same status as the 16 Bundeslander (states) in the Federal Republic of Germany.

  • When to visit
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    There is always something going on in Hamburg, but spring and summer offer the greatest number of options when it comes to activities and events. Street parties are common throughout Hamburg during the summer months. These parties are unique to each neighborhood or district in the city, and some of the biggest take place in Ottensen, Bergedorf, Eimsbuttel, and Schanzenviertel.

    Hamburger Dom is one of the largest annual fairs in Germany and takes place in one-month stints three times a year: spring, summer, and winter. Each time the Dom rolls around, you'll find streets of the fairgrounds lined by stalls, food booths, and rides. Hafengeburtstag (Harbor Birthday) is an annual celebration held each May that attracts millions to the city. You get the chance during the festival to see dozens of stands, several stages with music, and a ship parade.
  • Weather
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    Summer is often touted as the best time to visit Hamburg. The average high temperature in June and July is 72 degrees F (52 C) and 77 degrees F (55 C), respectively. Any period between May and September is ideal for you to visit Hamburg, but you might also want to consider visiting during the late fall and winter months. The average high temperature from November to February ranges from 47 degrees F (35 C) to 38 degrees F (28 C). You'll find fewer crowds and more accommodations during these months. If you don't mind packing a coat and enduring crisp temps, you'll discover just as much about Hamburg regardless of the temperature.
  • To Do
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    Hamburg's position on the north coast of Germany allowed it to develop as an international city over the course of its history. There is plenty to see and do in Hamburg, no matter when you visit. Sports fans would surely enjoy a football (soccer) match at Imtech-Arena. The home of the Bundesliga's Hamburger SV football club, Imtech-Arena is also open for guided tours on days when no match is scheduled.

    A series of waterways crisscrosses the city of Hamburg, meaning a boat trip is in order if you want to see all the beauty of the city. There are more bridges in Hamburg than Amsterdam, London, and Venice combined. You can choose from public ferries or private tour boats, with many departing roughly on the hour from Jungfernstieg on Inner Alster Lake.
  • To See
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    If you enjoy the treasure trove of cultural artifacts often found in local museums, the Museumswelt Hamburg is the ultimate guide to the city's museums. In April, the Night of Museums boasts fifty participating locations, with closing times extended to 2 AM each night. Bergedorf is a quarter within Hamburg that was once an independent town, and boasts the only castle still intact within the city, as well as a shopping arcade and observatory built in 1912. If you want to look into the dark history of Hamburg, the Hamburg Dungeon offers a live-action presentation of the city's "darker times."
    Hamburg has five main churches, and two of them are easily visited by heading west from the central rail station of Monckebergstrasse. St. Jacobi and St. Petri are among the primary churches in Hamburg, which is a primarily Lutheran evangelical enclave.
  • Tips & Recommendations
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    • Shops are open daily from 10 AM to 8 PM Saturday to Wednesday, and until 10 PM Thursday and Friday.

    • Europa Passage, near town hall at Alster Lake, is the new must-see shopping center.

    • Dial 112, a nationwide number, for medical emergencies and 110 for police.

    • Tap water is clean everywhere in Hamburg.

    • The city is generally safe, but be aware of pickpockets in Monckebergstrasse (Central Station).

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