Coined as Germany’s ‘Second City’, the port centre of Hamburg is quite the rising tourist destination in Europe. Surrounded by the North Sea and the Elbe River, the city is home to hundreds of canals and harbours, where travelers have the opportunity to tour across the water on cruise boats. The growing hype of this metropolis comes with good reason; considered the most liveable city in the country, Hamburg offers a stellar nightlife with its iconic breweries and a chance to explore the grand architecture that surrounds their ports. With the city’s central connecting the Neustadt (new town) and the Altstadt (old town), expect a weekend in Hamburg to be spent encountering customary German traditions with a mix of innovative lifestyles. Listed below are four suggestions on how to spend 48 hours in the Germany's ‘second city’:
Grab a Drink at Altes Madchen
Beer is a valuable concept of German culture, which means exploring their craft beer scene is an essential practice when visiting. Since Hamburg has a history of brewing that dates back to the Middle Ages, finding the best local beer is difficult; but there is one place that is a guaranteed hot spot. Altes Madchen, which means ‘old maid’ in German, is a trendy bar and restaurant that offers over 60 variations of beer. While most of these drafts come from all over the world, Ratsherrn, the venue’s customary brew, is crafted in the adjoining building. Their options of drinks range from citrus-flavoured to a honey-coloured Pale Ale, where they can be enjoyed either inside the venue or on the patio surrounded by a dazzling view of the city.
Take a Tour Along Their Many Harbours
Hamburg is home to numerous harbours, which also means their offer of cruises and boat tours is rather endless. From the canal routes of Speicherstadt to the large banks of the Elbe River, water tours have become a key attraction to experience in the city. Along the Speicherstadt is an evening illumination cruise, where tourists can witness the spectacular Elbe Philharmonic Hall and the St. Pauli Piers starting from $25 USD. At the docks of Elbphilharmonie and Fischmarkt, visitors can also take a boat tour along the Port of Hamburg for $23 USD, where their top-deck attractions include modern scavenger hunts and riddles. Tours can be enjoyed throughout various hours of the day, though as darkness sets in, expect a cruise along the illuminated water to be nothing short of a spectacle.
Spend an Afternoon at Planten Un Blomen
With the abundance of water tunnels surrounding Hamburg, one can also expect a wide range of public fields. Considered to be one of the best urban parks in Europe, Planten un Blomen is a 47-hectare garden scattered with lawns, ponds, greenhouse and botanical plantations. The park is made up of five inter-connected greenhouses, some of which are the Schaugewächshaus, which has plants from Mediterranean climes; the desert-climate plants in the Kakteenhaus, and the tropical-centered Tropengewächshaus. A wonderful destination for families and couples who seek relaxation, the beauty of the garden can be enjoyed during a quiet picnic in front of Alster Lake or a tea ceremony in the Japanese garden, which is one of the largest in the continent.
Have Dinner at Haerlin
Located in the city’s prestigious Fairmont Hotel, Haerlin is a widely-known restaurant that serves French gourmet cuisine in an elegant interior. Led by Executive Chef Christoph Ruffer, the team of cooks at this exquisite venue will captivate guests with butter crumble rhubarb and poached gillardeau coated with oysters and green beans. Deserving of its two Michelin Stars and 19 Gault Millau Points, the acclaimed venue is now recognized far beyond the city. Booking in advance can be done through their website, especially if guests desire a stunning view of the Alster river. The average amount that customers spend here is $170 USD, so if you’re waiting on a place to fine-dine, then Haerlin is your perfect chance to do so.
A growing tourist hub in an already bustling country, Hamburg is the ultimate getaway that is sure to satisfy the inner adventure of travelers. A major port city surrounded by spectacular bodies of water, visitors can enjoy various tours and activities along the lakeside, which is also scattered with inviting cafes. Another landmark is their city centre, where the 18th-century St. Michael’s Church is located. So whether your intention is to relax at their Planten Un Blomen park or spend a weekend exploring their beer scene, expect 48 hours in Hamburg, Germany to be a remarkable experience.