Hamburg is the second largest port and one of the influential cities in Europe. Many companies like Airbus, Unilever etc have their headquarters here. The city has political and economic importance in Europe. It is also known as ‘Germany’s Gateway to the World’. The University city- Bremen and Port towns- Travemunde and Luebeck are nearby day trip destinations. While in Hamburg, we reserved one day only for a walk around the city.
We started the day from Strathaven (Hafencity). This is popular Hafen (harbor) to spot tourist cruises visiting Hamburg city. The area was under development with lots of big construction projects. The TUI cruise was docked at the time we visited. I have never done a cruise trip. I was amazed to see how big the cruise was.
With the metro, we reached to ‘Jungfernsteig’. We walked up the station and the lake Binnenalster was in front. It is the part of the large lake – Aussenalster. Although it is smaller than Ausseralster, it was still much large. Both the lakes have nicely developed promenade along the sides with walking/cycling paths all around. The waterfront has steps facing the lake and the fountain. People were relaxing and trying to cool off with ice cream. Yes, today is the hot day. The coastline is studded with many high-end brand shops, Europa shopping complex, art galleries and a number of banks. Therefore the area is always a happening place. Alsterarkaden is also present in this area. The building is famous for its arches and hosts many cafes and restaurants and shops.
In front of Alsterarkaden, across the little Alster canal is the Town hall building. I loved this building for its neo-renaissance architecture and the shape.
Rathaus market is in front of Town Hall. This square is also lined with numerous cafes, restaurants, and shops. The area was filled with tourists and sightseeing buses were rushing all the time with more tourists. We walked towards St Peter’s church. This is the main church of Hamburg city and it is built in red bricks. We didn’t go inside.
From here, we went towards the back side of the church and crossed ‘Die Zeit’ newspaper office.
We turned right and then reached to ‘Chille haus’. The 10 story building is shaped like ship’s prow. Its curved facade and the sharp pointing edge on the east side, makes the building look like a lighter structure though it is massive. Another famous building, Sprinkenhof, is also present besides the Chile house. At the time of around 1925, this was the largest office complex in Hamburg. We walked along all the sides of these buildings to admire their beauties.
In between Chile house and a canal – Zollcanal, is a chocolate museum – Chocoversum. They have guided tour and a chocolate workshop also. It will be a great fun for kids as well as for adults. Spare around 2 hours if you wish to explore in here.
Immediately next to this exhibition, is the ‘customs canal’. From here, starts the ‘Speicherstadt’ area of the Hamburg. This area has lots of warehouses built in around 1883 and this was the world’s largest complex of warehouses at that time. They used to store wares from all over the world like coffee, tea, spices etc. The warehouses were in use till 2002. Today, these are getting converted into museums and exhibitions. ‘German customs museum’ and ‘Model train exhibition'(Miniature Wonderland) are the examples. All this area, ‘The city of Warehouses’ is the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area had its own Townhall which was called as ‘Harbour Town hall’.
While walking through the Speicherstadt, we reached Hafencity. In the morning, we started our day from here. The TUI cruise was still standing there.
Now we turned back and walked along ‘Brookfleet’ canal. The canal hosts some popular tourist attractions like Miniature Wonderland, Speicherstadt Museum, and Spice museum. All these museums are worth to visit. We had reserved a separate day for them. Kids will also enjoy all these museums and the Miniature railway museum the most.
At the end of this canal, on the left-hand side, is the building of ‘Elbphilharmonie’. It is the city’s tallest building constructed in the old warehouse as a modern concert hall.
From here, we traveled by bus and metro and visited ‘Fish auctions hall’, Submarine exhibition, ‘Landungsbruecken’.
The evening was the park time. Hamburg city has a large public garden of about 45 hectors. The garden is famous for its music shows and water-light shows. The garden has Japanese garden section, medicinal plants, roses, lakes, fountains, play areas and much more. This was the perfect destination to relax at the end of the day and enjoy dinner looking at the Japanese landscape.
- Bus number 111 and the metro number U4 are the cheapest options to explore the city. These lines reach the most of the tourist attractions.
- Hamburg has different exhibitions and museums. All are unique in their own and worth of visit.
- We planned a visit to the Miniature Wonderland for half day. It was not sufficient time to explore all the displays. They have numerous sections and in each section, numerous shows are going on. I will recommend this museum for families with the kids.