Hamburg, officially the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, is the second largest city in Germany and the eighth largest city in the European Union. It is also the thirteenth largest German State, populated with over 1.8 million. It is a major transportation hub, a media and industrial center, and is one of the most affluent cities in Europe due to its numerous and picturesque destinations.
What to see & do
Hamburg Rathaus – the Rathaus, or loosely, the Hamburg City Hall, is the seat of the government of Hamburg and the seat of one of Germany's 16 state parliaments. It is locate in the Altstadt quarter in the city center, near the Lake Binnenalster and the central station. It was constructed in 1886 to 1897, and is a popular icon in the city due to its beautiful design highlighted at night.
Hamburg Dungeon/Torture Chambers – built in 2000, the Hamburg Dungeon is a tourist attraction from a chain including the London and Berlin's dungeons. In here, travelers are provided a journey through Hamburg's dark history in an actor led, interactive experience. Travelers would have to find their way through the terrible Great Fire of Hamburg that devastated much of the city in 1842, and check on the streets of the plague-ravaged Hamburg street, where the effect of the killer disease had in the city in 1964 was animated. Further, travelers will also have to face the Labyrinth of the Lost, a mirror maze, and the Inquisition court, which re-enacts the scenes when people are accused of various sins against God. It also recounts the unforgiving punishments during the time, which are some of the darkest moments in the city and the country. Other exhibits meanwhile include the Cholera 1892 epidemic, the execution of Klaus Stortebeker, a famous pirate, and the Sturmflut of 1717, which is the recreation of the flood on Christmas of 1717.
Miniatur-Wunderland – the Miniatur-Wunderland is a model railway attraction located in Hamburg, a city in Germany. It is one of the largest of its kind in the world, built intricately by the twins Gerrit and Frederik Braun. The project started early at the turn of the century, when the brothers completed a scale model of Harz/Central Germany in 2001, propagating each year with scale models of countries and cities such as Knuffingen, Austria, Hamburg, America, Scandinavia, Italy, Switzerland, and others. By 2020, the exhibit is expected to have reached its final construction phase, including at least a total of 10 new sections and a model area of 2,300 square meters.
Reeperbahn – one of the most famous red-light districts in the world, the Reeperbahn is a rather deviant site complete with vaudeville to prostitutes, down to bars and sex shops. It is also frequented by travelers who seek unique and hard to find sex-related articles and toys, with some advice on the side (not that you need it – especially when you specifically come to the place). But that's just half of it – some of the travelers go down here to enjoy good dinner, good beer, live music, theater plays, and musicals, although the occasional 'offers' from prostitutes should be expected.
Alster – 'the' Alster, or the Alster Lake, is one of the more iconic tourist destinations in Hamburg. It was born in the 13th century by damming the little Alster River and its even smaller feeder rivers, creating a true paradise for sailors, rowers, and paddlers (although the depth is no more than 2.5 meters). It is a perfect place to spend some downtime in, just watching the ships cut through the winds or even jog and walk your dog – if that's your thing. It is even beautiful at night when all the lights are on and the moon is up.
How to get around
Hamburg has a well-developed public transport system that tourists can utilize. Regular buses work around the clock, along with a special “Nachtbus” (night buses) service that connects the outlying districts and the city center. Railways are also an option, whisking travelers away from the traffic in the roads. Aside from these, visitors may also use the 24-hour taxi services available within the city center, or even rent bikes. Bikes are pretty popular here, given that the city is cyclist-friendly. Most locals go around Hamburg through these two-wheeled transport. Car rentals are available through the airport, although parking is quite tricky.
How to get there
The main airport serving Hamburg is the Hamburg-Fuhlsbuttel Airport. The Hamburg-Fuhlsbuttel Airport is the fifth-largest international airport in Germany, and is the main airport serving the city center. Although the airport only serves a few intercontinental direct services, European travelers will be delighted to know that the airport is connected to many main cities scattered in the continent. Visitors who do not have direct flights to the Hamburg-Fuhlsbuttel Airport are advised to fly down to the Frankfurt Am-Main (Frankfurt Airport) and then fly to the Hamburg-Fuhlsbuttel. Airlines that travel to the destination include Lufthansa, KLM, Luxair, Pegasus Airlines, Emirates, easyJet, Iberia Icelandair, and many others. Other airports in Hamburg which travelers may also utilize include the Hamburg-Lubeck Airport, Hamburg-Finkenwereder Airport, and Hamburg-Uetersen Airport. Whichever airport you choose, it is important to know which ones are more convenient to you. Check flight availability, and always check if these are direct flights or are connecting flights. Chances are connecting flights/flight connections would cost more than direct flights, so always look and check for all available options.
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Airports near Hamburg
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