The iconic port city of Hamburg is the gateway to Germany. Centuries of trading around the world have given Hamburg a quirky metropolitan quality that attracts fun-seekers and culture vultures from far and wide.
Hamburg has always been famous for its art and music scene. In the early 1960s it was even home to a group of lads from Liverpool, who came to play the pubs and clubs of the city on their way to becoming the biggest band in the world.
With a mixture of beautiful pre-war architecture and trendy modern bars, museums and galleries, the city is perfect for both romantic weekends and a culture filled city break.
Hamburg is a music fan’s paradise. Not only does the city boast a thriving electronic and rock music scene, it can also lay claim to being the nursery for the world’s greatest ever band. Themed walking tours will take you around the key venues and landmarks visited by the fab four during their famous early stays in the city. Money can’t buy you love but it can buy you one of the best musical city breaks Europe has to offer.
You’ve probably all seen a ‘model village’. They are generally pretty underwhelming. They usually consist of a few knee-high doll’s houses and if you’re lucky, a cardboard Big Ben. The Germans however, like to do things a little differently. Hamburg’s ‘Miniatur Wunderland’ is a fully working model city. As you make your way through this sprawling complex you’ll find busy towns, towering mountains and even a fully working airport! The attraction is usually as popular with nerdy husbands and dads as it is with the kids. Boys and their toys ey.
If you’re after a day out to make you think, you will have to visit the ‘Dialog im Dunkeln’ (Dialogue in the Dark) interactive museum. Designed to replicate the challenges faced by people with limited or no sight, you’ll be led through various challenges in complete darkness by guides who are themselves blind or partially sighted. Things get especially interesting in the restaurant, where you have to order and eat all your food blindfolded!
There’s so much more to choose from than the classic dish to which Hamburg lends it’s name. For a start, you’re much more likely to find the residents of the city munching on Kebabs and Currywurst than beef in a bun.
If you’re after fine dining there’s plenty of choice, though it is best to avoid the more touristy areas for the best value. To sample the local speciality on a budget, head to the city’s fish market. You can find yourself the perfect catch if you are self-catering, or find a café offering the local favourite of freshly grilled plaice.
Like most of Germany’s major cities, Hamburg is a haven for beer drinkers. Look out for the entrances to underground beer cellars, which will often serve beautifully crafted fresh beer, brewed on site.