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Explore Hamburg - An Exclusive Guide

A perfect day in... Hamburg, Germany

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Germany’s cosmopolitan second city is rightly celebrated for its waterways, bridges and canals – there are more in Hamburg than in Venice. The city’s architecture, too, is a real draw, with an intriguing mix of old and new, including the world’s largest UNESCO-listed warehouse district. But Hamburg is best known, perhaps, for its gritty nightlife and live music scene, from classical concerts at the enormous Elbphilharmonie, to the notorious Reeperbahn, the red light district where the Beatles honed their craft from 1960-62.

What to see in Hamburg

This is a city characterized by its vast port and system of canals and bridges, so start off by getting the best views from right on the water, in the Hafencity. You’ll immediately spot the extraordinary Elbphilharmonie, opened to the public in 2017 and one of the largest concert halls in the world. If you’re on dry land, head up to the wraparound balcony for views over the city, or better yet, try and book in for a performance.

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From here, head into Speicherstadt, a renovated area of warehouses and now a Unesco World Heritage Site, crammed with a fascinating mix of historical buildings and home to chic hotels, boutiques and restaurants.

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What to do in Hamburg

It may sound unlikely, but the model railway at The Miniatur Wunderland is, as the name suggests, an absolute wonder. This is the world’s largest miniature railway system, with intricate and vast landscapes that the trains poodle through, and a fully-functioning mini version of Hamburg airport (complete with landing planes) to top things off.

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For a dose of history, head to the imposing Rathaus, dating back to the 19th-century and a showcase of neo-Renaissance architecture. Then wander to nearby Alster Lake, the heart of historic Hamburg, before stopping for a coffee or lunch in one of the cafes along the smart arcades of Alsterarkaden. A short stroll away is the Kunsthalle, one of Germany's most important museums and housing over 700 years of European art history.

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What to eat in Hamburg

Hamburg offers up the usual traditional German cuisine – think meat, sausages and potatoes – as well as excellent fresh seafood, thanks to its location close to the sea. Recent years have seen an evolution in the city’s foodie scene, too, with a clutch of new hipster restaurants offering experimental fusion cuisine and plant-based dishes. One of the highest-rated restaurants, boasting a Michelin star, is The Table, where guests dine around a snaking communal table enjoying tasting menus by chef Kevin Fehling.

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If you’re in town on a Sunday, don’t miss the historical Fischmarkt, a buzzy riverside covered market dating back to 1703 and selling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to clothes, souvenirs and, yes, fish. Next door is the historic fish auction hall, serving brunch accompanied by live music.

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For more information, go to hamburg-travel.com

This article has been written for review purposes only and does not suggest sponsorship or endorsement of AARDY by the trademark owner.

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