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View across the harbour to the baroque church of St Michael
A city like Hamburg offers endless possibilities for visitors, no matter what their interest, with a veritable kaleidoscope of attractions ranging from more than 50 museums and a host of venues for drama, concerts and musicals to a vast miniature railway and a chamber of horrors. Its magnificent buildings are testimony to the city's long and turbulent history. A boat tour of the harbour is a must.

The impressive architecture of Hamburg's splendid town hall dominates the city centre. Built of sandstone in the neo-Renaissance style between 1886 and 1887, it is the seat of the city state's assembly and government, and has more than 647 rooms. In marked contrast to the Hanseatic style, the town hall boasts an elaborately decorated facade with a total of 20 statues of German emperors. Tours of the building are available.

The Landungsbrücken jetties are the arrival and departure points for Hamburg's waterways. Harbour tours and scheduled services to Finkenwerder, Övelgönne and Blankenese set off from here, and grand luxury cruise ships also dock here occasionally. Souvenir shops and inviting fish restaurants set the scene, together with the historic tall ship, the "Rickmer Rickmers", and the "Cap San Diego", a historic freighter.

The baroque Protestant Church of St Michael was built in the 17th century to hold a congregation of 2,500 and is now one of Hamburg's most famous landmarks as well as being used for both church services and concerts. There is a fabulous panoramic view of the harbour and the Alster lake from its 82 metre high tower.

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Highlights in brief

  • Shopping
    Mönckebergstrasse, Spitalerstrasse and Neuer Wall
  • Fish market
    Long-established market for night owls and early risers
  • Harbour
    Second largest container centre in Europe, Outer and Inner Alster, Alsterpark
  • St. Pauli
    Entertainment district
  • Town hall
    Magnificent neo-classical building and seat of the state government
  • St Michael's Church („Michel“)
    Oldest and most beautiful baroque church in northern Germany Planten und Blomen
    Botanical gardens
  • Hagenbeck zoo
  • Kunsthalle art gallery, "art museum mile"
  • Warehouse district
    Largest historical warehouse complex in the world