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View of Hamburg's harbour with ship and loading cranes
Hamburg's districts reflect every aspect of this elegant north German port with its rich history and cosmopolitan outlook, ranging from tranquil fishing villages via exclusive residential areas to the lively Reeperbahn.

St. Pauli is Hamburg's top entertainment district. Anything goes here, from musical theatre to trendy clubs. Visitors to Hamburg as well as locals get together to have fun in clubs, discos, erotic establishments, cafes and bars, some with a dance-floor.

Bergedorf is a friendly district with a magnificent castle set in the middle of a lovely park and surrounded by the remains of high earthworks and a wide moat. The only medieval castle in Hamburg, it now houses a museum about the history and cultural development of the region.

Alster lake, a large expanse of water in the heart of this verdant Hanseatic city, is perfect for sailing, rowing or canoeing. The parks and green spaces with their cafes and restaurants around Alster lake are pleasant places to relax, but perhaps the best and easiest way to explore the lake is by pleasure boat. "Alster water" (beer with lemonade), is widely regarded as Hamburg's favourite drink.

Situated on the banks of the Elbe, Blankenese, formerly a village of fishermen and harbour pilots, is a popular place to visit. These days it is an upmarket residential district that attracts visitors with its picturesque alleyways, winding steps and closely huddled cottages. From here, you can watch the ships plying up and down the Elbe, or take in the view of Blankenese from the water during a boat tour of the harbour.

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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