1974 Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and with Hamburg Harbour, its principal port, Hamburg is also the second largest port city in Europe, no. 9 in the world-ranking of ports and the largest city of the Union which is not a capital. The city of Hamburg lies at the junction of the river Elbe with the rivers Alster and Bille and the city centre is beautifully set around Lake Binnenalster and Lake Auenalster. Hamburg is an international trade city and the commercial and cultural centre of Northern Germany. Hamburg is generally not considered to be a tourism magnet, not even by locals. Nevertheless, tourism plays a significant role in the city’s economy, and according to the magazine Travelhouse Media even two of the most visited sites in Germany are located here: the harbour (8 million visitors per year) and the Reeperbahn (4 million), compared to famous sites like the Cathedral in Cologne (6 million) or the castle Neuschwanstein (200,000) unexpected high numbers to most people. Hamburg is best visited in spring or summer. A typical Hamburg visit includes a tour of the city hall and the grand church St. Michaelis (called the Michel), and visiting the old warehouse district (Speicherstadt) and the harbour promenade (Landungsbrcken). Sightseeing buses connect these points of interest. Of course, a visit in one of the world’s largest harbours would be incomplete without having taken one of the harbour and/or canal boat tours (Groe Hafenrundfahrt, Fleetfahrt) which start from the Landungsbrcken. Many visitors take a walk in the evening around the area of Reeperbahn, considered Europe’s second largest red light district and home of many theatres, bars and night clubs. Others prefer the laidback Schanze district with its street cafs or a barbecue on one of the beaches along the river Elbe. And not to forget: Hamburg’s famous Hagenbeck’s Tierpark (Zoo) with the great artificial rocka and the first moated, barless enclosures ever to be built (1907). A friend of Hagenbeck’s, the illustrator Heinrich Leutemann made some illustrations here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamburg


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