Hamburg is like a bag of goodies, with so much to see and do your clients won’t know what to explore first. Here are a few places that are must-sees:
- Port and Fish Market—This city is all about water, so clients won’t want to miss the port and its lively environs. The best way to take it all in is during the Fish Market (Fischmarkt), which takes place every Sunday morning from 5 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (opening hours during the winter, mid-November to mid-March are 7 a.m.). The market has been on-going since 1703 and one of the best bets for your clients is to have breakfast in the Fish Market Hall while listening to live music.
- The City Center & Town Hall—The historical center of Hamburg is also a shopping mecca—2-for-1, what’s not to love? There’s also arts and culture to be had in the form of theaters, museums and the opera. The Town Hall itself, the Rathaus, is a magnificent structure with an elaborately decorated facade, coffered ceiling and 647 rooms.
- Alster Lake—Alster Lake is a popular meeting place for locals and considered the heart of Hamburg. The best way to see it? By taking a roundtrip ride on the Alster steamers, which tour over the lake and through the canals daily. More of a landlubber? Then tell clients to take a nice walk around the Alster as it is home to some of the most sought-after residential areas in the city.
- HafenCity—This new urban district developed at a former docklands area is a beauty. In this exciting emerging district—where things change on a near-daily basis—stunning architecture comes in the form of futuristic, steel-and-glass office towers and construction sites pepper the landscape, including the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, which juts into the northern branch of the Elbe River like the tip of a spear. Once all the construction work is over, there will be a total of 10 different areas, each with its own distinct identity.
- Historic Hamburg & Speicherstadt—Altstadt (the old city) is the oldest quarter in Hamburg and one of the main attractions for travelers as they make their way through the oldest buildings in the city. It’s home to the city’s ornate churches—Saint Jacobi, Saint Michaelis, Saint Nikolai and Saint Petri—which any first-time traveler will want to visit. Speicherstadt, meanwhile, was built between 1888 and 1927 and offers a plethora of picture-taking opportunities between the Elbe canals and red-brick facades. This unique, historic complex of warehouse and storehouse blocks is actually a city within the city, and for visitors it brings to life the world of Hanse merchants and warehouse owners.
Come April, garden enthusiasts are going to want to be in Hamburg for IGS 2013, when more than 200 acres of green space in the heart of the Elbe island of Wilhelmsburg will be turned into a garden wonderland. The show’s slogan “In 80 Gardens around the World” will be played up through different cultures, climates and vegetations. The gardens will be divided into seven theme worlds covering wanderlust and the travel bug, foreign languages and customs, water shortage, and exotic plants and herbs. And tell clients who can’t make it there by April not to fret, as the show will be on until October. Visit igs-hamburg.de/en.