Hamburg is one of the three state cities in Germany; it is the eight largest city in the European Union and the second largest in Germany. Sited on the river Elbe, the city boasts of oceanic weather as a result of its nearness to the coast, which further adds to its appeal for tourists. In addition, Hamburg has great appeal for tourists because of its rich history as well as high-quality luxury accommodations like the Park Hyatt Hamburg and i’s foodie restaurant Apples and Hotel Louis C Jacob which have wonderful restaurants like Jacob’s stared restaurant with chef Thomas Martin and give a new aspect to luxury and relaxation. Hamburg is a destination of choice for a large number of luxury travellers because of its beautiful sights, Michelin starred chefs, great selection of food and wines from all over Germany and also the impressive hanseatic architecture and it’s focus on Art and Music.
When taking a tour through the city, you are bound to see the buildings in Hamburg which have varying styles and designs which make them a feast for the eyes, especially if you are interested in architecture. Most of the significant landmarks are churches which were built in older centuries and they all have something different about them. The churches are collectively called Hauptkirchen and they adorn the skyline of Hamburg with their spires; the most popular ones being St. Nicholas’ which was once the tallest building in the world and others like St. Peter’s, St. Michael’s and St. James’s. The city boasts of many canals, rivers and streams and it has the largest number of bridges in the world. You can take a boat through the canals and admire the buildings as you sail past.
You will also discover that there are a few office buidings in Hamburg, thus they are quite notable and very important. The Chilehaus located in the Kontorhausviertel was erected between 1922 and 1924 based on the design by Fritz Höger, a German architect, and it is a classic example of the Brick expressionism style that was popular in the 1920s. It serves as an office building with ten-stories and the angular building easily stands out among other buildings in the vicinity. In fact, the buildings in the Kontorhaus District show the evolution of office buildings over the centuries.
The speicherstadt which can be literally translated to mean “city of warehouses” was built between 1883 and 1927 in the port of Hamburg. It is 1.5km long, making it the vastest warehouse district in the world. It houses several museums and several goods pass through the buildings every year. It is located within the northern Hafen city part which is currently being rebuilt into modern structures to provide more accommodation for offices, shops, hotels and homes. On the 5th of July, 2015 the Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus was declared a world heritage site as an acknowledgement of the rich history the buildings in this area represent. The Speicherstadt is now known as the largest logistic center in the world while the Chilehaus and Kontorhaus District lend credence to the stories of the evolution of office buildings over the years. You can explore the buildings on weekdays with or without a guide.
Another notable building in Hamburg is the Elbphilharmonie located on the west end of the Hafen City and it symbolizes the deep musical essence of the city. The walls are wave-like and are made of glass and brick walls which make the building a perfect example of a blend between modern architecture and tradition.
The Elbphilharmonie will be open for concerts on January, 11th 2017 which will feature many music pieces including world music, cross over, jazz, new music and classical. It is expected to feature mass choir performances and solos with their renditions enhanced by the ingenious acoustics of the concert hall. The building used to be a warehouse for cocoa beans, but it now serves as home to a hotel as well as the concert hall.
Another charming part of Hamburg is the Blankenese Treppenviertel which used to be a fishing and pilot village. You can hike on the beautiful trails along the banks of the river Elbe while taking in the view of the picturesque buildings and streets. The trail cuts through cafes, restaurants, shops and even ice cream parlors so you can stop by for refreshments on your way. You can also make a stop at the Wine bar Kleines Jacob to have a simple but amazing dinner and also taste the wine collection selected by seasoned wine growers. You can either take a bicycle ride or go through on foot; either way the experience is bound to be fun.
As you proceed on your exploration, you will find several luxury shops on the canals, very much like in Venice where you can purchase gifts and foods at Mutterland for yourself and friends. you can also shop for leather designs like Pyrate styles, luxury pens and watches at Montblanc (the pen manufactory is still in Hamburg) and a whole lot to serve as part of your fashion collection or as mementos of your time in Hamburg. The canals in Hamburg are more numerous than those in Venice, so you can be sure that you will have a wider option of shopping outlets and options to choose from.
Tatjana – Anna Laudere – (c) Holger Badekow
In addition to the aforementioned, Hamburg also has a rich art history which you should definitely explore. A notable example is the Hamburg Ballet Days Festival, that has been organized for over forty years. The Hamburg Ballet has been under the direction of John Neumeier for some years. The Hamburg Ballet takes place at the National Hamburg Opera house Staatsoper Hamburg. It focuses on preserving the tradition of ballet while exploring modern dramatic frameworks to present a new interpretation of classic scores.
Overall, Hamburg is a wonderful place to visit if you are a luxury traveller. It is ideal for family vacations as well as personal trips.
Find more info on Hamburg Tourismus official city website.
Photos credits: Thies Raetzke , Kurt-Michael Westermann , Christian O. Bruch, Joerg Modrow , Olivier Templar-James, Holger Badekow