Monday, May 30, 2022

Exploring Hamburg’s urban shore

 Hamburg has long been known as Germany’s "gateway to the world" and within minutes of arriving in this northern city on the banks of the Elbe River, it’s easy to see why.  



Hamburg’s waterfront area – known as the urban shore – is a year-round cultural hub. From water sports to beach clubs, festivals to quirky museums you won't find anywhere else on the planet, there’s plenty to keep visitors of all ages occupied.

Whether reliving your childhood at model railway museum Miniatur Wunderland (pictured below) or catching some classical music at the state-of-the-art Elbphilharmonie concert hall, Hamburg continues to amaze even the city’s locals.


Photo: MiWOLa

Hamburg's revitalised urban shore isn’t just about sleek architecture either – it draws on the city’s long history as a cultural crossroads thanks to its role as a port. Here you can indulge in coffee tasting sessions in the historic Speicherstadt, join an open-air tango lesson or catch a live gig on a former fishing ship, all in easy walking distance. 

In the city on a Sunday? Make an early start and head down to the Hamburg Fish Market, where from 5am 70,000 people will be working, selling seafood as well as tropical fruit and plants. With live music and dancing it feels like one big party.

If enjoying the great outdoors is your passion, then you don’t have to miss out in this city. Thanks to the natural beaches created on the banks of the Elbe you can still get your vitamin D fix by having a barbecue or simply taking a waterside walk along the sands. 

Hotel and concert packages start from £214 (€244)

The Elbphilharmonie is undoubtedly the cultural and architectural highlight of Hamburg’s waterfront. Opened in January 2017, the iconic new concert hall has just started a new season offering everything from jazz to chamber music.


Photo: Christian Bruch

Tickets for many concerts at the Elbphilharmonie will be scheduled for sale in the course of the season, with release dates announced as the year progresses.

However, with prices starting from £214 (€244) per person, accommodation packages from Hamburg Tourismus are another option. The price includes a two-night stay at a hotel including breakfast, one Hamburg CARD for free local public transport and reduced rates at numerous tourist attractions, plus one coveted Elbphilharmonie concert ticket – e.g. for the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen on 3 November 2018. Click here to book your package deal.

Festivals and events

For the 10th year, Hamburg will serve as a meeting place for the international and national literature scenes: until 15 October, the Harbour Front Literature Festival is providing a stage for world-famous novelists and promising newbies alike.

Overall there will be 79 events across all genres of literature, including the most important book releases from the second half of 2018.

Day trips from the city

It’s not just central Hamburg that benefits from the River Elbe’s beauty and there is a wealth of day trips within striking distance too.

Blankenese is one of the most picturesque and wealthy districts along Hamburg’s River Elbe. The former fishing village and its stairs quarter are home to beautiful houses and winding tiny streets. Bring your flat shoes: you’ll be going up and down many steps.


Harald Lueder/Shutterstock

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