HAMBURG suffers from image schizophrenia. To many of its tourists, Germany's second metropolis is simply sin city – a place of prostitutes and strip shows – while in its homeland it is revered as a cosmopolitan, stylish city-state. Either way the cause is the same: through one of the greatest ports in Europe it has sucked in wealth – and probably vice – ever since a canny piece of diplomatic manoeuvring in 1189 led Emperor Friederich I (also known as Emperor Barbarossa) to grant tax-free imports down the Elbe. The good times began to roll in the early Middle Ages and Hamburg was declared a Free Imperial City by Emperor Maximilian I in 1510.
Today a restless boom-town, forever reinventing itself, Hamburg still flaunts its "Freie und Hansestadt" (Free and Hanseatic Town) title. And that umbilical link to maritime trade continues in a sprawling container port that grounds the city, adding a workaday robustness to the sophistication that comes with its postwar role as Germany's media capital. Though the port makes Hamburg fairly grimy in places, seedy even, it adds an earthy flavour to the rich cosmopolitan stew. It brings dive bars to a city renowned for its arts and theatre; nurtures a strong counter-culture movement alongside hip media types; and helps support a nightlife that is as depraved as it is refined. Even the drizzle that blankets the city for days at a time can't dampen the spirit of Germany's most life-affirming city.
The surprise, then, is that Hamburg is so manageable. Despite a population that nudges towards 1.8 million, Hamburg has the lowest population density of any European city. Canals provide breathing space among the offices as they thread from the Elbe's banks to the Alster lakes. The city's 2302 bridges are more than Venice, Amsterdam and London combined.
Most of the main sights are located in the city centre, a seamless semicircular spread of architecture north of the Elbe, but for local character look to outlying residential districts: St Georg east of the Hauptbahnhof; or exclusive quarters that fringe the Aussenalster lake. West of the centre are St Pauli, the former port district of Reeperbahn fame, and to its north, the scruffy but rapidly gentrifying Schanzenviertel. Together, these three form the heartland of Hamburg nightlife. Things become progressively quieter (and more expensive) as you shift downriver through the western riverside suburbs from Altona and Övelgönne to Blankenese, where city tycoons occupy some of the most expensive real-estate in Germany.
As a harbor city located in the far north of Germany, Hamburg has been known for centuries as the "gateway to the world." One of Hamburg's most famous sons, novelist Wolfgang Borchert, lovingly described the city as "more than a heap of stones, roofs, windows, beds, roads, bridges and street lamps. It is more than factory chimneys and traffic jams—more than the screeching of seagulls, squeaking of trams and thundering of the railway—it is more than ships' horns, whirling cranes, curses and dance music—oh, it is so much more!" Even writer Heinrich Heine, who did not always sing Hamburg's praises, returned again and again, just as many visitors do. Hamburg has an air about it: on the one hand, it is a busy and bustling metropolis; on the other, an elegant and cozy seaside idyll. Whatever your impression may be, you'll never get tired of Hamburg!
The City Center The city center, which lies between the Außenalster Lake and the Elbe , sets the pace for the rest of the city commercially, politically and socially. Its magnificent boulevards are lined with shops—you would never guess that most of the area lay devastated at the end of World War II. Those in search of culture need look no further: the Hamburger Kunsthalle und Galerie der Gegenwart , Hamburgische Staatsoper & Ballettcompagnie John Neumeier and the two main theaters (the Thalia Theater and the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg ) are here, as too are the Stock Exchange and the extravagant Town Hall .
Altstadt The Altstadt(old town) contains many of the city's most historic buildings, including the 9th century Hammaburg , and Hamburg's major churches: St. Michaelis , St. Katharinen , St. Jacobi , St. Petri Kirche and the ruins of Nikolaikirche .
Kontorhaus Quarter The historic Laeiszhof und Globushof (commercial buildings) that lie between Steinstraße and Meßberg are architectural rarities. Indeed, the Kontorhaus Quarter is a different world: the narrow streets around Burchhard-Platz are lined with enormous red-brick buildings such as Chilehaus and Sprinkenhof . Despite their size, these buildings are not over-imposing, but are proud, solid and dignified. They stand in ordered rows and give this district its distinctive feel.
Pöseldorf/Harvestude The upmarket Pöseldorf/Harvestude district lies on the Outer Alster's western shore. Dominated by rows of late-19th-century townhouses and ornate, neo-classical mansions, this area is a favorite of young professionals. Everything is extremely trendy, which has led to the district being christened "Schnöseldorf" ("Little Snot's Town") by locals. Harvestuder Weg, home to many foreign consulates and company headquarters, is one of the city's most sought-after addresses, while Alsteruferweg is perfect for a relaxing stroll.
Universitätsviertel The University Quarter lies to the west of Rothenbaumchausee. As you may expect, this is an exciting part of town with plenty going on. Most of the people who hang out in the bars, cafes and clubs are either students or media types. Hamburg University's main building is located on Edmund-Siemers-Allee, and if you venture westward from there, you get to the Grindel-Hochhäuser (Grindel Tower Blocks), built in 1924-28.
Eppendorf Eppendorf is another popular residential area. The streets are lined with elegant turn-of-the-century townhouses, and many small rivers flow through the district. Be sure to visit the Isemarkt , located under the viaduct on Isestraße . Eppendorf's market square contains a memorial to writer Wolfgang Borchert. Inscribed with the words of his poem Say No!, the memorial reflects his deeply-held anti-war beliefs.
Altona This former autonomous Danish city was annexed by the Nazis in 1937. The most heavily-populated part of Hamburg, it is a multicultural working-class neighborhood. Architecture junkies will love the "Kontorhäuser," the renovated factories, the imposing classical Palmaille and the exquisite villas on Elbchaussee . The Altonaer Rathaus is built in the typical style of the Wilhelmenian era (1888-1918).
Blankenese Lined with ancient trees and ornate villas, the 10km-long Elbchausee has been described as the "most beautiful street in the world" and leads the way from Altona to the exclusive district of Blankenese. Famous for its white fishing huts, historic country residences, parks, gardens, views of the River Elbe and its winding paths and narrow stairways, this is a favorite haunt for locals and visitors alike.
Schanzenviertel/Karolinenviertel You may be forgiven for thinking that time has passed by the Schanzenviertel and the Karolinenviertel. These two districts are extremely multicultural and are great for people-watching. Their numerous watering-holes, tea rooms and ethnic shops make them a perfect place to visit night or day. Yet the fact that they have been "discovered" means that their original character is struggling to survive.
St. Pauli Hamburg's notorious red-light district is the liveliest and most vibrant part of town and the 30,000 people who live here are an eclectic mix of young and old. The legendary Reeperbahn runs the length of the district and is lined with clubs, sex shops, fast food joints and bars as far as the eye can see. If you explore the side streets, you may be in for a surprise! Located at the eastern end of the Reeperbahn is the Heiligengeistfeld . St. Pauli stretches from the Wallanlagen ( Planten un Blomen ) to Hafenstraße and the Landungsbrücken .
Harbor The Harbor is the heart of the city. Visit it and you will soon find out why Hamburg is known as the "gateway to the world." It is one of the world's largest harbors and its 75 square kilometers make up over one-tenth of the city's entire area. Especially worth seeing are the Köhlbrandtbrücke , the Landungsbrücken , Alter Elbtunnel and the Speicherstadt .
Whatever you choose to do in Hamburg, even if it's simply taking a walk in one of the city's many parks and gardens (Hamburg is Germany's greenest city), you are guaranteed to enjoy yourself!
Hamburg, "the gateway to the world," boasts a plentiful variety of international cuisine that's available at almost any time of the day or night. Yet despite so much foreign influence, Hamburg still offers its own unique local cuisine which visitors shouldn't miss.
Traditional north German dishes don't generally win many prizes in gourmet magazines, and sceptics and first-time visitors can get unnerved when they hear about dishes like Birnen, Bohnen und Speck (pears, green beans and bacon), Aalsuppe (eel soup) or Labskaus (fish and meat stew). However, if you take a closer look at Hamburg's local specialties, you will realize that there is nothing especially strange about them. They are based on the same fresh ingredients which the surrounding countryside has provided for centuries. Most traditional dishes are seasonal no-frills affairs, and reflect North German simplicity mixed with a touch of the Danish love for all things sweet.
It goes without saying that one of this seaside city's staple ingredients is fish. Late spring is the perfect time for Maischolle (spring plaice), which can be found in hundreds of restaurants and snack bars all over the city. Finkenwerder Ewerscholle (fresh plaice fried in bacon and served with boiled potatoes and a side salad with a sweet cream and lemon dressing) is a specialty best tried in sophisticated fish restaurants like Fischereihafen Restaurant , Deichgraf , Alt Hamburger Aalspeicher and Stock's Fischrestaurant. A popular summer specialty is "Matjes" (herring) served with green beans and bacon, while a prawn sandwich makes a good snack between meals.
Aalsuppe (meaning literally "eel soup") doesn't actually have any eel in it: the name comes from the North German word for "everything," meaning that the soup consists of all kinds of summer vegetables, as well as ham and sweet prunes. Another late summer specialty is Birnen, Bohnen und Speck, a stew based on a particular variety of pear that ripens in August. All this lovely fruit comes from Altes Land , a giant orchard south-west of the city. Labskaus was created by fishermen in the Middle Ages, and is a wonderful illustration of the proverb "necessity is the mother of invention." In the days before refrigerators, fishermen could take only salted meat with them on their long voyages, and they made it edible by boiling it into a thick broth with potatoes and onions. Mashed together with a herring, some beetroot and a pickled cucumber, the result looks slightly strange, but is extremely tasty. Try it out at places like the Old Commercial Room or Zum alten Senator.
Hamburg has a fine choice of restaurants that offer seasonal German fare, such as asparagus in the late spring / early summer, and smoked pork, sausages and fried potatoes in the winter. The dishes on offer at places like Ahrberg or Markgraf are a fine mix of creative and traditional cuisines. For typical Bavarian fare, head to Franziskaner . Or head to Zur Schlachterbörse for a large, no-frills steak. "Neue deutsche Küche," the German equivalent of nouvelle cuisine, is best tried in modern establishments like Anna , Allegria and Bit am Jungfernstieg.
The city also boasts a number of top chefs and exclusive gourmet restaurants such as Wollenberg , Michael Weißenbruch's A Table and Hans-Peter Engel's Restaurant Haerlin in the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten . Fine hotel restaurants include Hotel am Holstenwall and Prem . If you want to enjoy a view of the river while dining in style, then you'll be well catered to by upmarket establishments such as Landhaus Dill , Landhaus Scherrer , Sagebiels Fährhaus , and Hotel Louis C. Jacob . Cafe und Restaurant Engel in Teufelsbrück has a wonderful terrace -- perfect for dining on a balmy summer evening. The range of international cuisine is enormous and is too varied to go into great detail about. Medded , for example, is a top address for Egyptian specialities. Vegetarians should head for Laska's , Tassajara in Eppendorf or Suryel in Altona. Mr.Green restaurant chain also offers great veggie food at reasonable prices.
Hamburg has a large choice of restaurants that are open late: Arkadasch , for example, serves up Turkish delights until 2a, Bar Hamburg specializes in fine fish and meat dishes, Bolero is great for tacos and fajitas, while Max & Consorten is a good bet for late-night croques. Numerous garden restaurants offer visitors the opportunity to dine outside in the summer. Places like Röpers Hof in Othmarschen, Landhaus Walter in the Stadtpark , or Cafe Schöne Aussichten in Planten un Blomen park are particularly pretty. If you are looking for something different, try the rotating restaurant at the top of the Heinrich-Hertz-Turm , or chug along the river in the Louisiana steamboat's gourmet restaurant.
Hamburg abounds with cafes where you can enjoy a big breakfast or pop by for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake in the afternoon. Each district has its own particular favorites: Witthüs and Strandcafe in Blankenese, Schotthorst in Eimsbüttel, Cafe Lindtner in Eppendorf, Fees Restaurant & Bar near the Holstenwall, Cafe Unter den Linden in the Schanzenviertel, Destille in St. Georg, and September in St. Pauli. Otherwise, head for Grindelallee, a street near the university loaded with cafes.
If you prefer a liquid diet, Hamburg is definitely the place for you! The beer situation is particularly good, as there are several local breweries, many of which have been brewing beer since the Middle Ages. Visitors can take guided tours through the Bavaria-St. Pauli brewery and the Holsten brewery—drinks included, of course! Otherwise, you can pull your own pints at Brauhaus Joh. Albrecht or enjoy a glass of Weißbier and barbecue your own sausages at Brauhaus Hanseat.
The large variety of different bars and pubs means there is something for everyone. The Reeperbahn in the red-light district is the hotspot for the younger generation. Happening places include Amphore , Blauer Peter IV , The Chinese-Mandarin-Lounge, Meanie Bar and Roschinsky's . The Schanzenviertel is home to countless atmospheric little pubs, the smallest of which is Kurhaus . You could also try places like Schilleroper , Saal II , and Bar Rossi . A firm favorite in multicultural St. Georg is Max & Consorten , but Cafe Gnosa has become equally popular, especially among the gay and lesbian crowd. The district of Eimsbüttel is well served by R&B , Meisenfrei and Maybach. There are also plenty of cocktail bars in town, the most stylish of which are Ciu's , Bar Hamburg , Cairos and Havanna .
Wine connoisseurs will be in their element at Allegria or Schwender's, with a choice of over twenty open wines which you can enjoy on the outdoor terrace in the summer. Cremon's wine vault in the old town is full of old-world atmosphere, while Weinlokal Schoppenhauer serves up great meals accompanied by fine wines in a warehouse just around the corner. Another excellent wine selection is available at Zur Traube in Ottensen, an 80-year-old establishment located in a beautiful, architecturally significant building recognized as such by the city of Hamburg. If you fancy a bit of "DIY wine," then head to Lemitz Weinstuben (in Eimsbüttel) in the autumn, where you can help harvest the grapes and see how wine is fermented.
Lake Alster What other city can boast a beautiful 160-hectare lake in its center? A favorite with locals and visitors alike, the Alster is surrounded by parks, promenades and cafes. It is the perfect place for an energetic jog or a lazy Sunday afternoon stroll. You can actually walk around the entire lake without having to cross a single road. Art fans can admire numerous sculptures in and around the water, while nature lovers will be impressed by the enormous variety of trees including ancient oaks, mighty poplars and conker-filled chestnuts.
Visitors can hire a wide variety of boats (rowing boats, pedal boats or dinghies), but the lake can get very busy on summer weekends, so if you can, come on a weekday. If you don't fancy working up a sweat, then why not board a steamboat and explore one of the many canals that branch off the Alster. These ships are the only motorized vessels allowed on the lake and can also be hired for parties and celebrations. Steamboat tours depart from Jungfernstieg and pass through Hamburg's "living-room," the 18-hectare Binnenalster (Inner Alster) which features a fountain in the middle. The Binnenalster is flanked by luxury shops near Jungfernstieg and Ballindamm, as well as the magnificent five-star Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten .
Passing by lovely parks and splendid 19th century merchants' villas, you can return to the Außenalster (Outer Alster—known by locals as the "jewel of Hamburg") under the Lombard's and Kennedybrücke bridges. If you have the chance, then you should hop off the boat for a snack at one of the lovely lakeside cafes. If the weather is good, you will be rewarded by a glorious view of the Hamburg skyline, dominated by the steeples and spires of the city's major churches, the Rathaus (town hall) and the Heinrich-Hertz-Turm .
Another possibility is to cruise along canals like Feeneich, Isebekanal or Osterbekkanal, where you could be forgiven for forgetting that you are in the middle of a major city. Glorious villas and small boathouses peep out from behind the weeping willows. If you head in the opposite direction, you will come to the Kleine Alster (Minor Alster) which eventually leads into the "Fleete," the canals which link the Alster with the River Elbe and the harbor. Nikolaifleet is Hamburg's oldest canal, but the Herrengraben and Bleichenfleet are also worth a visit. If you continue along the canals, you will eventually reach the Speicherstadt .
Note that when locals say "Alster," they usually mean the Außenalster. However, if you hear the word "Alster" in a bar, it will normally refer to a shandy, one of the area's most popular summertime drinks.
All day excursions leave every half hour from Fähranleger Jungfernstieg (tel: +49 40 357 4240 or http://www.hadag.de). Other possibilities include round trips that last an hour each, short trips, canal trips and fleet trips (each lasting a couple of hours).
The Harbor If the Alster is Hamburg's soul, then the harbor, pulsating the lifeblood that runs through the city, is its heart. Often referred to as the "gateway to the world," the harbor has expanded a great deal since its founding prior to the 12th century. It is now one of the largest sea ports in the world. Approximately 12,000 ships dock here every year, and over 71 million tons of goods are dealt with annually, making it one of the largest industrial areas in Europe. With a circumference of over 45km, the harbor covers an area of 75 square kilometers, almost one tenth of the total area of the city. It also contains 400km of railway track and several million square meters of storage space.
The industrialization of sea transport has seen the introduction of containers (the container terminal is one of the largest complexes in the harbor), but evidence of the "old days" can still be detected in the historic buildings in the Speicherstadt area. The Landungsbrücken bridge, the Old Elbe Tunnel and one of the city's most recognizable landmarks, the Köhlbrandtbrücke bridge, are all eye-catching symbols of the old harbor. The early 1990's saw the conversion of the formerly derelict Kehrwiederspitze area into a modern residential and business district.
No visit to Hamburg would be complete without a trip around the harbor. There are a number of different tours, departing several times a day from the Landungsbrücken .
River Elbe The 1165km-long River Elbe winds its way from the sandstone hills of Saxony to Cuxhaven, where it flows into the North Sea. The Elbe was a decisive factor in attracting traders to settle in the Hamburg area. Indeed, without the Elbe there would be no Hamburg, at least not in its present-day form. The river constituted the city's major trading route for centuries, and the 62km long Elbe Canal linking the Elbe and the Trave was constructed in order to improve the supply of salt to Hamburg's fish markets.
The Elbe offers a fine perspective from which to observe Hamburg's many faces. On one side of the river lies one of the most modern and efficient ports in the world, while on the other side, major commercial and industrial plants alternate with exclusive residential villas, a physical sign of Hamburg's wealth, which the city owes in no small measure to the Elbe. The river is spanned by a number of magnificent edifices including the Alter Elbtunnel and several splendid bridges to the south.
The river bank at Blankenese is the perfect place for a romantic stroll, or for simply sitting and watching the ships go by. In the south, you can paddle in the Elbe's tributary, the Dove-Elbe, and peer towards the huge tankers sluggishly embarking on their journey. The river's one failing is that it is not suitable for bathing. The pressure group Save the Elbe and the Elbe Water Quality Monitoring Unit both report that mercury and hydrocarbon contamination have decreased in recent years, but that similarly lethal substances like lead and benzol have taken their place.
There is even a type of headgear named after the Elbe: the "Elbsegler" is a close but slightly flatter relative of the "Prince Heinrich hat," which is popular among North Germans.
There are daily cruises to Blankenese, Schulau and Lühe, as well as from Blankenese to Cranz in the Altes Land . Most of them start from the Landungsbrücken (for more information call +49 (0)40 3005 1300). You can also catch a City Jet cruise to Stade from the various jetties on the river.
Hamburg's Parks Hamburg is an exceptionally green city, with numerous parks lending themselves perfectly to leisure and recreation. The Outer Alster, for example, is blessed with the idyllic Alsterpark . The Neustadt (New Town), the Wallanlagen and Planten un Blomen park offer plenty to do, with roller blading tracks, an ice rink, a rose garden, a Japanese water garden, botanical gardens and the "Wasserspiele" (Water Show)—a brilliantly choreographed orgy of light, sound and water.
Once the private hunting grounds of a famous Hamburg banker, the Stadtpark is now a popular place with locals who come for a jog around the park, a swim in the lake, a game of football, a picnic or a visit to the Planetarium . Nearby Hayns Park is another good place to hire boats and canoes.
Hamburg's largest park, and certainly one of the most beautiful, is the Friedhof Ohlsdorf , a former cemetery dotted with sculptures and mausoleums, and which also has its own museum. In the south-eastern district of Wandsbek, the River Wandse meanders through Eichtalpark , where you can admire the water plants and marvel at the exhibition of flowers, bushes and poisonous and medicinal plants. The nearby Öjendorfer Park was opened in the early 1960s, as was the adjoining Öjendorf cemetery, which is perfect for spending a meditative moment or two. The park has a large lake with beaches, bathing and sporting facilities.
The district of Rothenburgsort in Hamburg's south is home to one of the city's oldest parks, Trauns Park , inspiration for many a manor house garden in the 19th century. Another pretty area in the south is Harburg's Schwarze Berge (Black Mountains), a hilly area with a highly recommended Wildpark Schwarze Berge (deer park).
In Altona, a long, green chain of lovely parks spreads along Elbchaussee. Jenischpark offers great views over the Elbe and is home to two museums, Jenisch-Haus and Ernst Barlach Haus . A bit further north, the Botanischer Garten (Botanical Garden) in Klein Flottbek is a feast for the eyes, while Hirschpark will astonish you with its spooky old trees and popular deer reserve. Passing by Baurs Park and Hesse Park, with its open-air swimming-pool, you will soon come across the Römischer Garten (Roman Gardens) which boast of a wonderful amphitheater with fantastic views of the river. Sven Simon Park in Falkenstein is home to the Puppet Museum . Tierpark Hagenbecks in the north-west of the city is not just a zoo, but also yet another lovely park. Further down to the west, the huge Volkspark Altona boasts spacious lawns, which are perfect for sunbathing, barbecues, sports and other leisure activities. The attractive Niendorfer Gehege offers horse riding, hiking and recreational areas for the entire family.
Other fine parks in the greater Hamburg area include Klövensteen in the north-west, where you can go riding and enjoy some first class food, and Duvenstedter Brook , a nature reserve with game watching facilities and diverse flora and fauna.
Tour of the Old Town Many companies offer guided walks through the city center. The following tour is intended to provide you with a rough idea of the main sights to see in the Altstadt (Old Town). The whole tour will take about an hour and a half.
Beginning at the Hauptbahnhof (central station) and heading in the direction of Alster you pass by the beautiful Hamburger Kunsthalle before reaching the beautiful Inner and Outer Alster lakes, which are spanned by the Lombardsbrücke bridge. If you turn left and walk down Ballindamm, you will see the gorgeous Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten on the other side of the lake. Passing Jungfernstieg and heading along Reesendamm, which faces the wonderful Alsterarkaden , you will soon reach the Town Hall and Stock Exchange . Hamburg's famous shopping street, Mönckebergstraße , takes you to St. Petri Kirche , the oldest of Hamburg's main churches. The lovely Hulbehaus is situated next door to the church, and if you walk down Kreuslerstraße, you will stumble across another church, this time St. Jacobi , which is close to the Museum of Art & Commerce and the cafe Destille . Walking down Klosterwall in the direction of Deichtorplatz, past the Markthalle & MarX , Kunstverein and Kunsthaus , you will eventually reach Deichtorhallen . Rearing up on your right are the mighty Sprinkenhof and Fritz Höger's architectural showpiece, Chilehaus . The warehouse complex to your left contains numerous notable buildings, such as the Zippelhaus .
After admiring the impressive statues of Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama on Kornhausbrücke bridge, walk along Zoll canal to the Speicherstadt , where you can take a look at the Deutsches Zollmuseum , the recently-opened Hamburg Dungeon , Speicherstadtmuseum and the 750-year-old St. Katharinen . It's also worth taking a small detour into the Cremon to have a look at Nikolaifleet and Hohe Brücke. Standing proudly at the end of Kajen is the Schaartorschleuse, a sluice gate which serves to protect the city against floods. Retracing your steps and strolling along Deichstraße , you can admire several historic buildings and a number of sophisticated restaurants before you get to Ost-West-Straße, which is dominated by the black, sooty steeple of what used to be St. Nikolai Church . To take a closer look at Nikolaifleet, cross Zollenbrücke bridge and return over Trostbrücke bridge to admire Laeiszhof und Globushof before heading to the Gebäude der Patriotischen Gesellschaft at the other end of the bridge. Börsenbrücken and Adolphsplatz will then take you back to the town hall, where the tour ends.
Tour of the New Town The following walk will take you past most of the major sights in the Neustadt (New Town) and will take about two hours.
Beginning at Gänsemarkt and heading down Dammtorstraße, you will pass the State Opera House , Museum für Kommunikation and Planten un Blomen botanical gardens. Continuing along Dammtorwall, past the CinemaxX Hamburg-Dammtor cinema and Dammtorbahnhof , you can climb the steps to get a good view of the Esplanade . Walk through the Colonnaden , where you can do a bit of window-shopping, to Jungfernstieg and turn right into Große Bleichen, past the old post office, and follow Gerhofstraße back to Johannes-Brahms-Platz, where you can admire the Musikhalle - Laeiszhalle , Justizforum and DAG-Haus , home to the Kellertheater . Doubling back down Bäckerbreitergang , you will pass numerous historical buildings, the Hummelbrunnen fountain, Hokkai Japanese restaurant and end up at Großneumarkt . With the Cotton Club just around the corner and Schwender's Weinlokal on the square, this is a good spot to return to later, especially for the wine and/or jazz lovers among you.
Continue down Steinweg and Neanderstraße to Peterstraße , an old street which is home to the Johannes-Brahms-Museum and which culminates at Holstenwall. Turn left to see the Wallanlagen and the Museum of Local History , or pop into Cafe Fees if you fancy a drink or a bit to eat. Passing Neues Theater am Holstenwall, turn left into Ludwig-Erhardt-Straße and walk towards St. Michaelis Church . From the church square you can already see the ship-shaped headquarters of Gruner & Jahr publishers. Walk towards it and take Neuer Neustädter Weg from Schaarsteinmarkt to get down to Vorsetzen. Climb the steps in front of you to get a grand view of the Kehrwiederspitze and the Sporthafen harbour with the Feuerschiff , Elbreederei Abicht and Museumsschiff Cap San Diego . You can either walk or take the metro from Baumwall station to the Landungsbrücken . There is a lot to see and do here, such as visiting Rickmer Rickmers (a maritime museum), going on a cruise , a guided tour of the city, or even exploring the Old Elbtunnel . Right above the metro stop there is a steep flight of steps which leads up to Jugendherberge auf dem Stintfang . This little bit of exercise is a must because the view over the harbor from the top is absolutely priceless! Continue on to Seewartenstraße, past the Bismarck Memorial , and round off the walk with a fish sandwich at Landungsbrücken.