Hamburg’s historic label, ‘The gateway to the world’, might be a bold claim, but Germany’s second-largest city and biggest port has never been shy. Hamburg has engaged in business with the world ever since it joined the Hanseatic League back in the Middle Ages. Its role as a centre of international trade in the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought it great wealth (and Unesco World Heritage recognition in 2015), a legacy that continues today: it’s one of Germany’s wealthiest cities. Hamburg’s maritime spirit infuses the entire city; from architecture to menus to the cry of gulls, you always know you’re near the water.
The city has given rise to vibrant neighbourhoods awash with multicultural eateries, as well as the gloriously seedy Reeperbahn red-light district. Hamburg nurtured the early promise of the Beatles, and today its distinctive live- and electronic-music scene thrives in unique harbourside venues.
The city’s attractions are only matched by its inherent tempting spirit. Come, Hamburg says, have a ball.Show in Lonely planet