If youâ€™re thinking about a new place to see in Germany that you might have missed before, then think about Hamburg.
The city has some absolutely superb museums. My favourite of the trip is the Hamburger Kunsthalle, just next to the main train station. It has a very impressive modern art exhibition, as well as respectable collections from many well-known artists. Donâ€™t miss the new media section, which contains some fun (if not bizarre) audio and video presentations.
The focal feature of the city is, of course, the two lakes: the Binnenalster (inner lake) and the Aussenalster (outer lake). These are great to walk around both by day and night. But donâ€™t forget to explore some of the city parks as well. The Stadtpark hosts tons of green space as well as the Planetarium. I also love the Volkspark Altona, a ridiculously huge park complete with babbling brook and gardens.
Probably the defining feature of many touristsâ€™ itineraries, the scene at night here is pretty wild, to say the least. Check out all the action at the Reeperbahn, but donâ€™t miss the bohemian atmosphere in the Schanzenviertel neighbourhood.
Hamburg has both old world classic architecture and more modern touches as well. The Michel, with its chocolate brown tower, is worth a visit to check out the view from the top. The main city hall (â€œRathausâ€) is built in typical neo-Renaissance style and is flanked by squares full of cafes on both sides. Another fun sight is the â€˜Chilehausâ€™, built in 1920s style of â€˜Kontorhausâ€™ architecture. It basically was built to look like an upside ship.
The city is one of Europeâ€™s most important ports, and thus it stands to be unsurprising that there are a number of cute and charming villages along the shores outside of the city. Check out Blankenese, less than an hour away by train, and explore its winding lanes and alleyways leading down to the river Elbe. Stop here for a beer or coffee and enjoy watching all the sea traffic heading to or from Hamburg harbour.