Anyone standing on the Oberbaumbrücke over the Elbe in the early morning at sunrise will sense the power emanating from Hamburg. To the right is the 19th century, red-brick Speicherstadt (warehouse city), with its bizarre gables and turrets reflected in the canals. To the left is the formidable site of the new HafenCity, where international architectural offices and modern residential and commercial buildings are set side by side like childen’s playthings. Hamburg is rich in contrasts. Glorious Wilhelminian-style villas stand next to bulky brick buildings and practical living quarters for workers. Over lunch,
Hanseatic merchants sit in restaurants next to feisty advertisers who control the fortunes of international brands and markets. The little gems scattered amongst the major places of interest are also worth taking a look at. Traditional shops offer hand-picked specialities, young designers tailor their exclusive collections in the back rooms of shop premises, and the small music clubs – where decades ago dedicated bands wrote musical history – provide experimental sounds and extraordinary live concerts. Just as the tide brings
the waves from the North Sea to Hamburg every few hours, so to do new influences
arrive in this liberal, cosmopolitan city. Take a weekend to wander between the elegant townhouses in the Harvestehude district, explore the tumult of the lively ‘Kiezmeile’ (neighbourhood mile), stroll along secluded canals and between colourful container stacks, where loading bridges wait on gigantic ocean liners around the clock. Welcome to Hamburg!
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The series ‘A perfect weekend …’ and ‘A perfect week …’ are published by the online city guide www.smart-travelling.net in cooperation with Süddeutsche Zeitung Edition. On its web page you’ll find a host of other unique locations in over 30 cities and regions across the world. Tips for hotels, restaurants, cafés, shops and activities – all unique and carefully selected. Rather than listing anything and everything, Smart Travelling aims to pinpoint each city or region’s authentic vibe, to find out what makes it so special and to track down the places that make you want to come back again and again. Visit us at www.smart-travelling.net. Scroll through our culinary best-of blog, use the quick and easy booking facility to reserve your hotel online and take advantage of our selected tips on Amsterdam, Rome, San Francisco and a host of other cities to plan your next trip.
Hamburg is a big place, so we’ve kept this information section small. Instead of listing anything and everything, we’ve focussed on giving you the right tips for a perfect
weekend b reak: i nteresting f acts about the way of life in Hamburg, and a small, hand-picked selection of sights, walks and recommendations for Sunday activities. We’ve also included a handy map with all of our favourite spots to help you get your bearings right away and make the most of your time in Hamburg.