For sports enthusiasts, Hamburg has several professional teams and tournaments for spectators including the Deutsche Bank Players Championship golf event and the World Triathlon Championship. For those who like to take a more active roll, the city offers numerous facilities to enjoy. Joggers can take advantage of the city's networks of trails - especially those along Alster Lake - which are the perfect venue for a workout.
For a city of its size, Hamburg has more museums than one would expect. In fact, almost any area of interest is available. Examples include the International Maritime Museum, the Zoological Museum, Arts & Crafts Museum, Wax Museum to name but a few.
If the harbour is Hamburg's heart then the Alster is its soul. Dammed in the 13th century, today it gives the city a special kind of atmosphere and is an integral part of the panorama. Which other metropolis can boast a lake in its midst?
The Outer Alster is a basin that stretches over 160 hectares and has an average depth of 2.5 metres. Parks and other areas of greenery, which are filled with a number of statues, flank it. In the summer the Outer Alster is a popular place for sailing and rowing. If it is very cold in the winter, the lake can freeze over, which is always a cause for celebration for the locals. The Inner Alster Lake (18 hectares) is virtually square-shaped. It was separated from the Outer Alster in the 17th century and is flanked by three promenades: the Ballindamm, the Jungfernstieg and the Neuer Jungfernstieg. In the summer a huge fountain sprays water to a height of 35 metres.
The splendid town hall, which was built in the north German neo-Renaissance style, attracts many visitors every year.
Designed by seven architects under the guidance of Martin Haller in 1897, this building's opening was accompanied by numerous celebrations. It is a symbol of the city's autonomy and wealth, and all citizens are proud of it. Its northern facade, which is 111 metres long, is dominated by a huge tower and decorated by bronze statues of numerous German kaisers.
The interior houses approximately 650 different rooms, some of which are very opulent. Bigger events are held in the Kaisersaal or the Turmsaal, with its artistically decorated walls. The Große Festsaal is full of bronze and marble. The town hall is built on 4000 oak columns and escaped heavy damage during the Second World War.
St Pauli Landungsbrücken
The impressive Landungsbrücken and the Old Elbtunnel are part of Hamburg's postcard panorama. The Landungsbrücken, where harbour traffic once entered, is nowadays only used as a promenade and a jetty for boats taking people on tours of the harbour.
The Landungsbrucken reception halls were built at the beginning of the 20th century (1906-1910), using plans drawn up by Ludwig Raabe and Otto Wvhleke.
The first mention of this road dates back to 1304, and it is one of the Hanseatic city's biggest attractions for both locals and tourists. The Inner Dam houses on the banks of the Nikolai Canal were first built during the 15th century, which enabled goods to be continuously transported into the city.
However, it wasn't until the 17th century that merchants settled into Deichstrasse, living, working and storing their goods there. The fire that destroyed so many parts of the city was started at house number 45. Only a few houses survived in their original condition, but most of the buildings were rebuilt in a fashion true to their original architecture.