‘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 trading bloc back in the Middle Ages, and this ‘harbourpolis’ is now the nation’s premier media hub and its wealthiest city.
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.
Its attractions are only matched by its inherent alluring spirit. Come, Hamburg says, have a ball.