Top choice arts centre in Speicherstadt & HafenCity
Image by Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Welcome to one of the most Europe's most exciting recent architectural creations. A squat brown-brick former warehouse at the far west of HafenCity was the base for the architecturally bold Elbphilharmonie, a major concert hall and performance space, not to mention architectural icon. Pritzker Prize–winning Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron were responsible for the design, which captivates with details like 1096 individually curved glass panes.

Enter via Europe's longest (and really rather beautiful) escalator up to the Plaza, from where you can emerge onto the wraparound balcony for terrific city and harbour views in all directions. And make sure you return for a live performance.