Hamburg, officially the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (colloquially Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg), is the second largest city in Germany and the thirteenth largest German State. As a destination city and region, Hamburg offers architecturally significant buildings and significant landmarks. Hamburg was also voted the greenest city of Europe at one point due to its many parks and gardens. Additionally, Hamburg boasts of over 100 music venues and clubs, 60 museums, and 40 theatres.
What to see & do
Planten un Blomen - Planten un Blomen is a 47-hectare urban park in the inner-city of Hamburg. The name is Low German for Pflanzen und Blumen, or Plants and Flowers. The public park was opened in 1930, and is now known for its water-light concerts, and public theatre and music performances. There is also a large playground in the park's southern area. Entrance to the park is free of charge.
Tierpark Hagenbeck - Tierpark Hagenbeck is a 25-hectare zoo in the Stellingen quarter in Hamburg. The early beginnings of the zoo began in 1863, when a fishmonger named Carl Hagenbeck Sr. became an amateur animal collector. He founded the park in 1907, and it was known for being the first zoo to use open enclosures surrounded by moats. Residents of the zoo include elephants, lions, monkeys, pelicans, bears, chameleons, and marine animals.
Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte - Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte or Museum for Hamburg History is a history museum established in 1922 near the Planten un Blomen Park. The museum houses many of the artefacts preserved by the Society of Hamburg History, with permanent exhibitions such as Hamburg in the 20th Century, Hamburg's Historical Highlights, Medieval Hamburg, Hamburg in the Early Modern Age, Hamburg and the Church Persecution and the holocaust under the National Socialist regime and so on.
How to get around
Hamburg is a major transport hub, with a well-developed public transport system. Aside from regular buses that operate throughout the day, there are nightbuses or Nachtbuses that connect the city centre to the outlying districts. These buses radiate to and from Rathausmarkt, near the town hall. As for the train services, the S-Bahn and U-Bahn run between 5AM and 1AM in the central city during the weekdays, but runs all night during the weekends. There is usually no service to the outlying districts past 11PM. Note that the train doors do not open automatically. Passengers who wish to alight will have to press a button and/or pull a handle on the door. Taxis in Hamburg operate 24 hours a day, and can be waited for at the taxi rank: the taxi rank can be identified by a green box on a post. Taxis are usually ivory white, and have a yellow and black sign on the roof that says 'taxi'. Hamburg is also a bicycle-friendly city, especially during the warmer months. Some hotels in the city can provide hotel bicycles, but you can also rent one from kiosks of the bike rental service called StadtRad.
How to get there
Hamburg is served by Hamburg Airport, the oldest airport in Germany still in operation. The busiest international routes to and from the airport are Zürich, Palma de Mallorca, and London. There are also flights to the airport from Dublin, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Riga, Düsseldorf, Lanzarote, Munich, Stuttgart, Tenerife, Vienna, Paris, Malta, Brussels, Amsterdam, Rome, Helsini, Oslo, Prague, and several other cities in Europe. Airlines that provide lots of connections to Hamburg Airport include Air Berlin, Condor, easyJet, Germanwings, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Scandinavian Airlines, and TUlfly.