Hamburgers need only one word for a hearty greeting … “Moin!”
It roughly translates as “Hello, how are you, I hope you’re well.” It can also mean “Good morning, did you sleep well?” or even “Good evening, how was your day?” When spoken to new visitors to the North German metropolis of Hamburg, it means “Welcome to one of the world’s most beautiful cities!”
You see, Hamburgers love understatement – and their city. Join me on a stroll through “my Hamburg” and you’ll see for yourself how you can enjoy all the second largest city in Germany has to offer.
Each morning I ride my bike to work. My route takes me alongside the beautiful Alster Lakes and its lovely parks. The Alster is a popular place for boating, jogging, walking and elegant hotels & cool venues line the way. It is also an ideal place for not only dining and meeting, but also for outdoor incentives and team building activities, including sailing, canoeing or rowing just to name a few. Believe me, it’s almost impossible not to stop and take in the beautiful city views while biking alongside this green oasis on my way to the office!
City Center / Town Hall
Leaving the Alster Lakes behind on my ride, I then pass by diverse shopping arcades and spacious boulevards with their flagship stores and exclusive boutiques, which Hamburg is famous for. One of my favorite spots is the Alster Arcade, where I like to have coffee and cake and enjoy the lovely view of the Alster River and Hamburg’s Town Hall. I’m always impressed by the splendid sandstone, Neo-Renaissance style of the edifice of this historic building. It reminds me of Hamburg’s rich history, culture and its people, who treasure its unique waterside location and the cosmopolitan atmosphere of this livable metropolis. In this area planners and delegates have a choice of multiple meeting venues, hotels and restaurants that are truly in the center of it all.
PORT OF HAMBURG
During my lunch breaks or on weekends, I often walk to the Elbe River and the port of Hamburg. The water gives Hamburg its unique character – combining a maritime atmosphere, fresh air, and leading- edge urban design. Almost 2,500 bridges (more than in Amsterdam, London and Venice combined) cross the innumerable waterways between the rivers and lakes.
Besides being one of Germany’s most popular visitor attractions, the Port area is also the economic heart of the city, housing trade and business that supports the booming international markets. Here the maritime and logistic fields come together as strong economic clusters and industry areas of expertise that meeting planners and delegates can leverage. For example, experts in these industries can serve as speakers, guides for custom tours or hosts for site visits – fostering knowledge sharing and transfer. As a result, many important B2B events and conferences for these industries are held in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region each year, including the recent IAPH World Ports Conference which just took place last year.
Fish Rolls & Boats of All Shapes & Sizes
A visit to the Port of Hamburg wouldn’t be complete without one of Hamburg’s most famous delicacies – a traditional fish roll. It’s a sandwich made with fish, onions and pickles. Enjoying the roll while watching the container ships, docks and busy terminals, as well as the majestic sailing boats that weave between them, always reminds me of why Hamburg is considered the gateway to the world. BTW … did you know that Hamburg has become one of Europe’s most popular cruise destinations? Whenever one of these ocean-going giants visits our Hanseatic (Northern German) city it is welcomed and sent off with pomp and circumstance featuring thousands of people lining the river to wave hello and goodbye. Hamburg’s maritime heritage is celebrated yearly with its Ports Anniversary event, attracting more than 1 million visitors from all over the world.
ELBPHILHARMONIE AND HAFENCITY
Standing in front of the majestic Elbphilharmonie makes me proud to be a Hamburger. Designed to look like a rolling wave in homage to Hamburg’s world-famous harbor and close connection to the ocean, the Elbphilharmonie is due to “set sail” in 2017 – providing an eye-popping and truly unique new meeting venue for planners and delegates. Located in the brand new design and architecture hub of HafenCity, the “Elphi” has a beautiful exterior, with 2,000+ individually shaped windows that are a first of their kind in the world. A brick foundation that is actually a protected landmark as a former warehouse for cocoa, tea and tobacco anchors it all. On the interior you’ll find a myriad of options for meetings and events, including two performance halls that will feature world-renowned performances, large common areas, a new 4-Star hotel for top-notch dining, lodging and meeting spaces, as well as hip and trendy restaurants, cool hotels and a variety of venues in the surrounding area.
Just a stone’s throw away from the Harbor my bike or feet take me through Hamburg’s Speicherstadt – the world’s largest historic Warehouse District which captivates with 125 year old Gothic brick façades, wrought-iron walking bridges and lovely canals. Recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Speicherstadt has retained its historic charm yet offers a variety of renovated, new and interesting venues, hotels, and activities like a chocolate museum, spice museum, guided night-watchmen tours and the world’s largest model railway. Smaller venues such as old wine cellars and large venues in beautiful old warehouses and museums can both be found here. Mixing charm and history along with the smell of spices, coffee and fresh ocean breezes it’s a must experience place when visiting Hamburg.