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Hamburg is a lively city that owes its prosperity mainly to its port. There are two unique Alster lakes, which were originally intended as water supplies and currently are entertainment and recreation areas. The old storehouses in the so-called Speicherstadt, are now shops, galleries, museums, bars and restaurants.
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany with 1.8 million inhabitants, it is also a very densely populated area with 2,300 inhabitants per square kilometer.
Hamburg is located in the north of Germany, 70 kilometers south of the border with Denmark. The city is located in a position where the River Elbe merges with the rivers Alster and Bille. The North Sea is located northwest of the city and the Baltic Sea is situated on the northeast.
The Port of Hamburg is the backbone of the city's economy, it is the second largest port in Europe, after Rotterdam. The reunification of Germany and renewed access to Eastern Europe markets have proven very beneficial as it is by far the fastest growing port of Europe. Additionally there are several shipyards and steel, aluminium and copper producing industries.
Hamburg also is an important center for the aviation industry, Airbus has a large assembling plant in the city. Other important sectors are the media, information and communication technology industries.
The international airport Flughafen Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel lies eight kilometers to the north of the city, in between two beltways that surround the city (R2 and R3) and just along the A7 highway. It is the oldest airport in Germany still in operation.
Public transport is well organized in Hamburg, there are three subway lines (U-Bahn) and nine suburban railroad lines (S-Bahn). The subways are also called Hochbahn (elevated railways) by the Hamburgers as the majority of the net runs on the surface.
The parts of the city that are not covered by the U-Bahn or S-Bahn network are serviced by an extended bus network, furthermore there are ferry services on the River Elbe. These ferry boats are mainly used by commuters, however, they are also an economic option for tourists to enjoy the city view from the water side.
You can easily drive around in Hamburg outside rush hours and on many of the main roads, tourist attractions are clearly indicated.
Parking is relatively expensive, particularly downtown. You can follow the indications of the dynamic parking system to find an available parking space. A color system is used to indicate in which part of the city the parking garages are located, red for the surrounding area of the Mönckebergstrasse, yellow for the Jungfernstieg and surrounding areas and green for the harbor area and the Michaeliskirche.
Hamburg has a large variety of hotels to offer. It should be noted that prices are rather high, even for the simple accommodations. You can get a more economic deal if you book well in advance.
For more information about Hamburg, we recommend Google and the following sources: