I first visited Hamburg over a decade ago on business and was blown away by the sheer efficiency of this city – everything works! It has a beautiful location with water seemingly everywhere, with the Elbe River on one side and the Alster lakes on the other with canals linking the two. There are numerous distinct areas to visit including the medieval Aldstadt with the Rathaus, the largest modern development in Europe today at Hafen City, and the St. Pauli district with its fish markets, brew houses and the most infamous street in the city,Reeperbahn where the Beatles honed their craft and prostitutes ply their trade. On my first visit I only had time for a half day of sightseeing, but I’ve returned several times since, most recently with Alison in 2011. While I was in meetings she had a chance to take a walking tour and do some shopping in a city that has many great department stores and even more interesting specialty shops.
Our three days were made all the more pleasant by the room we were given at the Fairmont Vier-Jahreszeiten which I can say without equivocation is the best I’ve ever stayed in. Read my Trip Advisor review for more details. My clients also treated us to some of the best meals to be had in Germany. Cöllns (German only) is over one hundred and seventy-five years old and Otto von Bismarck had his own table.
Considering that my father was a wireless operator in one of the bombers that devastated the city in July 1943 (see The Night Hamburg Died) the Hamburgers treated us pretty darned good.