Hamburg - the new Berlin

Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany, has traditionally lived in Berlin’s shadow – but not anymore.

The northern metropolis has become a media and industrial hub in modern times, with Hamburg now one of the most affluent and best places to live anywhere in Europe.

And tourists can’t get enough of Hamburg’s charms. From art to history and music to marathons, the city now attracts over four million visitors each year. Read on to find out about some of the interesting and innovative places to visit when staying in a Hamburg hotel this year.

St Michaelis Church
A truly iconic landmark of Hamburg, visitors are drawn from across both across Germany and further afield to gaze upon and worship at St Michaelis Church. The glorious Baroque building was originally constructed in 1786 and is dedicated to the archangel Michael. One of the main attractions of the building is the glorious bronze sculpture of Michael vanquishing the Devil, which welcomes tourists as they enter through the main entrance.

Today, visitors can climb St Michaelis’ 132 metre-high spire, where they will be able to soak up fantastic views of Hamburg’s skyline and harbour district.

Tierpark Hagenbeck
Hamburg Zoo  was originally opened in 1907 and is the rival of any in Europe. The zoo was the first to pioneer cageless exhibits, and it still uses moats to this day to improve visitor experiences by providing them with panoramic and lifelike enclosures.

The zoo has 210 different species of animals, with tourists able to feed the hugely popular elephants, lions and polar bears during their trip to this highly-respected conservation centre.

Hamburger Dom
The Dom is the largest fair in Germany and can more than match anything Berlin has to offer in terms of excitement. Held for 30 days in spring, summer and winter, it is located at the heart of Hamburg in front of St Mary’s Cathedral. Tourists can not only enjoy its Ferris wheel and other fairground attractions but buy local delicacies and products from the Dom’s market stalls.

Long Night of Museums
This renowned event sees many of Hamburg’s excellent museums and cultural institutions throw open their doors for an all-night extravaganza. The idea might have originated in Berlin but Hamburg has perfected it. Around 40 top attractions, including the Museum of Arts and Crafts and the Deichtorhallen, stay open into the night, allowing visitors to enjoy their collections in the unique moonlit conditions.

Hamburg State Opera
The city’s opera company is the envy of art lovers across the world, with Hamburg one of the leading lights in staging productions. Opera dates back to 1678 in the city and is now housed in the innovative Staatsoper building. The company has received international acclaim for its pioneering programme and tourists are as likely to be able to enjoy a world premiere of new and exciting shows as an operatic classic.