Hamburg: The Hanseatic Pearl
Hamburg's historic label, ‘The gateway to the world’, might be a bold claim, but Germany’s second largest city and biggest port has never been shy. Hamburg has engaged in business with the world ever since it joined the Hanseatic League back in the Middle Ages. Its role as a center of international trade in the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought it great wealth (and Unesco World Heritage recognition in 2015), a legacy that continues today: Hamburg is one of Germany's wealthiest cities.
Hamburg’s maritime spirit infuses the entire city; from architecture to menus to the cry of gulls, you always know you're near the water. The city has given rise to vibrant neighborhoods awash with multicultural eateries, as well as the gloriously seedy Reeperbahn red-light district. Hamburg nurtured the early promise of the Beatles, and today its distinctive live and electronic music scene thrives in unique harbor side venues.
The city hides its allure like a pearl in a shell. Not just another grey, seedy port, Hamburg is a bourgeois city with a rebel heart. It discreetly displays its wealth inside its mansions in the districts of Eppendorf and Blankenese. Life here flows slowly around the Alster lakes and along the mighty Elbe. From the lake to the river, the waves invite contemplation and sports such as water-skiing, stand-up paddleboard, and sailing - all right inside the city center.
With HafenCity, Hamburg redraws its boundaries and makes the link between the port and the warehouses of Speicherstadt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2015. This new space, once completed, is expected to expand the city center by 40 %. Hamburg definitely has something non-conformist and trend-setting about it. Its music scene reflects this best, almost overshadowing Berlin's. The new Elbphilharmonie constitutes further evidence. ‘Moin moin' Hamburg! In other words, ‘Hi!‘.
Population: 1.8 million inhabitants
Size: 755.3 km2
Commerce: More than 35 000 trading companies with over 125 000 employees make Hamburg the leading foreign trade center in Germany.
Consulates: The city has the world’s second-largest concentration of consulates, with almost 100 consulates, coming second after New York.
How to get to Hamburg
- By plane: Hamburg Airport (HAM), known as Flughafen Hamburg “Helmut Schmidt”, is the international airport of Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany. It is located 8.5 km (5.3 miles) north of the city center in the Fuhlsbüttel quarter. Hamburg Airport is the fifth-busiest of Germany’s commercial airports measured by the number of passengers.
After arrival you can take a taxi or local train to reach the city center. With the S1 S-Bahn (metro rail network) line, passengers can travel from Hamburg’s Hauptbahnhof (central railway station) to the airport and back; the journey takes only 25 minutes one way, and the service operates every 10 minutes. The station, “Hamburg Airport (Flughafen)” is directly in front of the terminals and is quick and easy to reach by elevator, by escalator, and by stairs. http://www.hamburg-airport.de/en/index.php
- By train: Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (central station, abbrev. Hbf) is the main railway station for Hamburg and is classified as a category 1 railway station by Deutsche Bahn. It was opened in 1906 to replace 4 terminal stations. With an average of 480,000 passengers a day, the railway station is the busiest in Germany and after Gare du Nord and Gare de Chatelet Les Halles in Paris it is the third-busiest in Europe.
Tickets can be bought online (www.deutsche-bahn.de), at the counter or at vending machines directly at the station. For the Radisson Blu Hotel (conference venue) you should leave the train at the station “Hamburg Dammtor” (one station from Hbf), which is about 100 m from the hotel.
- By car: If you wish to travel to Hamburg by car, you should enquire beforehand whether car parking is available at your hotel. Parking space is limited in the city center.
Conference Venue: Radisson Blu Hotel (see this page for more details)
The stylish Radisson Blu Hotel in Hamburg is located only a short walk from the buzzing inner city with all its attractions and interesting sites. Just a short walk away you can find the lush Planten un Blomen botanical gardens and the beautiful Jungfernstieg promenade along the edge of Binnenalster, the inner Alster Lake. Make sure to stop by the historic harbor to learn more about the city of Hamburg’s role as the ‘gateway to Germany’.