HAM Michel

Further Reading

Port of Hamburg







Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city and at the same time one of the 16 German states, with its 1.8 million inhabitants is the most populous city within the European Union that is not the respective country’s capital. Although Hamburg is not situated at the ocean coast, but some 100 kilometers away, it is connected to the North Sea via the Elbe river and well-known for its busy port, the second-largest in Europe, which serves as one of the most important transportation hubs in Germany.

Hamburg usually ranks highly in livability indexes and “best places to live” surveys. For several years, the Greater Hamburg area has been named the European Union’s most affluent region by personal wealth and while people here tend to be quiet about their private fortunes, there are some very impressive villas, particularly in the Altona borough, to show for this fact. However, visiting other parts of the city yields a colorful picture of distinctive quarters. The St. Pauli neighborhood is home to a famous fish market as well as to the even more famous entertainment and red light district around Reeperbahn, while Wandsbek boasts quiet forests within the city  and a somewhat rural atmosphere and the Schanzenviertel quarter is home to many people dedicated to alternative lifestyles.

Hamburg is the center of a metropolitan area with a population of about 5 million. Within the city, people from many countries have found a home and recent estimates put the percentage of inhabitants with a migrant background at more than 30%. These people fuel the city’s economy which is organized in more than 120,000 businesses. The port is the most important economic factor of the region, directly or indirectly employing thousands of workers in logistics. Other industries include the aerospace business (Airbus has a major plant within the city’s boundaries), large media outlets and consumer goods. In addition, tourism plays a large role for Hamburg’s economy, as the city registers more than 9 million overnight stays per year.

While being a very diversified city enjoying many multicultural influences, Hamburg has retained a distinct local character as expressed in a specific dialect spoken here, as well as in music, literature and cuisine. Hamburg boasts a broad cultural scene, offering more than 60 theaters, a large number of music clubs and a wide range of museums. Thanks to many domestic visitors traveling to Hamburg to see stage productions, Hamburg has the most-visited theatres in Germany.

To get here, travelers may opt to choose the Hamburg airport as their destination, which offers a lot of flights to other European cities as well as excellent connections to the international air hubs of Frankfurt and Munich. Several main traffic arteries also serve the city, among these are important railway lines as well as a number of autobahn connections. Within Hamburg, car travel is fairly easy as long as you don’t want to stay in the city center – in that case, it is more advisable to make use of the good network of public transportation.