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Every visitor to Hamburg has to go precisely to these eight spots

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Every visitor to Hamburg has to go precisely to these eight spots
Hamburg's city of warehouses at night. Photo: DPA.
08:53 CET+01:00
Germany's famous port city has a wealth of impressive sights, districts and landmarks, here are eight that you won't want to miss while on a trip there.

1. Fischmarkt - fish market

A pescetarian's dream: fresh herring. Photo: DPA.

While it might not be at the top of anyone's 'romantic weekend away in Hamburg' list, this 100-year old fish auction hall has its own charm, and is more authentic to the city than sights like Hamburg Dungeon.

Never mind wurst, grab a tasty Fischbrötchen (fish roll) while appreciating the fish market's impressive interior and the sweet salty smell of the fresh catch of the day being brought in.

For fishophiles, fans of seafood and seagulls everywhere, you'll have to get down early, it's open every Sunday but only from 5am till 9.30am.

2. Poggenmühlenbrücke - Poggenmühlen bridge

Looks awful doesn't it? Photo: DPA.

Poggenmühlen bridge is located in Hamburg's Speicherstadt, or city of warehouses, and offers the best view of these warehouses on the waterfront.

It gives you a chance to delve a little deeper into the labyrinthine workings of the world's largest contiguous warehouse complex, away from the crowds of tourists.

Originally built between 1885 and 1927 - and partially rebuilt after the Second World War - this warehouse district sits on what were originally a group of narrow islands in the Elbe.

They are part of the city's rich maritime history, as Hamburg is historically one of Europe's most important ports. These UNESCO World Heritage warehouses were given historic monument protection in 1991.

3. Old Elbe Tunnel

Alongside driving a vintage car, you can walk and cycle through the tunnel. Photo: DPA.

The Old Elbe Tunnel is another of Hamburg's century old attractions and has been a protected monument since 2003.

You can choose to walk, or take the lift, down 24 meters to the tunnel entrance. When you walk the 426.5 meters of tiled tunnel, see if you can spot the strange depiction of four rats and a boot among the more predictable murals of marine life that adorn the walls.  

When it first opened in 1911, this was the first river tunnel on the continent, created to improve transport links between the northern and southern sides of the Elbe as the city's port expanded.

4. Steinwerder Aussichtspunkt - Steinwerder lookout point

You can see the Elbe Philarmonic Hall, which cost a meager €789 million. Photo: DPA.

If you're a fan of innovative architecture, the best place to admire the newest addition to the Hamburg skyline - the Elbphilarmonie or Elbe Philarmonic Hall - is at the lookout point on Steinwerder.

In order to get there, you'll have to go through the Old Elbe Tunnel.

Hamburg's answer to the Sydney Opera House is named after the river Elbe, which runs through the city on its way to the North Sea.

The Concert Hall was due to open back in 2010, but due to delays eager classical music enthusiasts had to wait until this November for a public preview, while inaugural concerts will be held in January 2017.

It's six years late and more than ten times over the original price estimate of €77 million - but better late than never. So if you're in Hamburg and a budding Brahms and Mendelssohn aficionado – both of whom were born in the city – then add a concert experience to your trip.

5. Miniatur Wunderland - miniature wonderland

If you like scaled down versions of things, be prepared to be blown away by this video. 22 million people on Youtube were.

This is another Hamburg sight that can claim to be the biggest in the world, and ironically it's to do with things in miniature. Did someone say the world's largest model railway? That's right. This one is for the child inside you or the strange man child beside you.

Located inside the Speicherstadt, this miniature wonderland took 230 employees 580,000 hours to painstakingly construct. There are 930 trains, 228,000 trees, 215,000 figures, 8,850 cars, 13,000 meters of track and 3,660 buildings depicting both the city it is housed in, alongside the USA, Scandinavia and more.

But it's not all child friendly, some twisted employees have hidden miniature dirty jokes here and there. See if you can spot several small pairs of lovers dotted around this seemingly utopian wonderland. The clues are: flower fields, behind a tree, an office and in a barn. Just don't tell the kids about your smutty Where's Waldo? adventure.

6. The Indra Club

 
Unfortunately for Ringo, he wasn't in the band during their crazy Hamburg years. Photo: DPA.
 
The Beatles played at clubs along Hamburg's notorious Reeperbahn strip in the early 1960s prior to their worldwide fame, including a first residency at The Indra Club, which is still there today on Große Freiheit, a street that intersects the strip.

Once you're done looking at Beatles memorabilia you can walk on over to the bright lights of the Reeperbahn, where Hamburg's red light district can be found.

The actor and singer Hans Albers, one of Hamburg's most famous sons, starred in a film 'On the Reeperbahn at half past midnight' about its vices as far back as the 1950s.

The 930m street in the St. Pauli district is still Hamburg's number one spot for entertainment and seedy old men. It's only got more glamorous with age.

While you're in the area, does your spinster aunt need a vibrator this Christmas? Then why not head down to the Santa Pauli Christmas market while you still can, where you have a host of sex-related products and unusual festive gifts to choose from.

7. Beim Grünen Jäger

People enjoying a warm August night on Beim Grünen Jäger. Photo: DPA.

St. Pauli isn't just about brothels and vibrators. Walk away from the Reeperbahn and you'll get to Beim Grünen Jäger, a street near Feldstrasse U-Bahn station. It's full of cafes, restaurants and bars, and a welcome respite from the glowing neon lights of strip clubs.

You don't even have to splash out for alcohol in a bar. Why not go into a nearby shop, buy a bottle of beer and relax on the street with your friends?

For football fans, the cult football club FC St. Pauli also play their home games nearby at the Millerntorstadion. The club are known for their skull and crossbones symbol and alternative, left-wing fan culture, which emerged in the 1980s as a reaction to hooliganism, fascism and right-wing nationalism in the game.

So if you're not a nationalist hooligan a stadium tour might be just the thing for you.

8. Alma-Wartenberg-Platz

 

A photo posted by CariiiiiiiCaroooo (@caro_lin.fri) on

Alma-Wartenberg-Platz is a hidden gem in the Altona district of Hamburg, where you can forget the sorrows of a hazy night on the Reeperbahn at one of the bars that line this attractive square.

Altona is a large area to the west of St. Pauli, which has gained a reputation for being one of Hamburg's coolest Kiezs (districts).

Hamburg's fish market is located in the south-east corner of Altona, so if you walk north towards Alma-Wartenberg-Platz from there you'll also get to see Altona's grandiose city hall on the way, along with its theatre, museum and the Platz der Republik. And because these are located on a hill, you'll also get the best view of Harbour Cranes in action across the Elbe.

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