Hamburg Area Map
The Alster lakes sit in the northeast of the nearly 300-square-mile city of Hamburg, and the majority of Hamburg's most popular neighborhoods are located to the south or west of the convergence of the Aussenalster (Outer Alster) and Binnenalster (Inner Alster) lake.
Accessible via the Mönckebergstraße, Jungfernstieg and Stephansplatz U-Bahn stations.
Hamburg's city center (also known as the downtown district or Central Hamburg) is located south of Alster Lake. One of the district's major arteries – the Neuer Jungfernstieg – contains the Colonnaden, a popular corridor of shops and cafes. Another main street, the Jungfernsteig, is also lined with designer boutiques and jewelry stores. Many of the city's top hotels, including the Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten and the Sofitel Hotel Hamburg Alter Wall, are in this area.
Also housed in this area is the uber-modern opera house, Hamburgische Staatsoper; the Hamburger Kunsthalle museum, with numerous pieces from the German Romantic period; the Laeiszhalle, which houses the Hamburg Philharmonic and the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra; and the neo-Renaissance Rathaus (City Hall) government building.
Accessible via the Rödingsmarkt and Baumwall U-Bahn stations.
South of Hamburg's city center is the Harbour neighborhood (or Historic Hamburg), a district that rests on the northern banks of the River Elbe and greets sailors aboard the thousands of ships that pull into the harbor, monthly.
A number of churches nestle off the Harbour's cobblestone streets, namely St. Michaeliskirche (Church of St. Michael) and St. Katharinenkirche (Church of St. Catharine). Both were constructed in the 17th century, suffered major blows during the bombings of World War II and were reconstructed in the later 20th century.
Accessible via the Baumwall U-Bahn station.
With the Elbphilharmonie rising high above the River Elbe as a striking landmark, HafenCity is a hub of activity in the harbor. New public squares, promenades, restaurants and shops are not only popular with cruise passengers who disembark in the HafenCity terminal, but also with residents and other tourists visiting Hamburg.
Accessible via the St. Pauli U-Bahn station.
Maybe you've tried St. Pauli Girl beer – the German beer with a blonde dressed in traditional German garb on the label? Well, the St. Pauli district, located to the west of the city center, is an even more brazen interpretation of the St. Pauli Girl. Travelers with young ones beware: Along the Reeperbahn, a street that's the district's main attraction, you'll find sex shops, striptease shows and more X-rated entertainment. Aside from the adults-only entertainment, the area is also a popular live-music hub. In fact, this area is where the Beatles played when they came to Hamburg in 1960 and started their careers. Visitors can take a popular Beatles Tour to learn more.
Accessible via the Altona S-Bahn station.
Just west of St. Pauli is a smaller area called Altona, which is most notable for its open-air Fish Auction Hall and Market. Open on Sundays early to catch the late-night partiers and the early birds, the Fish Auction Hall and Market sells fresh fish, among other goods, including flowers, produce, antiques and German bratwursts.
Accessible via the Blankenese S-Bahn station.
Blankenese is located west of Altona, also on the banks of the River Elbe. You can travel to Blankenese by foot on the roughly 6-mile Elbchaussee, which is known for its picturesque charm. One of the city's top hotels, Hotel Louis C. Jacob can be found in Blankenese.
Accessible via the Sternschanze, Feldstraße and Messehallen U-Bahn stations.
The districts of Schanzenviertel and Karolinenviertel are north of St. Pauli and are known as a multicultural area, complete with a varied array of ethnic bars, shops and restaurants. According to Hamburg's tourism website, many locals flock to Schanzenviertel for a night out and leave Reeperbahn to the tourists. Meanwhile, Karolinenviertel is known for its secondhand stores and designer boutiques.
Accessible via Hallerstraße and Hoheluftbrücke U-Bahn stations.
North of the city center and on the western banks of the Aussenalster (Outer Alster) lake, Pöseldorf rests as an upscale residential district. Opulent villas and 19th-century townhouses line the streets of Pöseldorf and Harvestehude, which are packed with Hamburg's famous and fashionable.
Accessible via Eppendorfer Baum U-Bahn station.
North of Pöseldorf and Harvestehude is Eppendorf, another posh residential district. Don't miss out on the open-air market, Isemarkt, which sells flowers, produce and other foods.
Accessible via Hauptbahnhof Süd and Berliner Tor U-Bahn stations.
St. Georg is located northeast of the city center and is known as Hamburg's art-filled district, thanks in part to the 15,000 students that attend Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, which has its main campus in the neighborhood. Home to gay-friendly nightclubs and cafes, St. Georg is also the site of the yearly Christopher Street Day parade.
Be leery of pickpockets, especially in and around the Reeperbahn area. Women traveling alone should also take particular care when touring this area after dark. If you're planning to swim in the Elbe River, travelers warn of strong undercurrents and large waves (from passing ships) that can pull you under. You can also take a dip in the Outer Alster Lake, but keep in mind its relatively shallow depth (six feet in some areas to 16 feet in others). The U.S. Department of State urges travelers to exercise an increased level of caution when visiting Germany due to threats of terrorism. To receive alerts regarding security threats, sign up for the free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
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