Hamburg and Munich – northern and southern pearls of Germany

If there are good alternatives, more and more people choose not to take a plane. Particularly, if you want to switch off from everyday life for a few days and need a change of scenery, there are beautiful cities nearby, which are definitely worth a visit. True to the motto Why look so far afield when there is so much close at hand? we present to you today two cities in Germany well worth visiting.

Hamburg

City of Hamburg with river Elbe and Harbour, Germany

Due to the river Elbe and its imposing harbor, Hamburg is a gateway to the world. On the river, container ships pass cruise ships, while in between small motor boats and tourist steamers meander. This spectacle is particularly easy to follow from the Elbe beach. There are beautiful beach bars with refreshing drinks and tasty treats. And if there are for once no ships passing by, you can just relax, watch the dogs romp around or simply enjoy the Hanseatic flair.

Within walking distance is the Speicherstadt, the world’s largest historic warehouse complex. Since 2015, together with the Kontorhausviertel and Chilehaus, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – when visiting Hamburg an excursion to this place is a must. Unmistakable is the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, lovingly called Elphie. Despite having only been completed in 2016, it is already one of the city’s landmarks, simply by surpassing all other buildings in Hamburg by sheer size. Not only the building itself is impressive, so is a concert within.

Equally unmissable is a visit to the Reeperbahn. The numerous clubs, bars and other entertainment options have made it the most sinful mile in Germany – if not the world. However, its particular charm only comes out at night. During the day, only the grey, weary exterior is visible, which at night shines in the glow of the billboards. Yet after a long night partying, you still don’t have to stop. Sunday mornings traditionally start with a fish sandwich at the fish market.

If you still don’t have enough of all the water, the Binnenalster and Outer Alster lakes are beautiful places to go in the city center.

Munich

Munich, Germany with Christmas Market and Christmas decoration during sunset.

This is the southernmost metropolis of Germany. And here too a river, the Isar, plays a big part, but isn’t the main act. Especially in the warm summer months, the beer gardens are perfect places to enjoy a hearty beer and rustic food. Due to its close proximity to Italy, the whole lifestyle feels altogether more laid back and relaxed. In addition to the Dolce Vita you can not only enjoy culinary, but also visual delights: centuries-old buildings characterize the imposing cityscape and in the numerous museums you can admire art from many different eras. A particular highlight is the Deutsches Museum with Masterpieces of Science and Technology, the world’s largest technology museum. In contrast to many other exhibitions, here you can press buttons and flip switches yourself. With around 50 different subject areas – such as agricultural and food technology, astronomy, chemistry, photography and film, aerospace, marine and physics, shipping, telecommunications and timekeeping – there is something for everyone. Those preferring a more artistic aspect when visiting a museum, are best advised with a visit to the Alte Pinakothek. More than 700 paintings are on display in 19 halls and 47 cabinets. These are testimonies of European painting in the 14th to 18th century. The Neue Pinakothek shows European art from the Enlightenment to the dawn of modernity. And then there also is the Pinakothek der Moderne, which is one of the most famous exhibition halls far beyond the borders of Munich.

A cultural highlight of a completely different kind is the Munich Oktoberfest. It takes place every year from late September to early October, attracting millions of visitors. In 2018, 6.3 million people from all over the world came to watch the parades, drink plenty of beer in the beer tents, eat Hendl, and go on the the craziest rides.

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