Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and the second largest port in Europe. If you are there on business, on a cruise or just passing by, Hamburg is a great city with great public transportation. I recommend getting a day pass for public transportation or getting a Hamburg Card if you are interested in museums and or other attractions. When I arrived, I arrived at the train station. I recommend even if you are spending the night, starting your tour there. From the train station you can walk down Mönckebergstrasse which is a big shopping street. Here you can stop in stores, but it is mostly the same stores you would find in any other city. The first big sight is at the end of the road the Rathaus or the Town Hall. Germans really know how to do a city hall and this is no exception. You can book a guided tour by calling +49 (0) 40-428 31 24 but just spending time around the square for me was enough. Right by the Town hall is the first of two lakes, this one is the Binnenalster. If you walked up to the corner of the lake by Town hall this promenade is called the Jungfernstieg and is home to lots of shopping in this area. I waited until the end of the day to enjoy this area, after checking out the lake, I walked back towards the Town Hall and walked through the Alsterarkaden. This has expensive speciality stores and resturants, but even if that is not what you are looking for, is a nice walk. If you walk back to the Town Hall, you can use your Hamburg card and take the U-3 to the St. Pauli stop. Here you can walk to the Reeperbahn. The Reeperbahn is Hamburg's red light and party street. While I would never come there at night, I am too boring for that, it is an interesting walk and is also where the Beatles got their start. There is a lot of Beatles tourism there if that is something you are interested in. After you walk around the Reeperbahn you can either walk or hope on the U-3 back to Landungsbrücken. Here you can take many different boat tours or hop on the public ferries. #62 gives you a pretty complete tour of the harbor and it is included in the price of the Hamburg card or transportation pass. While on the tourist boat tours you will get narration, this ferry is a very good introduction to the harbor. There is also maps that are all around the ferries that will tell you what you are seeing. If you choose to ride the #62 Ferry, it is a half an hour ride to one end. You can stay on it and ride it back to the start if you want, making it an hour boat ride. You can also get on and off where ever you want and you do not have to ride it to the end of the line, just get on a boat and go the other direction. Stay on the boat until you reach the Speicherstadt. The Speicherstadt is a complex of brick warehouses. It is really interesting to walk around this district or you can take a boat tour. The big site here is the Miniatur Wunderland. This is the largest model railroad in the world and is a very popular place to visit. You can either catch the U-bahn back to the train station if you are out of time, but I enjoyed walking back towards the train station looking and some pretty incredible buildings. At the end of the day, enjoy shopping, or enjoy the sunset at the Alster which is the larger of the two lakes. <!--MAP→
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