The most cosmopolitan city in Germany is waiting for you between the Elbe and Alster Rivers, where hospitality and liberality make for a gay and lesbian paradise.
And in the weeks leading up to December 25, it’s a festive paradise too. Hamburg’s Christmas markets are sprawling and diverse, from the elegant market on Jungfernstieg to the traditional Gänsemarkt in the Old Town. The market in HafenCity, meanwhile, is ethereal and smart, while the St. Pauli market has a frivolous flair.
Photo: ©www.mediaserver.hamburg.de/C. Spahrbier (Christian Spahrbier)
The Rathausmarkt market is one of the oldest in Hamburg: gingerbread, woodcarvings, biscuits and ceramics are a joy for the eyes and the palate. Enjoy on a Saturday morning, before visiting the nearby Town Hall with its commanding clock tower [above], where an excellent guided tour is provided.
Best of all, as part of its Winter Pride season, Hamburg boasts an LGBTI Christmas market near St. Georg’s Central Station, with entertainers and DJs performing sets every Friday and Saturday night. It’s open every day until 30 December, except 24-26.
GATEWAY TO THE WORLD
Boasting one of the biggest ports in Europe, countless travellers flock to Hamburg every year to revisit their roots. Indeed, in the beginning of the last century, crowds of Europeans set sail from Hamburger Hafen to begin their American dream.
Photo: Queen Mary II ©www.mediaserver.hamburg.de/C. Spahrbier (Christian Spahrbier)
And their descendants come here, every year, to perhaps wander in Hamburg’s most flamboyant part of town, St. Pauli and watch a musical on Reeperbahn Street, or enjoy fine architecture such as Chilehaus’s trademark pointed roof [below].