Hamburg is the country’s second largest city located in the North of Germany. Several waterways run through its center and Hamburg has more bridges than Amsterdamand Venice combined. It boasts one of the biggest harbors in the world and still embraces its gritty, sailor past.
This is most apparent in its red light district of the Reeperbahn. Complete with seedy bars, shops selling stripper boots, and legal prostitution, this is also a hot spot for clubs and music and the place the Beatles got their start.
The surrounding area of St. Pauli is also worth a visit. Spend time on the harbor with an early morning visit to the Fischmarkt (fish market). This meeting place for locals and tourists alike was started in 1703 and sells the freshest fish, flowers, and spices with a side of live entertainment. Nearby Hafencity has been newly built up and offers the latest in shopping and dining. Cities Cities Cities Cities Cities Cities Cities Cities Cities Cities
If you hanker for the classic, stick to the city center with its elegant neoclassical rathaus (city hall) and its fine shopping street of Mönckebergstraße, affectionately known as Mö.
Cologne (or Köln), founded by the Romans, is one of Germany’s oldest cities. The soaring Cathedral of Cologne is the centerpiece with dual towers reaching 157-meters into the sky and can be seen from all over the city. Located right next to the train station, it is the first things visitors see and they never take their eyes off it.
From here, walk through the old town and on the western shore of the Rhine River. Colorful 19th century houses and ice cream cafes are the background for an idyllic stroll. Cologne’s art galleries and excellent museums mark every corner. Cities Cities Cities Cities Cities Cities Cities Cities Cities Cities
After all that walking, Cologne provides the perfect refreshment. Kölsch is the beer of Cologne. Served in endless rotation in small glasses, the people of Cologne rarely drink any other beer.
If your preferred vice is chocolate, Cologne has the museum for you. The Chocolate Museum covers the long history of turning coco beans into chocolate and finishes with the most delicious of fountains.
Clearly, there are plenty of places to have a good time in Cologne but there is no reason to limit yourself. If you visit Cologne for Carnival, the party overtakes the entire city. Cologne is the undisputed Carnival king in Germany.Coming right before Lent, the whole city goes a little nuts with city-wide parades, balls, and public spectacles.