After the Second World War, in which Hamburg experienced severe bombing, newspapers such as Die Zeit, Die Welt and the Hamburger Abendblatt established themselves in Hamburg sealing its status as a media centre.
Today, Hamburg is still an important European centre for trade mainly thanks to its port which is the ninth busiest in the world. Europe's biggest urban development project, the HafenCity, which will almost double the size of the city centre, sees Hamburg setting new standards in town development. Once finished, it will be a benchmark for all new developments in Europe not just due to its groundbreaking architecture but the scope of the project which includes new flats, offices, retail outlets, leisure facilities, restaurants and cultural institutions.
Living in Hamburg
With 1.8 million inhabitants, Germany's second largest city is a popular place to live. It may, therefore come as no suprise that there is a lot of competition for flats and houses, pushing the rental prices up. This difficulty is, however, made up for in the quality of life Hamburg has to offer.
Hamburg's cityscape is characterized by many beautiful old buildings in particular the red-brick warehouses on the banks the Elbe. It is also, however, a thoroughly modern city which means it retains its character while providing everything you want from city living.
Hamburg is also unique in the number of parks and lakes that appear in the heart of the city itself. Lots of towns have lovely surrounding countryside, but here there is no need to search far and wide for a nice patch of grass. Of course this means there is no shortage of potential for outdoor activities, the parks offer a wide variety of sport clubs and if you are living in Hamburg, having a go at sailing on the Alster is a must.
When it comes to the cultural scene, Hamburg also has a great deal to offer. From the renowned theatres, the Thalia, the Deutsches Schauspielhaus or the Ohnsorg, to ballet, opera, all types of music concerts and 45 museums. There is definitely no shortage of things to see and do here.
What Hamburg is known for
When people think of Hamburg, the infamous red-light district, the Reeperbahn, is usually the first place to come to mind. It is, however, now a hugely popular tourist destination and there is a great number of bars and clubs that cater to all tastes. If you can face waking up at five o'clock the Fish Market is also famous and offers live music and great food. Hamburg is surrounded by water and is crisscrossed by canals, called 'Fleet', which were previously used for transportation, as well as to dispose of sewage and waste. This means that Hamburg has more bridges than Amsterdam and Venice combined. One of the most pleasant spots to sit and relax in the town is on the banks of the Alster where you can watch the famous swans, which have graced the city's emblem for 400 years, while maybe sampling an 'Alsterwasser', a mixture of beer and lemonade that you can buy at almost every pub.
Natives of Hamburg speak 'Plattdeutsch', a dialect spoken in different forms in parts of northern Germany. Although tricky to understand for other Germans, it does actually bare a greater resemblance to English than other dialects so may be perfect for foreign visitors.