Hamburg’s almost custom-made for a long-weekend visit. Its airport is less than half an hour by train or taxi from the city center; it has an efficient and extensive public transportation system; taxis are reasonably priced and plentiful; and the city’s flat terrain is perfectly suited to walking and cycling. Exploring the Altstadt and Neustadt areas, where Hamburg’s Rathaus (Town Hall), the Alster lakes, the Kunsthalle and Deichtorhallen galleries, and a number of the city’s churches are all within a short stroll of one another, can easily fill a day and night—particularly if you throw in some shopping, and then dinner in nearby St. Georg. Another day can be spent wandering the harbor, taking a cruise, and perhaps bicycling around the Speicherstadt and HafenCity, followed by a night out in St. Pauli or the Schanzenviertel. A less vigorous day’s activities might include brunch in a café in Altona, lunch and a riverside walk in Blankenese, and some dinner back in Ottensen.
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