The second-largest city in Germany, Hamburg throbs with international beats. At times you’ll forget you’re even in Deutschland, thanks to the city’s unique stew of different cultures. Walk down a pedestrian street and you’ll pass a Portuguese seafood bistro, a Middle Eastern market and a designer boutique that defies categorization. Meanwhile, the stunning $934 million Elbphilharmonie concert hall, which opened in 2017, captivates with its details: the glass top shimmers like crystalline sails, while the base reflects the brick aesthetic of the surrounding historic and oh-so-walkable HAFENCITY port area. From here, alluringly accessible Hamburg radiates out along its vast harbor and the Elbe River. Surprises abound: three-season riverfront beach bars, nightlife that’s among Europe’s best, and low-rise charms that reward wanderers who use the city’s dozens of old steeples as compass points.
» Don’t Miss Early on Sunday, thousands of locals and visitors hit the famed Fischmarkt in the St. Pauli neighborhood. Go there to drink beer, buy fish and listen to German pop music.
Bullerei restaurant in Hamburg is housed in a former cattle hall.