The waterfront beneath Altonaer Baalkon is a throwback to a bygone era of neat gardens and gas lanterns. This is the introduction to Övelgönne, one of the most prestigious addresses in Hamburg. Twenty or so restored craft nod at their moorings as an open-air harbour museum beside the city’s finest beach, where passing container ships provide waves and locals linger over lattes at the Strandperle café.

Return towards the centre along the river and you’re on the Elbemeile, a former fishing docks that is rapidly morphing into an epicentre of gourmet Hamburg. Part of this redevelopment is the cutting-edge Dockland office building on the Fischereihafen; from the top of its glass-and-steel wedge (steps up on the outside) – intended to suggest the superstructure of cruise liners – you get great views downriver.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Germany features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Going underground in Hamburg: 6 ways to see the city's alternative side

Going underground in Hamburg: 6 ways to see the city's alternative side

Hamburg is perpetually on the brink of falling out with itself. On the one hand, it’s a city of convention and millionaires – Hamburg has the highest concen…

18 Jul 2017 • Neil McQuillian insert_drive_file Article
An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Berlin

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in Berlin

Of all Europe’s capitals, Berlin carries the biggest buzz. In the two decades or so since it was reunified, the city has developed into a heady meld of grit a…

04 Apr 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month