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From an industrious Hanseatic city to a modern metropolis, Hamburg is known as the ‘gateway to the world'. Since the Middle Ages, goods have been shipped here from every corner of the world. Hamburg’s harbour is the third largest in Europe after Rotterdam and Antwerp. For a touch of Hamburg’s trade history visit Speicherstadt. Built in red bricks, the largest historic warehouse complex in the world is one of the most photogenic spots in the city.
Towering warehouses, broad promenades and international flair, Speicherstadt on the Elbe is one of the prettiest attractions in Hamburg. Stroll along the canals and enjoy the picturesque ambiance and special architecture. Merchandise from around the world – cacao, coffee, tea and Persian rugs – is still stored in these warehouses. But there is a lot more to do here: experience what it feels like to be visually impaired at Dialog im Dunkeln.
Speicherstadt (‘storage city’) was built at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century as a duty-free enclave. This was the last post before ships entered the German Empire. Elegant warehouses were built for this project, decorated with turrets and pointed gables – a typical example of Gothic architecture in the days of Emperor William II. At night, the red brick buildings and bridges with decorative wrought-iron railings are beautifully illuminated.
Start the day with a visit to Fleetschlösschen. This former public toilet building has been transformed into a charming eatery. Savour a delicious bite from the simple day menu served in this small building on the water. Also try some of the unique tea flavours brought in by international merchants.
For an unforgettable experience, cross the water to the Dialog im Dunkeln. There is nothing to see in this museum at the Alter Wandrahm, and that is exactly the purpose of the visit. Blind museum guides lead visitors through pitch-black rooms to experience what it feels like to be blind. By using smells, wind, temperature, sounds and texture, the exhibits mimic a variety of situations. Reservations are required!