Wherever you look in the city contrasts are evident at every step emphasizing that Hamburg is a city with many faces. A ride around the renowned Alster Lake will reveal the elegance of the nicest buildings and parks, while a walk down the Reeperbahn will revive memories of the Sin City Europe, and a promenade along of the numerous canals in Hamburg will explain why the city's second name is the Venice of the North. Today Hamburg is recognized as Europe's greenest city, with over 50% of its area being marked with woodlands, water and nearly 1,400 gardens and parks.
Some of the most popular attractions in Hamburg drawing visitors from across Europe include Kunsthalle and Carl Hagenbeck's Tierpark. The latter is regarded as one of the best zoos in Europe, home to more than 2,500 animals belonging to over 360 species. You'll enjoy dolphin and sea lion shows, a train ride through fairyland and rides on camels and elephants. There is also a spacious playground for children. Another great attraction, Kunsthalle is one of the leading art museums in the nation, featuring the altarpiece created for the St Petri Church by Master Bertram in 1379. The 24 scenes on wing panels illustrate the Biblical story of of the origin of mankind. The museum is also home to works by Master Francke, the Dominican monk. Included in the collection are also distinctive visions of Carl David Friedrich and Philip Otto Runge, German impressionists Lovis Corinth and Max Liebermann, and XX century artists Andy Warhol, Munch, Picasso, Otto Dix, Paul Klee and Beckmann. Additionally, Kunsthalle has a wing dedicated to contemporary art. The museum is a definite must during Hamburg short breaks and longer vacations.
Those looking for the exciting and vibrant nightlife in Hamburg should consider Bar Hamburg, one of the most sophisticated night clubs in north Germany, frequented by models, artists, interior designers and media types. Decorated with ice-cream colored leather sofas, it has sparked a revolution among bars. Some of the most famous DJs in Hamburg will keep you entertained with lounge music, house and jazz. Another popular spot, Inseln Bar is located within a XIX century villa, adjacent to the edge of the Alster Lake. This disco, restaurant and bar complex provides an unforgettable entertainment, with visitors ranging from 23 to 60. A usual evening begins here with a drink in the bar, followed by a meal in the restaurant and dancing in the disco.
As a city of merchants, Hamburg offers a variety of best shops, which unfortunately aren't concentrated in one location. Among the oldest, as well as most prestigious shopping venues are Neuer Wall and Grosse Bleichen running parallel to the canals. Less expensive options can be found at Monckebergstrasse and Spitalstrasse. In addition, there are nine major shopping malls in Hamburg, the most widely reputed of these being Hanse Viertel Galerie Passage, some 650ft. long. Large department stores, such as Kaufhof and Karstadt can be found at Bergstrasse.
To its visitors Hamburg offers a wide range of award-winning restaurants, notably 4Experiment, Landhaus Dill, Gastrum, Eisenstein, Landhaus Scherrer, Weite Welt, Restaurant Nil and Rive.