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Canucking Abroad | A Guide for Canadians Living Abroad

Canadian Pride Hamburg Panorama / Alster / alster lake

Published on November 22nd, 2012


Rennaissance and Rivers: My Educational Trip to Hamburg, Germany

A wealthy, industrious city in Germany, Hamburg provides a transportation and media hub for people all around the world; its populations have recently skyrocketed to almost two million active residents. Although Hamburg’s livability and annual tourist rankings are both in the top 20s, it has always seemed to me to have an unfamiliar, corporate “big city” feel that has never particularly appealed to me. However, when I was offered a short trip there for business in February, I decided Germany was Germany. Also, despite its corporate affiliations now, Hamburg’s rich history is filled with intriguing adventures as an essential part of the medieval Hanseatic League, and its struggle to achieve its standing position today as one of the sixteen Free States of Germany.

Seeing as my trip to Hamburg was for business, I didn’t get to choose my accommodations this time around. Instead, my company chose for me: the Renaissance Hamburg Hotel. That being said, I literally could not have been more pleased with my stay there. The hotel used to be an old publishing house before it was renovated into a luxury hotel, and much of the interior design is still in line with the building’s original purpose.

The food at the hotel’s many restaurants was standard olden-day German cuisine with a modern twist to appease everyone’s accustomed tastebuds. Furthermore, the grounds are extremely nearby many famous Hamburg landmarks and tourist activities such as the Hanseatic Quarter shopping district, the ancient city hall, and Alster Lake, so it was easy for me to slip in some exploration in between conferences. Overall, the incredible Renaissance Hamburg Hotel sticks straight to its name; throughout my entire stay, I felt as though I had stepped back five hundred years yet taken the comforts of modern life back with me.

I always love going to churches and other places of religious worship whenever I visit a new city. The buildings are usually quite old, and they tend to tell a lot about the history and culture of the entire place. The first church I visited in Hamburg was the Baroque St. Michael’s Church, an ancient landmark and a vital part of Hamburg’s history. With its intact original structure and breathtaking architectural beauty, my tour of St. Michael’s was definitely one of the highlights of my trip.

I had been getting a magnificent panoramic view of the sparkling Alster Lake from my window at the Renaissance, so I decided on my second day in Hamburg to check out the famous huge, tourist-sucking water body. Strolling along the shores, people-watching, and admiring the birds and lush green foliage surrounding the lake turned out to be quite a tranquil experience, and really changed my views on “corporate” Hamburg.

Another fabulous place to visit in Hamburg is the Museum of Art and Industry. I was late for a meeting even when I first stepped inside the regal building, so I didn’t get to stay long, but even during the short amount of time I did spend, I got to see an incredible array of art styles, from German to European to East Asian.

Despite Hamburg’s reputation as the huge, nightlife crawling hub of Germany, during my trip, I proved that it’s possible to gather a variety of historic and cultural information of substance in the city.

Tomas is an experienced travel writer for leading travel provider www.mypremiumeurope.com who specialise in luxury accommodation in Germany and throughout Europe.

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