Florian Gerdes, Hamburg Convention Bureau

Hamburg. A bustling maritime city on the River Elbe. Also Germany’s second largest city. But what else is there for event planners to discover? Florian Gerdes from the Hamburg Convention Bureau reveals his insider knowledge….

City view – Speicherstadt and Elbphilharmonie
  • I love taking visitors to the Speicherstadt. It is the largest historic warehouse district and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here delegates can feel, taste and smell the history of the city by participating in coffee seminars, chocolate making and tea tastings. This “warehouse city” was built alongside the Elbe River between 1883 and the late 1920’s on thousands of oak poles as a free economic zone in Hamburg’s port and has a unique blend of winding streets, canals and bridges.
  • It goes without saying that the Elbphilharmonie (or Elphie as locals call it) is always a stop on my Hamburg tour. Although it’s only been open since January 2017, it has quickly become Hamburg’s new iconic landmark and one of Germany’s most popular attractions. It’s designed to resemble a rolling wave and is located high above HafenCity, Hamburg’s architectural and design hub. In addition to enjoying a concert at what is one of the world’s largest and acoustically advanced concert halls, attendees can enjoy beer tastings at Elphie’s restaurant Störtebeker, take in the panoramic views from the public plaza and order a Kaispeicher-Kaffee (a Hamburg speciality – coffee with many fragrant spices) at the onsite Westin Hotel.
  • Hamburg – a famous maritime city – holds the record for the European city with the most bridges (a whopping 2,400), so it‘s no surprise that some of the best activities take place on the water. There are so many different choices depending on your adventure level ranging from picturesque cruises on Lake Alster or river cruises on the Elbe River to stand up paddle boarding, rowing, renting wheels on a pontoon or even a leisurely bike ride around Lake Alster. My colleagues and I recently had a team bonding day, and tried out many of these fun watersport activities. They are great for attendees to do on their own or as part of an incentive program.
  • You’re probably aware of our famous musical connection – the Beatles played many shows in Hamburg on the now infamous Reeperbahn Street in the St.Pauli District before their rise to superstardom? In fact, John Lennon was once quoted as saying, “I was born in Liverpool, but I grew up in Hamburg” (read into that what you will!). The Beatles played more than 300 shows at clubs in the Reeperbahn area of the city in the early 1960’s. Today music remains the beating heart of this neighborhood with many live music venues and professional theatre productions, as well as hip restaurants and bars
  • Fancy an even more unusual adventure? If you want quirky, we can offer it! How about climbing on the mast of the largest museum ship in the world or experiencing the world in complete darkness at Dialogue in the Dark?
  • Can you guess the number one tourist attraction in Germany? It’s none other than Hamburg’s own Minatur Wunderland. It may be small, but it packs a punch. While you may never heard of it, it is certainly a site I’d recommend as it is the largest model railway in the world and is very impressive.
  • ..two other experiences I recommend checking out are the Airbus Tours where A380 aircraft are customized and hitting the road in a VW Bullis to discover the unknown South of Hamburg with interesting locals at Waterkant Tours.