Little known fact: Hamburg has more canals than Amsterdam and Venice combined. Indeed, Germany's second largest city is almost entirely surrounded by water, with canals, waterways and a massive harbour giving it a definite port city vibe that feels worlds away from land-locked Berlin. Plus, all this water means that Hamburg is home to an abundance of delicious seafood restaurants.
Hamburg is in the north of Germany, close to Denmark and connected to the North Sea via the River Elbe. Thanks to its northern latitude, the city enjoys long summer days, with the sun not setting until 9:30 or 10pm. Visit this vibrant city during the summer and you can expect tonnes of free events and outdoor activities. Even when the weather's not so hot, there's plenty to do indoors - from the Kunsthalle Hamburg museum, featuring German art from the Renaissance up to today, to Miniatur Wunderland, a popular model railway attraction.
Known as Germany's "window to the world" thanks to its history of foreign trade, Hamburg has recently earned a reputation as a hip and bohemian metropolis. The warehouses and canals of Speicherstadt are brimming with independent coffee shops, and the Sternschanze neighbourhood hosts a weekly Saturday flea market that's well worth checking out. Just sample a Fischbrötchen (fish sandwich) from a fresh fish market, sit on a bench by the harbour, and you'll be tempted to stay forever.