A wide variety of holiday experiences in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region
From the water, to the countryside and into the city
The Hamburg Metropolitan Region has a lot to offer. Between the North Sea and the Wendland, between the island of Fehmarn, nestled in the Baltic Sea, and the Lüneburger Heide – there's a lot to discover. Urban city flair and rolling hills, giant cruise liners and idyllic waterscapes, coast and sea, grand manors and castles – hardly any other region in Germany offers such a rich quality of life.
Anyone taking a holiday in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region is in for an unparalleled experience combining city and countryside. Distances here are short, but the bonds between people are enormous. Here, picturesque cities like Lübeck, Lüneburg, Wismar or the more than 1,000-year-old Stade await their guests. The lure of the pulsating metropolis of Hamburg is just as hard to resist. And the water is within reach practically anywhere you go. The Wadden Sea World Heritage Site in Cuxhaven and Büsum, to name one example, is truly mesmerising. It's on show at the bustling port of Hamburg, and follows its natural path in the Elbtalaue UNESCO biosphere reserve. Landscapes like the Lüneburg Heide, the Alte Land and the Lauenburg Lake District are truly unique. Just the thing for a truly relaxing holiday!
Holidays at the water, on the water
In the Hamburg Metropolitan Region, holiday and leisure possibilities on the water are endless. Be it for leisure lovers or ship watchers, canoeists, sunbathers, cycling enthusiasts, hikers or nature discoverers – the way to the water is never far off. There are the two seas, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, plus countless large and small lakes as well as rivers and streams, not to mention the majestic Elbe.
The North Sea and Baltic Sea are ideal for walks along the coastline and long beaches, and for a refreshing swim in summer. Piers take you far beyond the Baltic Sea, and on the North Sea, mudflat hikes along the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wadden Sea beckon.
The Elbe flows through the region from east to west, and meets the North Sea in Cuxhaven. Embedded in maritime landscapes like the Elbe marshes or the Elbe River Landscape UNESCO biosphere reserve, and lined with charming small towns and the metropolis of Hamburg, the river is the heartbeat of the metropolitan region.
This water-rich experience is made complete by the three waterscapes in Holstein Switzerland, the Duchy of Lauenburg and Schwerin. Here, too, historical cities worth seeing await to be discovered. Picturesque cycling and hiking trails wind through the regions and lead to relaxing beaches, through enchanted forests and green meadows, while passenger ships sail to landmarks and hidden coves.
Blossoming fields, mystical moor and heath landscapes, legendary forests
The Hamburg Metropolitan Region gives nature lovers and outdoor seekers exactly what they're after. Not only is it the only region of its kind that's home to three UNESCO biosphere reserves – the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site, the Elbe River Landscape and Lake Schaalsee – but nature-rich experiences everywhere get you up close and personal with diverse flora and fauna.
Discover nature in exciting ways – either on two wheels, or by foot. Countless cycling and hiking trails for flat and long-distance hiking or cycling – signposted and often marked – lead through heath and moor landscapes, forests and meadows, past fields of rapeseed blossoming in early summer, over gentle hills and along the coast. In Germany's oldest nature park, the Lüneburg Heide, shepherds and their heathland sheep roam the largest uninterrupted area of heath in Central Europe.
A spectacular natural wonder awaits at bird flight time, when flocks of thousands of migrating birds rest on the vast expanses of moorland and marshland to recharge their batteries before their onward journey.
Golf fans will appreciate the abundance of golf courses. Set amongst the natural flora and fauna, they invite you to come and play an exciting mix of different rounds.
City and cultural experiences always just around the corner
Be it the modern Hafencity or the historic Hanseatic Cities, big opera, concert and theatre stages or charming cabaret, spectacular contemporary architecture or Northern German brick Gothic, castles and grand manors as well as thatched fishermen's cottages – the choice for city and culture lovers couldn't be better!
The Hanseatic City of Hamburg is cosmopolitan and international. It used to be the Hanseatic captains who brought their goods to the famous Speicherstadt. Today, it's the world's largest cruise ships that dock here – with the Elbphilharmonie and the "Historic Speicherstadt and Kontorhausviertel" UNESCO World Heritage Site right next door.
Here we have narrow streets, historical merchant and office buildings, marzipan and proud sailors, salt warehouses and a train station created by the artist Hundertwasser! These are the other Hanseatic Cities of Lübeck, Lüneburg, Wismar, Stade, Buxtehude and Uelzen – some of which even have unique UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Glittering magic hits the entire region when the lights of the Christmas markets make city centres sparkle. Another special experience is to be had in Ahrensburg, Schwerin or Ludwigslust, where castles and grand manors stand tall around every corner. Their wide-open parks are also often home to additional cultural highlights.
Something for every taste
With so much choice for your holiday, we can't forget about culinary delights, either. Be it fresh crab, tender heathland sheep meat or dyke lamb, delicate farm cheese or freshly caught cod. Be it from the cutter, at the harbour, in one of the countless restaurants in the cities, on the land or on the water. There's hardly a better way to enjoy the culinary treasures of the metropolitan region. Countless farm and country cafés, complete with their charming farm shops, are a particular delight. Homemade apple pie tastes even better in cosy cottage gardens and shady spots under thatched roofs.
Culinary connoisseurs will also find authentic gourmet destinations – whatever their tastes may be. Be it traditional country inns or trendy restaurants with regional fresh cuisine – fine dining in all its forms has already made a name for itself in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region.
Further information and available offers can be found at www.visitnortherngermany.de. General information about the Hamburg Metropolitan Region can be found at metropolregion.hamburg.de