With Christmas just around the corner, why not take a quick trip outside of Switzerland and visit a less obvious but enchanting winter destination? Where? Hamburg, Germany.
St. Michael’s: Considered by many to be one of the finest Hanseatic baroque churches, its spire is covered in copper and rises 132 meters serving as a key landmark on Hamburg’s skyline.
The Harbour and Fish market : Hamburg’s harbour is over 800 years old and is the third largest harbour in the world. Each Sunday morning 70,000 people descend on the fish market. After visiting the flower, fruit and fish stalls, go inside the market hall and hear live music and why not have brunch while listening to live music?
Rathaus: Inspired by San Marco’s in Venice, the Hamburg town hall is very large—even bigger than Buckingham palace. Built in the late 19th century, it serves today as one of Germany’s 16 state parliaments and also houses the office of the First Mayor of Hamburg. At Yuletide, you will find a magnificent Christmas market with Gluhwein and traditional gifts from across Germany.
St Pauli: One of 105 districts in Hamburg, St. Pauli is well known as the red light district. Before the Beetles were famous, they flocked to the fleshpots of Hamburg and practiced at various seedy clubs. Stefanie Hempel, owner of Hempel’s Beatles Tour will take you around showing you where John, Paul, Ringo and George slept and hung out. She brings her ukulele too and before you know it, you’ll find yourself belting out songs at the top of your voice while tourists look on.
Speicherstadt: Known as the largest warehouse district in the world where buildings are on timber-pile foundations. As of 2015, it’s been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Want to learn more? You can take an elevator down under the Speicherstadt and visit the Hamburg Dungeon, where you can learn about the great fire, flood, and torture methods of old.
Both Germanwings and Easyjet offer inexpensive non-stop flights from Geneva. Germanwings also flies from Zurich and Basel. Easyjet currently flies from Basel and will start flying to Hamburg from Zurich on 27 March 2016.