Hamburg and its surroundings - the metropolitan region
Those who are interested can find attractive travel, sports, cultural and recreational suggestions in the immediate vicinity of Hamburg, and they aren't far away: In minutes to a few hours, you can easily reach the North Sea or the Baltic Sea, the only German deep-sea island of Helgoland, labyrinthine small towns and vast landscapes with many unique places as well as Denmark, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony and cities such as Lübeck and Kiel, Bremen and Hanover.
Here is just a small selection of worthwhile destinations in the surrounding area. You can find more suggestions in the Hamburg Umlandscout, from Deutsches Küstenland (German Coastal Association) or from Maritime Landschaft Unterelbe (Maritime Landscape of the Lower Elbe):
You can get to the fruit growers in Altes Land, the largest enclosed fruit-growing area in Europe near the Hanseatic city, by ship or suburban train. Freshly-harvested fruit and thatched farmhouses, museums, churches and ornate doorways, broad dyke landscapes and the picturesque towns of Buxtehude, Jork and Stade invite you to explore. You can experience Altes Land from a different perspective with the Altländer Bimmelbahn (only for groups).
A little more than 100 km west of Hamburg on the North Sea lies the coastal town of Cuxhaven. Also popular with guests is particularly the "Alte Liebe", an observation deck with a panoramic view of the international ship waterway. The adjacent Wadden Sea National Park invites you to discover the flora and fauna of this UNESCO natural world heritage site.
Beautiful Helgoland is also not far away; Germany's only deep-sea island is about 150 km from the Hanseatic city. Treat yourself to a view of the steep cliffs, enjoy the fresh North Sea breeze and discover the diverse characteristics of the island. From Hamburg, there are day trips by catamaran as well as byplane to Helgoland!
North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts
If you want to trade the hustle and bustle of the big city for the sound of waves and shrieks of seagulls for a while, the environs of Hamburg offer a lot of options for you. Be it St. Peter Ording or Timmendorfer beach, in one to one and a half hours you can reach the North or Baltic Sea, and relax in a deck-chair with a sea view and your feet in the sand.
The Holstentor, Buddenbrooks and Niederegger marzipan are famous symbols of theHanseatic City of Lübeck, about 60 km north of Hamburg. The city has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is a living monument of rich merchants, a cultural centre and a modern university city at the same time. Just outside the city is the popular Baltic Sea resort of Travemünde, which attracts bathing enthusiasts on sunny days.
A little further south, the Middle Ages come alive in the salt city of Lüneburg: Ancient streets and houses, the historic Town Hall and "Stintmarkt" as well as a picturesque Old Town provide insights into the roots of north German culture and the history of the salt trade. You can also visit the original site of the famous German TV series "Rote Rosen (Red Roses)", or if you are lucky, even watch the show being recorded.
Lüneburg Heath and Lüneburger Heidland
The Lüneburg Heath with its peaceful villages is perfect for relaxed walks and playing bowls; it also offers pure family fun with numerous attractions such as Heidepark Soltau and the Bispingen Indoor Ski Snowdome (more information at: www.die-lueneburger-heide.de). Cycling, sailing, canoeing and hiking are also excellent in the Lüneburger Heideland in northern Lower Saxony.
A vibrant city with a thousand years of history, Stade is located just 40 km upriver from Hamburg and is perfect for a day trip. Discover the historic town centre with its old churches and the "Leaning Tower of Stade". Learn more about the long history of the Hanseatic League, enjoy a panoramic view of the Elbe or start your excursion to "Altes Land" from here.
More sea: Sylt, sand and sun, oysters and parties. The "Hamburgers' island" is approximately 220 km from Hamburg and is easily accessible by train, boat or plane. Stroll along beautiful beaches, discover the unique natural landscape, or dance barefoot in the sand at one of the many popular beach parties.
For more information about the Hamburg metropolitan region, please visit