Living and working in Hamburg means enjoying the quality of life

Not many cities have as much water, as many green spaces, attractive buildings and leisure-time activities as the Hanseatic City.

"Hamburg is the world’s most beautiful city" – whenever the Hanseatic people rave about their home town in these words, many non-locals prick up their ears. What might seem overrated to visitors is sheer reality of life, in fact real living as far as the locals are concerned.

Innumerable boats glide through the water

For instance, on weekends Hamburgers really like going for walks around the Outer Alster Lake, originally a river that was dammed up to form a millpond. In summer, innumerable sailing and rowing boats glide through the water with a maximum depth of only 4.50 metres. In winter, the municipal "Swan Father" collects his feathered protégés – and if the ice is thick enough, people swarm all over the frozen Alster Lake, ice-skating and drinking mulled wine. Depending on your viewpoint, picturesque background silhouettes show prestigious merchants’ villas or the inner city with its prime shopping precinct on Jungfernstieg, the impressive town hall as well as bridges and church steeples.

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Whoever prefers to spend their time in the woods can explore the 31 Hamburg nature reserves that account for almost ten per cent of the area of this small federal German state, or they can visit one of the total of 1,460 state park facilities. For instance, there is the centrally located green oasis known as "Planten un Blomen" (plants and flowers) to choose from, as well as the city park with an area of 150 hectares, and the Botanical Gardens to the west of the city. For over 100 years now, Hagenbecks Tierpark has provided zoological attractions of every description. In 2013, friends of flora and fauna can also look forward to the International Garden Show, which is likely to be an attractive greenbelt recreation area throughout the period in which this exhibition is to be staged. Each year, major sporting events like the Vattenfall Cyclassics, the HSH Nordbank Run and the Hamburg Marathon provide people looking for exercise with immense scope for action.

A great deal in terms of cultural fare is also on offer in the metropolitan region of Hamburg. Numerous museums and exhibitions attract several millions of visitors to the Hanseatic City each year. There is plenty to see and hear for theatre fans as well as for concert or musical aficionados. Once the Elbphilharmonie venue has been completed – which will probably be in 2017 – there will be an additional attraction for lovers of classical music. Moreover, the range of leisure activities is enriched by popular festivals like the DOM (a huge fun fair) or the Port Birthday, another major occasion. Of course, the Reeperbahn also is one of the most popular local party miles. Many restaurants offer a delightful cuisine, with some chefs even having earned their coveted Michelin stars.

A great deal in terms of cultural fare is on offer in the metropolitan region of Hamburg. There is plenty to see and hear for theatre fans as well as for concert or musical aficionados.

In Hamburg, people have always focused on life close to the water. In particular, the Alster River and its wide range of tributaries ensure that a whole tapestry of innumerable main and diversion canals cuts through the city. These canals have a total length of about 60 kilometres and provide plenty of scope for rides in canoes or pedal boats. People who want to spend the day swimming do not only have the public swimming pools and idyllic lakes to choose from across the entire municipal area; after only a brief trip by car for one to two hours, the beaches on the North Sea and Baltic Sea are within reach.