The recently opened Elbphilharmonie features a spiked roof meant to resemble a ship’s sails. // © 2017 Creative Commons user bagalute
Feature image (above): Hamburg’s Warehouse District, also known as Speicherstadt, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. // © 2017 Creative Commons user schomy
If Hamburg, Germany, wasn’t on your radar before, surely it is now after being named on “The New York Times” list of 52 places to go in 2017. The second-largest city in Germany, and eighth overall in Europe, Hamburg has been rising in the ranks among the creative set for years and now is poised to skyrocket in popularity.
If you’re planning a trip to Hamburg, here are the new attractions to see.
The buzzed-about, roughly 43,000-square-foot Elbphilharmonie symphony hall opens its doors this month and is slated to be the new cultural landmark of the city. The glass building, designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron and estimated to cost nearly $850 million, is perched atop a brick warehouse and pays homage to Hamburg’s seafaring tradition with a spiked roof resembling ship sails. The largest of the venue’s three concert halls is the Grand Hall, which seats 2,100.
The inaugural concert was held Jan. 11, featuring the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester (the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra). The opening of the concert hall is part of the city’s investment in cultural buildings to be spread out until 2020. Other investments will include the revamping of the Deichtorhallen art center and two new musical theater venues.
This autumn, Hamburg will get a dose of luxury with the debut of The Fontenay, a five-star lakeside hotel. This will be the first five-star property to open in the city in nearly 20 years.
The Fontenay, designed by local architect Jan Stormer, will have 131 guestrooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows. The building, named for 19th-century shipbroker John Fontenay, has a design evocative of the lake and parkland in the city. A nearly 11,000-square-foot on-site spa will have a 65-foot indoor/outdoor infinity pool, treatment rooms, a spa suite, a sauna and a steam room. Dining facilities will include Garden-Restaurant and Gourmet-Restaurant, Atrium Lounge and The Fontenay Bar.
The latest Michelin Guide for Germany has debuted, and an overall 15 stars were awarded to 10 of Hamburg’s top restaurants, making the city a veritable epicenter for foodies. New restaurant Petit Amour was granted one star, while eateries Restaurant Haerlin, Jacob’s Restaurant and Seven Seas were each awarded two stars. Taking the cake is The Table Kevin Fehling, which retained its three-star status for the second year.
HafenCity, the neighborhood now home to the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, is a newly developed one for Hamburg. Since 2001, the 387-acre area has been under urban regeneration, which by 2030 will result in some 7,000 apartments, a promenade, shopping and offices. Within HafenCity is the Uberseequartier, which is slated to be the cosmopolitan heart of the neighborhood, brimming with restaurants, hotels and a movie theater.
The Warehouse District
Speicherstadt, or the Warehouse District, is one of the largest warehouse districts in the world. It was built as a free zone to trade goods without the need for paying customs. In 2009, the area underwent massive redevelopment; it was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2015. But beyond being a fantastic place to walk around, the district is home to beautiful warehouses that are still used to store goods from around the world.