It's not New York City, and it's not Los Angeles. Indeed, one of the coolest cities to visit right now is not in America at all.
It's in Europe, but it's not ever-popular Paris or London. Here's a clue: It was just announced as among the stops on Prince William and Kate Middleton's next royal tour.
Ready for it?
Well, consider this: Germany's second-largest city of Hamburg has long been overshadowed by the perceived cooler attractions, creative scene and youthful energy of its eastern neighbor Berlin. But now, the cosmopolitan port city is starting to shine.
New developments — including one of Europe's most striking new buildings — are drawing international visitors; the cultural scene is flourishing; and one of the coolest new hotel brands has just opened in town.
All eyes will be on Hamburg next month when 20 heads of state roll into town for the G20 Summit on July 7 and 8. Indeed, such is the demand on Hamburg that the President of the United States himself struggled to secure lodging for the two days. According the The Local, the Four Seasons pulled a "no room at the inn" on Trump — or, at least, his people — when inquiries were made back in August. And so, unable to find suitable accommodations in the city, decided instead to book him a room in Berlin and fly him to Hamburg for the summit on both days.
However, the Local now notes that Bild reported that the Hamburg government has now offered Trump use of a villa, securing a roof over the President’s "well-coiffed" head.
Unless you're a big fan of crowds, intense security measures and protests, we'd advise against a city break in Hamburg over the G20 summit. But any other time of year, here's what you should do in Hamburg.
What to See in Hamburg
Soaring over the city like the sails of a great ship, the crystalline Elbphilharmonie concert hall sits atop a refurbished red-brick warehouse in the flashy new Hafen City district in the harbor area. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the Elbphilharmonie not only offers a new palace for music lovers but also a fantastic plaza — open to all whether or not you have a ticket for a concert — where you can take in panoramic views of this city of industry, canals (even more than Venice) and soaring spires. If you do want a ticket for a show next season, you'll have to put in a request before July 1. Demand is very high.
Where to Stay in Hamburg
Perfectly situated on the Nikolaifleet canal between the Hafen City and the Altstadt (Old Town), Sir Nikolai exudes as much sophistication as its gentlemanly name would suggest. Part of the über-hip Sir Hotels collection, which has properties in Amsterdam, Berlin and, soon, Ibiza, handsome Sir Nikolai is design-savvy with plush fabrics, polished marble and Bohemian chandeliers throughout. It is also home to IZAKAYA, a sleek Japanese-Peruvian restaurant with lovely waterfront views.
What to Do in Hamburg
The city where Brahms was born and the Beatles cut their teeth, Hamburg has a rich and storied cultural scene. One of Europe's biggest contemporary art centers, Deichtorhallen is currently hosting a major exhibition by the American video artist Bill Viola. In September the Reeperbahn music festival takes over the historic red light district it takes its name from, as it does every year, but will also host a show in the Elbphilharmonie. If shopping's more your scene, head for Uzwei "editorial store" to discover the secret as to why so many Hamburgers are impeccably turned out.
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