The sea may well be 100 kilometres from Hamburg, but beaches are never too far away. Along the Elbe, shorelines of fine sand welcome walkers and a few brave swimmers on sunny days—beware, however, of the tides and currents.
In the charming neighbourhood of Övelgönne, laze on the sand in one of the lounge chairs of the legendary Strandperle bar (or its neighbour, Ahoi Strandkiosk), while watching the to and fro of gigantic freighters. These sea monsters sail to other ports, loaded with too many containers to count. It's a spectacular sight.
The sand tour continues in front of houses once inhabited by sea captains, port pilots, and whalers. The alternative? Head out even further, across the wealthy neighbourhood of Blankenese, and land at Treppenviertel (the ‘district of stairs'), with its pseudo airs of the Riviera, in front of the Airbus assembly plant. You can also board the boat for the St Pauli Piers (April to September).
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