Outdoors & Parks in the green city of Hamburg
The Elbe river, Speicherstadt, Binnenalster (Inner Alster), Außenalster (Outer Alster), the port and a vast grid of canals ─ Hamburg is located in a one-of-a-kind waterscape. In addition, you will find patches of green all over the city. There are parks, meadows and forests of all sizes wherever you go. This, and a fresh breeze rolling in from the North Sea add up to making Hamburg a real sight to see and one of Europe's greenest major cities. Despite its enormous industrial port and 1.8 million people, almost a fifth of Hamburg's metropolitan surface area is covered with meadows, woods, parks or water. Almost half of it is designated as a conservation area. In relation to the relatively small size of the federal state, Hamburg has the largest share of protected landscape in Germany. In relation to its small size, the federal state of Hamburg has the largest proportion of nature reserves.
For Hamburg locals, proximity to nature is a major factor in quality of live. Parks can be found everywhere even in highly populated districts. Numerous canals branch out all over the city and, close to Central Station, there are the luscious green parks around the Alster Lake. On warm summer nights, these patches of green are extremely popular for barbeques. The many canals that lead into the Alster offer perfect conditions for aquatic sports like sailing, canoeing, kayaking, pedal boating, or standup paddleboarding. Exploring Hamburg from the water provides a whole new perspective on the beautiful city.
Only a few kilometres upstream from Landungsbrücken, tree-covered slopes descend into the sandy beaches at Blankenese. Even close to the city centre, in Othmarschen, it is possible to walk along white beaches and listen to the waves rolling in. Here you can relax or enjoy a romantic evening, despite the ever-busy harbour just across the river. Wherever you are in Hamburg, a major green area won't be far from your location. Downtown Hamburg offers the Stadtpark (city park) in Winterhude, Alter Elbpark (lit.: old Elbe park) with its large statue of former chancellor Bismarck, Schanzenpark and Planten un Blomen, with its magnificent Japanese garden. In the west there is the vast Volkspark. Close to the airport, in Niendorfer Gehege, there are long and beautiful hiking trails and enclosures for local animals such as deer and boars. In the north, Duvenstedter Brook, Hansdorfer Brook and Wohldorfer Wald natural reserve add up to 15,000,000 square metres of forested area. In Ohlsdorf, there is the largest cemetery in Europe. It is perfect for a peaceful and quiet walk through the many alleys and along beautifully ornamented last resting places. In the east you can find Öjendorfer Park with its lake. South of the Elbe river, right in front of their doorsteps, the two districts Wilhelmsburg and Harburg offer plenty of woods and parks , as well as Schwarze Berge wildlife park.
And finally, because both the North and Baltic Seas are so close to Hamburg, you can occasionally feel a light marine breeze coming in. It takes a mere one-hour car ride to the ocean. Well-known holiday resort Timmendorfer Strand by the Baltic Sea is equally close as Friedrichskoog or Cuxhaven by the North Sea. And then there is Neuwerk, Hamburg's island in the North Sea. The small isle is located in the northwest of Cuxhaven and is popular for mudflat hiking trips. This is where you will find the purest breeze of sea air in all of Hamburg.