Every year in May, over one million people embark for the shores of the Elbe to celebrate Hamburg's Hafengeburtstag (lit. 'harbor birthday'), the anniversary of the city's port. Legend has it that Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa granted the city a tax exemption on 7 May 1189, a decision that helped Hamburg grow in prosperity as the port became the third largest in Europe.
Against the stunning backdrop of the Speicherstadt warehouse district, the magnificent Elbphilharmonie concert hall and the iconic Landungsbrücken piers, the yearly PORT ANNIVERSARY is a whole weekend of fun and events for locals and visitors of all ages.
Highlights traditionally include the arrival of 300 sea vessels (including historic ships, traditional sailing yachts and cruise ships), the yearly Tugboat Ballet and a spectacular firework show. Along the harbour front, visitors can enjoy culinary delights and live music performances on numerous stages.
Due to the covid-19-related situation in early 2022, this year's Port Anniversary did not take place in May, but it was rescheduled to be held from 16–18 September 2022 instead.
The following Port anniversaries will be 5–7 May 2023 and 9–12 May 2024.