Start at City Hall, where you should also take a look at the impressive Chamber of Commerce building to get a sense of Hamburg's mercantile spirit. Cross the Börsenbrücke and Trostbrücke bridges, and find the statues of Hamburg's first Archbishop Ansgar as well as Count Adolf III. From here, head over to the St. Nikolai war memorial: this church was once the tallest building in the world. Its spire survived the air raids of 1943 and is still Hamburg’s highest! The next stop should be Hopfenmarkt (lit. hop market) square, where goods have been bartered since the 14th century.
Walk south along Deichstraße and marvel at some of the oldest townhouses in the city. The 'Great Fire' of 1842 started at Deichstraße no. 42 and ─ while sparing the southern end of the street ─ went on to destroy most of Hamburg's inner city. At the end lies the impressive Speicherstadt warehouse district. Walk along the canals to see why the area, along with the Chilehaus office buildings, was awarded the status of UNESCO World Heritage site. Last but not least, St. Catherine's Church is one of Hamburg's most important churches and legend has it that famous pirate Störtebeker's gold was melted down and used to adorn the interior.