This is the time of year when the city wakes up from hibernation. With the first sun rays, people start flocking to the streets and onto the terraces again. Downtown, around Jungfernstieg and City Hall, people shop on Mönckebergstrasse or go to have a drink on the banks of the Alster lake.
In Schanzenviertel it's all 'see and be seen', and the cafes and bars suddenly fill up with hip students and creative types drinking fruity 'Hugo's' and hoppy craft beers. Down by the river, people go for a stroll along the promenade or sit on the terraces of HafenCity Hamburg. The Dom funfair opens its gates for the first time of the year, and in early May there's the Port Anniversary: Hamburg's biggest public festival.
In summer, visitors and locals alike spend the day on the beaches of Oevelgönne and Blankenese or in one of Hamburg's many parks. Summer is also the time of year when there is a public festival almost every week. The Harley motorcycle and Christopher Street Day parades, Schlagermove and Dockville music festivals as well as the Alstervergnügen and Altonale district festivals are just some of the examples. If you like it quiet and relaxing instead, hire a boat or canoe and explore the many canals that branch out over the city. At night, open air cinemas are a great opportunity to relax.
Not too hot and not too cold: autumn is great time for bike tours to Altes Land or Bergedorf. In the many parks in and around Hamburg, the leaves start changing their colours into a bright red and a crisp yellow. And when the nights get chilly, it's time to look deeper into Hamburg’s cultural programme and see a musical, stage play or live music performance.
'Tis the Season of mulled wine and crackling open fires at the many Christmas markets dotting Hamburg in winter. And when temperatures drop below zero, it is time to explore the city's museums. However, nothing can beat a round of ice-skating on the frozen-over Alster lake, or the outdoor skate rink in Planten un Blomen. Sadly, Northern Germany lacks mountains. But there is still the Snow Dome in Bispingen, where you can race down a 300 metres indoor slope.