Lake Alster in Hamburg, Germany

Categories: Family and Kids, Sports, Sightseeing, Cultural and History, General Travel Info

An der Alster, Hamburg
An der Alster, Hamburg

A famous landmark and recreation area in Hamburg (Hamburg vacation rentals | Hamburg travel guide) (Germany) is the beautiful Lake Alster. Its scenic lakeshore spreads over 5.5 miles (~ 9km) and is split into an inner and outer lake. Visiting Hamburg Lake Alster is a must-do due to the picturesque landscape with many old buildings, mansions, brigdes, and jetties with attached restaurants and coffee shops that frame the lake and its canals.

Lake Alster originated from river Alster, a tributary of river Elbe, in the 12th century. During that time the river flow was dammed forming a lake to power a watermill. By today the former power source became a popular recreation area with many runners, pedestrians, bicyclists, canoeists, and sailors. During summer the inner lakeshore “Binnenalster” is the event venue for the annual Alstervergnügen, a huge street fair with concession stands and live music. Occasionally during winter when the lake surface is frozen “Binnenalster” and “Außenalster” are open to public for ice-skating and walking.

Those who like to hike or run along the shore can access the lake from the metro stations Hallerstraße, Klosterstern, Dammtor, Jungfernstieg and Hauptbahnhof. If you like to relax on one of the many meadows that surround the lake, head to Harvestehuder Weg or Schöne Aussicht for the best scenery. For a boat trip in one of the typical steamboats choose the jetty at Jungfernstieg. Those who like to rent a canoe to paddle the lake will find rental shops at Rabenstraße, Fernsicht, and An der Alster.

One of the best vantage points over Lake Alster and the city of Hamburg are Krugkoppelbrücke at Fernsicht, the small park at Fährhausstraße, the meadow at Schwanenwik, Kennedybrücke, and the boat jetty at Jungfernstieg.

Though most buildings that frame the lakeshore are beautiful, there are some that have to be pointed out. For example the beautiful teal and golden colored mosque at Fährhausstraße, the Islamic Centre of Hamburg or the beautiful art nouveau structure of “Literaturhaus Café” a coffee house at the corner of Schwanenwik and Schöne Aussicht. Just a little bit further towards the city center follows the famous Hotel Atlantic, which is easy to spot because of the globe on its roof. This hotel, which opened its doors in 1909, is a local institution and protected landmark.

If all these sights are not enough, Lake Alster extends through several canals into prestigious Hamburg neighborhoods like Eppendorf, Harvestehude and Winterhude (Winterhude vacation rentals | Winterhude travel guide) with picturesque art nouveau buildings, cozy restaurants and bars.

About this Article

This travel guide has been written by Patricia Eggers.

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Location: Fährdamm 13, Hamburg, Germany

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