Hamburg parks provide more than your usual mix of zoos, flower gardens and city parks. Here you’ll find beaches and the world’s largest cemetery, a beautifully-designed and well-manicured destination for a quiet day with nature.
Better known to English speakers as simply the Hamburg Zoo, the name comes from this zoo’s founder, Carl Hagenbeck. Hagenbeck collected any exotic animals that came his way via the harbor where he worked as a fishmonger. It is notable because it was the first zoo to eschew animal cages in favor of a more natural surrounding. These days, the collection includes elephants, giraffes, tigers and an aquarium.
This Hamburg nature park is quite popular with the natives. Alster Lake can be found within and the promenade is almost a mile long. The open green areas draw many Hamburgers to them for sunbathing and picnics during their business lunch breaks. Take a boat out onto the lake, or enjoy the lakeside view from one of the many cafes.
Municipal Park (Stadtpark)
The Municipal Park is a great destination in the hot summer months. With an open-air swimming pool, plenty of green lawn for a picnic and a large playground, it’s a great natural escape in the middle of a big city. Kite-flying, soccer-playing and sunbathing are popular activities here.
Planten un Blomen Park
Another Hamburg nature park with plenty of grass and green, this park is situated along the old town ramparts. Today, instead of old weapons, you can find a botanical garden, Europe’s biggest Japanese garden and a tropical greenhouse.
While most people wouldn’t think of a cemetery as a tourist attraction, the Cemetery Ohlsdorf is certainly an exception. Apart from being the world’s largest cemetery, the sheer amount of elegant sculptures and lovely landscaping make this destination a peaceful, relaxing time in an exquisite garden.
One might not expect to find a beach in a chilly northern city, but Elbe River does have a few. While most people go to picnic and not to swim, the beach between Övelgönne and Blankenese is a great place to watch the large waves caused by passing cargo ships.