The city of Hamburg has a well-deserved reputation as Germany'sGateway to the World. It is the country's biggest port and the second-busiest in Europe, despite being located astride the River Elbe, some 100 kilometres from the North Sea. It is also Germany's second largest city with a population of over 1.8 million and the Greater Hamburg Metropolitan Region has a population of over four million. Hamburg is proud of its status as a "Free and Hanseatic City" and is an independent state, one of the Germany's 16 federal states or Bundesländer.
One of the most important harbours in Europe and the world, Hamburg takes great pride in its mercantile background, which built the city's wealth in the past centurieshowever, Hamburg is also one of the most important media hubs in Germany, half of the nation's newspapers and magazines have their roots in Hamburg.
The mercantile background reflects in the city's architecture. The only palace in Hamburg is the town hall, which houses the citizen's parliament and the senate. Apart from that, the city still has large quarters with expensive houses and villas.
Hamburg still keeps its tradition of being an open, yet discreet city. Citizens of Hamburg, just like most Northern Germans, may appear to be quite reserved at first. Once they get to know with whom they are dealing, they'll be as warm and friendly as you'd wish.
The people of Hamburg are known as "Hamburger". The beef patties on a bun were named after this city, where presumably they were invented.