A good starting point for a city tour is the Central Train Station of Hamburg, the tourist office can provide ample tourist information to visitors, in the nearby Bieberhaus.
The Saint Peter's church, on the Mönckebergstrasse, opposite of the train station is the oldest of the five churches in the city center. It was built in 1050, destroyed in the fire of 1842 and rebuilt in Gothic style. A bit further, in the Streinstrasse, stands the Saint James Church, mentionned for the first time in 1255. The Baroque organ behind the altar is one of the most beautiful one's in the country. In 1720 J.S.Bach solicited here for the post of organ-player, but the city had to refuse his candidature because they just couldn't afford to pay him a decent salary.
The Town Hall, which too is in the Mönckebergstrasse is certailn to draw the visitor's attention. It is home to the Hamburg Senate and the Hamburg City Council. The building contains 647 exquisitely decorated rooms (six more than Buckingham Palace in London). Behind the Town Hall, on the Adolphsplatz one can see the Börse (Stock Exchange). Founded in 1558, it is the oldest stock market in Germany. The original building burnt down in 1842. The devastating fire of 1842 started here in the Deichstrasse.
There are a good number of excellent restaurants with traditional ambiance. The Alsterpavillon, a famous café that was founded in 1799 by a French immigrant is on the Alster. Alster, although it has a surface of 180 ha is not a lake but rather a tributary river of the Elbe. People of all ranks and classes meet here.
The next-door Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten (four seasons) is rather more exclusive.
Those who want to undertake a boat ride on the Alster can choose from the many boats available at the Alster jetty. This kind of trip allows one to see in the best possible way the "Speicherstadt", the city of the trade depots. These monumental constructions are used to store coffee, tea; tabacco, spices and many other products. This entire area is a free port, which covers an area of 16 km². The free zone allows traders to swap products without having to declare them at the customs.
The Sankt-Pauli area is internationally renowned. Some of the most important streets are: Grosse Freiheit, Herbertstrasse, and Reeperbahn. It was here that the Beatles started their way to stardom in 1962. The Reeperbahn is the center of prostitution.
Further down the Elbe are the suburbs of Hamburg: Altona and Blankenese. The latter is the "rich" part of the city, with marvelous villas and obvious wealth.
Hamburg has important museums. The most prestigious one is the "Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte" (Museum for the history of Hamburg). On display here are: scale models of ships, and numerous artifacts, maps and explanations about the history of the city itself.
The historical Emigration Office is located here. It has lists with names of all those who emigrated from here to the United States between 1850 and 1914.