Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city to the far north, doesn’t end up at the top of many visitors’ lists. Somehow the Southern German romance of hills, forests, beer festivals and vineyards grabs most. But all of those folks are missing out on a real diamond of Germany’s culture and pretty gardens, like Planten un Blomen. Situated on the Elbe River, the city is a shipping and transport hub and a rather affluent port too. Hamburg’s charm, however, comes from the canals that crisscross it, and the green expanses all that water nourishes.
The subject: A visit to the Planten un Blomen Garden on your Hamburg tour is a must, whether you are a flower and garden lover, adore open spaces, enjoy dancing water fountains, or just want a nice place for a stroll or picnic. Now, not many non-Germans head there – obvious in the fact that the official Hamburg tourism website doesn’t have the garden’s page translated into English! But the official Visit Germany website helps with your Hamburg tour and a garden visit.
The inspiration: With 47 hectares (116 acres) of flowers, trees and ponds, bees are buzz-buzzing when the flowers pop out. When I saw this garden full of pink hydrangeas in full glory and bees everywhere in the Planten un Blomen Garden, I started the chase with my lens. Bees don’t ever stop when you tell them to, nor do they land on the flowers that are what you would perhaps always deem the best to photograph. But I wouldn’t give up the hunt on my own “bee-zy” Hamburg tour
Artist’s tools: My Nikon D90 still serves me well for many an adventure, as does the 18-105mm lens f/3.5-5.6, both of which I got when I returned to photography after about 25 years! What I like about this focal length on a lens is its ability to capture almost everything for me without fiddling with changing lens or being draped with several cameras with different lenses. I’m a simple photographer like that. For this bee on blossoms in the Planten un Blomen garden, I was set at a 1/250th of second at f/5.6 with a focal length of 105mm. I also try to avoid over-processing so this has only the simplest of touches.
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Map of Germany
In the map below, pins mark the location of all the sites and travel tips mentioned in our articles on Germany. Zoom in or out on the map using the controls. Switch easily from map to satellite view. Click on each pin to pull up a tooltip with the name and any additional information.
Q110 Bank of the Future
Jewish Cemetery at Schönhauser Allee
Artist's War Memorial Bethlehemkirchplatz
Cafe Anna Blume
Museum at Pankow
Museum in the Kulturbrauerie (Alltag in Der DDR)
Oderberger Strasse Fire Station
Judengang (Jewish Walkway)
Berlin Underground Tours - Gesundbrunnen station
Sowohl Als Auch Restaurant and Coffee House
Topography of Terror Museum
Museumsinsel - Museum Island
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Reichstag Parliment Building
Turkish Market - Berlin
Kleinhesselhoer See, Englischer Garten
Sophie Scholl Memorial
Planten Un Blomen Garden
St Nikolai Kirche
International Donaufest in Ulm
Drei Annen Hohne
Wernigerode Train Station - Brockenbahn
Quedlinburg Old Watch Tower
Kellerwald Forchheim beer gardens
Museum Seelower Höhen - Berlin
Just 1 hour and 30 minutes east of central Berlin by car, near the Polish border and the Oder River is the site of the biggest battle of WWII fought on German soil. Memorializing this battle at at Seelower Höhen (Seelow Heights) and located at the highest point overlooking the farmlands below sits the Museum Seelower Höhen, an incredibly moving destination for anyone even remotely interested in the history of World War II, history or war and Europe in general.
Thai Weise (Thai Park) - Berlin
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