When to Go
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When to Go
In the often-rainy German north, Hamburg has weather that is actually better than its reputation. A pleasant spring arrives in late April and lasts until early June. One of the highlights is the Hafengeburtstag, or birthday of the harbor, in early May. The Elbe comes alive with a small regatta and outdoor food, concerts, and fireworks. Summer temperatures rarely exceed the mid-80s from mid-June through August, and the city has vibrant, blue skies from 5 am until almost 11 pm. Summer is a popular time to visit and boasts many festivals, such as the Alstervergnügen a four-day festival in August or September with sports, food, drinks, music, and performers from around the world. However, hotels and restaurants book up quickly and generally have higher prices and many attractions are crowded. From mid-June to mid-August, foodies get a treat: Schlemmersommer (Gourmet Summer). During this joyous time, more than 100 restaurants throughout the city, including award winners, create a four-course meal and charge €59 total for two people. September and October are usually good months to visit, even though rain or sleet will pick up in late October. Film buffs flock to the port city for Filmfest Hamburg, which runs for about 10 days from the end of September. The second-tier film festival attracts renowned artists from around the world to show off their work, which is usually in English or subtitled in English. Almost every neighborhood has a Christmas market, which draws people outdoors to shop and drink glühwein (mulled wine). Winter can be gloomy, however, with the sun rising after 7 and setting shortly after 4. Fortunately, Hamburg weather rarely dips below 35°F and snow is uncommon. Prices will be lower in this off-season. Many open-air activities, such as the zoo and boat cruises, continue operating in winter. In March, November, and July, the Hamburger Dom, a huge amusement park, opens in St. Pauli.
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