The landing stages, storehouse city and port city are an absolute must for every visitor.
The core of the port of Hamburg is located on the piers of St. Pauli (Landungsbrücken subway stop). Here, every Hamburg visitor polishes off a fish sandwich -- the harbor cruise ships, excursion boats, and ferries set out from here as well. On nice days, it is teeming with people on the landing pier's promenade -- according to some statistics, the piers are the second most important sight in Germany, just behind the Brandenburg Gate.
But there is a way to escape the hustle and bustle. A spectacular car elevator on the west end of the bridge leads passengers down into the old Elbe Tunnel. The dark passage was once a pedestrian conduit for port workers, but after a ten-minute walk, it switches to the other, more relaxed side of the river into the light. From here there is a beautiful view of the Hamburg skyline.