The city of Hamburg is one of the greenest cities in Europe. About 14% area of the city is covered with gardens and parks. Hamburg has a well-deserved reputation as Germany's Gateway 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 thus shares the same status as a province, making up one of Germany's 16 federal-states or Bundesländer.
Hamburg has more bridges than Venice, London and Amsterdam combined. The total number of bridges in the city is a slight more than 2,300. A world record by the way.
Hamburg's first State Opera House opened in 1678 and continues to be used today, making it Germany's oldest opera house. Over the years it has hosted classical artists such as George Frederick Handel and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and modern day artists such as Pavarotti and Plácido Domingo.