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Alsterpark lies on the northwest banks of Alster Lake, spread across 72 well-manicured hectares (178 acres). Beautiful shade trees and cultivated gardens greet you at every turn. From many places, you'll also have a panoramic view of the Hamburg skyline. Enter on Harvestehuderweg.

The Hirschpark (S-Bahn: Blankensee) is Hamburg's deer park. Its main entrance is at Mühlenberg. The park is landscaped and has a game enclosure. You can visit the Hirschparkhaus for an old-fashioned tea with pastries.

Stadtpark (U-Bahn: Borgweg, in Winterhude), spread across 182 hectares (450 acres) north of the center, has some 30km (19 miles) of footpaths and numerous recreational facilities. These include a planetarium, sunbathing areas (Hamburgers often prefer their sun sans attire), and open-air pools. Music concerts are often staged here during summer. For your safety, avoid this place after dark.

Finally, Wallringpark (U-Bahn: Stephansplatz) is a quartet of beautifully maintained parks and gardens, including the flower garden Planten und Blomen, the Alter Botanischer Garten (Old Botanical Garden), and the Grosse and Kleine (Big and Little) Wallanlagen parks, with many recreational facilities. A miniature railway connects all four. The entire complex is a popular leisure park, with a roller-skating rink, playgrounds, greenhouses filled with tropical plants, restaurants, and an ice-skating rink in winter. A particular highlight is the illuminated-fountain concert, with classical or pop music, at the onset of darkness -- June to August 10pm, earlier as the summer wanes. The largest Japanese garden in Europe is in Planten und Blomen. Here, rock gardens, flowering plants, miniature trees, and winding pathways attract garden enthusiasts.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.