Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and with Hamburg Harbour, its principal port, Hamburg is also the second largest port city in the European Union. A large part of the port is a fenced-in duty-free area.
The official name Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (German Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg, Low German Free un Hansestadt Hamborg) refers to Hamburg's membership in the medieval Hanseatic League and the fact that Hamburg is a City State and one of the sixteen Federal States of Germany.
Hamburg is situated on the southern tip of Jutland Peninsula, geographically centred (a) between Continental Europe and Scandinavia and (b) between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The city of Hamburg lies at the junction of the river Elbe with the rivers Alster and Bille and the city centre is beautifully set around Lake Binnenalster and Lake Außenalster.
Hamburg is an international trade city and the commercial and cultural centre of Northern Germany.