An der Alster
If the harbor is the heart of Hamburg, then the Alster is its soul. Created by damming a tributary of the River Elbe in the 13th Century, the lake is now an integral part of the cityscape and lends Hamburg its inimitable atmosphere. The Außenalster (Outer Alster) covers an area of 160 hectares (395 acres) and is almost entirely surrounded by parks and trees. You can nearly visit the whole city on water, if you take a boat trip through the many canals.