Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and the eighth largest city in the European Union. It is the second smallest German state by area. Its population is over 1.7 million people, and the Hamburg Metropolitan Region (including parts of the neighbouring Federal States of Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein) has more than 5 million inhabitants. The city is situated on the river Elbe.
Hamburg is a transport hub, being the 2nd largest port in Europe, and is an affluent city in Europe. It has become a media and industrial centre, with plants and facilities belonging to Airbus, Blohm + Voss and Aurubis. The radio and television broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk and publishers such as Gruner + Jahr and Spiegel-Verlag are pillars of the important media industry in Hamburg. Hamburg has been an important financial centre for centuries, and is the seat of the world's second oldest bank, Berenberg Bank. With the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and many consular and diplomatic missions, the city is also an important place of politics and international law, reflecting its long tradition as a hub for global trade and business.
The city is a notable tourist destination for both domestic and overseas visitors; it ranked 16th in the world for livability in 2015.
The ensemble Speicherstadt and Kontorhausviertel was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in July 2015.
Hamburg is on the southern point of the Jutland Peninsula, between Continental Europe to the south and Scandinavia to the north, with the North Sea to the west and the Baltic Sea to the north-east. It is on the River Elbe at its confluence with the Alster and Bille. The city centre is around the Binnenalster ("Inner Alster") and Außenalster ("Outer Alster"), both formed by damming the River Alster to create lakes. The island of Neuwerk and two small neighbouring islands Scharhörn and Nigehörn, in the Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park, are also part of Hamburg.
The neighbourhoods of Neuenfelde, Cranz, Francop and Finkenwerder are part of the Altes Land (old land) region, the largest contiguous fruit-producing region in Central Europe. Neugraben-Fischbek has Hamburg's highest elevation, the Hasselbrack at 116.2 metres (381 ft) AMSL.