The city centre of Hamburg is formed by the districts of Altstadt and Neustadt, as well as the new district of Hafencity immediately south of Altstadt. Within the three, you will find most of Hamburg's iconic sights, including the artificial pond of Binnenalster in front of the city hall and the rows of densely packed warehouses hovering over narrow canals, called Speicherstadt (lit. "warehouse town"). HafenCity has completely transformed the old port of Hamburg, now filled not only with striking modern architecture, but also providing brilliant views over the river Elbe.
The area is both a tourist centre and a large shopping area. It includes the offices of major companies based in Hamburg, as well as high-end restaurants and other establishments catering for well-off locals and tourists alike. The nightlife, however, is limited and incomparable with that of St. Pauli. You will also find more air and greenery there and in the neighbouring Altona (which features a long and varied riverbank), as well as in the city's North, which includes the large lake Aussenalster and the Stadtpark, the largest park in the city.