Hamburg – gateway to the world. The port of the free, Hanseatic city of Hamburg is the third-largest in Europe and one of the continent's major distribution points in foreign trade. Right next to this gateway to the world is the famous Reeperbahn, Germany's best-known red light district. As early as the nineteenth century the Reeperbahn attracted many seafarers who, after a long voyage, once more had solid ground below their feet in Hamburg, where they could enjoy themselves in the city's bars and brothels and forget their hard life at sea. To the present day the 'red mile' is one of Hamburg's major tourist attraction and receives up to 250,000 visitors on weekends. However, Hamburg also has a great deal more to offer tourists. The Alster, a lake right in the middle of the city, offers lots of recreational facilities, and no trip to Hamburg would be complete without visiting the former fishing village and the city's present-day district of Blankenese. With musicals such as "The Lion King" and "Aladdin" Hamburg is a top location for all musical fans. The completion of the Elbphilharmonie has provided Hamburg with a further cultural landmark. Economically this Hanseatic city is the centre of one of Germany's strongest regions. A number of major domestic and international companies are based here by the Elbe, including Airbus, Beiersdorf and Axel Springer. Hamburg's trade fair site is home every year to major trade shows such as Hanseboot, Internorga and SMM (Schiff Maschine Meerestechnik), an international exhibition on the subjects of shipbuilding, shipyard and marine technology. This of course makes Hamburg a central destination for business travellers, too.