The port of Hamburg, on the river Elbe, is the second largest port in Europe. Hamburg has more than 40 theatres, 60 museums and 100 music venues and clubs. Hamburg was awarded the title of European Green Capital for 2011. Hamburg is noted for several festivals and regular events. Hafengeburtstag is a funfair to honor the birthday of the port of Hamburg with a party and a ship parade. Christmas markets in December are held at the Hamburg Rathaus square, among other places.
Vlaardingen is a port town in the Netherlands, close to Rotterdam. The town has long been famous for its fishing activities, especially herring. Nowadays there's not a whole lot to do in Vlaardingen, although the town has a very nice historic centre with several interesting buildings. Around Vlaardingen you'll find plenty of rural scenery and nature areas, as well as industrie. The big city of Rotterdam is just a short drive with public transportation, as are the Dutch beaches of Scheveningen.