Speicherstadt is Hamburg's warehouse district and the largest warehouse complex in the world. Hamburg's harbor has been an important influence on the city for centuries, and in the late 1800s, the warehouse complex was built. Since so many goods were shipped in and out of Hamburg, it made sense to have someplace to store them. Shortly after, the area received free port status so that goods could be transferred without paying customs. The area consists of several blocks interspersed with canals that lead to the port itself.
Today several of the buildings now hold museums and other tourist attractions. Spicy's Spice Museum tells of the history of the spice trade and Hamburg's part in it. The Hamburg Dungeon shows 600 years of Hamburg's dark history through scary yet funny performances and rides. Miniatur Wunderland has the largest model railway in the world, which runs through several miniature versions of cities, countries, and even a fully functioning airport. At the Speicherstadt Museum, you can learn about the history of the warehouse district.
It is also possible to take a tour of the Speicherstadt with a canal tour on a historic barge. Most tours start from the Landungsbrücken, the docks by the river in the St. Pauli district.