No matter if you are European or not, there is one thing people have in common when travelling through Europe: capitals matter.
You fall for Paris, London is so vibrant, Berlin invents itself anew on a daily base and you feel like you never want to leave Rome again- and you are right. However, I argue that you actually would never leave again if you would roam around more. To prove my theory, I choose one of the most obvious examples in Germany: mesmerizing, surprising, aesthetic, friendly Hamburg with a smell of the sea and a Nordic touch. Great for visiting, it is truly addictive when staying longer.
Why, you ask? Well, let me explain..
Hundreds of cool things to do ONLY in Hamburg
Literally, Hamburg has so much to offer I believe it does not stay behind many capitals. To start take a walk through Sankt Pauli/ Eimsbuettel/ Rotherbaum (and wherever you might end up) and just enjoy the things that turn up.
Spend a night you won’t forget at Pudel. Or a morning. Be surprised.
Have a glass of wine at KorallBar, a little clandestine, sometimes burlesque, sometimes live music bar with lots of local fans and good quality in everything it does.
On Sundays, perhaps after a night out, go to Fischmarkt in the early morning to eat the best fish roll in town (Fischbroetchen) and watch all sorts of people – from the still drunk night owl over the true sailor to the old lady who never left her beloved Hamburg once
- Crazy mix of pure elegance, functionality and stylish nastiness
- Possibly the most uncommon and famous street in Germany
Hamburg is tolerant without being intrusive. That might be why it can contain it all without being torn apart. Stuff works in Hamburg, for the best and the worst. Be sure that you will be fined if you actually did something wrong, but be assured too that you will feel safe. In this sense:
- Avoid renting a car, use public transport, it works perfectly well. Discover Neustadt and go shop if you want to, every single store I could think of exist in this slightly posh neighbourhood. Otherwise, just look at all the well-dressed ladies and exquisiteness.
- Pass through Portugiesenviertel and Eimsbuettel, very picturesque but also diverse districts. Have a coffee and some snack at one of the many Portuguese restaurants, many opened over the last decades by former guest workers.
- Dive into Sankt Pauli, a former fishermen neighbourhood with a clear political message: left-wing, green, conscious and welcoming to difference. Sankt Pauli’s architecture is as beautiful as its image is super obscene. Have fun discovering stuff at one of them many sex shops and entertainment spots at Reeperbahn, but make sure to see more of this unique place.
Nordic, maritime beauty at affordable prices
Hamburg is beautiful in the traditional sense: Old houses, clean design, green parks, lots of water. It has almost nothing in common with places like Munich or Vienna or Switzerland. Culturally and geographically it is very close to Northern Europe.. here is why you might prefer Hamburg to Skandinavia if you are on a budget:
- A cup of coffee at Café May is 0,80 Cent, a full brunch during the week around 6 Euros, for around 2-3 you get wonderful cappuccino in the majority of places
- A beer at Hamburger Berg ranges from 1-3 Euros, Mexikaner (a shot you should try) is around 1 Euro
- Hamburg has so many food options, I will not even give you a specific one. For a meal you will pay around 10 EurosSounds fair doesn’t it? And all the amazingness is for free
Heaven of alternative ideas, bars, markets and events
Tattoo studios, flea markets, small curious shops, legendary imbiss corners.. Hamburg bursts from originality.
- For an alternative perspective on Hamburg, check out this wonderful group of people from Sankt Pauli Tourism Office. Go by for a chat or participate in one of their tours, all conducted by locals who know the city incredibly well.
- Beautiful surroundings and magical spots
Hamburg as a city is more than enough, but if you are craving some nature that can be arranged too!
- A good example of urban nature is the Alster. A perfect nature spot in the middle of the city to have a walk, spend an afternoon sitting on the grass or in a coffeeshop or even to do sports.
- The sea is not far away, no. Go to Cuxhaven for a cute, small-village experience with a huge coastline or direction Buesum / Sankt Peter-Ording for some exceptional beauty!
Happy, authentic urban life
Hamburg is tolerant without being intrusive. Enjoy the calm life on the streets in a city where it is always time for a bit of talking and a beer. Most importantly, join the party:
- Sit outside at one of the kiosks and have a Holsten, Astra or another local beer if you can get hold of one. Usually, the independent brands (Ratsherren is very decent) taste much better, but those two do the job too. Winter and summer.
- Get a Kebap or Boerek and have it with Ayran, a superhealthy, delicious yogurt drink. The Turkish community plays a big part in Germany’s identity today and the food is a symbol for it.
- Take off your jacket once the first ray of sun comes out yet carry an umbrella around- always
A (not only) nightlife with the right thing for everyone
Hamburg is alive without being crowded. Tourists and locals mingle everywhere and everybody is welcome. Nightlife is famous and Whether you like classical music or LGBT bars, Hamburg will offer you what you are craving for.