Top 5 Hamburg
Hamburg is a port city in the north of Germany. Although much less touristy than Berlin, this city still welcomes a lot of visitors every year who come to see the harbor, the canals and the architecture, even though much of the city was destroyed during WWII.
Even though there is a whole area dedicated to night life, the Reeperbahn, this is not comparable to the nights out in Berlin. Moreover, Hamburg is a business city; rich, residential and quiet. The most amazing thing about this city is that its citizens are literally hamburgers. However, do not expect to eat the best burger of your life here, as from a culinary point of view the city does not have a lot to offer.
If you are staying in Berlin for a while, then take a short trip to Hamburg. Three hours by bus are all it takes. Plan to spend one or two nights there, that’s enough.
As far as I’m concerned, my husband’s family lives there, so I go there regularly. This is why I share with you 5 ideas of nice things to do there, according to the advice of some hamburgers that I know.
1 – Walking in the Treppenviertel District
The Treppenviertel district, which translates as “the quarter of stairs”, is undoubtedly the most charming corner of Hamburg. You would not believe you are in town, but more in a holiday resort. It is a residential area on the hillside facing the Elbe River. The houses were built mostly in a Gründerzeit style, which gives them the appearance of doll houses.
All the entrances are brimming with flowers, the streets are paved, and there are small stairways in all directions that accentuate the magical effect of the visit. Simply climb a staircase at random and let yourself be charmed. Apparently there are more than 5000 steps in total.
The banks of the Elbe have been laid out so that you can walk around and even relax on the sand if the weather is suitable.
If the weather is mild, then this is the place to spend your day.
To get there, take the S-Bahn to Blankenese station, then walk in the direction of the Elbe. A walk of less than 10 minutes will get you there.
In order to enjoy the view, and to rest, there is a small cute cafe on the heights that I recommend without hesitation, the Kaffeegarten Schuldt.
2 – The Elbphilharmonie of Hamburg
Here I propose to take a tour of the Philharmonic of Hamburg, called the Elbphilarmnie, which was designed by the Swiss architects Herzog & De Meuron. Considered an architectural masterpiece, it was a real adventure before the building was inaugurated.
The first stone was laid in 2007, and the last one was planned for 2010. In the end, things took a bit longer than expected, with the inauguration finally arriving in January 2017, at which time the original budget had been exceeded 10-fold. But it is definitely worth a look!
You can go for a walk, have a coffee on the huge terrace with a view of the city, or take advantage of one of the many events organized there, some of which are free.
3 – Play of light in the park Planten un Blomen
The park Planten un Blomen – plants and flowers – is a haven of peace of 47ha in the city center of Hamburg. There are tropical greenhouses, a rose garden, a Japanese garden, and an ice rink. This is one of the largest skating rinks in Europe. During the summer, the ice rink turns into a rollerblading park.
Throughout the year, a lot of events, concerts, and workshops are organized for both adults and children, and all are free.
From May to September, every day at 10 pm (and at 9 pm in September), there is a show called “Water Light Concert” which takes place right in the center of the park. The central fountain is staged in a game of music and light. The show lasts 30 minutes. It is ideal for families, or if you simply want to have a beer while enjoying a nice view.
The nearest stops are Stephanplatz (U-Bahn) or Dammtor (S-Bahn).
4- The Gone Away Bar
I choose a bar that is not located either on the Reeperbahn or in St. Pauli, the famous neighborhoods of the night. Why? Because all the guides will tell you to go there, so it will not be anything special. The Reeperbahn is a sort of spring break for wealthy German teenagers and drunk tourists…enough said.
The Gone Away Bar is located in the very exclusive Eimsbüttel area. The owner is a cocktail enthusiast. He changes the menu every week, according to the fresh products he finds at the market, and according to his mood. He even created a special cocktail for the G20 summit. There are classics like the Moscow Mule, which is made with home-grown ginger. Furthermore, all the fruit juices used are fresh. No tetra packs in this place. The bar offers a wide selection of Japanese whiskey for true enthusiasts. And no worries, if cocktails are not your thing, you can always go for a beer, we are in Germany after all. The bar is small, with a familiar and cozy atmosphere where one can run into the lost souls of the night, it’s quite funny.
5 – Fischmarkt
I end this top 5 with the famous Hamburg Fischmarkt, in the same way that many a Saturday night out in Hamburg end up here. On the other hand, if you are not the “going out” type, then this can also be a great reason to get up early on a Sunday.
As its name suggests, this is a fish market along the Elbe river which takes place in the district of Altona, 10 minutes’ walk from the Reeperbahn, every Sunday morning between 5am to 9.30am, and between 7am to 9.30am during the winter.
Week in, week out, more than 70,000 people visit the open-air market, where you can buy anything from fish to flowers, clothes and souvenirs. Come here for a unique breakfast experience, try the traditional fish sandwich, and if you’re not done dancing after a long night out, you will find live bands in the Fischauktionshalle, playing anything from 80’s rock n’ roll to jazz.