The city of Hamburg is located in the northern part of Germany just on the Elbe River and near the Baltic sea. It’s easily the country’s largest port and commercial centre, and one of the busiest and largest in Europe and the ninth largest in the world. Hamburg is the next highest populated city after Berlin. The people of Hamburg have consistently maintained its individual characteristic culture.
The city has over time kept its culture undiluted and true to its self in these times of vast standardization. Hamburg is home to approximately 1.8 million people. The official name for Hamburg is the Free and Hanseatic city of Hamburg, in German, Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg.
If you find yourself with a bit of spare time on a business trip or are visiting Hamburg on a vacation, check out some of these cool places around town.
POSH AND PROPER - THE CITY CENTER
Hamburg has a very impressive roster of high-street shops in the center of town and is regarded as a bit of a shopping mecca in Northern Europe. The city is quite wealthy and the selection of shops in this area (plus the prices within) are reflective of this. Hamburg’s elite classes are fans of discreet luxury and tend to favor conservative and understated fashions, placing high value on quality.
The Speicherstadt houses the world’s largest warehouse complex and is located in the port of Hamburg within the Hafen City quarter. A city in itself, the district extends over 26 hectares and comprises of 17 building complexes, each seven to eight stories high, with more than 300,000 square meters of storage area. These warehouses have held high- value goods such as cocoa, coffee, tea, spices, maritime equipment and electronics. The buildings are literally standing on timber pile foundations. Waterways and bridges functioned as offices. It was built in 1883 five years before Hamburg received its port. Opportunities to see one of the world’s greatest landmarks should definitely not be overlooked.
Start at the Jungfernstieg Apple Store and walk away from the Alster (big lake) down Neuer Wall. This street has all your typical high-street outlets like Tiffany, BVLGARI, Cartier, Gucci, Luis Vuitton and Hermes. Turn right onto Post Bridge to find less expensive options like H&M, Zara, ESPRIT or Abercrombie.
If the weather isn’t great, you can just pop into Alsterhaus (right next to the Apple store). This five-level department store has all the fancy brands you could want in one place. If all that cash-splashing makes you thirsty, just take the escalators up to the top floor. There you’ll find “More Than Champagne,” a 100-square-meter lounge fully stocked with high-end bubbles and wine. Ooh la-la.
Winterhude is the perfect area to get unique home décor, gifts, or a one-of-a-kind fashion accessory. The architecture of the grand old houses and buildings are a feast for the eyes here, and the Stadtpark (meaning city-park) is also in the neighborhood. Hamburg’s answer to Central Park, the Stadtpark is simply gorgeous and great for a long walk or bike ride. In fair weather people sit on blankets by the lake here and grill or enjoy a bottle of wine.
In Stadtpark you’ll find a tall and old-looking building that is actually a planetarium. For a few Euros you can take the elevator up to the top and get an amazing view of the city.
This used to be a village in fact best known for fishing located on the West of Hamburg just on the Elbe. It’s now a popular destination for the wealthy and influential citizens of Hamburg. It’s made popular for having one of the most beautiful hiking trails starting from the banks of the Eble River. It has a Mediterranean feel to it, with an almost fairy tale like landscape cascading the houses that are closely knit together in addition to the winding stairs that seem to go on forever. It’s simply a great place to take a walk with a priceless view of the Elbe as it flows out of Hamburg. It’s serene and your visit to Hamburg would be incomplete without discovering the Blankenese.
The Sternschanze is the “hip” district in Hamburg and is a short walk from the Messe und Congress Center. This borough of the city is a popular haunt for artists and students and generally cool people.
There is a healthy supply of quirky shops, art studios and small cafes here, plus restaurants and bars to visit for a strong coffee or drink and maybe some shisha. Most bars and cafes have picnic-table style seating out front where you can get cozy with your friends and neighbors and watch life pass by on the streets. On a warm evening this laid-back area is very popular place to go and can get pretty crowded, so get there early to score a good table somewhere.
Most establishments have a really long happy-hour, where cocktails can be as cheap as half price. Try the local beer Astra or everyone’s favorite cocktail called Hugo.
HATE HARRY RESTAURANT & KLEINES JACOB
Start at Hate Harry (Beim Grünen Jäger
21, 20359 Hamburg) for dinner before a walk down Shulterblatt and around the rest of the area. Also check out Design & Art (Sternstrasse 83, 20357 Hamburg) to get some amazing and provocative photographic prints of the city.
This is one of the amazing places in Hamburg that you should certainly visit if you love to experience new tastes and are partial to great wines. The chef of the wine bar restaurant, specializes in giving simple dishes a magical touch that makes them absolutely amazing. The KleinesJacob wine bistro and bar also has a large collection of wines from all of Germany and Austria. The wine on the menu is changed every four months depending on the region the wine is imported from. Due to the practice of changing wine selections, patrons are given the opportunity of tasting various wines from different regions at specific times of the year. The warm décor and cozy ambience makes it impossible to want to leave in a hurry. The staff is highly knowledgeable, being young wine growers and they are as efficient as they are friendly. Overall, the experience is one you must not pass up if you are ever in Hamburg.
RAINBOW DISTRICT - LANGE REIHE
This place is not actually called the Rainbow district, I made that up. But, every big city has an area that is favorite by members of the LGBT community and Hamburg is no different. I’m happy to report that just like in a lot of big cities, this area is super-vibrant in Hamburg and a lot of fun to go out in.
Lange Reihe is a street starting right next to the central train station (Hauptbahnhof). It probably has the best and most diverse concentration of restaurants in town, and is home to my new favorite place called Hans im Gluck. This restaurant has is packed all week, but you shouldn’t wait more than 15 minutes for a table. The ambience is incredible, the service is friendly, the crowd is attractive and there’s a huge selection of imaginative Hamburgers (no pun intended) for meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Best part? It’s totally affordable.
Hamburg has a long and proud seafaring history. Local artist Rebelzer totally channels this attitude into his awesome art so visit his studio at Hein-Hoyer-Straße 47. Also, drinking in the street is legal here, so if you want to save some money, just pop into a convenience store and grab a canned beer to drink as you stroll around.
The Alster ferry boats on the Jungfernstieg. The Jungfernstieg is an urban promenade in Hamburg, Germany. It is the city’s foremost boulevard.