Welcome to Hamburg!
My home for the last three months and a city that I will certainly miss a lot, if I have to go.
A capital of nightlife (according to Hostelworld), famous for its alternative character and full of activities that will satisfy every taste, Hamburg is definitely a destination you will not easily forget!
Below you will find 10 things that you should see and do when you visit Hamburg!
Written by Ariana Manafi of the bab.la team
1. Hafencity and Speicherstadt
Speicherstadt means “warehouse city” and it was built to become a free zone for non-taxed merchandise.
Since 2015, it is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Hafencity includes Speicherstadt and is one of the biggest urban development projects in Europe.
It sets an example for the transformation of industrial or commercial areas into residential buildings, parks and recreation areas. When it is complete, it will enlarge the city by 40%.
Elbphilarmonie, the new Hamburg concert hall, is the symbol of this area and there you can enjoy various concerts.
So far, a simple visit is free of charge!
In St. Pauli beats the heart of Hamburg’s nightlife!
During the night, it is full of people and there are countless bars, pubs and dining places.
There, you will also find Reeperbahn, the city’s major red-light district.
It is full of brothels, strip shows and sex shops but despite that, it is home to some of the biggest clubs of the city and you will also find cultural activities.
It is better to visit Reeperbahn during the night because in the morning it is not so crowded.
Also, it is home of the FC St. Pauli, the football team that has a special character being the first German football team that excluded the far-right mentality and it is also known for its charitable events.
Before moving to Hamburg, I did not know that Beatles started their career here. Before being famous and for two years, they were performing in different clubs and it is said that it is here where they developed their personal style that made them famous worldwide.
If you are interested in their story, there are walking tours that focus on the passage of the British band from Hamburg where you will get more information about them as well as learn about the urban legends and the stories of the band that conquered the whole universe!
4. Hamburg Fischmarkt
After a wild night out, what is better than food?
Every Sunday early in the morning (5:30-9:30) you can find fresh fish and fish sandwiches at Hamburg’s fish market while listening to live music.
It is a tradition that goes back to 1793 and it’s worth experiencing.
Tip: The earlier you get there, the better!
In Hamburg there are many Flea markets where you can find everything!
From old books and vintage clothes to decorative articles and antiques.
A personal favourite is Flohschanze and it takes place every Saturday near the U-banh station Feldstraße but there are a lot more to discover!
You can find more information at hamburg.de.
It is better to plan your visit early because the best bargains disappear quickly.
6. Sternschanze & Karolinenviertel
Or Schanze & Karoviertel.
They are two up and coming neighbourhoods that are definitely worthy of your time!
Stroll around the local fashion designers, second hand and vintage stores, and enjoy your coffee in the small and picturesque cafes!
The Art Museum of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (Hamburger Kunsthalle) has a permanent collection of 14th century paintings, artworks of Dutch and Flemish artists of the 16th and 17th century, French and German paintings of the 19th century as well as contemporary artworks.
The miniature museum (Miniatur Wunderland), chocolate museum (Chocoversum) as well as the maritime museum (Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg) are also really interesting.
Finally, Dialogue in the Dark is a different and exciting experience where blind guides help you find your way in absolute darkness.
8. Lake Alster
The river Elbe and Alster lake consist Hamburg’s aquatic environment.
Alster lake is divided into a smaller part (Binnenalster) and a bigger part (Außenalster).
You can walk around the lake which is full of people when the weather is good, and you can also take a boat trip.
Tip: During the winter and when the temperatures are low, the lake gets frozen and when the frozen layer is thick enough, you can cross from one part of the lake to the other!
It is certain that German food is not the most famous but don’t forget to taste delicious Schnitzels and above all Labskaus which is to Hamburg what the currywurst is to Berlin.
It is made of salted meat or corned beef, potatoes, onions and it is served with a fried egg.
Other variations include beetroot or pickles.
You can find this dish almost everywhere in Hamburg!
Hamburg’s port is the third biggest port in Europe after Rotterdam and Antwerp and every May it celebrates its birthday with one of the biggest seafaring events worldwide.
You can, among other things, watch the “ship parade” and the firework show.
If you are planning to visit the city in May, it will be hard to miss!
Have you ever visited Hamburg? Share your experience with us!
Written by Ariana Manafi of the bab.la team