Ok, i have to say right at the beginning of this post: I was born in Berlin and i do love this city! But during the last 5 years it seems that the capital of Germany is the only place travellers from abroad come to visit in my country (ok, next to Bavaria with the castles, beer…you name it!) – but, hey, we have a lot more to offer!
It is time to introduce you to the second-largest city, located in the north, on the river Elbe: Hamburg. With the two Alster lakes situated in the heart of the city, the multitude of parks & green spaces and it’s improved urban living environment it received the “european green capital” award in 2011. Moreover it owns europe’s second-largest harbour and is therefore often called Germany’s gate to the world. Furthermore the port is one of the reasons why Hamburg is ever since also popular for it’s lively nightlife and the red light district around the Reeperbahn area.
Ok, there is only one thing locals and tourists don’t like about Hamburg: the bad weather. If you have a look on the map you’ll see that the city is not that far away from another european city with the same “problem”: London. If we have rainy days almost every local names them “typical hamburg weather”.
But: if you have a closer look to the statistics you’ll see that we have no more rain than Munich (whoch is also popular for it’s sunny weather). In fact weather is changing very quick due to the fact that the North Sea is not that far away. This means also: prepare yourself and don’t forget your umbrella!
To be honest: i live in Hamburg since almost 10 years and beside the rainy days i had many months full of sunshine and hot temperatures. If you ask travellers from abroad most of them state that hamburg is the most beautiful city in Germany during the summer time. During these days the city has the perfect set-up: the two mentioned big lakes in the center (where sailing as well as relaxing is very popular), the river elbe with beautiful beaches and beachclubs – with the harbour backdrop, big recreation areas where you can find areas to barbecue, canals through the whole innercity where you can paddle on or make a boat trip (like in amsterdam), open air festivals (music, cinema, theatre, dinner), summer events (birthday of the harbour, alstervergnügen, cherry blossom festival) and of course the lively nightlife in the party areas where you can have your drink outside and talk with people during warm summer nights.
It is very popular to travel to Hamburg for a smashing party weekend because we do not only have bars and clubs here – they are concentrated on certain areas. The two most famous are the “Reeperbahn/St.Pauli” and the “Sternschanze”.
Let’s start with the Reeperbahn which is very close to the harbour, in former times the crews of ships loved to go out here after a long trip because here they found everything they missed during the long time on high seas: red light district, pubs & bars and live music. Later a lot of popular musicians and bands started their career here, like The Beatles (they were playing in the clubs of Hamburg for 2 years before they shoot to fame). Nowadays you can find it all together and decide by yourself what you are up for: a pub crawl, a “men’s night” at the strip clubs / live sex shows, dancing the night away in the clubs, joining a live concert, going to a musical / theater or just enjoying your drink at a bar with a view over the rooftops of the city.
The Sternschanze is an area which is most called the alternative quarter of town. It is perfect to make a tour through the bars and pubs and have a chat in front of them at the Schulterblatt area. Enjoy your astra here, have a tasty meal at one of the good restaurants and dance to reggae music in the basement of the Haus 73.
By the way: it is popular to go for a little walk to the Reeperbahn from here if you have enough energy left (just 15-20min, depends on the beer you have on your way).
Ah – i have to add one more important detail: the metro and sbahn runs 24hrs on the weekend and public holidays!
– The Elbe: the economic and historical heart of the city – make a harbour trip with the ferry 62 from Landungsbrücken (it i included in the public transport day tickets), go for a walk in Blankenese and have a drink at the Beach club “Strand Pauli” while watching the big ships passing by
– Old Warehouse District & Hafencity: Old and modern comes together here – the Speicherstadt is the largest timber-pile founded warehouse district in the world, today a lot of interesting museums are located in the old buildings. In contrast the Hafencity is the most modern part of town – new buildings with an interesting and impressive architecture (like the elbe philharmonic hall) are part of the largest rebuilding project in europe.
– The Alster: the inner and outer alster are surrounded by parks where you can enjoy a sunny day, moreover you can rent boats or hop on a guided boat tour at Jungfernstieg
– Sternschanze or “Schanze”: if you are not sure if you want to party hard or just have a relaxed evening with some drinks go there. If you change your mind later on – no problem! (see above)
– Reeperbahn: the party area you have to go to when you’re in Hamburg – don’t miss out to go to the fishmarket after a long night, because this is a kind of a tradition you have to follow when you’re in town!
Why wait? Come to Hamburg, discover my city and remember: weather is temporary! 😉
This is a guest post from Steve Haenisch – a Travel-Videoblogger focusing on travelling on a budget.
More stuff? Visit Steve’s Blog to get more tips about Hamburg and discover travel related Videoblogs with a bunch of tips for travelling on a budget – don’t forget to follow him on Twitter! In 2012 Steve is starting with Europe before heading to South America, North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South East Asia. Follow his travel adventures!
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