Oh those travel vibes. Experiencing excitement, being chirpy but also a bit nervous at the same time. Yes it was that time again. What time do you ask? The time to discover Hamburg, a city where I have never been before. It was the destination for an amazing weekend trip.
Venice of the North
Hamburg is your typical ‘it-has-everything’ city. It is the second largest city of Germany with 1,734 million people who enjoy living there. The city has the most important port of Germany and is also called the ‘Venice of the north’. The city is charming and beautiful and get’s an extra special feeling when it is illuminated by night as it reflects itself like a mirror. With the Lake Binnenalster right in the center, the city earned the nickname ‘Venice of the North’ (just like Amsterdam, Stockholm and Bruges).
So you have 48 hours to discover this city. What should you do?
If you arrive late in the evening (like I did), you should drop your stuff at your hostel or hotel, fresh yourself up and go to explore the city by night. I can recommend CIU. This bar is directly located at the Lake Binnenalster and with its encyclopedic cocktail list it is one of Hamburg’s top bars. The cocktail menu is the same size as a normal magazine, so make sure to take your time to pick out a delicious cocktail.
After maybe too many cocktails, it is time to explore the city the next day. Explore the Altstadt and the Neustadt (old and the new center) on foot. One of the top sights to see in the city is the Speicherstadt, the part of the city where all the old habour warehouses are. Some of them are still used as warehouses but most of the buildings are now shops, galleries or restaurants. Another top sight is the Rathaus, which is located in the heart of Hamburg.
Strolling around a city makes a person hungry, so you should definitely eat in between the sightseeing. Café Johanna is located in the Neustadt and is a place that you should not skip. It is a local, small and intimate café where you can get excellent breakfast and lunch. You will feel like a local when you enjoy a cup of coffee and lunch here.
If you fancy beautiful churches, make sure you go to St. Michael Church. It is the most famous church and a landmark of the city called “The Michel”. It is considered to be one of the finest Hanseatic Protestant Baroque churches. Around the corner of the church, you can find Krayenkamp 10. A romantic hidden alley which is just too cute to ignore.
Hamburg by Night
Having walked all day and tried to process all the beautiful buildings, history, culture and of course the delicious food that you had it is time to relax a little bit, make yourself look fancy and explore Hamburg by night. First important thing on the evening list: dinner. Go to the Kleine Brunnenstrasse 1 and order the three-course surprise menu. Trust me, you will be surprised. The food combination is full of flavour and just delightful. We even a got a fourth course as the kitchen wanted to say ‘hello’ to us. How nice of them. Never say no to extra food!
Four courses and a couple of hours further, it is time to lose all that food and hit the dance floor. The best place to do this is the famous Reeperbahn. In this area you will find the Grosse Freiheit Street where there are many music clubs and bars. I am personally not a great fan of big clubs. I rather prefer a bar with a perfect mix of old and new music that will make sure that your night is full of awesome and fantastic dance moves. If you are like me, then I can recommend Mash Up. Trust me, you will have an amazing night full of laughter.
Make sure you are still standing after your night out in the city, so that you don’t miss out on the last hours of the 48-hour trip. Start the day quietly and go to the Deichtorhallen where you will be inspired by typical art, stunning photography and a good mix of culture. Right now you can visit the Viehof Private Collection at the Deichtorhallen, it will be there until January 22, 2017. After this cultural morning, grab a cup of coffee or tea at the Museum Café and then it is time for lunch!
Walk from the Deichtorhallen to the Speicherstadt where you will find Atelier F. This café is inspired by French food and the American way of living. And oh boy, you are going to be happy with their food. The menu varies from mussels to a perfect cheeseburger and they have very refreshing homemade raspberry drinks. If you have still some room left in your stomach, you should definitely try the apple crumble with vanilla sauce or the chocolate mousse.
Shop till you drop
If you have some time left and you want to shop you can go to several places. In the center, especially in the Spitalerstrasse and Mönckebergstrasse you will find mostly familiar stores such as H&M. Looking for fancy top designer stores? Then you should go to Neuer Wall. Mark Strasse is a street filled with fashionable boutiques, here you can buy nice clothes for little money.
After a full weekend of history, culture, food, music and a lot of laughter it was time to go back to the airport. Very tired but very satisfied I discovered Hamburg in 48 hours and I can tell you, Hamburg stole my heart!