Whilst Berlin gets all the plaudits and other cities such as Cologne are more visited for the Christmas markets Hamburg seems to just get on with things in its own way offering much more to the visitor than the usual stag do on the Reeperbahn. I’m a regular visitor to the city and have been drawn in by its charms and way of life and want to share my top tips to ensure you make the most of your time there.
Hamburg has a super efficient public transport system. I’ve never seen any delays and both buses and trains run regularly. Even better on Friday and Saturday nights they run a 24 hour service which puts London’s underground to shame. Whilst the Hamburg Transport Card may seem a good deal at €20 each for 3 days you should seriously consider whether you need it as you won’t spend anywhere near this amount on transport if you are in a centrally located hotel.
The S-Bahn links directly to the airport and a one way ticket to the city centre is just €2.60 per person which is a bargain compared to the Gatwick Express. Single tickets for all rail journeys within the city centre are just €1.30.
Should you decide you need a taxi they can be hailed just as any other city and cost in the region of €3 per km
I am completely biased here. I only ever stay at one place. Superbude, I can tell you how great this place is for anyone of any age. Great prices too!
If you want to splash some more cash though then the Gastwerk Hotel is definitely worth consideration. Whilst not right in the centre of the city it’s near Bahrenfeld station which provides easy access to anywhere. The Gastwerk Hotel is an old coal warehouse of the Hamburg gasworks. It’s a design hotel and each room is unique I don’t think I’ve ever visited another hotel like it anywhere else in the world!
So Hamburg is known for the Reeperbahn – the most sinful mile in the world! It’s worth visiting for a night an experiencing what it’s all about. There are plenty of live sex shows, sex shops, bars and clubs to easily pass the night away.
However after you have done the seedy part (if you even want to do it at all!) then you should head to the Schanze to see what Hamburg nightlife is really about. On a warm summer evening there will be hundreds of people in the street on Schulterblatt outside the Bedford Cafe. In and around this area are some chilled restaurants and bars. Most are very original and quirky
Zoe Bar is full of old original antique furniture
Mutter is a tiny underground bar but very busy
Saal II looks like an old slaughter house and seems like a dive but it’s cool and chilled and there is always a student crowd inside
The Gruener Jaeger is a cool grungy hang out that has some excellent independent music nights
All around the Schanze you will also find really good independent shops such as record shops. I really miss independent record shops so I’ve spent hours trawling through the vinyl and listening to some great stuff. Whilst Rammstein might be the best known Germany has some great music and lots of the bars have live local bands.
Finn is a great artist from Hamburg check out his stuff here http://www.myspace.com/finndot/music
So if you’ve done Berlin, Munich and Cologne and still want more then Hamburg should be top of your list. I’ll have some more in depth posts on Hamburg coming in the future