What To Do in Hamburg, Germany
We managed to fit in a quick trip to Hamburg recently and thought we should share our newfound wisdom on what to do in the German city known for its history and nightlife.
5. Go for a walk along the Elbe
Having been a country in its own right not that long ago, Hamburg's port is still a strong economic centre, and you can't miss this fact. You can get tours around the port and harbour (some are even included in day tickets for public transport - 11.80 for a group of up to five people) but we recommend you just spend a couple of hours taking in the sights from the shore. In particular look out for the Elphie (a striking concert hall built on top of an old warehouse).
4. The Five Main Churches (Hauptkirchen)
A strongly Lutheran state, Hamburg has five Cathedrals, known as the Hauptkirchen, which served the entire city up until the 19th century. Four still stand in their entirety, but all five are worth a visit.
- St. Jacob's (St. Jackobi)
- St. Catherine's (St. Katherinen)
- St. Paul's (Petrikirche)
- St. Nicholas's (Nikolaikirche)
- St. Michael's (Michelkirche)
An eclectic collection with everything from old masters through to contemporary sculpture. It houses impressive collections of Rubens and Emin alike. But its real USP is the permanent exhibition of 19th century European art, which includes Caspar David Friedrich's two great masterpieces - The Sea of Ice and Wanderer above the Sea of Fog which have come to define Romanticism.
2. Warehouse District (Speicherstadt)
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015, the Speicherstadt is apparently the largest warehouse district in the world where the buildings are built on timber-pile foundations (no... we don't really know what that means, and no we didn't think it was that interesting either!) It's not all boring though. The Speicherstadt is just gorgeous and you don't necessarily need to be interesting when you look this good. If you don't believe me, just remember that Baywatch is now a film!
1. St. Pauli
This area of Hamburg split opinions, but it is a must-visit either way. It is one of the quarters to the west of the city centre, and you're probably best getting an U-Bahn along to the Reeperbahn. When you come out onto the street, there's a lot to take in. In essence, the Reeperbahn is a major dual-carriageway that also serves as the town's red light district. So don't expect a relaxing stroll!
Our suggestion is to enjoy the experience of a walk along the strip, but to head off it when you're actually looking for somewhere to go. Start your night off in one of the bars around Hans-Albers-Eck and then head across to Große Freiheit (which literally means large freedom, so you know it's going to be fun) for the late night bars and clubs.