*Sponsored by: Hamburg Tourismus
For nearly two months now I have been thinking about what I should say about Hamburg. Should I focus on the sights in the city and the port of Hamburg, the range of restaurants offering delicious food or just on the one thing that I noticed most – the men in Hamburg.
The listeners of our Finnish Jetlagissa podcast I co-host have already heard stories of encounters and Tinder offerings, so I have no choice but to make it clear: if you are single and like men, you should seriously consider Hamburg as your next destination – I mean it and I’m serious…
Hamburg is easily left in the shadows of Berlin and Paris, and that’s probably why I had not visited the city before last autumn. The Finnair flight from Helsinki to Hamburg takes two hours, so this German port city is an excellent place for a weekend getaway from up north.
To be perfectly honest though, my trip to Hamburg was shadowed by a recent heartache, and I didn’t feel like myself, which effected how I experienced Hamburg this time around.
What should you do, see and experience in Hamburg?
In addition to the handsome men, Hamburg obviously has other things you should see too. The city is first and foremost a port city and life centres around canals.
Speicherstadt is the world’s largest warehouse district built in the 1800s on top of timber-pile foundations. Today the buildings in the warehouse district are mostly occupied by small stores, restaurants, and museums.
Hafencity, where Speicherstadt is located, is one of the newer districts of Hamburg. New office buildings are constantly appearing in Hafencity, but they bring with them wonderful restaurants and cafes. This district of modern architecture respects the port traditions, and there are no plans for large shopping centres. The locals want to maintain the area as a cultural centre and at least during my visit I was left with the impression this was working out exactly so.
As you are leaving Hafencity, the natural route takes you to Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg’s most famous attraction. The modern concert hall located in Hafencity was finished in 2016 and offers great views over the city at sunset. While there is no entrance fee to the concert hall, you will be asked to purchase a ticket, which costs 2 euro and allows the staff to keep track of how many visitors are inside at any one time. You can buy your ticket here.
St. Pauli is the centre of nightlife and a slightly livelier district, which is popular with hipsters, young travellers, and locals alike. St. Pauli has been at the heart of Hamburg’s nightlife for hundreds of years, as its brothels used to draw in sailors back in the day. Reeperbahn must be the best-known street in the whole city, and it is filled with restaurants and bars and to this day, strip clubs and sex shops.
In a city like Hamburg that centres around canals, it is worth it to spend one evening on a harbour cruise. You can do this by joining one of the tours aimed at tourists or just get onboard one of the ferries that form part of public transport and enjoy the views of the city.
Great hotel tip for Hamburg – Tortue Hamburg
Tortue Hamburg is a new design hotel located in the traditional Hanseatic city between Stadthausbrücken, Große Bleichenn and Neuer Wall. Nearby the hotel you can find opportunities for shopping and most of the city’s attractions are within walking distance.
Tortue turned out to be a stylish hotel with rooms that have the most comfortable beds in the whole world. After visiting Hamburg I have been trying to find out how I could have one of these beds delivered to my home, so I could always sleep so well from now on.
The one thing that stood up at Tortue was its Asian Jin Gui restaurant that served delicious food. Although we noticed the customer service at this new hotel was still not always seamless, the tastes we experienced at the restaurant immediately made up for any such shortcomings – I recommend visiting in the evening and also ordering a cocktail or two.
Read more about Tortue Hamburg from Anne, who was with me on this trip, in her blog.
Breakfast at Tortue hotel. Photo: Anne Travel Foodie.
The best tips for where to eat in Hamburg
From a food travel perspective and in addition to the Jin Gui restaurant I mentioned above, we enjoyed fresh ingredients at markets and dined in some restaurants that served delicious food, and I want to share my tips with you.
Isemarkt is a market that opens on Tuesdays and Fridays and where you will find small producers selling vegetables, dairy products, and other treats. Many of the buyers are local families and top chefs, but a tourist will also find many things to marvel at and experience. We walked through the market with a top local chef and stopped at a few stalls for vegetable and cheese tasting.
Überquell is a small brewery and bar that also serves possibly the most delicious pizza in the city. It turned out to be the perfect spot for a night out. The bar filled with mostly younger locals for dinner and then for mingling amongst other hipster beards at the brewery.
In addition to restaurants, those travelling for food should visit Rindermarkthalle, which is a small indoor market in Sankt Pauli with many small restaurants and bakeries.
Have you visited Hamburg?