Ang (My boyfriend) and I went to Hamburg during this Easter holiday, and it was completely beyond our expectation!! We took a train from Berlin central station (Berlin Hbf) to Hamburg central station (Hamburg Hbf). The round trip by train cost approximately 60 euros per each.
How did we like it? WE ABSOLUTELY FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS CITY!!
People do not think Hamburg, or Germany as a country itself as a fun destination choice for holidays due to the stereotypes about Germany, yet we can confidently affirm that Hamburg is a hidden gem in Europe.
It was an exquisite combination of traditional European architecture and modern city. It’s not like very classical European cities such as Paris, Vienna or Praha. You can feel both European and North American vibes at the same time in the gorgeous city.
We’d like to share some places we believe you shouldn’t miss in Hamburg.
The HafenCity is Europe’s largest urban development project and is located in the Hamburg-Mitte district. This district is modern, wide and full of dynamic architecture and cool restaurants,
We’ve never seen this variety in architectural styles in the same street. We absolutely loved strolling around Hafen city talking about how much we want to move to here one day.
But, if you walk thru the canal across, the atmosphere totally switches. Buildings there used to be warehouses or factories, but Hafen city project transformed them beautifully to experimental and beautiful buildings. Overall, Hafencity district is very unique with some small ships floating there, we can have coffee and meals on them, too.
If you keep walking thru the canal enjoying unique scenes, you’ll easily find Elbphilharmonie Hamburg in front of you. It’s absolutely mind-blowing even from the outside. The exterior design reminded me of both the shape of the wave and rhythmical sound of music at the same time.
You can go up to the plaza area – observatory floor – for free. Though it is free, you need a ticket since they are keen to check and control the number of the population up there in the Plaza area. You’ll see the ticket office in front of the main entrance, and tell them you want to go up to the plaza area, then they’ll give you free entrance tickets. The escalator in Elbphilharmonie Hamburg was the longest one we ever took,
Once you arrive there, you’ll see an outdoor terrace area where you can take a whole tour. Personally, this was my favorite moment of this trip. Ang and I spent around half an hour there just enjoying the view in front of us, enjoying the sun and the mild breeze. I strongly recommend going up here to the Plaza area of Elbphilharmonie Hamburg,
Here, some views from the plaza area, it is so cool and unique. And, it’s FREE, how can it be better? 🙂
After enjoying the beautiful daytime, you should hit the Sternschanze area, full of good restaurants and trendy bars and clubs. Ang and I like drinking beers and enjoying the fun nightlife, it was the best place to enjoy your last night in the city.
Bars we liked the most was
Very cool interior design and atmosphere! Lots of young & trendy people having fun. Cool beer and cocktail selection.
This bar is quite fancy, and a great place for an evening date for a couple. As it’s not very noisy, a good place to drink and have a talk. (Couldn’t take a photo)
Wonderful burger, but you have to expect at least 30-60 mins to get in depending on what time you get there and how big your group is. We arrived there around 18:30 and finally were seated around 19:20. If you go there as a big group, you’ll have to wait for quite a while.
But overall we didn’t regret the wait. My boyfriend had a blue cheese burger and I got a BBQ burger (It’s spicy, FYI) with Chiabata buns. (You can choose bun, burger type, how we want our patty (rare, medium and well-done) and side.
I recommend you going there, but make sure to wear the most comfy shoes you have.
The greatest thing about Hamburg is that we can see lots of water – the lake and river. You just feel very peaceful and relaxed sipping Astra beer and watching the endless horizon of the Alster lake. People come out enjoying the sun, sailing and riding a small boat with family.
If you walk along the river, you’ll get to face Hamburg city hall where it is open to everyone for free. As you can see, it boasts a big scale and gorgeous exterior architecture – I won’t be surprised if someone told me this is a castle!!
In the backyard, we can see some beautiful sculptures.
Hamburg is the 3rd biggest port in the Europe, and the 2nd richet city in Germany. Hambrug has two big rivers – Elbe and Alster which lead to the North Sea. Leveraging this, since long time ago, Hamburg flourishes with trade and commerce.
In Landugsbrucken, we can see the river Elbe and the port of Hamburg. This is not a typical view we see during the holidays. It’s just a raw scene of global import and export with lots of containers, boats, and heavy lifters with massive hooks. I recommend you doing a boat tour (23-30 euros per hours). It’s not like any other boat tour in Italy or Greece. It’s rather an experience of the global shipping trade happening in the middle of the river in Hamburg.
This is my 6 picks, but other than those, still there are so many to experience in Hamburg. Ang and I are seriously hoping we can live in this city one day!!
If you are planning to travel to Germany, you really really have to put Hamburg on your list. This is truly a precious hidden gem in Europe!