Hamburg

Hamburg – my view on the “pearl” Hamburg (Stefan Bielig)

Hamburg – my view of the pearl in the north (Stefan Bielig)
What are there not all for legendary stories of and with Hamburg? After Berlin, Hamburg is currently the most popular city in Germany for both domestic and foreign visitors. As a resident of the city, I can well understand that.

The reasons for this are the countless attractions and possibilities in Hamburg. For example, even as a young man from Hamburg I go to the beautiful Hamburg City Hall with its 647 rooms at least once a year, which is said to have one more room than Buckingham Palace in London. According to the legend a “broom closet”.

Hardly in the city centre it is difficult for me to decide – Alster or Elbe, both are within walking distance. Well, I choose the Hafen City, including the Speicherstadt.

And here is one of the little gems and a tip from me: The “Hamburger Fleetschlösschen”. A beautiful café on the edge of the Speicherstadt and the modern Hafen City, where you can marvel at the “Elphi” – yes, that’s how it is affectionately called in Hamburg – the Hamburg Elbe Philharmonic. Simply great. Inside and out. And what’s special about it is that as a tourist you can still go up to the building’s viewing platform “Plaza” (as of March 2020) via the longest escalator in Europe, free of charge.

But one of the real insider tips is a visit to the coffee roasting plant, also in the Speicherstadt. Coffee – freshly ground, from all over the world and so different. Have you ever drunk Ethiopian coffee with a fruity taste? Awesome. Really to recommend.

At the end of the day you should have a look at the “Hamburger Michel” (St.Michaelis church) inside and if possible also drive up the tower. A great view over the city and you will see how big the second largest city in Germany is. You can see the Millerntor of the FC St.Pauli, in good weather also the roof of the Volksparkstadion of the HSV, the two city clubs, which couldn’t be more different.

To the tradition respectively a traditional restaurant for “Hamburger Labskaus” is opposite the main entrance of the Michels, a seafarer’s dish with beetroot, a filet of matjes, potatoes and fried eggs – well, that’s a matter of taste. Some say “delicious”, others “looks like it’s been eaten before” and I say “not for me”. Then rather a “Franzbrötchen with pumpkin seeds”, a yeast dough pastry, typical for our region.


Now you need some rest for the long night ahead, best of all with an ice cream or beer on the meadow of the “Wasserlichtspiele” at Planten&Blomen, a park in the middle of the city between Dammtor and Millerntor, near the Reeperbahn. Recently modernised and free to see and hear, as classical music is played synchronously to the water fountains. In the summer months always at 21.30 hrs. Check Google for this.

Something for the romantics among you. By the way, I met my first wife here. There is now a second.

By the way, if you don’t want to do all this on foot or use the well developed infrastructure of our public transport, then buy the “Hamburg Card” for 2-3 days. Especially on weekends you can use all trains and busses day and night, and you can save a lot of money by showing the card at some attractions. That’s always worth it. You can buy it at any ticket machine at the HVV stations.

From the evening, night falls over Hamburg, many have been to the Hamburg Cathedral (funfair, carnival) or to a musical in the city. But the real nightlife is on the Reeperbahn with all its bars, pubs, lounges and sex shops, which are now booming.

The sex shop “Boutique Bizarre” for example – a super weird shop where every woman can find her “new boyfriend” in every size and color – at an initial price.

But where there is a lot of swaying and the Hamburg public is often a guest, that’s the whole Hans-Albers-Platz with its versatile clubs. “La Paloma”, “Die Rutsche”, “Nightstarter”, just to name a few and just a few locations for good and danceable music of the 80s, 90s and of today. Completely without the pressure to eat and casual.

My favourite tip is still the bar on the “Dancing Towers” called “Clouds”. Top cocktails, in good weather in airy height “open on top” and best view over the harbour at night. With a little luck you might spot a prominent guest of the Hanseatic city here and there.

But there is another way – after a night of drinking and drinking, many people are still hungry for something “vulgar”, such as a real schnitzel – the tip is called “Erika’s Eck” at the slaughterhouse (Schanzenviertel). This is where all night owls meet for a “Stell-Dich-ein”.

Prostitutes with their pimps, taxi drivers, scene-goers, students, night-shift workers on their break and the butcher in his bloodstained gown. Everything fresh, even the blood. Top food for little money. A classic for over 50 years and that’s how it looks like there too, and it’s open almost 24 hours a day.

During the day and after a short sleep you can enjoy a “Konter-Bier” the following day in the “Alsterperle” (Schwanenwik). If you like it, you can even go to the Literaturcafe opposite, where you can often still be part of great artistic moments like readings with a musical touch. Just culture.

If there is still time until your departure, I recommend you: go to the Lange Reihe in/on St. Georg, visit the cafe “Frau Möller” (Sky TV football pub) or go to number 71, where the birthplace of “Hans Albers” is still there, who was born there in 1891.

As a true Hamburg youngster I love my city and I also love to be a host at triper, where I have invited many a traveller to go to the city park or to paddle in a rowing boat on the Alster. Sometimes I relax for 1-2 hours – just the way I like it. And maybe you too?

You find my invitations mostly in summer.
Stefan Bielig

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