Next to old industrial buildings, rusting factories or big open-spaces filled with containers you will find that the city boasts an enormous amount of parks and waterways, where people enjoy their free-time doing sports, having barbecue, going swimming or paddling.
Such opposites can be found almost anywhere, no matter which district you visit. Only a few minutes’ walk separate the often beautiful villas at the Alster lake from some rather ugly tower blocks and while Hamburg has the highest number of millionaires living in Germany there are also several hundred homeless people.
In short, Hamburg is quite diverse – no matter which aspect you look upon.
Now, where to go and what to visit? Of course this is just a very very short list – there is plenty more to discover and to visit.
A great place to visit, even if it can be a bit cold in December. Never mind that, just put on some warm clothes, get your ticket for public transportation and go to the station ‘Landungsbrücken’. From there you can either just take a look at the waterfront, seeing the dockyards of Blohm&Voss across the Elbe or you could go one step further and take a harbour trip. If you choose to do so, just get in one of the public harbour ferries – the charge is already covered by your ticket and the route they are taking is certainly worth seeing.Part of the harbour is the Speicherstadt:
These storehouses used to be the heart of the harbour, where goods were stored or processed. It is quite an experience and even more impressive if one considers that about 20.000 people had to leave their homes in the 1880′s to make room for these new buildings. Nowadays the storehouses are mostly empty or used in another way – one of them houses the Miniaturwunderland, the largest model railway worldwide and maybe worth a visit on its own.Since the university and therefore our meeting rooms etc. are already close by, you might also want to consider a trip to the Alster:
It is a dammed in river, terminating right in the middle of Hamburg, resulting in a big lake that is split into two parts. Again, weather might not be favourable for an extensive walk-around, you could still walk along the waterside, using it to go towards the town centre and all the shops, boutiques and other places where money can be spend in a myriad of ways.In the evenings there is really only one place to go – Reeperbahn:
Filled to the brim with nightclubs, pubs, bars, adult stores, peep shows, prostitutes and anything in between. You will probably just want to skip the last two or three of those and if you are going here to party, rest assured that there will be at least one place that plays the music you like and/or has the drinks you want.Now, sunday morning might not sound like the best time to go out, but if you already are in Hamburg and since some of you might still be awake at 7am why not visit the Fischmarkt?
It is really just a tourist trap but a nice one. Not only will you find coffee and bread rolls with fish to help you get over your hangover and into session, but there is also live-music, vendors selling anything from living ducks to plants – and even fish – and it is certainly nice to see the sun rising over the harbour whilst sitting at the water side …
written by Jan-Ole Kaevel