Another quick citytrip to Germany. Hamburg, in the north of Germany, is the second biggest city of the country, and has the biggest harbour of Europe! We didn’t know what to expect, but after a few days we think this city deserves your attention. However, we also found it too wet and cold for a second try.

From the airport it is about half an hour by metro to the center. But to be safe, count an extra half an hour queueing to get a ticket. Tip: buy your train ticket at the machine in the luggage area … We paid 6,2 per person for a day ticket after 9 am (when we returned a fierce conductor asked us very astonished why we didn’t buy a group ticket, which is cheaper. Yes, couples are groups as wel). Our first stop was the city hall (Rathaus). A very nice building, but closed. We didn’t know, but in this part of Germany the Easter holidays tend to be quite long …

Since the weather forecast predicts rain in the afternoon, we go to the highest places first. A first impression of a city from high above always makes us feel comfortable when walking around afterwards. The Mahlmal Nikolaikirche was open, but in the middle of renovation works. We did go up in the tower, but couldn’t see much of Hamburg … Guess we helped paying off the reconstruction works (€ 2 per person). From the top of this church (or what’s left over of it) we could see the ‘Michel’, as the biggest church Sankt Michaelis is called by the people of Hamburg. And we could also see a lot of people on top of that tower. So, no time to waste! Euhm … rewind that sentence. We lost a lot of time there! We are sporty people, so when visiting a city and its monuments, we try to see everything by foot. This gives you a better impression of the place you are. At this church, we didn’t see any signs of a stair, however we did see a sign of the stair plus elevator. We ended up waiting for almost an hour (!!) and taking the stairs instead of an elavator that was way too small for all the people waiting with us. And we saw the sign of the stairs when we came back 🙂 We must say, the view on top of the tower was amazing (€ 5 per person)!

Tower #view #hamburg #travel #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

The harbour, the city, the surroundings. We got our impression to better orientate on the ground. And we beat the rain clouds too. In the afternoon we arranged a guided street art tour. The most alternative quarters (if that’s possible) must be Altona and Sternschanze. The street art was not that amazing, some nice pieces but also a lot of tags. We find a lot of nice little shops in Karoviertel, but they are all closed due to Easter … Too bad! Some hours later, and after a short walk at Reeperbahn (the famous red light district of Hamburg) we find a lovely place to eat. Perhaps the best part of this restaurant was the bill … With our ticker from the tower of the Mahlmal, we get a nice discount :-).

On the second day, the shops and supermarkets are open. We start the day with a filled bag but in the rain. We stop at Koppel 66, a former factory building turned into a space for creative minds. The workshops are still closed (it’s the story of this trip ;-)), so we walk further along Lange Reihe in the quarter St. Georg. At the end of this long street with small shops, we see ‘Mutterland’. This is a shop where you can find all kinds of typical German food. Crossing the shopping streets (mainly at Neustadt) we have to go to the Nivea shop. Yes indeed. A shop dedicated to the wonder cream in the blue can! Unfortunately we travel light weight (hand luggage only), so we keep it to some inside window-shopping.

Our walk continues towards the river Elbe. At the Landungsbrücken it is very crowdy. You can take all kinds of boats from here to visit the harbour. We let this pass by, but we do take a look at the Elbtunnel. It is an old tunnel, apparently only for pedestrians, but cars should also be able to cross the river. Construction works are ongoing, too bad for drivers but nice for us: we can take the car lift back, from which the doors just have to you back to the beginning of the 20th Century! Time to get a bit of peace, which we try to find in the new Hafencity quarter. The Elbphilharmonie building is only open since January this year, but unfortunately, visit are only possible within certain time slots, and everything is sold out. So we continue our walk along the river and are just in time to shelter in the Unilever building. Hamburg has something with shops of one brand … No escaping of course in this building, bearing in mind all the products Unilever has!
From Hafencity, we take the metro to a restaurant, but we return at night to have a walk around Speicherstadt. This part of Hamburg combines new and old perfectly. The warehouses of Speicherstadt and the canals in between are very distinct from the modern towers just across. By the way: these warehouses are the biggest depots of Persian carpets in the world!

Day three is a walk and metro day. We go to Ottensen, which is a neighborhood a bit out of the city center. We end up at the water again. In the middle of the quays and old warehouses, we find a modern construction: Dockland. It is an office built to the likings of a ship, what else? You can’t go in, but you can go up! We can almost grab the harbour in front of us 🙂 Along the famous fish market we walk to our transport of the day: the metro takes us to the old botanical garden. With a walk in the park we end this short citytrip.

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