Deutschland! Mr. Bug was born and raised in Hamburg, the second largest city in Germany. We try to get back to visit family and friends about once a year. Hamburg is an amazing city and I wanted to share some fun facts and some of our favorite things to do while we’re there.
Hamburg is a bustling city, full of life and entertainment. You will never want for something to do while you are here. Whether your desire is fine arts, cuisine, music, or nightlife, Hamburg has it all!
Looking to get cultured? You are in luck! After New York and London, Hamburg is the world’s third largest musical metropolis. The Lion King musical is not to be missed. The opera, numerous theaters, museums, and galleries make this a great city for the arts.
The heart of Hamburg is the City Center. From there you can get in some major shopping time at all of the stores, grab a doner (Turkish kabob) at a local corner vendor, and do some people watching. The highlight of the City Center is the Alster Lake and Rathaus, (City Hall). The Alster Lake is LITERALLY a lake in the middle of the city and is full of people kayaking, rowing, and sailing. A boat tour around the Alster makes for a perfect romantic evening and gives you some wonderful views of the city.
The Rathaus (City Hall) is located in the City Center and is the home of the city’s government officials. The architecture of the building is simply breathtaking.
Once you have had a good long while to stare at the beautiful building, stroll through the walkway and find the outdoor seating for the Rathaus’ restaurant, Parlament. Grab a beer or wine (or both) and order a Flammkuchen, which is a kind of thin crust wood fired pizza with a sour cream sauce. If you want the traditional (and best), get it topped with bacon and onions.
You CANNOT visit Germany without getting a bratwurst. You can find a bratwurst vendor on almost every corner; make sure to get it with curry ketchup! Wash the bratwurst down with a Holsten beer, locally brewed in Hamburg and Mr. Bug’s personal favorite.
The Hamburg Harbor is the lifeline of the city, and one of the largest harbors in Europe. Stroll along the waterfront and take in the sights. The harbor offers a variety of things to do and sights to see including various museum ships, musical theaters, bars, restaurants and hotels. No trip to Hamburg is complete without a harbor boat tour down the Elbe River. This gives a unique view of the industrial side of the city where you will see old warehouses, cruise ships, and massive container ships.
Looking for a night of debauchery? Do as the sailors did back in the day and walk from the harbor to Hamburg’s very own Red Light District, the Reeperbahn.
The streets are lined with restaurants, night clubs, bars, strip clubs, sex shops, and more! The Reeperbahn is like the Twilight Zone. When you are there, you completely lose track of time and you will more often than not find yourself dancing until the sun comes up. Now that you are hungry from all that dancing and bar hopping, walk down to the famous Hamburg Fish Market and grab a fish sandwich for breakfast and take in the view.
If you are lucky enough to visit Hamburg during the holidays, it is simply magical. Make sure to check out the Christmas Market, which features lots of local vendors selling homemade crafts for the holidays such as candles, jewelry, toys, and ornaments. The Christmas Market is famous for its food and beverages. Traditional food such as roasted pecans, sausages, apple strudel, gingerbread hearts, and more. To fight off the winter bitter cold in Northern Germany, make sure to grab a mug of Glühwein (mulled wine). If you are REALLY cold, get a shot of rum in your Glühwein. You will warm right up!
While I haven’t listed everything there is to do and see in Hamburg, I hope this gives you a good idea of the variety of attractions in Hamburg, Germany. It truly is an amazing city and should not be missed!