Touch down Hamburg. A nippy morning of 6°C but sunny nonetheless.
It was like Hamburg decided to put on her best face just for this blogger.
So, my first 48 hours were a catatonic whirlwind of fun in the sun, to say the least. Here’s how I spent it..
1. Soaked up the Sun at the Harbour
This has got to be the most gorgeous strip to walk along during a sunny day in spring, and apparently the rest of Hamburg thinks so too!
Yes indeed, a visit to the harbor is where one can get a sense of the central role that shipping has always played in Hamburg’s life and history. As a port, it was founded in the 12th century and is located at the river Elbe, the second busiest in Europe. We started our stroll down at the pier called St. Pauli Landungsbrücken.
The riverfront near Landungsbrücken has two permanently moored museum ships and here you will see a epic number of wharves and shipping activities, with cranes bent over hulls in dry docks, numerous barges… all kinds of boats, sail ships and tour boats you can imagine, peppering the surface of the water and gleaming in the sunlight.
Hamburgians love to sit in the sun, as you can tell! From here, you can walk all the way along the harbour, till you reach the Rathaus.
2. Marvel at the Rathaus
The Rathaus, Hamburg’s ornate architectural centerpiece is the city hall. The building is a neo-Renaissance-style sandstone structure and it is extremely ornate.
And for this very reason, you can tell that Hamburg’s one of Germany’s wealthiest cities.
From here, if the weather is sunny, you should walk north to Jungfernstieg, a majestic thoroughfare that faces the central lake, Binnenalster. Plenty of luxury shops along the way, but they were closed as it was a Sunday.
You may visit St. Peter’s church here too if you wish.. and walking further along, you will see more of the Harbour, and folks doing that “thing” they do, in the sunshine!;)
A pleasant stroll brings us to more Harbour area…
sun whorshippers, out in full force!
What a day… can it get more wonderful than this?
3. Explore Miniatur Wunderland
Yes it can! If you want to feel like Gulliver’s travels exploring uncharted territory – i.e. a whole new world of tiny beings, then you should check this place out.
photo credit – thetravelcamel.com
From miniature planes taking off from amazingly well constructed airport layout of runways, to locomotives moving through mountains, forests, seacoasts and cities that replicate parts of Germany, Scandinavia, the world in fact, be prepared to be wow-ed! More information and fees here.
4. Run the Außenalster
Hamburg is so green! With most neighborhood streets tree-lined, and with an abundance of rivers, canals and lakes. The Alster River was dammed up hundreds of years ago, and has since been the recreational heart of the town. There is a small Binnenalster lake directly in the town center. The Binnenalster lake is separated by the bigger Aussenalster by a causeway and bridge.
The Aussenalster, though, is THE place to run! It is full of runners. In fact, it’s the main running track, comparable to the Central Park reservoir in New York, with lots of joggers at peak times.
But the Aussenalster is even better- the scenery is nicer and you don’t have to do tons of laps to get in a decent run. I ran from Movenpick, where I stayed, to the lake and back giving me a cool 11.5K distance! Loved it!!
5. Re-live your childhood at one of the World’s biggest Fun-Fairs
Checked out a hugeass fun-fair on the first night in Hamburg and was massively impressed.
It was an unexpected discover, as what was supposed to be a 5 minute walk through, ended up becoming an hour of epic fun.
Crazy packed with a great vibe, the DOM fun-fair Hamburg aka Hamburger Dom is held not once but three times a year locals team up with visitors for northern Germany’s biggest funfair – which lasts a whole 30 days.
For almost a month in spring, summer and winter, people flock to Heiligengeistfeld in Hamburg to enjoy fairground rides, food and drink, and shows.
Trippiest hotel ever!
Had my first taste of that scary deep-fried potato pancake called Kartoffelpuffer here tonight. Addicted now.
Love hate relationship with deep-fried carbs I tell you… that’s my grimace of pain and pleasure rolled in one
This man introduced me to it.. now there’s no turning back! Thank’s Mr. Travel Camel!
6. Have a lunch picnic at a Park
When the sun is out, everyone, and I mean everyone runs outdoors to enjoy every last second of it. This being spring with longer daylight hours, it’s definitely a great time to be outdoors.
Schanzenpark is where the old water tower used to stand – built in 1907 for the Hamburg Waterworks, and was operational up till 1961. Today, a rather trendy hotel has been fashioned round the water tower, but more on that in a later post.
Most parks in Hamburg are gorgeous anyway.. just take your pick.
7. Eat and Drink Hamburg
It’s all about the Kartoffelpuffer, Schnitzel, Bartwurst and Spargel this spring.. oh and beer too of course! I experienced currywurst in Berlin last year, but wasn’t as impressed as by the food here in Hamburg.
Here’s all the incredibly tasty food, this foodie has experienced in the first 48 hours in Hamburg.
I like to think of them as giant hash browns. Kartoffelpuffer (Potato Pancakes).. are deep-fried in a massive wok of oil, and are super tasty. Applesauce is the perfect foil for these savory, golden fried pancakes, a mix of starchy potatoes, flour, and eggs. They are also called latkes, reibekuchen and karoffelphannkuchen. Kartoffelpuffer are street food at German fairs and are also served in homes and restaurants… totally 100% sick!
My two most favourite things in the world.. Pork Schnitzel and White Asparagus, and here I get them both on the same plate. My life is complete.
The three b’s at CurryPapa, just outside of St Peter’s Church. Braten, Bratwurst and Beer.. love it!
8. Watch the sunrise over Hamburg’s TV Tower
Since my hotel room’s window literally faced the tower and the Hamburg skyline, this was no brainer. Flying in from a different timezone means I’m usually up by 5 am anyway, these couple of days, so if I’m not running, I’m taking photos of the sunrise.
Hamburg’s tallest structure and modern landmark is an imposing figure on the horizon at sunrise. It was built between 1965 and 1968 in honour of the German physicist Heinrich Rudolf Hertz. The Heinrich-Hertz-Turm, affectionately called “Telemichel” by the residents of Hamburg, has a total height of 279.8 metres.
I can see the restaurant and observation deck at a height of 128 metres, clearly from my room.. but I hope they can’t see me nearly as clearly.. ahem.
So, what can I tell you.. jetlag aside, so far, it has been a blast.
Today, I am off for #STSHamburg at the East Hotel.. stay tuned for more updates from Hamburg!
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