Where we stayed: Bright studio next to AlsterLake (airbnb)
Length of stay: 7 days (Aug 1-8)
Favorite activity: picnic in the park, watching the sailboats
As mentioned in my post about culture shock, Hamburg was the very first city we visited. And though entering the beginning of 3 months of travel felt a bit daunting, it was one of the most enjoyable cities we visited. We stayed at an Airbnb in a cute neighborhood close to downtown. From our house there was a beautiful trail that went around the lake and towards downtown. We’d pass endless groups of sailboats on the water, parks filled with people picnic-ing in the warm summer evenings, and streams of bikers commuting home from work.
It actually felt a lot like a German version of Madison. The close community gathered for joyful evenings watching a movie outside in the square or a light and water show in the park. Plus it has the added attraction of beautiful, old buildings. Aside from the random Europe heat wave and the language barrier, it was an amazing city to visit.
Things we did:
- attended an awesome pride festival
- visited Hamburg Stadtpark (city park)
- runs around the lake
- visited the warehouse district
- explored old town and new town
- walked through the cool graffiti-covered buildings that fill St Pauli – the second largest red light district
- day trip to Treppenviertel Blankenese- a cute little town aside a hill that overlooks the water
- checked out the fish market
- watched an outdoor movie at Rathouse
- enjoyed the light and water show at Planten un Blomen
Tips and tricks:
- Learn a little German before your trip and the locals will be much more willing to help you out, especially in neighborhood areas right outside of the main downtown.
- Although it’s a small city, there were so many things to see beyond the main tourist attractions. Having that full week to explore was so worth the exposure to more local culture. It was the type of city I could see us living in.
- Our airbnb wasn’t my favorite (and it doesn’t look like it’s available anymore anyways), but I loved the Uhlenhorst neighborhood we were in and I’d highly recommend staying in that area.