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First Impressions of Hamburg in Germany

Souvenirs in Hamburg

I had heard about the famous port of Hamburg but had no inkling that it would surpass my expectations in many ways. This was my first visit to Germany and I have all good things to say about it. People suggested me to go to Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt but I chose differently. In my 42 days Euro-trip, I had allocated 7 days for Germany. The kind of traveler I am, I did not want to rush into too many things but stick to few places and do them properly. The two cities, Berlin and Hamburg fitted in my itinerary perfectly.

I am sure many of you would be surprised to read that I chose Hamburg, which isn’t one of the most popular places when you think of Germany but if you ask the Germans, they know where the rich stay. Hamburg is a wealthy city and one of the most important ports in the northern part of Europe. I chose it because I wanted to see a relaxed side of Germany first and then go to its most important city. I was also curious to explore the illustrious history of the harbor and the Hafencity. Last but not the least, I was attracted to the pictures of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Speicherstadt and wanted to know more about it.

Things to do in Hamburg
Elbe River and Elbphilharmonie concert hall
UNESCO heritage site in Hamburg
UNESCO World Heritage Site, Speicherstadt

Visiting HAMBURG was a great decision!

There couldn’t have been a better city to have my first introduction with Germany. Hamburg, the port city of Germany, also called the “Gateway to the world” not only impressed me with its maritime flair but also got me with its bridges, canals, brick buildings and historic credibility.

I took a Flix Bus to Hamburg from Brussels in Belgium. The overnight journey was absolutely relaxing. Early morning, I alighted at the bus station and easily found my way to the central railway station. I was staying at the YOHO hotel, very close to Schlump metro station and extremely easy to reach too. I had a Hamburg Card which allowed me free travel on train, bus and public ferries. I picked a map from the Information center, made my way to the hotel first, freshened up and then headed out to explore the city. In Hamburg, you just need to head to the Rathaus with the map in hand and you will know where to go. The port area, the cathedrals, canal and the artistic building of Elbphilharmonie are a treat for the photographers.

Where to stay in Hamburg?
Everyday, I used to have a lavish breakfast in YOHO (The Young Hotel) and then head out for the exploration of the city.

First Impressions!

I will do a more detailed post around my experience later but for now I want to share some of my favorite clicks from the city which will show you what it looks like presently. The city has had its share of rise and fall over the years. Hamburg has seen a glorious past as a center of the Hanseatic League and its heavy destruction in the Great Fire and the WW2. I quite liked the fact that the city has held on to its old city charm while being home to various creative agencies, show rooms and variety of museums.

Personally, I couldn’t stop admiring the Speicherstadt (old warehouse) and Kontorhausviertel (business districts), which were announced UNESCO world heritage sites in 2015 and I totally loved the design of one of the most acoustically advanced Elbphilharmonie concert hall, which looks over the beautiful Elbe river.

The oldest tunnel in Hamburg
This tunnel is the shortest direct connection between St Pauli and Steinwerder.

My 5 Picks!

  • Take the HVV Ferry from Landungsbrücken pier and experience a to and fro ride. You may step down at the fish

  • The town hall or the most important building of the city. Rathaus is the seat of the legislative assembly and cabinet of Hamburg with 647 rooms. You may take a guide to take you around and you may just admire its beauty by spending some time around its vicinity.

  • The walk inside the Alter Elbtunnel which is built at a depth of 23.5 m/77 feet. This is an amazing example of engineering. The tunnel was built in 1907-1911 and it is the shortest direct connection between St Pauli and Steinwerder.

  • The canals meandering through the 20th century German brick architecture. “Chilehaus” resembles a ship’s bow and, according to UNESCO, “represents the most significant artistic and architectural achievement of German Brick Expressionism.”

  • I like street art and therefore I would always suggest Hamburg‘s  graffiti in St. Pauli. Street art has so much to say about cities culture, people, colours and vibes.

Rathaus - The city hall of Hamburg
Inside the Rathaus in Hamburg

I would like to thank Hamburg Tourism for the travel cards and YOHO- The young hotel for supporting my stay.

5 thoughts on “First Impressions of Hamburg in Germany

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