I wasn’t planning on visiting Hamburg after I’d seen Berlin-it’s not that I think seeing one city means you know a country, but I’m working on 40 before 40 and so doing the same country again isn’t that helpful. But when I realised I could see Hamburg for £200 I had it booked pretty quickly.
The city was never really on my radar and I had low expectations compared to Berlin, arriving just as the heavens opened didn’t do much to change my mind either. My first day in the city was a bit of a flop-I dropped my bag at the station, spent too much on an open top bus tour (thankfully they’d put the roof on!) and then trudged around in the rain trying and failing to find much street art. In the end I went back to my Air B n B early, around 3pm, soaked through to the skin and feeling like I’d made a big mistake committing to an 8 day solo trip in February.
Luckily, after a good nights sleep, a shower, some Netflix and a lie in, I woke up on my second day in the city feeling much more positive. I was determined to make up for my poor first day and cram in as much as I could, and I wasn’t disappointed with how much I saw of the city.
Ulster Lake was my first stop of the day (I’d driven round some of it on the bus tour the day before) and I spent a few minutes contemplating whilst watching the beautiful views. If the weather had been warmer, I would have definitely sat here with a book and a cup of tea.
Europa Passage is a large shopping centre that I mostly went to as I’d forgotten my triple USB plug and I wanted to go to Tiger. There’s tons of shops in there and you could easily spend a few hours exploring the shops we just don’t have at home (why are different shops so interesting!?)
The Town Hall is always somewhere I visit in every city. The building is usually something spectacular and it’s central, generally a good place to people watch.
The Harbour was full of colour I’d noticed as I passed it on the bus tour, so I took a walk down there to shoot. If you go very early on a Sunday morning, you can go to the Fishmarket,though I wasn’t awake at that time.
Okay so the UBahn isn’t high on most people’s must see lists, but I do like to travel by public transport as often as possible when I’m in a new city-it’s the best way to see everything as the locals do. Me and the UBahn (and the SBahn) were not friends when I was in Berlin (you’ve never seen confused until you saw me trying to navigate my way around that city!) so I wanted to conquer Hamburgs UBahn. Did I? Well, I did a bit better…
St Michael’s Church was added to my list when I realised I could see aerial views across the city, as well as visiting their famous Krypt. I spent an hour here taking photos and just admiring Hamburg’s beauty (although it’s very cold up there in February, as it turns out!)
The Elbphilharmonie wasn’t somewhere I would have made a special trip to but as I was passing anyway I couldn’t resist getting a closer look at this spectacular building. You can go inside for
Hafencity is the area around the Elbphilharmonie and also contains the Speicherstadt area, a UNESCO world heritage site, also known as the Warehouse District. With lots of canals and warehouses being loaded and unloaded above your head, it’s a cool place to wander around.
Minatuer Wunderland wasn’t even on my list until I had time to kill whilst waiting to meet my photographer. It’s a large model railway and, actually, it’s pretty awesome. There’s all sorts of scenes from an airport to different parts of the world and as well as the trains running there’s lots of other things going on. I’d recommend spending an hour or two here, its fascinating.
St Paulis is Hamburg’s red light district and party area. I’d been told the area was full of Neon Lights and interesting things to shoot so I shot there with my photographer but I wasn’t that impressed in terms of photos I wanted to take. I suspect it’s better if you’re out for a few drinks.
The Elbe Tunnel I actually saw once on my first day, but managed to see again empty during my photoshoot on the last night. Great to get the Instagram shot and it’s worth seeing, especially if you need to cross the river or get out of the rain!
Have you visited Hamburg before? What would you recommend seeing?