Let me just start out by saying that Hamburg is extremely underrated. When people think Germany, I usually hear about Munich, Berlin, and Frankfurt. But the minute we stepped out from the train onto the local subway, I knew Hamburg would be special. Unlike Munich and Berlin, I immediately noticed the diversity in people, not just racial, but in the way people dressed, talked, and interacted – everything was more expressive, alive, and colorful. I was already excited and we haven’t even checked into the hotel yet.
Our trip was spread-out over two separate visits, with less than two days total.
During our first visit we stayed at the Pyjama Park Hotel & Hostel St.Pauli, located in Reeperbahn, the red-light district of Hamburg, it was very clean, we felt safe, and it was close to many things! At $97 a night, we got a room with a private bathroom, two (once again, very stiff beds), and it included breakfast!
Just beware that the streets turn into party mode at night, and you will use the earplugs the hotel provides. Also wouldn’t hurt to have an eye mask handy.
Also be aware that there is no elevator, and you have to take stairs to the reception area, which are super narrow and curved. Carrying our 23 kg suitcases was not very pleasant, but me managed!
During our second stay, upon return from Glücksburg, we stayed at the Sleephotels on the east side of the city for only $77 a night! This was the most comfortable and the coziest hotel the whole stay. The bed was so, SO soft and comfy, it made it difficult for us to leave the hotel. Also this hotel does not have room to hold luggage, so if you arrive early and your room is not ready, have a contingency plan. Otherwise, this was my favorite during our German adventure.
Finding a place to eat is always such a struggle, especially when you have limited time in the city and only have one or two nights to get it right.
Our first dinner was at Trific. Since Hamburg is known for seafood, we both went for a seafood dish. It’s a bit on a pricey side, thus the dishes were also smaller, but of good caliber! Now, the bread and garlic that they bring as a starter was AMAZING! I’ve never had garlic like that, and now I am hooked! It finally warmed up to about 19C so we sat outside and I even went for a refreshing cocktail their Moscow Mule was on point, so on point, I should have had two!
For dessert we decided to go somewhere else, but ran into these cuties with their Canons and Nikons, and since I had my camera, on a merit that we are all photographers, I asked if they’d take a picture with my cuz, and they agreed. This should probably be on the sightseeing list, but remember to take a photo with local boys because, why not? 😛
Anyways, back to dessert. We stopped at Café Minah. I think Olga tried her first cosmo, which she enjoyed. And the waffles… well, they were just great! Overall, this was a very good day in Hamburg!
Also, we didn’t eat there, but upon returning to our first hotel (Pyjama Park), Reeperbahn was popping with a bunch of food trucks, outdoor bars, and music. It was all during Eurovision time and there was a stage set up with Eurovision signs, we never figured out what for.
During our second stay in Hamburg, we had dinner at Schoppenhauer. My fish and potatoes were amazing, reminded me of mom’s cooking, and Olga’s schnitzel was also very good!
Alright, enough about food, let’s get to the fun stuff!
Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy. John of Kronstadt
On the first day, our hotel was not quite ready when we arrived, so we left bags at the reception and went wandering around the city. We randomly walked up to this beautiful church only to realize it is a Russian Orthodox Church. Our Russian roots are calling us! Just remember, you need a head scarf to go inside.
The church is right next to the courthouse, which has some spectacular views. We actually saw someone come out celebrating their case.
Kleine Wallanlagen Park
We then ended up at the Kleine Wallanlagen park where we spent half an hour loathing in the sun.
Seeing Reeperbahn during the day was very interesting. It had a Vegas-like feel to it.
Don’t worry, it’s super safe, there is a police station outside and the cops are cute :P.
St. Pauli Piers
This was the ultimate touristy place, if there is a Hard Rock Cafe, you know it will be geared towards the tourists. Lots of gift shops around. We wanted to take a boat cruise, but missed the last boat.
If you’re looking for some magnets, this is your place!
Just Walk Around
Hamburg is so pretty that just walking around you will come upon something worth seeing and photographing. We wanted to make it to the Miniature Wonderland, but again, we only made it a few minutes before closing. But the area is great to walk around nonetheless.
Hamburg was just so unique and different from the rest of Germany, especially coming from such a diverse city as Houston, it felt a bit like home coming to a city with such a fun and diverse culture. Also, it was the first time we got some sun and it warmed up.
After our first day in Hamburg, we took the train to Flensburg from where my friend met us and took to Glücksburg, on the Baltic Sea, where he and his bride to be were getting married. The train from Hamburg was a lot less packed since we were going out into the country side. We spent 2 days in Glücksburg and came back to Hamburg twice… There was a funny story with friend’s bus that was supposed to take him to Hamburg, so he could catch the train to Frankfurt, so he could fly out to the states, didn’t show up. So a small group of us, also now know as team Flixbus, in our wedding dresses and suits, drove to Hamburg (2 hr drive) at 2 am in the morning with roads covered in fog. We got to Hamburg at 4 in the morning to a train station full of drunk people (the alcohol breath was just lingering in the air), everyone howling at our fancy outfits, hugged and wished safe travels to our friend and drove 2 hrs back to Glücksburg to take a short nap, breathe in Baltic Sea for the last time, say good-bye to old and new friends, and to get on the train back to Hamburg. It was truly one of the craziest and most memorable nights of my life. 🙂 Hence, our second day in Hamburg was a lot shorter, but still very pleasant and significant. I wouldn’t change a thing.
P.S. Don’t rely on Flixbus, just take the train!
I miss this girl so much and can’t wait for another adventure together!