Every year, Husband and I have a child-free holiday. Sometimes in the UK. Sometimes abroad. This year, we chose Hamburg. I call them holidays, but they're probably technically mini-breaks as we normally only go away for three to four days. What constitutes a holiday, I wonder. Anyway, whatever it is, we went to Hamburg.
Choosing Hamburg was not very scientific. We basically had a look at where we could fly with our frequent flyer miles. And then picked three places we had never visited but seemed interesting. I did about five minutes of research and picked the one that seemed fun but not too busy. A few people asked me if we had friends or family there, as it seemed to be a random destination, but Hamburg is actually a cool and trendy city.
So I thought I would share five reasons why I think you should visit Hamburg.
- Food - When some people think of German food, they often think of sausages. But Hamburg is the food capital of Germany. And while you can get the typical Bavarian fare, such as schnitzel and pretzels, there is so much more. Hamburg is located by the sea and is known for its fish and seafood. There are loads of excellent restaurants to choose from, some expensive and some not. We loved the restaurant in our hotel, East. They specialised in sushi and steak so it was perfect as I love sushi and my husband loves steak. Our favourites were Nil (first three photos), Mexiko Strasse Taqueria (fourth photo), and Fischereihafen (last five photos - also, ask for a table by the window or on the terrace). Some of the restaurants did not have English menus, so it helped to look at their menus online beforehand. Thank goodness for Google Translate!
- Culture - There is so much culture on offer in Hamburg. There are loads of grand museums, music venues and theatres. In fact, Hamburg is only second to London in offering the most musicals in a European city. While we didn't catch any musicals, we did visit the Kunsthalle (museum), which is spectacular. Top tip: visit on a Thursday from 5.30pm-9pm for reduced entry (8 Euro instead of 14€).
- Architecture - Hamburg is just so pretty. There are beautiful old buildings, but there are impressive new builds and skyscrapers as well. We loved walking around and seeing the mix. And although Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany, we managed loads of walking (though we did use the very easy underground/subway system). Also, there is loads of cool graffiti, but don't worry - they're not on the fancy old buildings or churches.
- Water - Hamburg has three rivers, as well as waterways and canals, and is near two seas. It has six times more bridges than Venice, which I hadn't realised until we got there. There is water everywhere you look. And on a sunny day, there is nothing nicer than a cruise along the Elbe. They have English cruises once a day, normally at 1pm (which we annoyingly didn't know so sat through a cruise in German).
- Nightlife - While there is plenty to see and do in Hamburg during the day, there is lots to do at night. Besides live music, there are a plethora of bars and clubs. There is of course the famous red light district, but we didn't bother with that. We opted instead for beach bars and visiting the Dom - a fun fair that is in Hamburg about nine months of the year. Being tired parents, we mostly wanted a few drinks and then to try and sleep as much as possible. And that was our holiday/mini-break in Hamburg. We had four days of fun. Although we were initially annoyed that our luggage was lost for 26 hours, we at least got to buy some new clothes. And there was so much to see (and eat!). Hamburg is a joy to visit.