Hamburg, one of the remaining two cities that I would really like to visit in Germany before calling it quits, with the other being Berlin! I have to say that I probably went to Hamburg in the worst possible time. I was there in the hottest day of all time in continental Europe. Right smack in the July 2019 European heat wave. I believe I had rant enough of the weather in my previous couple of posts already. I do have to say that the weather is so detrimental in deciding how much you love the city and your willingness to head out to explore. As a trueborn Singaporean, it is a fact that I love the cooler weather when on the road. To be frank, I struggle with heading out, especially when you literally melt immediately after leaving the hotel. Trust a Singaporean when he says the weather is smoking hot! With that being said, I still checked off Hamburg.
According to a friend, the norm here should be around a cooling 25 degrees. Stark different from the 40 degrees I enjoyed. Hamburg is located towards the northern part of the country. It is a famous port city with the Elbe River connecting to the North Sea. Despite its commercial properties, Hamburg also have it’s cultural roots, the linkage of canals, especially in the Speicherstadt district, also known as the warehouse district where you can find the red bricked warehouses are an important part of the city. the Altstadt is also a well preserved one including the 18th century St Michael Church. Known for being an open, yet discreet city. The people may seems reserved at first but still friendly after warming up. The train takes you right into town.
The old city, Altstadt! One of the best well preserved one despite Hamburg being hugely affected in the wars. It is a must visit and just off towards the left of the train station and beside the lake. I personally love the part around the main shopping area. Sandwich between the high end boutiques and the vast town hall lies, Rathausschleuse! I love how the waters and the shops sort of comes together into the whole picture, making it a very beautiful sight.
You also have to check out the area around the Alster Fountain on Binnenalster. The little lake is pretty picturesque and a nice place for a stroll or sitting down by one of the chairs for a little chat with your friends. I love how there are so many greens lined up around the lake. It is a nice place.
Hamburg’s impressive city hall, the Rathaus is another sight to be seen. The vast town hall is an icon of the city. Opulent and vast, that makes for a pretty backdrop. I do find it rather similar to city halls in other city. This is also the main centre of the city. You can find shops, bars and restaurants plentiful around this place.
Church wise, there are a couple in the city but I really love the St Michael. Trust me! I have seen quite a bit over my travel. It is a little walk from the city nucleus, more towards the harbour area. What really impress me was the interior of the church. The white facade of it is so pretty and pleasing. I enjoyed just sitting inside, away from the heat and admire the ceiling, the walls. It sort of gives me a very calming feel.
Elbe Tunnel, this is another must see when in Hamburg. The tunnel brings you across the river and allows pedestrians or cyclist to get to the other side of the banks. It is kinda pretty as well with the walls of the tunnels lined up with art. The tunnel was an impressive architecture, built in 1911 and 24 meters below the surface. It is easy enough to walk through it and you can really get good pictures. You can even ride in these historical huge lifts to get down and up in the tunnel. A little tip, it is supercooling year round in the tunnel another reason why I love the Elbe Tunnel so much. It is also rather amazing to walk across the river and come up on the other side and this is one of the spot where you can get a really good view of Hamburg.
Being in Hamburg means you also have to take a stroll around the harbour area, it is rather lovely with the breeze. The promenade is also nicely built with lots of shops and cafes around, making it rather lovely to walk around here. The Hamburg Port is also known as the gateway to Germany and one of the busiest in the world.
Hop on then to the famous, iconic world class concert hall in Hamburg. Known as the Elbphilharmonie. I definitely do not know how to pronounce it. It is located on top of a huge old warehouse in the Speicherstadt district. It is a modern philharmonic hall with glass facade and wave-shaped roof is being built. Known to be one of the amazing architecture accomplishment in the world. Probably for the tourists us, it is more important to know that there is a viewing gallery up there that give you an excellent view of the city. Most importantly, the tickets are free.
Last but not least comes the Speicherstadt, a large district of warehouses from around 1900. This is known as the Warehouse District. By far my favourite area! Look at how chic those red brick buildings are and the nice pictures you can take here. Some of them are from the 1883s. How amazing is that. Think of it like the “Dumbo” in NYC. An area made famous. It is said that the buildings stand on timber-pile foundations and oak logs. I heard that this place is also rather lovely in the night. Sadly I did not get the chance to come by in the evening.
While I have done most of the things that I wanted to do while in Hamburg, I wasn’t really in the sightseeing mood when in town given the weather. Something that I miss out would be the famous Sunday Fischmarkt that I would really like to see. Maybe one the I would be back, probably in cooler weather then. I enjoyed Hamburg. A city that is pretty and yet less expensive than Munich. One day Hamburg!