Hamburg is always worth a trip – no matter whether it’s summer or winter. So Nicole and I set off in the cold for another weekend in one of our favourite German cities. Hamburg has an incredible amount to offer, so even though we’ve both visited the city before, it’s always nice to come back.
Our journey begins at Zurich main station at eight o’clock in the morning, because this time we’re travelling by train to the Hanseatic city! Armed with provisions and coffee, we look for our compartment. We soon find our seats and are immediately thrilled to see that we have free Wi-Fi in 1st class. That’s just what we bloggers like to hear! What with our provisions, Instagram, working on our laptops and a visit to the bistro, the seven-and-a-half hours definitely pass by much more quickly than we had expected. Another advantage of travelling by train is that you get to see a lot of Germany, because you’re travelling almost right across the country!
On arrival in Hamburg, we check into the Ibis HafenCity near the main station. The station and hotel are right in the centre, so our girly weekend in Hamburg can soon get underway.
Shopping and eating in the Karolinenviertel.
Our first destination is one of our favourite parts of the city, the Karolinenviertel. The streets are lined with countless small, quirky shops, bars and restaurants. The large chain stores and restaurants have not moved in here yet, which is what makes the area so charming and unusual.
Through social media, we’ve heard about a trendy restaurant that we definitely want to check out: the Burger Lab! As the name suggests, burgers are the standard fare here. We also think it’s great that they only cook with regional ingredients. Our verdict: excellent burgers in a cool atmosphere.
Hamburg: breakfast heaven.
The next morning, we set off for Café Knuth in the Altona district. In general, it’s true to say that breakfast is a big deal in Hamburg. Brunch fans like us will be in their element here and the «Knuth» immediately becomes one of our favourite places. The café is extremely cosy, the food is delicious and everything is served with great attention to detail. But, please note, reservations are essential!
We also highly recommend the Zuckermonarchie, which is perhaps the sweetest café in the whole world. Women at least will certainly fall in love with this place. Unfortunately, there were no tables left for brunch, but we make up for it by warming our cold feet while enjoying coffee and cake and could happily stay here forever.
Walking through the Elbe Tunnel to the Speicherstadt.
After that, we want to explore a bit more of the city. Visiting Hamburg’s port is, of course, an absolute must; we also highly recommend taking a tour. We definitely want to take a look at the Elbe Tunnel, which neither of us have seen before. The listed tunnel is very impressive and we watch in fascination as cars, as well as cyclists and pedestrians, are carried up in the lift.
We then walk on towards HafenCity. The appearance of the modern district is dominated by the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, port cranes and new, cutting edge apartment buildings and offices. We amble through the streets, making one or two stops to take those must-have photos, then continue to the Speicherstadt.
With its beautiful brick buildings, the Speicherstadt embodies the typical Hamburg. The former warehouse complex is listed and has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2015. We also find endless perfect subjects for photos here.
A model railway paradise for young and old
If you have enough time to spend in the Speicherstadt, you can visit Miniatur Wunderland, the world’s largest model railway. Over a whole 1,300 square metres, I kid you not, you can find 15.4 kilometres of track on which 930 digitally controlled trains run. Really impressive! You should definitely buy your ticket online in advance for this place too, so you can avoid the lengthy queues.
For the last day, we’ve planned a little more shopping on Mönckebergstrasse, which leads to Hamburg main station. After that, we unfortunately have to say goodbye once again. With heavy hearts, we get on the ICE back to Zurich.
But, Hamburg, we know we’ll be back!