When Sade (my beautiful Finnish friend who I worked with in the Australian outback over 2 years ago) invited me to come and stay with her in Hamburg, I jumped at the chance.
Rule number 1 in life- When life offers you holidays you DON’T say no (probably a main factor in why I’m terrible at saving money but details details).
I booked a Friday evening flight so that I could jump on the Stansted Express straight after work, which meant I didn’t have to go into any holiday allowance. I arrived in Germany at about 10pm where Sade and her boyfriend greeted me at the airport.
Now I don’t know if I’m just super behind the times, but they picked me up in a CAR2GO ,which is effectively a Santander/Boris bike system but for Cars. I was amazed!
We drove to Barnbeck (the town where they live) and headed up to their apartment. Their apartment was SO lovely. They both have a love for surfing so their living room had a cosy ocean theme going on complete with a decorative surf board. AMAZING.
This picture doesn’t do it justice.
After a mini-tour of the flat we then proceeded to have a long-awaited catch up over some wine before heading to bed (seeee I can pretend to be a grown up sometimes).
On Saturday morning we had a nice little lay-in followed by a DELISH continental style breakkie whipped up by Sade.
We then got ready and took off on a couple of Bicycles to ride around the city (these bikes were Sade’s but they do have city bikes which you can hire, which I would highly recommend).
Our first stop was ‘Hafencity’ which is the home of the Hamburg Opera house, the Westin Hotel and the Harbour. The Westin Hotel’s viewing deck is a popular destination for tourists, however, we didn’t go up- the queue was FARRRRR too long and it was extremely wet and windy (and if you know what my hair looks like-you know it can’t handle wet and windy). We opted to go up to the Westin’s restaurant. Here you can have a spot of food, (or in our case some Coffee and Cake), whilst still being able to look out at some of the views that you would get from the viewing deck.
When the clouds ruin your view but you have cake so life’s alright
After a few hours being ‘Classy’ we got back on our bikes, visited the Harbour, the Portuguese quarter and eventually headed to the lively part of the City.
We finally arrived at a part of the city called ‘Sternschansze’ which I can only describe as the ‘Shoreditch of Hamburg’, lots of funky bars accompanied with lots of graffiti clambering up the walls.
We decided after all that cycling we had done that we needed to rehydrate, stopping off at a trendy little bar named ‘Katze’ for €4.50 happy hour caipirinhas (they free pour in quite a few of the bars so the drinks were A LOT stronger than I was expecting).
Being sensible adults (LOL) we didn’t want to ‘Drink and Ride’ so we stopped off for a bite to eat. Now again I would like to say I had something authentically German, but that would be a lie, we went for some Turkish food- which was delicious none the less and all the pita did an amazing job at soaking up the cocktails.
We then headed home for a little nap (getting old I know) and to get ready over some beverages and a Spotify playlist. Our Pre-drink’ of choice was a €1.50 bottle of fruity “wine” called ‘Hugo’ – add a splash of lime and mint in there and you have yourself a very cheap and tasty cocktail- I was not complaining!
As almost all the bars here stay open till 4/5am we didn’t head out till about 12am. we hopped onto a metro train and got off at ‘St Pauli’ – The hub of Hamburg’s Nightlife.
Now …the last thing I was expecting to come across was a huge long strip of bars and clubs, like something you would see in Malia or Magaluf, but that exactly what I got (except it was much more civilised)
Our first stop was ‘Pooca’ a small but very packed bar/club that played all the Housey-, Techno-y whatever- you -call- it kind of music, so if you’re into that, this would be a good spot for you to go. Drinks were around €3-6, so the average price you would expect.
After a bit of bar hopping (they have reggae, rock and pop themed bars so something to suit everyone) we ended up in an EXTREMELY authentic German bar (I’m lying again) … it was actually an Irish bar (I know what you’re thinking) BUT you know what they say “You haven’t really been abroad if you haven’t been in local the Irish bar” (True Story). We spent the rest of our night here drinking beer, Long Island Ice teas, and speaking to all of the fellow tourists
Two words HUNG and OVER. We didn’t crawl out of our pits till about 1pm (Very lucky that I had a 10pm flight).
Considering the weather was so bloody nice on this day (can’t beat a bit of autumn sun) we decided to head out to the ‘Winterhude municipal park’ for a little stroll. This was then followed by a trip to ‘Alstervorland’ the Famous Lake that surrounds Hamburg. Here we had ‘Gluhwein’ (Mulled wine to me and you) which did, in fact, get me very much in the Christmas mood.
Just before leaving I FINALLY got to have my traditional German Style Roast beef and Potatoes, which was DAAA BOMB.
So, in all honesty, Hamburg was not a place that was on my destination list before I knew that Sade lived here, and if I didn’t get the invite Its probably somewhere I would have never gone, but I’m glad I did. It was also great to have a local tour guide to take me to some of the little spots that tourists wouldn’t know about.
I’m not the type of person who is into museums and all that jazz, so outside of that there isn’t a hell of a lot to see BUT – it’s very picturesque and perfect for a relaxing day, and If after a relaxing day a lively night is what you want, then this is also the perfect place. I would definitely say that it’s an ideal spot for a Stag do destination.
My only real niggle with Hamburg was the fact that you are still allowed to smoke inside. Great for the smokers, but I came home smelling like an ashtray. NAT COOL BRO!
Dates: 27th – 29th October
Spending Money: £100