We ended up taking a weekend trip Hamburg, Germany because of a Foo Fighters concert. Yep, that’s right. It wasn’t a well-planned, thought-out trip. Sean was going because he and our friend who lives there were going to the concert together.
Last-minute, I decided to go. I booked my flight and started to get excited to explore somewhere new!
How to get around
When reasonable, I like to get day tickets for public transit if I’m not planning on walking everywhere. For Hamburg, I think 7.70 Euros is a good price for tickets to get around all day, especially when a single ticket is 3.30.
An even better deal (I can’t pass up a deal!) is the Hamburg Card. At €10.50 for one day or €19.90 for two days, you get free transit and discounts throughout the city.
Where to eat
Food is my favorite! I need to be careful or this could transform into a food blog : ) Just kidding. We’ll stick to European travel and expat life…with food still occasionally appearing!
Hamburg surprised me with some amazing places to eat and drink. Seriously, you all, this city is full of surprises. If you want to eat well, Hamburg is most definitely for you!
Let’s start with breakfast in Hamburg
It’s the weekend so let’s do brunch on Saturday! You must go to Nord Coast Coffee Roastery. But do yourself a favor and make a reservation a week or so ahead of time. I hate coffee (yeah, yeah *gasp*!) but I had a chai latte here and it was the best I have ever had in my life. Sean enjoyed the coffee, so it’s a good choice no matter your drink preference. The menu looks so good that you might have a hard time figuring out what you want to eat. What I can tell you is that the eggs and toast were better than eggs and toast should be. And the waffles looked seductive. I need to go back just for the waffles.
Sunday can be more chill for breakfast and I would recommend elbgold Röstkaffee. Here you can hang out inside or outside depending on your mood. The staff is very friendly and happy to recommend something for you if you’re indecisive. We went simple here, bagel with cream cheese and some pastries to go. The courtyard to sit in was such a nice place to relax. It’s also right near a metro stop, so it’s easy peasy to get to.
Cheap and good lunch
You have to visit Bear Claw if by the central station. It’s a small joint with seating inside and outside. If you get to sit at the bar top area, there’s wireless charging for your phone! A cool detail that I appreciated since my phone was almost dead. It’s all about pulled meat on buns. Not sure if it’s because I’m American, but I am a BIG fan of this. Everything smelled amazing. I got the chicken on the Banh-Mi (without jalapeno) and, oh man, it got devoured–along with the sweet potato fries. Prices are really reasonable, too. I told Sean that next time he goes, to eat there because he wasn’t with me for this meal and I actually feel bad that he missed it!
Can’t go wrong with these dinner spots
Time for a sit-down nice dinner? Again, just a few minutes walk from the main train/metro station there is a great spot (in a different direction from the lunch spot). Make a reservation for Pane E Tulipani and I promise that you will not be disappointed! It’s beautiful and delicious with incredible service. Definitely go for a wine while you’re there–just ask for a recommendation!
If you’re feeling more casual, then Underdocks is where you need to go and stuff your face. They are known for their lobster roll for good reason. I was hesitant because that is not what you think about when you think about Hamburg. After this meal, you just might think about seafood a bit more! The lobster roll was packed with the good stuff. Messy? Yes. Worth it? Yes. I paired it with a cider (I hate beer!) but they have some great beers (that’s what the others say!) you can also pair with.
What to see in Hamburg
The Warehouse District (or Speicherstadt) was my favorite by far. That might explain my Instagram feed from Hamburg 🙂
Somehow we found an elevated walkway that made for a great perspective for photos. This space has a vibe to it that’s hard to explain. It’s big but beautiful. Industrial, but welcoming. It just makes you want to explore and find all the little nooks and crannies!
The Elbphilharmonie Plaza was a good spot for some great views. But even just walking there from the Baumwall U-baun was an experience. Get your ticket for the Elbphilharmonie ahead of time and it will be much quicker but it costs 2 Euro online and is free on-site. If you want a guided tour, that’s definitely possible!
Everyone talks about the Miniatur Wunderland but we didn’t have time to get there. It’s a miniature railway exhibit, but even if you’re not into trains, it’s one of the highlights of Hamburg and we’ll definitely visit next time.
Planten un Blomen is a large park just outside the center of Hamburg. I just love city parks for the peacefulness and the greenery in an otherwise concert and brick place. They even have gardens with themes and in summer you can sometimes find concerts!
If you want a beautiful building to look at in awe, then taking a trip to the city hall will be worth your time. It’s just. Like, really. Whoa.
We also took a boat ride around the harbor. Is there anything better than being on the water on a sunny day? Ok, maybe not if you get motion sickness, but if you don’t, get on the water!
These have been my must-sees and even though I didn’t catch them all, I will! I’ll build up this list even more once I visit again.
Click the map for an interactive Google Map
This is one of those places that surprised me. I guess it’s easy when you don’t really know what to expect! There’s so much more for us to explore and this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list. But, for a weekend in Hamburg, it’s the perfect amount—maybe for a 3-day weekend 😉
Wishing you love and travels!
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