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Holidays to Hamburg
Hamburg - where water rules
Hamburg is a river city, straddling the River Elbe, and that means river walks, cafes and restaurants and a buzzing nightlife! Boasting one of Germany's largest populations, Hamburg is also one of the wealthiest cities in Europe and it shows - the city is in a state of constant rebuilding and the place is clean and well-kept. Even the notorious Reeperbahn is relatively tidy!
Hamburg comes alive during summer. This is when the beach and riverside bars and restaurants throw open their doors and entertain their guests royally. That said, short breaks in Europe are ideal anytime!
There's plenty to see and do in Hamburg, including the opulent Rathaus, the Chile Haus, the Reeperbahn in St Pauli and river cruises galore. Hamburg is an easy city to get around and if you're up for it, hiring a coupe of bikes is the way to go. The city is relatively flat and there are cycle ways everywhere.
Eating can be an adventure for those curious about traditional German cuisine (such as eel!) and you'll find plenty of restaurants that challenge you! Ideal fare for romantic breaks? We dare you!
Make sure you enjoy beach season on the waterfront and don't miss the new International Maritime Museum.
Eating out in Hamburg
Cheap, expensive and everything in between.
Hamburg is a fun, young and funky restaurant town. You'll find everything from the solidly formal German restaurant all the way down to the budget immigrant cafe that serves indigenous ex-pat cuisine. The entertainment district in St Pauli carries restaurant after restaurant (as well as seedy bars, strip joints and everything you can imagine). The traditional cuisine is a northern European style of food with a seafood bias. Think eel, smoked or pickled fish, meat and lots of root vegetables like potatoes and beets. You'll find pastries galore including a traditional concoction much like a flattened croissant filled with cinnamon, sugar and raisins (it's as delicious as it sounds!).
If you're after a budget meal try Murphy's Roadhouse (!) on Saseler Markt 1 for American style food at decent prices. Teufels Küche on Ottenser Hauptstrase serves International "freestyle" food. Ristorante Borsalino on Sternstrasse 125, Schanzenviertel, is very close to the Sternschanze train station and serves wonderful Italian food at traveller-friendly prices. Pizzas start from €6, fresh pasta is around 7.
Couple of pounds in your pocket? Try Parlament for traditional local food in the amazing basement of the Rathaus. Vapiano is a chain of cool Italian restaurants. You're given a plastic card at the start of your night and you simply roam the kitchens ordering what you want from as many different styles as you like and pay up at the end. Quire reasonable and great for a group of fussy eaters!
Got the urge to splurge? Then Fischereihafen-Restaurant in the port area is your restaurant. Fancy-schmancy and delicious. Great views, excellent wine list and superb cooking. You won't regret your visit, but your wallet may.
What to wear, when to go
Hamburg is truly alive during the summer months and this is the best time to come, not only because of the weather, but the way the locals use it! The maritime location ensures Hamburg is never too cold and snow is rare during winter.
Summer is delightful with highs around 23C, although June is also the wettest month of the year. Summer runs from June - August.
Winter is cool - averaging around 0C from December through February. Autumn and Spring are cool with average temps around the 8C - 13C mark.
The maritime climate means it can rain, so bring a coat or umbrella just in case.
Hamburg - party town!
Not for nothing is Hamburg known as a party town. The Beatles got their start in the Reeperbahn and that's where you should head too if a little adventurous night-cruising is your thing. The waterfront area is a must do and there's also plenty for the museum junkie to enjoy.
The Rathaus - is Hamburg's very impressive City Hall, built in 1897 out of sandstone in neo-Renaissance style, including a 112 m tower. You can tour the building when parliament is not in session and the area surrounding the Rathaus is also worth a look, with great architecture, a city square and shopping halls, malls and markets nearby.
Chile Haus - is a most amazing building. More an architectural marvel than anything else it will take your breath away. The top looks like a ship's bow, a nod to Hamburg's maritime history, and incredibly, was built at a very difficult time in Germany's history, being the era of hyperinflation during the 1920s.
Markets - come to the fish markets in the century-old Fish Auction Hall, where live-bands perform jazz, skiffle, country, or western music every Sunday morning.
Galleries and museums - if you fancy a bit of waterborne history, visit the International Maritime Museum in trendy HafenCity, a brand new entertainment precinct. This huge space sprawls across nine floors and is packed with more than 3,000 years of maritime history. A wonderful combination of sweeping views from the upper floors and quite incredible collections.
Don't miss - beach season in the city's waterfront area. April - September is an exciting time of parties, parades, music and street theatre on the waterfront area. The bars and restaurants make a special effort and any time spent here is a fun day out.