A first Impression of Hamburg, Germany – Travel Photo Mondays
I didn’t really spend time researching the city of Hamburg, all I know was that I was passing through and had a few days to discover the city and if the time spent visiting the main attractions of Germany’s largest harbor faintly interesting. Surprisingly, I actually had a great time and Hamburg is a wonderful place to visit considering its close proximity to Berlin.
A historic port and cargo container business
Hamburg has always been an important port city with a very strong maritime history. This is all clear when you visit the city, the entire harbor area is filled with cargo container cranes lining a big stretch of the harbor. But surprisingly outside of the large harbor, there is also a lot to see and do along the harbor outside of finding a restaurant and eating fish and chips with a cold lager of beer
I was also surprised to find that Hamburg is a city filled with contrasts from the many quirky and eclectic neighborhoods, the harbor area to the busy red light district called the Reeperbahn in St. Pauli. Rivaling Amsterdam’s famous red light district, the Reeperbahn is filled with sex shops and strip shows but also has fun night clubs, bars and restaurants and a lively theater district. I didn’t get a chance to see the area at night when things are more lively and colorful, but walking through during the day is just as exciting and fun to explore minus the sexual energy.
A place where night clubs and popular theater merge
Planten un Blomen
A very close walk to St. Pauli is a very large green belt and park area which was a nice diversion from Hamburg’s urban jungle. The park area called Planten un Blomen, is a perfect place to sit and enjoy nature right in the center of the city, and it seemed like everything was blooming the moment I walked through the many garden areas of the park. From the some of the grassy areas, you can easily spot many of the landmarks and popular attractions in the city center.
Magnificent water gardens and fountains at Planten un Blomen
Continuing my walk and exploring the neighborhood about 15 minutes northwest of the park is an eclectic and trendy neighborhood called Schanzenviertel. Once a popular student hangout spot with trendy shops, restaurants and bars, the area is gentrified and more upscale but cool at the same time. It’s fun to see active and young neighborhoods like this and enjoy great food and people watching at the same time.
Outdoor markets and cafes at Schanzenviertel
SPeicherstadt Warehouse District
This historic area along Hamburg’s waterfront area is the Speicherstadt Warehouse District which means the warehouse district touted as the worlds largest warehouse district. This is where the storage areas of the worlds imported goods were stored from vast shipping lines that ruled the ancient and now modern shipping container business. It was established as a free zone so no customs duty would be charged while the goods are in transit. Many of the buildings in the historic district have been converted to commercial, business offices and galleries including one of the largest model train exhibits in the whole world.
Detailed exterior facades of the warehouse district
Central Hamburg and the Rathaus
I finally make it to the Rathaus (city hall) after the extensive tour of the Speicherstadt warehouse district. It really is an impressive structure along with the town square it sits on with other majestic government buildings, shopping galleries and eateries. I learn that this is still a functioning town hall that represents Hamburg’s parliament, one of Germany’s 16 state parliaments. (comparable to our US state capital buildings). The town hall sits next to the Kleine Alster, which is a major tributary to the Elbe river (one of the major rivers with commercial and historic significance to Northern Germany). The area around the Kleine Alster is now a popular gathering spot with promenades, shopping arcades of the Jungfernstieg and a very scenic spot fronting the Rathaus and town square.
Glamorous shopping at the Jungfernstieg
In the historic center of Hamburg next to the town hall is the Jungfernstieg. This area of beautiful old galleries is were all the designer shops and international brands make a presence a the magnificent old shopping arcades and ornate stand alone buildings in this trendy and fashionable area. With a variety of cafes, bars and places to enjoy the water views of the Kleine Alster, or just feed the swans below, it is a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists alike.
Well that was definitely a long day touring most of the Hamburg’s attractions and unique neighborhoods of the city. I hoped you enjoyed the walking tour and getting a flavor of this wonderful city. Thanks for visiting and checking out my post on a first Impression of Hamburg, Germany. If you enjoyed the post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons around the post.