- Reviews /
- September 13, 2017
City breaks are a big hit in Denmark, it’s a fast way to learn a bit about another culture, all whilst exploring the best of dining, shopping and urban life, a given big city will offer. In Denmark, our capital Copenhagen, is an excellent choice if you go by car, but it’s also a place we have all been – and it dosen’t offer as much new cultural impact, as going abroad will.
Hamburg is located just 170 kilometers from the Danish border, and the old harbor town is in a vibrant stage of development. The city is a trade metropolis, it is Europe’s largest trade port next to Rotterdam. With 1.9 million inhabitants, the city is also larger than our Danish capital, making it a colorful size to visit. Whether you are into fine living, art and culture – or beers, bars and soccer, the city has a lot to offer.
I had a one night stayover in Hamburg, when I went home from Gamescom in Cologne last week and on top of a stressful week with lots of gaming, I was in the mood to relax and be a tourist. Here are three recommendations for the weekend trip in Hamburg.
Where to stay
It’s not my first trip to Hamburg, but it’s the one with the best accommodation. Right in the heart of the city, opposite the main railway station, you have the Reichshof Hotel Hamburg – Curio Collection by Hilton. Curio Collection by Hilton, is a brand name, which tells you, that the hotel is supported by Hilton, but operating with its own identity.
Hotel Reichshof has its own unique style. It offers a bold combination between a very classic imperial style from the construction in 1910, and the modern makeover, which hails from the reopening in 2015.
You have marble floors and high polished gold surfaces, side by side with pink chandeliers and lots of LED lighting, up-to-date tech in the rooms and a general casual atmosphere.
Now it sounds like I’m just going at it with glowing praise, and really I do – but here are a few important points from the hotel stay:
- Friendly, service minded English speaking staff.
- Awesome decor and atmosphere.
- Modern room interior with USB-charging, smart TV with Bluetooth and HDMI cables (So you can connect your laptop and watch your own movies!).
- Well-equipped bar.
- Breakfast buffet with omelette cook.
- Two minutes to the main railway station and two minutes to the big p-house.
Reichshof is a four-star hotel, but service level is on the upper level of that rating. Overnight stays are at a reasonable price level between 1,000 and 2,000 dkr per night.
As mentioned earlier, Hamburg offers a bit of everything. Personally, I am completely in love with the architecture that exists around Hafen City. The rapidly growing metropolitan area, where modern architecture meets the solid, traditional buildings of the historic industrial port area. The area has exploded in new construction attention-winning, awe-inspiring architectural work.
It’s a super cool area where the new clean design lines create a hard contrast to the classic old customs buildings. It all comes together, creating an atmosphere which tells you: All is possible. The latest eye catching monument in Hafen City is the concert hall Elbphilharmonien, which was completed in January 2017.
If you want to see the amazing new constructions where they meet up with the industrial harbor and the huge container ships, I can recommend a canal cruise.
Another and very atypical thing, me and my mate, put in front of ourselves, was a tour of the chocolate museum. Yep. Chocolate. Museum.
So what is a chocolate museum? Well, in Hamburg’s case, it’s called Chokoversum, and it’s basically an activating visitor center for the chocolate company Hachez.
For 90 minutes, you will be guided through the proces of quality chocolate production – this involves a number of tastings, getting up close with impressive large production machines in operation and the ability to make your own bar of premium chocolate.
Protip: Bring a bottle of water – Large amounts of 70% chocolate will awaken your thirst!
Like so many other big cities, there are plenty of delicious restaurants to choose from in Hamburg, but if you are a burger fan, you simply have to explore where to find the best hamburger.
That is a task, which will put you in a lot of hard work. The city offers a wealth of dedicated burger joints, ranging from German high-quality chain concepts to the small, unique joints, which targets the O.G. burger connoisseurs.
Thus, finding a good burger in Hamburg is not hard, but finding the best is probably a mission, which will take a full week in itself (Challenge accepted!).
This time around, I laid visit to Better Burger Company, which dishes out a very distinguished burger. It’s a decent, honest burger, at a good price point. Of course they serve the local soft drink pride, Fritz Cola. Which is strongly recommended to try out.
If you are looking for more recommendations for things to do in Hamburg, while avoiding the major tourist traps, you can explore cometohamburg.com. Here you will find an overview of the best blog posts and travel articles from external bloggers and journalists, who have visited Hamburg.
Hamburg is, of course, a great destination for shopping. You basically have everything from the usual high-street shops, over super luxurious shopping areas and also small quirky local shops, that are not found elsewhere.
The Germans are not as fond of major credit cards such as Mastercard and VISA. Places that are really heavy on tourists, will accept the most – but if you venture out into the more local areas, it will serve you well, to stock up on cash.