10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Hamburg, Germany

Back in November, my partner and I traveled to Hamburg to celebrate my parents’ wedding anniversary as well as my stepfather’s birthday. No, my parents don’t live in Germany. They live in Norway. We just figured it would be more fun to celebrate that way – by visiting a new destination together, all four of us.

We visited the kinky Christmas market as well as all the normal ones, got drunk for free (sponsored) in the middle of the day while tasting beer at Winter Beer Day and enjoyed the view over the city from the Elbphilharmonie while streaming live on Periscope. Live streaming is only recommended if you’re thick-skinned, as I’ve never been trolled this hard in my entire online life.

With the exception of internet trolls telling me to go eff myself, while live streaming and that one incident where one of my travel companions ripped their pants (they wanted to remain anonymous) and was left with a French opening for the rest of the day, everything went as smooth as butter. Hamburg was a lot more interesting than I’d expected it to be!

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Here are 10 reasons why you should visit Hamburg

  1. Stroll along the streets of the iconic Warehouse District (Speicherstadt). This is the largest warehouse district in the world where the buildings stand on timber-pile foundations.
  2. Visit Krameramtsstuben – the historic buildings on Krayenkamp, in the Neustadt district. Take a few pictures of the charming buildings, buy yourself a little souvenir from one of the shops and most importantly, book a table at the Krameramtsstuben Restaurant.  The restaurant was recommended to me by other bloggers, and also by a friend of the family. Hands down, the best food I had in Hamburg! DSC_0995 (2).JPG
  3. Enjoy the spectacular view over the city from the Elbphilharmonie (the philharmonic). The fact that I got to watch the sunset while I was up there, was the icing on the cake! And if you like jazz, you’ll have another great reason to visit the Elbphilharmonie. Get tickets to the Elbjazz Festival (June 2nd-3rd)! DSC_0999 (3).JPG
  4. Party it up in the St. Pauli neighborhood and spice up your love life with little souvenirs from the many sexy stores on the infamous Reeperbahn (Red Light District). Check out the Reeperbahn Festival (music festival) in September and the kinky Christmas market in November/December!
  5. Visit the Planten un Blomen park and make sure to catch the spectacular water light show when the evening falls. I’ll have to return to Hamburg and see this myself – and maybe enjoy a nice little picnic while I’m in the park!
  6. Visit the Miniatur Wunderland – the largest model railway in the world and one of the most successful exhibitions in Northern Germany. This is good fun for the entire family!
  7. Visit the Sommerdom fun fair from July 28th to August 27th, and the Winterdom in November/December. Not much of a thrill ride person? No problem!  The fun fair works great as yet another excuse to just hang around and drink German beer (as if you needed an excuse to do that). DSC_0954 (2).JPG
  8. Are you part of the LGBT-community – or a friend and supporter? Wear something fun and celebrate diversity at Hamburg Pride (July 28th – August 06th).
  9. Visit the Hamburg port and have a meal or a drink at one of the many bars and restaurants in the area. Interested in the history of the port? Visit the Hafenmuseum!DSC_0932 (2).JPG
  10. Do you like boat trips? There are many suggested sightseeing cruises on the Alster lake to choose from. Maybe you’d like to go on a romantic evening cruise, or a trip through Hamburg’s history, a glide past the most beautiful villas in Hamburg or just a one hour shoreline cruise. Visit Alster Touristik for more information.

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The traditional or the kinky? Christmas Markets in Hamburg, Germany

Ah, Christmas markets. Lovely decorations everywhere, nostalgic music playing in the background – and a valid excuse to walk around snacking and drinking punch in the middle of the day. If there’s a country that knows how to do Christmas markets properly, it’s Germany. Lucky as I am, I already went to (some of) the ones in Hamburg last weekend and early this week. And believe me – there’s a market for every taste. There’s one for those who love fun fairs, plenty for those who like to keep it more traditional and there’s even a steamy one for the kinky crowd!

Winter Dom is an annual fun fair (there’s actually a Spring Dom and a Summer Dom too) – and the biggest one in Northern Germany. My partner and I, kind of found it by coincidence while on our way to the “Santa Pauli” market – and I’m glad we did. We had just eaten a large meal so riding roller coasters and other fast rides was not very tempting, nor did we want to buy anything to snack on (yet), but the Winter Dom is definitely the place to be for the thrill-seekers who love roller coasters (yes, one of them has multiple loops). You can also go ice skating or visit a haunted house or ride the ferris wheel. All I wanted was to take in all the sights and stroll along, hand in hand with my significant other. I couldn’t stop smiling. The nostalgia, the Christmas magic – I needed this.

Dates: 04.11.16 – 04.12.16

Where: Heiligengeistfeld, St. Pauli (U3 subway to St. Pauli or Feldstrasse

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Santa Pauli – we wish you a kinky Christmas? Welcome to the sexiest Christmas market in Germany, located on the Reeperbahn – the city’s red light district. This one’s is for those who want to buy a special gift for their special someone and keep it their special little secret. Or maybe you don’t want to be secretive about it. I’m not gonna judge. Would you like a striptease? Enter Santa Pauli’s strip tent. If you want to avoid all of that but still want to hang out at the market, then don’t worry. There are plenty of regular Christmas shops and places to grab a drink or something to eat there too.

Dates: 17.11.16 – 23.12.16

Where: Spielbudenplatz (U3 subway to St. Pauli)

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On almost every corner between St Pauli and Rathaus, there’s a small Christmas market where you can buy yourself a snack or a hot beverage. I went with apple and cinnamon punch and chocolate covered marshmallow cookies (photo below).

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Historic Christmas market on Rathausmarkt opened on Monday – and of course we were there to check it out! This market was my favorite one in Hamburg. The perfect place to go shopping for traditional Christmas ornaments and decorations and a great place to spend time with your friends, family or your partner. Have a drink or five, enjoy a nice warm meal or a sweet treat and enjoy the celebration of this wonderful holiday. Thank you Hamburg, thank you for this joyful experience!

Dates: 21.11.16 – 23.12.16

Where: Rathausmarkt (U3 subway to Rathaus)

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