Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock


Classical culture - City Guide Hamburg

It began as a stopover city but ended up becoming popular in its own right. In the 1940s, Hamburg ranked among the top-three destinations of the SAS crew (just behind London and New York) and it’s easy to see why – the city is manageable in size and packs a powerful cultural punch.

Photo: The Table

Stellar cuisine

Hamburg’s hottest new restaurant, The Table, has already bagged three Michelin stars – a first in Hamburg – despite having opened only a few months ago. Diners who come to sample the international cuisine can either opt to sit at the communal table with space for 20 or choose something more private.

Shanghaiallee 15

Photo: ShutterstockFishy fun

The fish market, held every Sunday morning, is a Hamburg institution dating back to the 18th century. It transforms the Elbe riverbanks into a bustling, fish-fueled extravaganza. Live music, beer stalls, flowers and colorful fruit baskets all add to the market’s character.
Grosse Elbstrasse 9

Hooked on tradition

Located by the Elbe River, Hummer Pedersen was founded in 1879 by fishmonger Frederik Carl Christian Pedersen (it ­began as Fr. Pedersen Schiffsproviant). Today, its casual but high-quality bistro is as much of a draw as the fresh fish for sale at the counter.

Grosse Elbstrasse 152 

Water works

Hamburg’s two lakes, Outer Alster Lake and its little sister Inner Alster Lake, are often described as the “lungs of Hamburg.”  Walking at an average speed you’ll need three hours to complete the shoreline path circuit, which snakes past some of the city’s fanciest neighborhoods.

Jungiusstrasse 1

Photo: Tarterie St Pauli

Neighborhood cool

Tarterie St. Pauli opened in 2011 and has since established itself as a local favorite thanks to its well-composed menu of modern French dishes and cool but intimate interior. With its creative vibe and strong neighborhood feel, Paul-Roosen-Strasse provides a great backdrop for a leisurely stroll.

Paul-Roosen-Strasse 31

Monument to the past

Something of a Hamburg landmark, the five-star Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten first opened its doors in 1897. Centrally located, the grand mansion overlooks the Inner Altes Lake and has a double Michelin-starred restaurant Haerlin, as well as Hamburg’s tiniest bar. 

Neuer Jungfernstieg 9-14

The church of St Michaelis Photo: ShutterstockA citywide eye

Climb (or take the elevator) to the top of the baroque St. Michaelis Church to enjoy panoramic views across Hamburg’s water-veined cityscape by day or night. Check the website for prices and special evening opening hours, which vary depending on the season.

Englische Planke 1
st-michaelis.de (day view), nachtmichel.de (night)

Gory stories

Study surgical tools and moulages (wax models) of ­long-since-curable conditions at the Museum of Medical History. One of Hamburg’s more obscure and fascinating cultural establishments charts the evolution of medicine from the 19th century to the modern day, highlighting practices both ­fascinating and disturbing along the way.

Martinistrasse 52

Alternative shopping street

Karolinenviertel is a bohemian spot famed for its independent shops. The eclectic lineup along the main street Marktstrasse offers everything from retro vinyl and vintage clothing to designer shoes. Fashion mavens will find Japanese concept store Bluesleeve particularly interesting.

Marktstrasse, Karolinenviertel


Text: Emma Holmqvist Deacon

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