Tag Archives: Hamburg

Hamburg City Guide

Hamburg, meine Perle – City Guide

Hamburg, my pearl – that’s how the locals or newcomers call their home. Hamburg is also one of the three city-states in Germany. This means the city has the same rights and the same responsibilities as the rest of the states in Germany. After moving to Hamburg and going through a difficult initial period, expats living in Hamburg will be rewarded for their perseverance for sure! The architecture, the sights, the restaurants, the harbour, the small city beaches, and last but not least, the people, make the second-largest city in Germany something very special!

City and Sightseeing

The cityscape of Hamburg is characterized by the two rivers and the port. Add to these the impressive architecture that makes Hamburg unique. The Elbe and Alster rivers have a positive influence on life in the city. Both the rivers invite you to linger as well as to indulge in water sports.

But this city has much more to offer: In addition to the numerous cultural offerings and the opera that hosts the most diverse selection of musicals, Hamburg also impresses with its modern architecture. The Elbphilharmonie is not only the new concert hall of Hamburg, but also a new landmark of the city, just like the Michel. The nave including the five organs, the vaulted cellar, and the mesmerising view from the church tower, are especially remarkable. In its nearly 400-year history, this church had to be completely rebuilt twice.

The Speicherstadt and the Harbour

The Speicherstadt also characterizes the cityscape. By far, one of the most celebrated photo motifs in the Speicherstadt is the moated castle at the end of the Holländischer Brook, which is now used as a tea office with gastronomy. It forms the centre of the third construction phase of the Speicherstadt and was built between 1905 and 1907. At that time, it was the solitary place in the Speicherstadt that was allowed to be inhabited.

An absolute must for tourists and expats living in Hamburg is a harbour tour. The Port of Hamburg, or the “Gateway to the World” as the locals call it, has something to offer for everyone and is truly impressive. There, you will also find museums and historic ships that remind you of the respective eras of the city’s history. If you want, you can end the day in the Strandperle, a famous restaurant.

Nightlife and the Kiez

Two highlights besides those already mentioned, however, are of course the world-famous Reeperbahn and the Hamburg fish market. Once considered wicked, the Reeperbahn is now an entertainment mile for everyone. Numerous bars characterize the streetscape. In contrast to the linguistic usage in Berlin, for Hamburgers, there is only one Kiez: the entertainment district in the St. Pauli district around the most sinful mile in the world. Roughly speaking, Hamburg’s Kiez consists of the Reeperbahn, the Grosse Freiheit, Hamburger Berg, and Hans-Albers-Platz – at least in terms of going out in the evening. During the day, the Kiez seems rather quiet and inviting to one or the other. But as dusk falls, the Reeperbahn and the adjacent streets and squares come to life. Locals and tourists alike then visit the city’s most famous nightlife district.

In the Grosse Freiheit, a side street to the Reeperbahn, music history was made in the 1960s, as the Beatles had their first performances there. First, they performed in the club Indra, which is still open today after some renovations, followed by the still existing Kaiserkeller at Große Freiheit 36, and in the famous Star Club, which is only remembered by a memorial plaque.

St. Pauli also offers a lot of culture and art besides the Reeperbahn. You should take your time to discover the individual galleries and small museums, which will surely be a rewarding experience.

The Fish Market and the Canals

The Hamburg fish market is also a Hamburg institution. Every Sunday morning, this fish market attracts thousands of visitors from Hamburg and all over the world to the Elbe. If you want to be there, you have to get up early – but it’s worth it. With its long tradition, maritime charm, and quick-witted market criers, the Hamburg fish market in Altona makes weekly shopping an experience for the young and old. However, besides all these sights, which actually cannot be overlooked, it is worth taking a second look at the city.

If you want it a little quieter, retreat to the small canals and enjoy the peace and quiet in the big city. The canals run through the entire city and shape the cityscape just like the architecture. All these aspects make Hamburg an interesting city, which is an attraction for immigrants and expats due to its internationality.

Transportation

Likewise, the connection through the airport, the port, and the location should be noted. The Helmut Schmidt airport is the fifth-largest in Germany. Hamburg’s main train station is one of the most important railroad hubs in Germany. The S-Bahn and U-Bahn networks are also excellently developed, which simplifies daily life enormously. Four subways and six suburban trains crisscross the entire city, which helps you to get from point A to B quickly. This way, expats living in Hamburg are well connected both locally and globally !

Food and Restaurants

In addition to all these cultural and practical aspects that make Hamburg attractive, physical well-being will also be catered for. The restaurant scene is determined by regionality as well as internationality. There is, so to speak, the right choice and variety for everyone. The Schoppenhauer, right next to the Speicherstadt, stands for modern Hamburg cuisine. There you can order both Labskaus, a typical dish for Hamburg, and a refined 3-5 course menus. The Go is run by the famous German TV chef Steffen Henssler, and is known for his sushi creations. These are just two examples of the city’s diverse cuisine. Of course, there are still various restaurants that should be mentioned here, but it is easier to find them out on the spot.

For expats living in Hamburg, therefore, it is a city that is both attractive and exciting. Many Germans move to this cosmopolitan metropolis due to the above-mentioned aspects. All these make it an attractive place for expats moving to Germany and working here. Good luck and have fun exploring this extraordinary city!

Popular Cities in Germany

It is difficult to compile a ranking of the most beautiful German cities, especially when moving to Germany. That’s because every tourist, immigrant, and even every German prefers a different German city. All big cities in Germany provide a wide variety of restaurants, architecture and culture. It’s the nuances that make the difference. Primarily, the local habits, traditions, and customs make the different cities unique. In addition to that, a Bavarian, for example, especially the older ones, could hardly imagine moving to Hamburg or Berlin. Similarly, a north German would probably not move to the south if he didn’t have to. So the best advice is to take a close look at the cities and then make your choice.

The Bavarians will, of course, call Munich the most beautiful city, while a Hanseatic city probably won’t let go of its beloved Hamburg. For many, not just young people, Berlin is surely the place to be. Perhaps that’s why many expats in Germany prefer moving to Berlin when starting their stay in the nation. In the past decade, cities in the east of Germany have grown into lovely places like Leipzig, and of course, Dresden. The difficulty in this ranking is with each one’s personal preference, which means considering what kind of city I prefer. In all the bigger cities in Germany like Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, and Dresden, you can enjoy a well-developed nightlife. Each of these cities has numerous sights, which makes each city interesting for different persons. For instance, if moving to Munich is on the cards, you would do well to know a few things about the city. To begin with, Munich is well-known for the Oktoberfest and its numerous beer gardens, which are the places to be during spring and summer. Then, you do have the English Garden where people like to meet all year long. But people in Munich are sometimes unfriendly in the beginning, though that’s sort of a Bavarian tradition. But if they get to know you, they’ll soon become very warm-hearted. If you like winter sports, Munich is the ideal city because the Alps are pretty close, which let many go there just for one day. Another fun fact about this town is the “Schicki-Micki” or “Bussi, Bussi” society. You are called this way if you like to dress well, spend money in fancy restaurants, and simply try to look as good as possible.

Munich: Heart of Bavaria

The completely opposite of Munich is supposed to be Hamburg. Though it’s as beautiful as Munich, the city is different than other big German cities. Its inhabitants are often regarded as a bit stuffy and conservative by the rest of Germany. It means they are not as open-minded as others. But this is a typical prejudice. It is right that they are not very friendly in the beginning, but that can change within minutes. The complete opposite of Munich and a must-do activity in the city is visiting the Hamburger fish market. It opens every Sunday at 5 o’clock and all fishmongers of Hamburg are there to get the freshest fish. But basically, everyone can visit it. There, you can get to meet the “normal” people of the city. Another place everybody should visit at least once is the world-famous Reeperbahn. Known for its extensive nightlife, it has to offer something for everybody. In addition, Hamburg has a fantastic harbour, and outstanding architecture when you visit the Speicherstadt or the Elbphilharmonie. So, if you are not annoyed by the fact that it might take a little bit longer to get to know the people, Hamburg is a good place to start in Germany.

Berlin the Geman Capital

Speaking about important German cities, we have to take a closer look at the capital Berlin. No other German city has changed so dramatically over the past few decades than Berlin. Today, it is known for its cultural diversity and somehow for being different than other cities. If you’re moving to Berlin, you’ll soon get to know the “Berliner Schnauze”, which is the slang of the locals that’s really hard to understand, even for Germans who move there. “Dit find ick knorke” for example means I find it really great. So, moving there involves the challenge of understanding the locals. But generally, the people of Berlin are easy to come along with and very helpful to foreigners. Berlin is the most international city in Germany and many foreign tourists visit the city every year. Every “Kiez” or neighbourhood in the city and district is different and so are the people living there. You can find both wealthier districts and poorer districts in Berlin. But what they have in common is that they give the impression of being a little village within the city. The city has also many interesting sights like the Museumsinsel (museum island), the Reichstag, the Pergamon museum, and the television tower.

Carnival and cathedral metropole Cologne

If you are interested in the so-called fifth season, the carnival, you must move to Cologne or Düsseldorf. Both cities are famous for exuberant partying between November and February. But both cities have more to offer than the celebrations. Both are located at the Rhein, a wonderful river. Both cities have many small galleries and extraordinary art museums. Both cities are linked by a rivalry because Cologne is bigger than Düsseldorf but Düsseldorf is the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. And another “dispute” between them is the question of which town has the better and more famous beer. The inhabitants of Düsseldorf would say their Alt is the best beer in the world whereas the inhabitants of Cologne would insist that their Kölsch is the best one. If you want to decide which one it is, you’ll need to move or travel there.

Frankfurt the financial centre

The financial centre of Germany is definitely Frankfurt am Main. Its skyline is shaped by skyscrapers and it has the biggest airport in Germany, which is helpful if one has to travel a lot. In the old town, you can enjoy Äppelwoi and grüneSoße. Äppelwoi is a bit like cider and the sauce comes along with all sorts of dishes. Frankfurt has many interesting sights like the Paulskirche. On May 18, 1848, in the course of the German Revolution, the first freely-elected National Assembly met in the Paulskirche, which is regarded as a cornerstone for democracy in Germany. Nowadays, a permanent exhibition provides interesting background information on the beginning of democracy through to the development of German unity.

Dresden & Leipzig: Eastern Germany

If you think about moving to East Germany, I would recommend Leipzig or Dresden. Both towns are very modern with interesting old towns. Dresden has a bit more historical sights to offer though. The Frauenkirche, which was completely destroyed during World War II, offers an outstanding view over the old town. The Zwinger provides space for several museums and the Semperoper speaks for itself.

Leipzig also has quite a lot to offer for its inhabitants. For example, the old trading exchange, the Bavarian railway station, the central station, and of course, the Augustusplatz with several buildings from different decades of the last century are worth a visit. At the Nikolaikirche, the Monday demonstrations against the DDR and the Stasi started in 1989. This was the beginning of the German reunion. But just as in Berlin, you have to get used to the Saxon dialect. For example “Eiverbibbsch” is a typical expression you will hear in both cities. Its meaning is you shouldn’t curse.

Lovely small cities

But besides all these major cities, you shouldn’t forget that Germany has also interesting towns, which are smaller than the major cities. When moving to Germany, you should also consider these towns. Nürnberg with half a million inhabitants, for example, is famous for its Christkindlmarkt (Christmas market) in December. Freiburg is famous for its alternative way of life due to the many students who live there. Weimar and Erfurt are well-known for Goethe and the Bauhaus. Thus, as you can see, German cities have a huge variety to offer and there’s a place for everybody moving to Germany to feel comfortable and cosy.