Living in Hamburg when studying, writing your thesis or doing an internship. Some hints and advice on Hamburg life and how to get the most of your Hamburg experience. This time from Cam – thank you!
Contributor: Cameron [Canada]
Moin Moin! One thing you may discover about yourselves in the fourth semester is just how good you are at unearthing things not called your thesis. It is partially for that reason I am writing this… With the other reason being to shed some light on life in Hamburg!
Others can and have showcased many important aspects of this wonderful city so I will focus mainly on living not in central Hamburg. Since many (and I hope all) of you are already settled in, I will forego talking about the adventurous task of using wg-gesucht to find a flat and will focus instead on some cool places and things I discovered while living there.
Firstly, what a great city to live in the center of! I scored a great flat at Mansteinstraße 34 in the Hoheluft-West district (so if you are ever nearby please go ring the bell and say hi to Hector and Niki!). Of course no one wants to read a diary (especially mine), so I will just try my best to outline some different points/aspects/tips that I consider worth mentioning.
–> GET A STADTRAD ACCOUNT! This is better advice than any of your parents have ever given you! These are the red city bikes you see all across Hamburg. Sign up on the internet (http://stadtrad.hamburg.de/kundenbuchung/) and download the app. I believe it was 5-10 euros for an entire year.
How it works: This account will grant you two bicycles at any time of the day (great if you have a friend visiting!). You can use the bikes for 30 minute periods. After 30 minutes it starts to charge your account by the minute. If you require the bike for longer than that (Hamburg is big, and a bike ride home at 5am after the fischmarket and xx drinks can quickly turn 2km into 5km) simply dock your bike at one of the stations and take it out immediately afterwards. So in theory you can use the bike all day.
The app will show you all the docking locations and how many bikes are available. They are everywhere! It is such a beautiful way to experience the (thankfully rather flat) city. I actually lugged my bike to Hamburg all the way from Canada only to never use it..
–> Discover Sankt Pauli and Altona! I think it’s fair to say that most people spend a lot of their “downtown” time in Sternschanze, which is a fantastic place. But I would certainly recommend spending some time in the northern parts of St. Pauli as well. Good, cheap(er), interesting and chic caffes and pubs. Some cool street art along the way, as well. I didn’t spend as much time in Altona but the time I did spend there was great. Great restaurants, pubs, and parks to picnic in. Go there on a StadtRad!
–> Like Crepes? Go to Haus der Bretagne. Authentic (and Mael-approved) Bretagne cuisine.
–> Want the best falafel you have ever tried? Go to Azeitona (also has other great Middle Eastern food).
–> Go for a run or a bike ride aroud the Alster. Such a beautiful area, and great for picnicking!
–> Like Jazz? Head to Birdland Jazzclub. Thursday nights mean free entry!
–> Miss Italian Pizza? Go to Pizzeria Al Volo… Certainly better than La Mimosa!
–> Go to Planten un Blomen light shows. Their website says they are daily at 22:00 from May-August. A great meeting point to start your evening.
–> Want an authentic “Hamburg”er? Check out Oberhafenkantine in the Haffencity district. An old, tiny, and crooked restaurant that used to serve the ol’ sailors etc…
–> Do some day trips! Lubeck and Luneburg are great little towns, and your metropass gets you almost all the way for free! Check out the metro map to see the last stop that your pass covers, then simply buy the ticket from that stop to your destination.
–> Find a place to experience the sunsets. During the summer the sunsets are late and beautiful. Pair that with a bottle of Paulaner and a currywurst and you are all set!
–> Tired of drinking Pils and Weissbier all the time? Want some homemade food and drink? Try out Altes Mädchen. It is in a really cool area, brews its own beer, bakes its own bread, and has a great atmosphere (both in and outdoors).
–> If you like blues and meeting eclectic people, check out the Mobile Blues Club (http://www.mobile-blues-club.de/programm-gro%C3%9Fer-wagen/). This is a small little trailer on Schulterblatt that has different concerts every couple of days. Small enough that you part of the experience.
–> Like movies? Like OLD, classic, movies? The Savoy theatre in St. Georg plays both new releases and oldies. It may be a tad more expensive than other theatres, but the seats are huge and recline, they have love seats if you’re on a date with Gretel (or Hansel), and provide cool snacks. Just check out their scheduling… Keep an eye out for when they decide to play a screening of Fight Club or other older movies.
That just about highlights some of my favourite places and things to do. Of course, if you have any questions please feel free to write me (cameron[dot]wade13[at]gmail[dot]com)! I was not the only one to live in a flat, and I am sure the others would love to answer your questions as well. I hope you enjoy Hamburg as much as our cohort did — it is truly such a fantastic city with small pockets catering to any personality.