Hamburg is arguably Germany’s greatest cultural city. Take that, Berlin! Hamburg has fifty museums, almost as many theatres and over a hundred music venues. Only London and New York have bigger music scenes.
Germany’s second city is a major trading hub with a strong maritime history. The famous Reeperbahn red-light district has an anything goes vibe. The culinary scene is excellent and very diverse. You can raise a glass and in a swanky cocktail bar and then dance the night away in a former WW2 bunker. Hamburg offers the ideal combination of cultural dynamism and buzzing nightlife. Let’s be honest, the two usually go hand in hand.
Lake Alster cuts through the city and links it to the sea. Hamburg is one of Europe’s greenest cities. Planten und Blomen Park is the bucolic heart of the city. As Germany’s richest city, Hamburg is excellent for shopping and it’s full of economic opportunities.
Known as the “city of warehouses”, Speicherstadt was developed between 1885 and 1927. The emergence of this warehouse district reflected Germany’s growing political influence after defeating France in the Franco-Prussian War. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many of the warehouses have been turned into trendy apartment buildings.
Speicherstadt is a charming part of the city to explore. Once a key hub of the Hanseatic League, the narrow canals and historic Gothic towers give this area a real atmosphere at night.
As well as being a powerful economic hub, Hamburg is a great place to party. Sankt Georg is Hamburg’s gay district. It’s full of art studios and trendy cafes. The Lang Reihe street cuts through the heart of the district and it’s where you’ll find most of the local bar and cafes. You’ll see many rainbow flags. The traffic lights even show same-sex couples in this part of town.
Bellini Bar is a basement lounge in Sankt Georg. It’s a good place to start your gay night out in Hamburg. Generation Bar is another popular gay venue in the same district. It opens slightly earlier and attracts and young-ish crowd. When you’re ready to dance the night away you should head to PiNK INC. – it’s Hamburg’s biggest gay bar. You can also have a drink at the club’s sister venue, WunderBar. You’ll find it bar the Reeperbahn.
Welcome to Hamburg’s famous red-light district. It’s wonderfully sleazy. Like the seedier side of London’s Soho, you’ll find sex shops, gar bars clubs and theatres. This is very much a place for sinners and pleasure seekers. It was once home to Europe’s biggest brothel and it’s where The Beatles played some of their early gigs. Various artists have written songs about the Reeperbahn, not least Tom Wait’s memorable ditty from 1992.
As well as efficiency and industrial heft, the Germans really have a knack for decadent nightlife. From Weimar Berlin to contemporary Berlin, not to mention Hamburg’s Reeperbahn, they do excess rather well. Take a stroll through the Reeperbahn at night and indulge in a spot of bar hopping. It’s a part of the city where you can buy food at any time of night. You can buy other things, too.
Located in the arty Sternschanze neighbourhood, this market fills the cobbled streets every Saturday. You’ll find loads of stalls selling all kinds of goods, including antiques, clothes, books and all kinds of second-hand curiosities. Leave some room in your case as you’re sure to find some bargains at Flohschanze Market.
Hamburg is one of the best cities for museum lovers. You’ll find more than you can explore in one trip on the Museum Mile. The Kunsthalle is one of Europe’s finest and largest art galleries. It focuses on European art and has a great collection of Golden Age Dutch art.
There are four other museums on the Museum Mile. It’s easy to walk between them all. You can easily purchase a day ticket giving you access to multiple museums. It’s unlikely you’ll see all of them on one trip. There are many great artworks to see at these museums by the likes of Picasso and Max Ernst.
Hamburg is a port city and it has a sandy beach. There are many beach bars dotted along the beach and it gets very busy in the summer months. By the end of May it tends to be packed. The River Elbe is very charming but it isn’t really safe for swimming. You’ll find many grand buildings around Elbe Beach.
by Alex | On: Gay Hamburg