SIGHTS in Hamburg:
To catch the Fischmarkt on a Sunday you have to get up early - something that is easier said than done given Hamburg's lively nightlife. Those who make it can reward themselves with a fresh crab roll before venturing into the free-for-all. Yet Fischmarkt doesn't solely revolve around fish. Since 1703 practically everything has been sold: flowers, fruit and vegetables, liquorice, eels and souvenirs. Just a few years ago you could even find livestock on offer. The true highlight is the banter that the salesmen and women employ in an earthy Hamburg fashion to tempt the passers-by into making a purchase. Breakfast is available for early birds, tourists and hungry revellers from the previous night in the great hall, which is filled with the sound of a questionable music accompaniment.
This view will cost you nothing? bar a few calories - there's no lift to take you up the 136 steps. Via a wooden flight of steps one can reach the observation platform of one of Hamburg's most unusual office buildings. An astounding EUR 30 million was invested in its construction, but the architect team Bothe Richter Teherani ably implemented its plan. The aesthetics of the building are beaten only by the phenomenal view of the harbour.
The Koppel 66 celebrates its 30th birthday this year. It's especially the arts which is celebrated on the former factory site near the central station. The framework is provided by a closed engineering factory. Already back then metal was worked on here in the building which was erected in the style of historicism. Basically nothing has changed. But additionally there are materials like wood, pottery, silk, olive oil and leather which are processed and presented in the twelve publicly accessible workshops on four floors. The handmade shoes and ball pens made of rosewood can be found in the first floor. One floor above there are self-knitted scarves. If you want soap made of natural ingredients you have to go into the basement. By the way: only the respective artists know when the particular ateliers are opened. If you want to avoid closed doors you should stop by at the fairs which take place twice a year (spring and advent) and are free of charge. Also in the house: the forum of the artists' organisation Gedok and Café Koppel with vegetarian dishes and self-made cakes.
STAY in Hamburg:
25 Hours Hotel
Designer furniture, textured wallpaper and retro-chic. The hotel is the perfect base for urban nomads, who feel at home surrounded by a striking and bold ambience. The rooms are available in the sizes M, L, XL and Studio. Families should opt for the XL-Family category. Should you feel lonely then make yourself comfortable on the leather sofa in the hotel's living room, where you'll almost certainly find friendly conversation. The same goes for the roof terrace in the summer. Double room from Euro 95,-.
Clear lines, straight design and comfortable functionality. Traditional screens, tatami mats and filtered lighting - the Japanese way of relaxation for body and soul. Fewer knickknacks means a better sense of wellbeing, hence the 42 discreetly and stylishly furnished rooms. The hotel is situated near the Outer Alster providing guests with an ideal jogging route. Double room from EUR 122.
Located in Schanzenviertel and just a stone's throw from Karo-Viertel is Fritzhotel and its 17 sought-after rooms. They may not be the most spectacularly furnished dwellings, yet you'll be exactly where the city thrives. Just around the corner you'll find bars, pubs, restaurants and shops. A multi-cultural scene, hospitality and the city centre on your doorstep - what more could you want? Double room from 90 Euros.
SHOPPING in Hamburg:
Deluxe delicatessen: Butter Lindner is a haven for any gastronome and amateur cook. Here simply everything tastes good. Hamburg's in-crowd head to Butter Lindner to pick up their essentials. From bread and pastries to sausage, sweets, vegetables and spices, here you can find everything you need for your favourite recipe, or just a delightful snack. And the quality is so good that even star chef Tim Mälzer regularly drops by to stock up. The highlight, after which the shop was named: butter directly from the block. Salted or not, sliced to measure.
If you are looking for just the right pen, Trixi Gronau has the answers. Even if you're not looking, you're still likely to leave with something. Pens and pencils, wrapping paper, timers, jewellery and candles - a colourful mix of items that is sure to surprise any customer expecting to find mere copier paper. The shop is a delight for those who like to poke around and pick out a little something for themselves or others. The fact that many of the items available are actually made by Trixi Gronau herself is an extra treat.
They're still around: the good old record shops - the ones from 1977 that don't only sell music, but also myths in thin paper sleeves. The owners know precisely what the regulars are after, while they do their very best to find the right music for less frequent or first-time customers. Fair prices and often great offers are available here. What sets Michelle Records apart are the concerts which are held there every now and then - directly in the shop window!
EAT in Hamburg:
The name of the Seven Seas says it all. Breton turbot with cauliflower, chives and wild herb salad or scallops with pomelo salad and coriander vinaigrette: the seven seas are located on the plate and are served at the recommendation of Karlheinz Hauser, one of Hamburg's most renowned gastronomers. The former Adlon head chef has not only been awarded a Michelin star but also several 5-Star-Diamond-Awards and provides - apart from maritime, classically French cuisine - enough reasons for every gourmand to come onto the Süllberg: refined meat dishes like Bison filet prepared at low temperature, artichokes, tomatoes and potato pralines or a panorama view over the Elbe landscape. In the summer the gourmet terrace under the starry sky is open. If this still isn't enough you might be convinced by the tasteful ambience of the gourmet restaurant with earth and golden shades and exquisite dining culture or the courteous service in one of Hamburg's most elegant neighbourhood.
For over 25 years now Matsumi has been serving the best that Japanese cuisine has to offer. The restaurant was originally opened for Japanese guests, quickly becoming a success by standing out from the many homogenous Asian competitors. Needless to say sushi is on the menu, while the hotplate sunk into the table is always popular. You'll be surprised how tasty sake can really be: at Matsumi you can try out 10 to 15 rice wines. The unrivalled highlight, however, is the blowfish. The chef belongs to a small group of cooks in Europe who have a licence to prepare the delicacy.
Enjoy a taste Portuguese of life with fish, wine and sweets! The Portuguese quarter winds around the harbour - more precisely around Dietmar-Koel-Straße. If you're an enthusiastic eater, then it's certainly worth a visit. Galego is one of the most popular restaurants in the quarter, both with tourists and locals. Reserve a table in advance to ensure you can enjoy truly wonderful fresh fish. If you forget to do so, then try Sagres just a few doors down the road at number 53.