SHOPPING in Hamburg:
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!
At Mientus it's not about dining but dressing - only for men. These can find the whole range at the new Hamburg fashion store in the shopping street Neuer Wall: from suit, socks, studs to the coat and something suitable for underneath. The matching scent is also waiting for you in the shelves. The garments are spread over three floors. You find Dsquared, D&G or Martin Margiela in the basement, Moncler or Seven in the ground floor and Gucci, Dior and Prada in the first floor. If something doesn't fit, the in-house tailor will help you out. If you have any other meetings after your shopping spree at Mientus, the in-house driver will be happy to deliver your purchases to your front door the next day.
600m² full of small fashion labels! Freddy Mouchawrab's shop houses the creations of predominantly young German designers, but still has space for international fashion. The designers rent their own space from Freddy, who in turn receives nothing from their turnover. Currently on show are collections from IO-Berlin, Garment, Party Adel and Volker Lang. Looking for authentic fashion from Hamburg? Then this is the place for you. The designers are often in the shop giving customers the chance to meet them in person.
EAT in Hamburg:
A Michelin star practically guarantees culinary delights. Thomas Fischer has one! The restaurant is located in Stadtpalais, which was built around 1900 and was the long-time representative home of Hypothekenbank - hence the restaurant's name today. What was once a counter hall is now a classy restaurant, which impresses with its 6-metre-high ceiling. If you would like to try out Bank we recommend the 2-course menu which changes daily. You certainly won't regret it.
Make sure you don't forget your wallet, because fine dining at Wandrahm comes at a price. Yet guests are treated to a genuine gala dinner, which is sure to impress and even surprise. For those with a slightly smaller budget there is the bistro on the ground floor with its own menu, which includes starters and modest meat and fish dishes. In the gallery dishes are served á la carte. Meanwhile excellent hot chocolate is served in Wandrahm's Coffee & Tea bar. The bistro, restaurant and bar all go to show that a stylish ambience can also be comfortable. Whether that's down to the white interior or the crystal chandeliers or not remains a mystery.
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.
STAY in Hamburg:
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.
A young team of architects retained the exterior of the turn-of-the-century city villa, yet completely renovated the interior creating Hamburg's hippest hotel in the process. During its construction glass, stone and wood were the materials of choice, while at the heart of the building is the Mazza restaurant, which serves Syrian cuisine. On the topic of food, you might have the luck of enjoying your coffee at the long breakfast table in the company of a particularly beautiful guest - young models are often booked in at the hotel for their beauty sleep. Double room from EUR 99.
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,-.
SIGHTS in Hamburg:
The weekend is here, the night is young, what better place to start than Große Freiheit - the street that will take you on an adventure, where an endless sea of clubs and bars await revellers and tourists alike. But what awaits them in the early hours of the morning? Complete freedom. In the ?Kiez' there's absolutely everything: strip clubs, techno clubs, sausage stands, student pubs, sex shops, an operetta house, wax stars and real girls to suit every taste. Legendary status has been achieved by the table dancing bar Dollhouse and the Safari Club, which is now Hamburg's last remaining club with a live stage show. Note: the notorious Herbertstraße is only open to men. Respect this rule to avoid trouble.
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.
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.