STAY in Hamburg:
Fans of the harbour will find it difficult to drag themselves away from the perfect viewpoint at the window. The luxury hotel sits directly on the Elbe and faces St. Pauli and the Landungsbrücken. The hotel is a wonderful example of modern architecture - star architect David Chipperfield took inspiration from the ocean liners of the 1930s. The almost pompous ballroom and gourmet restaurant Waterkant, where dishes from the famous harbour city are served, are magnificent. The view from the 20up-Bar on the 20th floor is unforgettable. One night in a double room from Euro 130,-.
This hotel has history. It was once the most famous bordello in northern Germany, despite fierce competition in the harbour city. Attentive onlookers will immediately recognise from the baroque furnishings what once went on here, with flock wallpaper, baldachins and mirrors giving its past away. Today it is an extraordinary hotel with an extravagant design. The Parisian charm of the Village Hotel appeals to artists and musicians alike. A relic of the past: free coffee day and night. Double room from EUR 85.
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.
EAT in Hamburg:
If you pay a visit, it's worth knowing that Alsterperle was once a toilet block. Yet the scent of yesteryear has long gone as Alsterperle is now a popular stop for day trippers, strollers and those just looking to chill out and relax. The view over the Alster is beautiful and the adjacent playground allows parents to sit in peace while the kids tire themselves out. On offer are plane fare and trendy drinks. Tip: if you can't find a place on the terrace when the weather is fine, you can spread out on the grass.
Built on the grounds of the big wholesaler meat market, this restaurant seats no fewer than 180 diners. And every single one of the seats is necessary as three days a week Tim Mälzer - the popular and admired TV chef himself - can be found in the kitchen, preparing the finest food to spoil his guests, who of course remembered to reserve in advance. Dishes include quail breast, poussin, Burrata and Calamaretti. The old brick house exudes charm, the cuisine is wonderful and the ambience is upmarket without being pompous.
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.
SIGHTS in Hamburg:
Old Elbe Tunnel
Whether you are in love or just in love with Hamburg after dark: when morning breaks everyone is drawn to the Old Elbe Tunnel. Those who manage to cover the 426.50 metres below the Elbe to the other side of the river can enjoy what is arguably the most beautiful sunset the city has to offer. The whole city was overcome with pride when the technical wonder was opened in 1911. Nowadays the tunnel plays the role of a lovingly maintained area of nostalgia. Visitors must take a lift down to the tiled tunnel, which greets them with an imposing atmosphere. And it's precisely this that has drawn in film and TV crews, giving the tunnel a cult status. If you want the tunnel all to yourself, you can even rent it as an event venue.
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.
Oh to be a grocer's widow... as these lucky women had the honour of living in the Krameramtsstuben at the foot of St. Michaelis Church. The timbre-frame houses, which were built in the 17th century, mimic doll's houses. Today the houses are home to a bookshop, a gallery, a museum and a restaurant. Amazingly the houses remained untouched by the great fire in the 19th century as well as the bombs dropped in the wars. If St. Michaelis Church is the heart of Hamburg, the Krameramtsstuben are the soul.
SHOPPING in Hamburg:
The name says it all. Stoffsüchtig (in Engl.: addicted to fabrics) displays selected fashion from 30 aspiring designers amidst the Hamburg harbour city on 320 square metres and 25 metres exhibition space in a newly erected industrial building. Names like Dawid Tomaszewski or Mila Miyahara may not be on everyone's lips yet but you have probably already heard of Kilian Kerner. But more important in this fashion store is to feel - as the fabrics are focused on here. And so is the wearing comfort. Customary euro-pallets provide for an extraordinary presentation of the designer pieces and leave no doubt about the stars in here. And if you get hungry you better check out the bistro in the basement. In the daytime they serve regional dishes (including vegetarian options), at night you can order finger food and cold tapas. The right wine will accompany the delicacies. Curtains and light modify the atmosphere of the little dining area with a chambre séparée and especially the bronze and brown shades turn out beautifully.
Here a range of tastes is catered for - Lilit not only offers shoppers the latest in fashion trends, but also covers all eras. Whether you follow the fashion choices of Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe, an item of desire is sure to be found by any woman. Old meets new, classic meets unique. There's even a range for men, yet it is somewhat modest in comparison. The shop also features simple and casual yet elegant fashion from Italian and French designers. Lilit is run by father and daughter, which perhaps explains the variety on offer.
Three labels under one roof: Goldmarie, Tazuma and Sugercube welcome street wear fetishists to a laid-back get-together. Decoy does street wear like no other. The owners have a good eye for selecting the best pieces from the latest collections and the customers are forever grateful. In turn, they bring their own style to Decoy in the search of that something extra to complete the look. The collections for the St. Pauli players and the Natural Born Golfers are great.