SIGHTS in Hamburg:
Kunsthalle is home to a first-class collection, which covers no fewer than seven centuries. Here each of the big art families has its own room or house: the old masters are also represented, as are the authorities from the 19th century and the modern classics. The media collection, which includes audio and video works, deserves a special mention. Among others it features work by Günter Brus, Dennis Oppenheim, Valie Export and Gordon Matta-Clark. The Gallery of Contemporary Art - a four-storey, white cube - is dedicated to art from 1960 onwards boasting many interesting pieces.
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.
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.
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,-.
Located between St. George and the Outer Alster, The George Hotel draws in guests with British charm and an elegant colonial style. Chesterfield chairs, a view of the English Garden, queen size beds - noble elegance everywhere you look. But there's more: a classic library, a Marrakesh-style spa, a private dining room, a roof terrace and the restaurant DaCaio, which serves delicious Italian cuisine. One night in a double room from Euro 300,-.
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,-.
EAT in Hamburg:
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.
The Curry Pirates love the product they sell - their homemade sausages are served simply with fresh sauces and French fries. Every week sees the unveiling of a new sausage creation, which sometimes requires a touch of daring from the uninitiated. That said, the classics are adventurous in their own right: the standard Bratwurst is filled with diced apple or dried apricots, the lamb Bratwurst comes with a yoghurt-mint sauce and the truffle Bratwurst is served on beans. Only Germany's most expensive Bratwurst need be ordered in advance - only then will the sausage masterpiece made from truffle and veal be exclusively prepared for your plate.
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.
SHOPPING in Hamburg:
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.
Herr von Eden
Among the new collection of Bent A. Jensen one can find suits from a period spanning eight centuries. And they all have one thing in common: style! Herr von Eden designs unusual suits for both male and female clients, which are quite possibly the coolest suits around. Here nothing looks as if it has come straight from the rail, yet all of the suits are ready-made. Upon purchase the suits are adjusted to perfection for the customer. Jan Delay, a prominent customer, is certainly a fan of the masterpieces. And even the most sceptical of shoppers would admit that these suits look damn cool.
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.