EAT in Hamburg:
If you're not lucky enough to have a grandmother in Vienna, then you don't know what culinary treats you've been missing out on. Bistrot Vienna is the ideal substitute. Begin with potato soup with porcini mushrooms, followed by a Wienerschnitzel or prime boiled beef and round the meal off with sweet cheese dumplings served on a bed of stewed plums. With the tables lined up so close to one another there's no room for secrets. Nevertheless this makes room for 25 guests, although they may have to be patient as no reservations are taken. All in all a seat at Vienna's table is certainly worthwhile, especially for those after a good hearty meal. It has been said that the service at Vienna sometimes suffers due to a laid back atmosphere. Nevertheless it remains a restaurant that serves up a great culinary experience.
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.
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.
STAY in Hamburg:
Not so long ago one could only rent rooms by the hour here. Star architect Jordan Mozer has created a hotel and its elegance is unbeatable. The rooms and suites are wonderful, however those more familiar with the hotel book an apartment measuring at least 135m². But deciding is not entirely straight forward: the Terrace Apartment boasts an exclusive 80m² terrace, while the Kitchen Apartment features a fully fitted, professional kitchen. Invite your friends in Hamburg and see their reaction! Even if you don't stay here you must visit one of the bars or the exquisite Gewölbe Restaurant. East-Apartment from Euro 150,- per night.
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,-.
If you feel more at home in a cosy guesthouse than a luxury hotel, then check in at Pension von Blumfeld. Having wiped away the sleep from your eyes you can be forgiven for thinking that you're staying at an alpine cabin: chequered bed sheets, rustic wooden beds and a timbre corner bench in the breakfast room. The guesthouse is welcoming, clean and central - all in all a suitable base for a tour of Hamburg. Double room from EUR 60.
SIGHTS in Hamburg:
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.
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.
Alster round trip
A fun journey down the Alster on a mini steamboat will show you a unique view of Hamburg. All aboard as you float along the river through the green metropolis, under the city's countless bridges, past the church spires, Jugendstil villas and parks. If you ask us, a trip on the Alster is compulsory. Where you voyage is entirely up to you. An Alster Cruise is the flexible variant. This starts at Jungfernstieg and concludes at Winterhuder Fährhaus, offering more opportunities to hop on and off along the way. The Fleet trip is a hit with the tourists - it begins on the Inner Alster and makes its way through the old warehouse district. The canal trip offers passengers plenty of greenery, while the Dämmertörn is the perfect way to start a romantic evening. Drinks and sausages are available on board. Mmmmm!
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!
Ethel Vaughn is an illustrious name - that's also what fashion designer Katrin Weber must have thought and therefore used the name of her boyfriend's granny for her fashion label. The granny is a Brit and also the style of the native-born Dusseldorf designer could come downright from the isle. Her urban street style is sometimes sexy, sometimes sporty, at other times simply casual - but always cool. In the small store right between the Millerntor-Stadion and the Reeperbahn in Hamburg's district St. Pauli you'll find sweatshirts with batwing sleeves, tracksuit-styled jeans or hand-bleached shorts with a domestos look. Each piece is characterised by a casual cut and trained craftsmanship. Apart from housing the sales area for the pieces from the latest collection you'll also find the designer's atelier here - where each peace can be crafted in small quantities. And what about the fact that you can also buy the British workmen's boots by Dr. Martens? It's like chalk and cheese!
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.