STAY in Hamburg:
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.
Simply put Kempinski is one of the best addresses in the world, which is treasured by regular guests as well as the stars. Here both are equally discreetly catered for. A subtle sense of glitz and glamour drifts through the hotel, the rooms are elegant and stylishly furnished. Some even offer a heavenly view of the Outer Alster. Guests at Kempinski must find the time to take a seat in the foyer - watching what goes on there is often better than television. Double room from EUR 171.
The guests have to share the toiletts. If that doesn't bother you, welcome to Pension am Rathaus. The rooms exude comfort, while the rustic wooden flooring adds an eye-catching detail. Here you'll find complete peace both before and after your city tour. The guesthouse is suitable for families: children up to 5 years old may stay in their parents' room with a travel bed completely free of charge. Double room from EUR 44.
EAT in Hamburg:
Those in search of passion need look no further, promises chef Thorsten Gillert. And he is true to his word. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at Bude 1 and watch it transform into the trendy Artisan in the evening. Artisan offers diners set menus from four to seven courses, while the appropriate wine accompaniment comes recommended by professionals. The menus change daily leaving guests an element of surprise, providing they remember to reserve. Even star chef Tim Mälzer is impressed, openly acknowledging Thorsten Gillert as the city's most creative chef.
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:
Unusual dishes call for unusual ingredients, but you can find them all at Oschätzchen. Around 180 spices, including 16 types of pepper, 30 fine oils, truffles, sauces, lentils and rice are lined up along the shelves, ready to be introduced and described by the friendly staff. Even customers who aren't big cooks will get their money's worth: Danish marzipan, New York City pralines, Viennese chocolate and French truffle butter. Simply put: a paradise for connoisseurs, gastronomes and those with a sweet tooth, passionate cooks and simple enthusiastic eaters.
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.
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.
SIGHTS in Hamburg:
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.
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.
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.