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Hamburg – 8 things you shouldn’t miss

Hamburg is probably one of the most famous German cities – famous for it’s harbor, the specific dialect (if you’re familiar with German), the football club and city district St. Pauli, the strong popular culture and much more. In May I visited a friend there and want to show you the eight things you shouldn’t miss if you are on tight budget, a youngster, student or an open-minded world hipster visiting this city.

Im Mai habe ich Petra in Hamburg besucht und in nur drei Tagen vieles gesehen. Heute möchte euch eine Übersicht zeigen, welche Orte ich besucht habe und euch ebenfalls ans Herz legen kann – acht must-do’s in Hamburg für Studenten, Hipster und Leute ohne viel Geld. Dies mal nur auf Englisch.

1. Feel like a pirate at Port of Hamburg | Hafen


Not far from the North Sea the port on the river Elbe is the second largest port in Europe – after Rotterdam. Hanging out here you’ll be amazed by the large ships and containers. You’ll meet everybody from tourists, to fisherman to locals – this place is equally loved by everybody. Our highlight was the boat tour, which is also included in the public transportation ticket. We’ve seen the port both at sunrise and sunset – very advisable! There are also a bunch of restaurants – on land and on ships – but they are rather suitable for people with money.

Must-do for you: Take a walk during sunset and enjoy the windy and fresh air at Elbe.
When arriving by subway: You can already see the harbour through the window. Yay! Exit at Landungsbrücken.


If you bought a ticket for the subway you can have a harbour tour for free. But make sure to use the city line, not one of the big fancy ships. Take care, it’s super windy!

2. Walk through the Old Elbe tunnel | Elbtunnel


An incredible thing you can do for free – Take a walk thought the 426m long subterranean tunnel through Elbe. For sporty ones: Walk the stairs down and up instead using one of the four elevators. Once on the other side you can enjoy the view on Elbe, but apart from that there’s not much to see.

Once you’re on the other side.

3. Feel the history at Speicherstadt

Here you can see the famous Hamburg conservatory. The spot we were standing at here you can find some info about it as well. It’s a masterpiece, I swear.


The “warehouse district” – which is the literally translation of Speicherstadt – is the biggest warehouse district in the world and is located next to the port within the HafenCity quarter. It’s huge and normally full with creative agency staff. Ff you go on a holiday it’s quite empty and impressive (because scary) though. In older days coffee and tea were stored here. Today you’ll find some cool museums as the Miniatur Wunderland or Hamburg Dungeon, you can watch the construction of the  Elbe Philharmonic Hall and take a walk on the bridges.

Crossing one of the bridges in Speicherstadt.

IMG_5533 IMG_5570

4. Buy some old crap at the Flea market | Flohmarkt

A word you must know: Scheiße translates as “shit”. Well, we never figured out what exactly is shitty – but it was worth taking a picture of it.


Actually there is not only one flea market. The one I’ve been to the both times in Hamburg is the Flohschanze. Here you can find everything from an old lamp, second hand clothes and toys from the 5o-ies as well as antique vases and hip shops with new clothing. Must-see if you’re into discovering some old everyday life.

Not the flea market itself, but on the way: Photogenic cutlery in somebody’s window.

5. Get to know the street art during Alternative Hamburg Tour

Hamburg_Schanze Streetart

If you are interested in Street Art and some alternative culture, you should consider the Alternative Hamburg Tour. We had a very nice guide and a small group of nine people – all together we were my friends and three Italian guys. In the end of the two-hour-tour you can pay the guide whatever you wish, we all agreed on 5€ per person. Which is absolutely ok for such a lovely guide your age who takes her free time to show people around.

It’s a long time since we’ve done the tour, so I forgot all the names mentioned. Go yourself and get to know the street art culture in Hamburg.

6. Enjoy the sunrise at the Fish market | Fischmarkt

Don’t miss the Fish Market, opened from 5 to 9 am. Important detail: It’s much more effective if you stay up to see the whole beauty of a sun rise and half drunk-half dead people around.
Fish is even better at 6 in the morning. Believe me, it’s worth trying.

The fish market has an incredible atmosphere – buy fish, souvenirs and vegetables in between tired just-woke-up elders and still drunk youngsters (opened from 5 to 10 am it’s often visited after spending a night out dancing).

We went there at five in the morning and I had an awesome fish sandwich – try that if you’re there! Alternatively you can buy a 10-pieces veggie-fruit basket for just 10€. But no need to spend money on things – the sunrise at the harbor (yes, also the fish market is here) will be incredible enough.

Some behind the scene impressions.
Beautiful lights of dawn and artificial market lamps.
Awesome sun rise in Hamburg – you must see it yourself.

7. Breathe in Hamburg’s Mood





Take a look at the town hall, walk along the Alster (esp. Binnenalster) and take a selfie with the swans. Don’t miss out the hip city parts like Sternschanze (shopping, eating, going out) and St.Pauli (the red light district also called Reeperbahn or Kiez) – you’ll find the stunning Hamburg mood everywhere. Don’t know where to start? Grab a local at Couchsurfing, meetup or on the street and let them show you around.







8. Try Hamburg’s Food

At Monkey’s Deli (check below).


A good place for breakfasts is Cafe May (check reviews) with their incredibly buffet variety for only 5,40€ on week days and starting from 7€ on the weekend: For example at Lappenbergsallee 30.

Also the Mangold place looked nice, but we didn’t eat there: Ölmühle 30, 20357.

We also went to Monkey Deli, a vegan deli and café – one of our friends is now vegan and we wanted to have some coffee over there. The staff was not very friendly though – but see yourself. It looks really nice and the food sounds great.

Monkey’s Deli was closing already, so we just saw a glimpse of the food offered. Seemed tasty though.


If you’re into burgers but are a vegetarian check out Peacetanbul at Karolinenstr. 14. Here you’ll find all kind of creative burger names with unexpected ingredients, moderate prices and a good atmosphere. And loads of Turkish Tea!

My last recommendation is Zum Spätzle, that offers not Hamburg typical food but something from the south called “Spätzle” – it’s a kind of pasta and there are loads of different variants of that. Try it out at Wexstraße 31.

Never ate there – it just looked impressive. Milch Feinkost in Ditmar-Koel-Straße 22
Left side: The breakfast at May. Right side: View out of the Spätzle place window (no pictures inside unfortunately).

Is there some info you miss or do you want to add something? I’d be glad to hear your opinions about by short guide and exchange tips about traveling. So leave a comment and share! :) 

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