Life

Why Hamburg Deserves A Spot On Your Travel List


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Second Cities of Europe is our guide to Europe’s non-capitals. These cities play second fiddle in population, but never in reasons to visit.

Let’s start this series with Germany’s second city, Hamburg — where sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll collide with some of the biggest industry, start-ups, media, and money in the country. It’s also home to a football club that has built its fanbase around being anti-fascists, which is a pretty on fleek way to build a fanbase.

Hamburg is continually rated among the most livable cities worldwide, and it’s easy to see why when you stroll the ancient harbor’s cobbled streets. Read on for some of the best reasons to hit the Hanseatic city as soon as your travel plans allow:

FOOD

Germany is notorious for locally sourced, super high-quality food. They also love their down-and-dirty sausages and deep fried potatoes smothered in curry ketchup. There’s a real rivalry between Berlin and Hamburg over who has the best currywurst, a la Chicago vs. New York with hot dogs.

Since people from the whole world go to Hamburg to live and work, the restaurant scene is dope as all hell. Lastly, Hamburg is a seafood forward city — where you can get your fish fresh from wholesalers every single day.

DRINK

Hamburg literally has hundreds and hundreds of bars and clubs to choose from. You can go sexy and touristy on the city’s infamous Reeperbahn, take a step off the famous street and hit the bars the locals frequent that are just a block away, or head down to the waterfront and drink some excellently crafted Hamburg beer. Point being: getting your drink on will not be hard.

Pro-tip, hit up a corner shop, called a Späti. You can chose from a huge amount of beer for under €2 and drink at picnic tables that are usually set out in front of the shop. It’ll save you some serious cash in an already super cheap city to drink in.

FUN

You can drink. You can eat. You can have sex. Hamburg is the home of the Reeperbahn, and like Berlin, the party never stops. This is also the city the Beatles got their 10,000 hours in, and the city keeps rock-n-roll close to its heart.

To this day bars focus on showcasing bands year round. The music scene peaks yearly with the Reeperbahn Festival which regularly draws around 400 bands and 38,000 music lovers.

QUALITY OF LIFE

Hamburg is a city full of parks, lakes, bridges, and waterways. Ranking just below Melbourne as the most livable city in the world, the Hanseatic city achieved full marks in the categories “infrastructure” and “healthcare” (100 points) and also excelled in the “culture and environment” as well as “education” categories.” It also ranks very high in safety from terrorism and general crime.

At the end of the day, it’s a beautiful city that works and you can still have a hell of a good time, day or night.

WHEN TO VISIT

Hamburg has a very temperate climate. It’s cool and sunny all summer. It’s rainy and cool all winter. Spring and autumn hit traditional marks giving Hamburg four distinct and relatively mild seasons. So you’ll never really have any severe weather year round.

Overall, Christmas in Germany is something that should be on everyone’s bucket list (Christianity aside). The Christmas markets in Hamburg are fantastic and spread across the city. Each one has a different style and set of foods on offer. If you’re pressed for time, the historic Christmas market on Rathausmarkt is the biggest and most packed with sweets, mulled wine, and an abundance of foods and trinkets.


More photos from Hamburg to entice you to jump on that flight.

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