A trip to the North: Shortly before New Year’s, we spontaneously packed our bags to spend four wintery days in Hamburg, Germany. It was my first visit to the port city and although it was really, really cold, I have to say: Hamburg, I like you! If you’re curious about what’s to see and do in Hamburg, better read on:

Architecture Highlights

The first thing that comes to mind when I think back to our trip is the architecture. Hamburg is a harbor city, so its architecture is heavily influenced by the port and marine life. What really appealed to me where the many red and brown brick buildings. They give the city a kind of uniform look while still making every building unique! 

If the word “bricks” had you worried, don’t be. The city is far from old-fashioned or out of touch. The mix between modern and old architecture and building materials are what give this city its very own charm. 

Our Hotel

Since we didn’t have a big budget for this short trip, we couldn’t book any of the many great 5-star hotels in Hamburg. That’s fine, the city offers a wide variety of budget-friendly stays as well! We decided on the IBIS Budget Hotel at the Reeperbahn because of its location close to the night life. Turned out it was a pretty good starting point for explorations on foot too!

The hotel itself was clean, well equipped for a short visit and for us, its location was an absolute win.

The Sightseeing

The Harbor

Where we probably spent the most time during our short visit was the harbor of Hamburg. Unfortunately we could not visit the fish market, because it is only open on Thursdays and Sundays. Unlucky us – we arrived in Hamburg Thursday at about 15:30 o’clock!

But still, the harbour has a lot of other things to offer. On our first day we walked along the river and ended up exploring the Portuguese quarter, where we had a very tasty refreshment in the restaurant Olà Lisboa.

Harbor tour

On our second day we sat down in a barge and went on a harbor tour. Not only were there many exciting and beautiful things to see in and around the harbor. Through the entertaining stories of our captain we also learned a lot during this trip! It was especially impressive to see how the new quarter „Hafencity“ is being built. And of course to see the beautiful and very impressive Elbphilharmonie up close.

Harbour tours are a common tourist attraction, so don’t expect to be alone on the ship. But still, if you’re on a tight schedule and want to see as much as possible of the harbour, it’s a good choice to go with a tour! They leave almost every hour.

And if you’re already down at the harbour, don’t miss the Elbetunnel. It’s a tunnel that goes underneath the river to the other side of the river bank. It’s free of charge and a very fascinating and slightly creepy feeling to know you’re walking under a lot of water! 

Evening entertainment

Our proximity to the Reeperbahn paid off especially in the evening. After a delicious dinner we spent all of our evenings strolling through the colorful Reeperbahn. No matter how often you have walked this busy street up and down, somehow you discover something new every time!

We especially liked the Summer Salon in the Clubhouse – a great urban bar with cool music and even cooler decor. The best entertainment in the evening was definitely peoplewatching. All kinds of funny people hang out on the Reeperbahn as soon as the sun goes down. 

From tipsy women’s and men’s groups, to funny bachelor party troops, to guided tourist groups, you get to see a lot of funny people and situations. It doesn’t matter if you’re there for a weekend or on a normal tuesday – there’s always something going on on the Reeperbahn!


I’d love to come back again, dear Hamburg! You really did it for me.

Have you ever been to Hamburg? What did you like best? Write it in the comments! 😊