Weekend in Hamburg – bricks, water, red lights and summertime chilling

Hamburg was on our to-visit list for some time now. Somehow the right occasion did not present itself until a couple of weeks ago. A few hours on the Danish roads and a few more accelerated ones on the German autobahns brought us to this merchant Hanseatic city that is famed for its port and red light district and not to forget their special bond to Beatles.

Strange as it may read, the red light district was our first encounter with the city. Our home for the weekend was located very centrally, in the hip and colourful St. Pauli district.

Colourful St. Pauli

Colourful St. Pauli


Street art with a character. Ouch for the inhabitants behind that open window!

In addition to its hip feel, abundance of bars and outdoor life, St. Pauli is rubbing shoulders with the famous red light street, Herbertstrasse.


Herbertstrasse, the heart of Hamburg’s red light district with a very fitting graffiti

Here it is, the street that is off limits to female and underage representatives of the population, though the neighbouring street puts a daily live show of what awaits behind the closed gates. Once we witnessed one of the ladies literally chasing a plump old man who happened to walk on the wrong side of the street. That was an amusing sight.

Enough about that little red street. There is much more to Hamburg than Reeperbahn. Just a few minutes walk from St. Pauli is the Hafen City, the harbour district of Hamburg, with its buzzing activity of ships and boats, and loading and uloading, and of course tourists walking in and out of the sail boats.


The buzzing port of Hamburg


Elbhilharmonie – a cool addition to Hafen City



A local hangout spot


These tall brown buildings, the brick warehouses, give Hamburg a certain charm. On some of them you can still find traces of World War II with bullet holes and broken stones. Yet they stand tall as ever.


In many ways Hamburg is similar to Amsterdam, and I do not imply the red light district only. Nestled on the shores of the Elbe river, water shaped the city with its trading past and still brings it to life. On a hot summer day water is also where you will meet many of the city dwellers and us :)


Our lovely ride for the evening. Paddling around the waters of Hamburg.


Water has a special place for the city dwellers. And on that hot summer day it seemed like the entire city took to the lakes and canals to cool down.


A local beach bar


A very Hamburg way to chill off in the summer.


Navigating the open waters.

We discovered quite many faces of Hamburg. It is not Berlin of course, but then again nothing can match Berlin. Hamburg is the queen of the German northern waters rooted in old trade traditions and in a certain air of poshness. I don’t think I have seen so many fancy residences in rich Munich, as I saw in Hamburg.

A bright showcase of this poshness is an outskirt area called Blankenese, a hilly spot great for escaping the city into a forest tale of pretty sights. We dubbed it the Beverly Hills of Hamburg, where the narrow labyrinthine paths leading up and down the hills are dotted with expensive houses indulging in fresh air and blooming trees and overlooking beautiful Elbe.

Beverly Hills of Hamburg

Beverly Hills of Hamburg


How cute is this house! Any minute you would expect hobbits to step out of it.


These were the main sightseeing highlights of our weekend trip to the city of bricks and red lights. Our last day in Hamburg we spent inside one of the brick warehouses on what can seriously qualify as one of the coolest and cutest exhibitions. But more on this in my next story 😉

Auf Wiedersehen und liebe Grüsse!

Photos © Andreas Eriksen & Ani Movsisyan


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