Vania’s Local Varieties: Hip & Happening Hamburg!

Such a big, brilliant city, where do I begin? I always like to discover something new and here, it turns out, I don’t have to look far.

Cool neighbourhoods

Just behind my hotel I find the neighbourhoods Schanzenviertel and Karolinenviertel. These old working-class districts have been transformed into trendy entertainment areas. At night the bars and restaurants and clubs here are bustling. There are loads of great little vintage shops and pop-up stores and the walls are decorated with drawings and graffiti. It’s a real mix of art and alternative scenes. Your eyes just pop out of your head.

Winkels Hamburg

Hot Dogs

The funniest shop I came across was Hot Dogs, which sells 1970s sports gear and bags made from old gym equipment. The genial owner, Noah, explained the concept underlying the shop to me entirely in Dutch!

Hamburg hot dogs

Harbor Cake

A little further up I came across the delightfully cosy cafe Harbor Cake where time has stood still. My journey of discovery has only just begun, but I cannot resist stopping for a delicious, homemade cake!

These two neighbourhoods adjoin the former abattoir, which really reminds me of New York’s Meatpacking District.

Harbor Cake hamburg


At Susannenstraße 39-41 I found the small shop Baqu, which sells everything from old industrial lamps, to vintage objects, art and many, many more nicknacks. The unassuming owner, Mustafa, tells me that the shop has existed for 40 years and that they uncovered some wonderful surprises when they stripped away the numerous layers of old wallpaper – reason enough to pay this shop a visit.

Baqu hamburg


There is so much to see in these neighbourhoods. The walls of the old buildings are covered in graffiti and some extraordinary drawings lie concealed between the words.

Hamburg Graffiti

Cafe Unter den Linden

It’s high time for some lunch. From anti-squat to peace and green. Cafe Unter den Linden has a lovely terrace. I skip the homemade cakes and biscuits and go for a delicious goat’s cheese salad with grilled vegetables.

Cafe unter den linden Hamburg

Bridge with padlocks

After lunch I look around the area. Being a little tired I head for the metro. I’ve bought a day ticket, which works on all public transport. I take a train to the harbour where, I’ve heard, there’s a city beach called Dock 3. I quite fancy sand between my toes and a nice drink. I walk out of the station and over a bridge that’s completely covered in padlocks.

Sloten hamburg

Dock 3

Dock 3 is an oasis in the city. You might almost believe you’re on a real beach – sitting in a deckchair, cocktail in hand, feet in the sand. The day has passed so quickly. Here I can relax and have a bite to eat before I go to bed. What a lovely day!

Dock 3 Hamburg

I’m so curious to hear what you think of this city? Will you let me know? Find me on Instagram or Facebook under Tripster_girl.

Read more about lovely Hamburg in the March 2017 edition of our iFly Magazine. Happy reading!