After regrouping in my Aunt’s hometown, I set off on my German tour. Hamburg is the country’s second largest city and biggest port. It’s situated on the water, which is the reason why it’s also the richest city in Germany. Cool fact: Hamburg has more bridges inside its city limits than any other city in the world and more canals than Amsterdam and Venice combined. Not as romantic as the other two cities though.
So I stayed at the Motel One Alster for €110 per night (2 pax) with free breakfast. The hotel was expensive but really great. It was less than a km away from the Hauptbahnhof (Central Station). Outside the lobby doors was a bus top and the entrance to Lohmühlenstrasse U-Bahn station if you wanted to take the train. A block away was a budget grocery store where you could buy a 1 litre bottle of water for less than €0.50. The best part about the hotel? The view from the 11th floor.
Since I only had two days to enjoy this city, I made sure to maximize my stay. Maximize meaning my feet almost died after walking along the city centre. That’s no small feat (haha pun) because the city is built around two bodies of water, large bodies in fact. Thank god for Eis Kaffee – a true lifesaver. Oh yeah, Eis is German for ice cream.
Hamburg has two big artificial lakes within the city centre – Binnenalster (“Inner Alster”) and Außenalster (“Outer Alster”). Both were formed after they created a dam at the River Alster. Real estate is very expensive and hotels situated along both lakes are super luxurious and classy.
What I love most about Europe is that they really respect their heritage sites. You barely see any skyscrapers and steel buildings especially in the city centre. There are more parks and open spaces for the people. And if ever there is a skyscraper, it’s absolutely charming.
Did you know that Nivea originated in Hamburg? I didn’t either. The original flagship store was really nice. Stocked up on some mini toiletries and lotions and random stuff. I mean of course we need day cream, night cream, body cream, sun cream right?
Passed by one of the City’s main churches, Hauptkirche St. Petri or St. Peter’s Church. Since it was closed on that day, I took a quick picture before heading off. It’s also a Protestant cathedral, with its congregation being members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany.
Even if I stayed in Hamburg for barely 2 days, I learned a lot of stuff. Did you know that the German word for City or Municipal Hall is Rathaus? Kind of apropos hehe. So the Hamburg Rathaus is still the seat of power for the Mayor. It was constructed in 1886 and is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve seen. Quite impressive for a government building. Below is a view of the Rathaus across the Kleine Alster. The lake is full of swans that you can feed.
One of Hamburg’s major tourist attractions are the St. Pauli Piers aka Landungsbrücken. It’s the largest landing place in the Port of Hamburg. From there you can take a ferry boat that goes around the port. A lot of great sights along the way including the main port, some massive cargo ships of Hapag-Lloyd, lots of maritime buildings, a Nazi U-boat from WWII and more. The piers are automated with large cranes and stuff that look like they’re from an alien or robot action movie.
There’s just something about cities surrounded by water. Must be the island girl in me. Cebu City, when you grow up, I think you should become Hamburg. Automated piers, skyscrapers, massive parks, clean canals, rich economy, awesome shopping scene, awe-inspiring churches. The people here aren’t as friendly as other cities but hey, the city is impressive.
Also, I should’ve found me a rich german husband in Hamburg. Oh well, next time then.