Hamburg was on my wish list for a long time, mainly because of the name. If you love Hamburgers (like I do), then I’m sure you’ll understand my sentiment here.
A little research told me that this city is painfully pretty and has a lot to offer (apart from just Hamburgers). That’s all the information I needed before I told San that we were going to Hamburg to celebrate my birthday.
Now that I have officially moved to Germany and have traveled around, I can confidently say that Hamburg is unlike the rest of the country. It’s vibrant, colorful, interesting, and livable.. and the party scene in Hamburg is awesome.
There are so many things to do in Hamburg that we hardly spent any time in our quirky private room in Superbude Hostel. Before I publish my travel guide for this city, I feel it’s important for you to know the things that make Hamburg so interesting for me. Here are 11 interesting things you should know about Hamburg:
Fun Facts about Hamburg –
1) The People of Hamburg are Hamburgers
The people of Hamburg are actually called Hamburgers. How awesome is that!
The only thing that comes close to being as cool as this is living in Frankfurt and being a Frankfurter.
2) Moin Moin!
Say “Moin” when you’re in Hamburg instead of “Hello” because the Hamburgers “Moin” at each other when they meet. It’s simple and means more than just a simple hello. It literally means, “Have a good day”.
Perhaps “Moin” is short and slang for “‘Morning” or “‘Morgan”, which in itself is short for Good Morning. It is interesting how language has evolved. Perhaps in a few years, the greeting will reduce to “Oin” and then just “Oi”.
3) Hamburg’s Art Scene is Cool AF
Germany has no shortage of artists, especially on the streets but Hamburg is the icing on the cake. Hamburg has some of the most interesting street art that I have seen in Germany.
Take a walk in St. Pauli and it looks like an artistic mess, on a good day. By the way, St. Pauli should be included in every Hamburg itinerary because it is amazing.
The graffiti in Hamburg is more than just street art; it’s also about retelling stories about Hamburg’s pirate legends, political and community protests, urban art movements and so much more.
Many Germans say that Hamburg’s street art scene is even better than Berlin’s – but I’ll leave that for you to decide. You can check out my post about Berlin’s street art here and tell me what you think.
Apart from graffiti, Hamburg has plenty of interesting stores where you can buy random (but unique) things to put in your room. The city’s art scene gives it its unique character that’s lovable.
4) Hamburg’s Buses Have Mini Libraries!
Book lovers will absolutely love traveling in Hamburg’s buses because many of them have bookshelves. To make things better, these buses are very cute and comfy.
I saw the bookshelves on buses in 2017 and then again in 2022. I was so happy and so was my little girl.
These mini libraries are on Hamburg’s VHH buses and run on the principle of honesty. I’d love to travel on these buses and read random books because I’m such a bookworm!
If you can’t finish the book, then you can just borrow it when your ride ends and return it back to Stilbruch. It’s the second-hand department store that provides books on these buses.
In 2022 when I visited Hamburg with my child, she loved these buses with bookshelves.
5) Hamburg has MORE bridges than Amsterdam or Venice COMBINED
Talking about Europe’s canal cities, Hamburg seldom ever tops the list. It’s usually either Venice or Amsterdam that gets all the attention but I was shocked to discover that Hamburg has over 2300 bridges. That’s more bridges than Amsterdam or Venice combined!
As a result, Hamburg has some amazing photo spots. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite Insta spots in Hamburg.
6) Hamburg has the Largest Warehouse District in the World
Believe it or not, Hamburg has the largest warehouse district in the world. Here the buildings stand on oak legs and are used as warehouses.
This warehouse area is Speicherstadt and was built in the 1800s as a “free zone” to transfer commodities without paying a customs fee. This warehouse district is a UNESCO World Heritage site as well!
Speicherstadt has many interesting buildings. There’s the highly photographed “Water Castle”, the Speicherstadtrathaus, and many other places that I mention in my Hamburg photo spots blog post.
7) The Beatles Kinda Started Their Career Here
John Lennon once said, “I might have been born in Liverpool – but I grew up in Hamburg”.
You may not know this but I’m a huge fan of the Beatles. I wish I was born in the Beatles’ era and attended their shows. A very big reason why this city was on my wish list the Beatles pretty much began their career in Hamburg.
The Beatles regularly performed in many clubs and bars in Reeperbahn and St. Pauli. This is where the place where the famous “Beatle haircut” originated.
If you’re a Beatles fan like me and want to take your madness to the next level, then you should check out a Beatles tour of Hamburg.
In German, this street is also called “die sündigste Meile”, which means the most sinful mile. Honestly, the red light district is bigger than just this street because there are many side streets. This entire area is full of brothels, strip clubs, sex shops, and many bars.
Here’s the crazy thing – women aren’t allowed to enter Hamburg’s red light district street UNLESS they work there as prostitutes. How strange is that? I have walked through the red light district of Amsterdam and women were definitely allowed there.
9) World’s Biggest Model Railway
Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland has the world’s biggest model railway with detailing that will wow you over. It has more than 1300 trains and over 100,000 vehicles. That’s not it, the numbers keep increasing because more details are added on to the exhibit periodically.
More than just the model railway, there are landscapes that are so intricately created that you will stare at them for a long time. There are model airports, the Alps, the Harz mountains, Scandinavian landscapes, and many other interesting things.
Since it rains in Hamburg pretty often, Miniatur Wunderland is a good place to visit at that time because it is completely indoors.
10) Hamburg is so Hipster that..
Hamburg is so hipster that literally everyone has a man bun (and a beard). Seriously, the city is full of hipsters and you can’t outhipster a Hamburger.
On a serious note, don’t let my (attempted) joke about man buns and beards confuse you.
Being a hipster is not about wearing a particular style of clothes but is a way of life. But the funny thing is, they all want to look different but then they all end up looking similar.
But historically this is how fashion kind of evolves – first, it is a way of life (like hippie life), then it turns into a fashion movement with which the original thought kind of gets lost.
11) You can party here on a Sunday morning at the fish market
Hamburg’s red light district is massive but it’s not the only thing that attracts visitors. One of the biggest visitor attractions in Hamburg is its fish market (or Der Fischmarkt in German) and it occurs on every Sunday morning from 6 am to 9:30 am.
Der Fischmarkt is not your typical fish market but it’s a place where the locals and visitors get a little drunk and buy not just fish but also a variety of fruit.
The atmosphere is lively and unlike any other fish market in the world. THIS is where they go after their Saturday night party finishes!
Sounds good? You may want to also check out my Hamburg nightlife post.
BONUS: Hamburg’s Beer – Astra Beer
Hamburg’s local brew is Astra beer and I couldn’t get enough of it. This beer is also called the heart of Hamburg and can be found literally in every single bar. Astra beer posters are one of a kind and I wanted to take them home.
The glass bottles of Astra beer are very cute and kind of remind me of Goa’s King’s beer. Each bottle cap has a little heart that stands for love, life, and parties.
Super Bonus: Hamburg is absolutely GORGEOUS
How can a city not be pretty when it has so many canals, lakes, old architecture, and harbor? To make things even better, this city is very green and has many parks. The side streets and old houses are painfully adorable. The city has so much history and you will get a sense of it as you walk around the streets.
Suggested: Check out this list of things to do in Berlin
Friends around the world – please don’t skip Hamburg when you visit Europe. Start your Euro trip from Germany and let Hamburg be one of your first destinations in Europe.
Have you visited Hamburg already and have a few points to add? Let us know in the comments.
BTW: Our trip to Hamburg was sponsored by Come to Hamburg. All opinions expressed in this article are definitely our own.
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