Totally Underdog Style
This is your temporary home, neither in the heart of the city, nor in the middle of nowhere: Wandsbek, Hamburg and its surroundings - hotspots and insider tips from one of the greenest areas of the city.
This is a great starting point to explore Hamburg and its gems - also beyond the city gates, if you fancy a trip to the countryside. Our friends from the most beautiful magazine of the city, DER HAMBURGER, have compiled some hand-picked suggestions exclusively for you, so you don't need to invest any valuable time searching for places of interest.
In the Green Wandse Valley
The Eichtalpark opposite the Kröger is a beautiful, enchanted place: for those who like physical activities, there is a 7 km run waiting for you at any time of day. You can also go for a leisurely or a sporty hike here - the green belt continues all the way from the park to the Alster.
Insider tip: the Botanical Garden is in walking distance from the hotel, romantic and exotic. Where the river Rahlau meets the Wandse, gardeners invite you to a hortus-stroll, show rarities like redwoods and a handkerchief tree.
A few kilometers onwards: on the roughly six hectares of the Jacobipark, there is enough space for everyone to enjoy a picknick in private - except for the bird sanctuary (yes, right in the city), which should not be disturbed!
If you want some refreshments in between, we recommend one of the best Chinese restaurants the city has to offer, only a few kilometers up the B75: Ni Hao means "Good day", and a good day is what you can expect here. We have tried out a lot of places in Hamburg, and you will not experience such authentic south-eastern Chinese cuisine any time soon again. The love of the Chen family, originally from Qingtian by the river Ou, to their chosen home Hamburg is also to do with its location by the Elbe. And with the wonderful fish you can get here.
From breakfast to a large variety of bowls and burgers to the cocktail hour - the Café del Sol at the Country House offers international flair. Located where the Rahlau creek crosses Jenfelder Allee 80.
Culture at the Canal
Barmbek and Bricks
Barmbek, the close-by quarter where factories and worker's estates used to be side-by-side, has a lot to offer: visit T.R.U.D.E. (the cutting wheel of the Elbe tunnel drill) and Emil (road roller MW 12) in their shiny red brick house at the Osterbekkanal. The premises of the former rubber goods company "New York-Hamburger Gummi-Waaren Compagnie" are the perfect location for the Museum der Arbeit (museum of work): modern exhibitions, small and charming craft fairs, and in the print workshop, the smell of paper and colours. The Zinnschmelze offers all kinds of music and dance. Where tin used to be melted at exactly 231.93 centigrades to make the forms for the rubber goods, artistic director Dorothée Puschmann runs one of the most popular cultural centres of the city. Possibly the most beautiful aspect of it is the enchanting restaurant and bar Lütt Liv, which serves home baked cake and a fantastic vegan burger.
Diagonally opposite of it, Holger Völsch explains what is behind the name T.R.U.D.E.: it means "Tief runter unter die Elbe" (deep below the Elbe), and it was a little boy who came up with it. At first, Holger wasn't so sure whether this was a good name for his restaurant and that it might sound too much like an old aunt. Meanwhile, he has grown to like the story and he is good at telling it. Also, why his burger is so "price-concious" and the schnitzel costs two euros more than elsewhere. For he only serves beef from his trusted farmer and pork from happy pigs. He wouldn't eat anything else himself.
If you are only passing through: you will find everything (literally everything, for any adventure) you could possibly need at Globetrotter - even if you are travelling to the North Cape. Is the coat warm enough? The longer you last at minus 15 degrees plus wind machine in the cold room, the more likely it is.
Extra: The Spotlight Barmbek was published in edition number 41 of DER HAMBURGER.
Bring on the Water!
Alster and St. Georg
The Alster, Hamburg's most beautiful water sports area right at the city centre, is easily reached by bicycle from the hotel.
Via Eilenau and Kuhmühlenteich, you will pass the tapas bar Spanische Treppe (Spanish Steps), which doesn't need to hide behind the real one in Rome, plus it scores points with its terrific Alster view.
Just a few metres on - and also with a beautiful sunset - the Alsterperle is awaiting you. Nowhere is the "Alsterwasser" (our Hamburg-style mix of beer and lemonade) more refreshing than here. If you want to experience a little bit of culture beforehand, check out the Literaturhaus. Explore the well curated range of literature or relax in the comfy little book shop café. Manager Rainer Moritz regularly hosts readings by high profile authors at the Wilhelminian Villa so characteristic of Hamburg's architecture.
A proper Hamburg tip, no matter how! Cushiest on an Alster or sailing boat, which you can best rent at Käpt’n Prüsse, as well as other places. After that, you truly deserve a nice meal in the Lange Reihe, a road very popular among Hamburgers for its creative impulses, especially among the LGBTQ community. Enjoy excellent Michelin star food in an Art Nouveau ambience at the Restaurant Cox. Or at the Café Gnosa, all day long until late at night since 1939.
If you want to get yourself (or the people at home) a nice present, you will find some unique gems at the house of artists Koppel 66: we particularly like the art and self-printed books by human dynamo Tita do Rêgo Silva. Together with her neighbours, she holds an advent mass every year.
Sunshine, Green and Stars
Stadtpark and Planetarium
"Der Mond ist aufgegangen / die goldnen Sternlein prangen / am Himmel hell und klar."
These are the first lines of the famous German lullaby "The Moon Has Risen / Evening Song" by Matthias Claudius. The poet moved to Wandsbek in 1771 and worked as an editor for the newly founded newspaper "Der Wandsbeker Bothe". To this day, he remains one of the most prominent citizens of the borough. Follow his footsteps to the Hamburg Planetarium and visit one of the spectacular shows of Germany's most visited star theatre. This is also something for the kids, of course, particularly as the planetarium is situated in the middle of the 148 hectares of Hamburg's Stadtpark. Lovely coffee, home baked cake and hearty refreshments are available at the Café Schmidtchen.
The public bath at the Stadtparksee is open all summer, and a walk to the Liebesinsel (Love Island) with its stunning views is worth it all year long. In the paddling pool for kids, right in the middle of the park, you can see a replica of the abstract sculpture "Wasserspeier" (folkloric: the mythical creature) by sculptor Richard Haizmann - one of 23 pieces of art to be found here. The Rolling Stones have already played at the open-air-stage, which hosts concerts of nationally and internationally acclaimed artists all through summer.
At the southern end of the park is the Landhaus Walter, which was built in 1912 by famous architect and city planner Fritz Schumacher, who's brick houses form the character of Barmbek and Jarrestadt. Depending on the evening programme, the country-style restaurant hosts the Downtown Blues Club or dance parties. When the weather is nice, you can sit under old lime trees in the beer garden and there is live music every Sunday morning.
What Defines Hamburg
City, Harbour and Speicherstadt
Around the harbour is the best place to take in the full aroma of the Hanseatic City of Hamburg. The town hall is the ideal starting point for a stroll through the city centre. The café in the calm patio serves lovely breakfast. To the left is the road Alter Wall with the Bucerius Kunst Forum, renowned for its well curated exhibitions, and Ladage & Oelke an English clothing shop with a very rich tradition. If you turn right, you will pass Daniel Wischer, where you can get a delicious fish sandwich, also for takeaway.
By the time you have finished, you will see the UNESCO world heritage site Speicherstadt right ahead of you. A harbour boat trip is perfect for a first impression, best with the Kunstbarkasse Ennstal of shipping company Barkassen Meyer, designed by Hamburg music legend Udo Lindenberg, who also happens to be quite a talented painter. The warehouse district was built in 1883 and, with its medieval architecture, forms a lively contrast to the modern Hafencity. However, behind its old-fashioned appearance, the Speicherstadt is completely up-to-date. There is hardly any other area of Hamburg with such an economic variety, with web designers and agencies next to traditional carpet and colonial goods merchants. At the German Customs Museum (including confiscated goods), Spicy’s spice museum (both for sniffing and tasting) and at the Speicherstadtmuseum (architectural history), you can immerse yourself into the spirit of this historic area. The impressive International Maritime Museum presents seafaring history over seven floors. Hamburg's latest landmark lies at the Hansahafen: the four-masted barque Peking.
A current Instagram hotspot is the Museum of Popcorn: playground and ball pool for adults. One of the best steaks (as well as the finest veg) of the city is served at the Bootshaus Grill & Bar on Kaiserkai. Accompanied by cocktails that are mixed perfectly to the mood of every single guest. How they do that? Find out yourselves, it's worth it!
A Country Outing
Not far at all: simply take the B75 northbound. The Ahrensburger Schloss is just outside the city, snow-white and surrounded by moat and park. It is one of the most beautiful Renaissance castles in Schleswig-Holstein. In the 430 years since being built, the residents went through a lot of joy and a lot of sorrow, as well as times of decline and dire straits, instead of only riches and glories. Kids love the fairtale rallye, and at the concert series "Kleine Nachtmusiken", visitors feel like princes and princesses, like in the old days.
Within half an hour's drive from the Kröger, you reach the idyllic Lütjensee - with the bicycle, it will take you about 1.5 hours. Even though Lütjensee means little lake, you will need quite a bit of stamina to swim across it. Those who are not passionate swimmers might prefer doing the high rope course. Afterwards, you can treat yourself to a nice meal at the Restaurant Fischerklause, where the chef still goes fishing himself: eel, pike, carp - all straight from the lake. DER HAMBURGER, Slowfood and Bib Gourmand all agree: it is one of the best restaurants in Germany and always worth a trip for the lovely hosts alone!
Lavishly strolling like a prince through the Garten der Schmetterlinge (butterfly garden) in Aumühle right in the beautiful Sachsenwald, at any time of the year. The colourful butterflies have been nursed here at the tropical house as well as in their natural habitat in the park since the days of princess Elisabeth during Otto von Bismarck's time. In Winter, they take a well-deserved break. But you can follow the flora and fauna of the largest forest in Schleswig-Holstein all year long, of course. Just stick to the paths, at 7000 hectares, the Sachsenwald is huge!