We spent three days in Hamburg over the winter break. The main reason was to take my son to Minatur Wunderland but we managed to explore a little of the city. Hamburg is about four hours from Copenhagen by train and if you book ahead of time you can take advantage of DSB Orange tickets which give you a massive discount on the fare. For the three of us it was around 1000dkk for the return ticket. It is worth noting that 45 minutes of the journey is on the ferry crossing from Rødby to Puttgarten. And at the time of writing you need to take your passports with you to get back into Denmark, although the police are targeting who they ask for papers from.
I thought I would share a few of the places we went to in Hamburg. This is in no way a definitive guide as the bulk of our time was spent in Minatur Wunderland.
So first this. Miniatur Wunderland is the world’s largest model railway and airport and it well worth the money if you have children. It is a lot more impressive than I imagined and they run behind the scenes tours, which are quite expensive but worth it. If you don’t speak German check with the desk downstairs about the English one. One point of advice is you will pass the cloakroom first where you can check in your coat for 50 cents a piece but there are lockers after this point where you can put your belongings in and you get your coin back. There is a fun cafe area where you can sit in train seats with tables to eat your lunch. The menu is standard German fare with sausages, schnitzel etc and is more than good enough.
We ate out a far bit when we were in Hamburg. We enjoyed burgers in Hans im Gluck in the St Georg area (I believe there is a second one in another part of the city). We had a great Chinese meal in Herr He, an unassuming Chinese restaurant close to the main station (and it was recommend by another blogger). I had an enjoyable lunch (below) in Bullerei in the Schanzenviertal, a restaurant run by a well-known German TV chef.We were delighted to discover that very retro (in an unintentional way) ice cream parlours are as popular here as in Berlin and well worth a calorie laden visit. My favourite is an After Eight Sundae or Becher (apologies for the strangely lopsided picture).Plus points
Coming from Denmark we found Hamburg pretty cheap for us for example a latte in a coffee shop in Hamburg was the equivalent of 15dkk.
Most people were able and willing to speak English.
The U bahn system was efficient and clean. I would recommend buying a day pass if you plan to do more than two journeys in a day. Also a child goes free with you on the pass but would need a ticket for a single journey if you were buying tickets per journey.
We stayed in the St Georg area close to the main station. It was quiet and felt safe, although we didn’t go out later in the evening. This area used to be one to avoid but since 2007 it has been cleaned up and been quite significantly gentrified. There is a main street, Lange Reihe, here with the shops, cafes, restaurants, ice cream parlours, a pharmacy and a great Edeka supermarket – so everything you need for a short stay.
We used Airbnb as usual and stayed at this one which was a great apartment for a family, spacious, big beds, a bath and shower and very quiet and secure.