In photos: A long walk around Hamburg

“I was born in Liverpool but raised in Hamburg.” John Lennon

I was in Hamburg for a long weekend on my own as part of Must Love Festivals. You can listen to my favourite songs from the festival here and you can see photos from the festival here.

Unfortunately I fell ill before arriving and actually during my time in Hamburg I felt increasingly worse, not helped by the weather that switched from promising sunshine to cruel cold rain in a heartbeat. So I saved up all my energy for the festival and rested in my comfy hotel room for much of the remaining time. However, when the rain cleared on the one day I had free I laced up my trainers and set out on a long walk.

I covered about six miles in total wandering through the neighbourhoods of Altona, Reeperbahn, St Pauli, Karolinenviertel, Schanzenviertel and also taking in Landungsbruecken, St Michael's Church, Johannes-Brahms-Platz and the city's court buildings and a quick saunter in "Der City Park" of Planten un Blomen.

What I loved most about my walk was the contrast of old and new buildings following both industrial and elaborate architecture styles and how the city went from statement-making government buildings and concert halls to plastic-sign fronted, grimey-feeling streets lined in sex shows and "Amsterdam Headshops" in less than a mile. Oh and I really loved the smiling face graffiti that you see everywhere in this city. I saw so many I expected a Google search to result in web pages dedicated to this simple yet effective street art... but alas, I still don't know who is responsible. If you're aware, please enlighten me!

Here are some photos from that walk.

And a few tips for enjoying your visit in Hamburg...

If you go to Beatlesplatz, look out for the fifth Beatle...

Walking is really easy in Hamburg but the public transport on offer is also excellent. I aslo spotted numerous folk out on the StadtRAD public bike scheme and here's the website for more information about that. Next time!

The waterfront between Landungsbruecke and Neustadt is very touristy and crowded. Although there is a helpful walking path marked out, I wouldn't bother heading there if you want to avoid tourists.

I stayed at the Meininger Hotel in Hamburg which is in the Altona area. It's well-connected by public transport to the rest of the city, and is walking distance to St Pauli, but it is a good 30 minute walk to get to the centre of town. I'm actually grateful for that as I saw so much more than I probably would have had I been staying closer to the "tourist sights".

I became so absorbed in Hamburg's neighbourhoods - Karolinenviertel, Schanzenviertel and Eimsbuettel were favourites - that I didn't even make it over the water to the Altstadt or around Lake Alster like I had intended. If you are limited on time and prefer to explore shops, cafes, bars and restaurants over museums and historic landmarks, I'd definitely recommend foregoing the Neu- and Altstadt for Hamburg's neighbourhoods.

The above photo is of a delicious Thai curry soup I enjoyed at a place called Park in Schanze.- highly recommended - and thank you Backpacker Steve for taking me there (he's a local so has a lot of tips for Hamburg). I also enjoyed yummy sushi at Mikawa on Susannenstr, and I had a lovely quick cocktail one evening with KimKab in Zoe 2 Sofa Bar (you should check out her beautiful video from her recent road trip around Denmark - you won't believe some of the footage is actually Denmark!). I also caught up with an old school friend who now lives in Hamburg. She took me to Cafe May in Eimsbuettel where they have a ridiculously generous all-you-can-eat brunch for under €6 (7,50 at weekends). I'm still dreaming of the Franzbroetchen - thank you Sarah!

Frances M. Thompson

Londoner turned wanderer, Frankie is an author, freelance writer and blogger. Currently based in Amsterdam, Frankie was nomadic for two years before starting a family with her Australian partner. Frankie is the author of three short story collections, and is a freelance writer for travel and creative brands. In 2017, she launched WriteNOW Cards, affirmation cards for writers that help build a productive and positive writing practice. When not writing contemporary fiction, Frankie shops for vintage clothes, dances to 70s disco music and chases her two young sons around Amsterdam.
Find Frankie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.

Posts you may also like:
Family Travel: How to Travel with Kids - My Golden RulesFamily Travel: How to Travel with Kids - My Golden RulesAmsterdam Travel: Best Luxury Hotels in Amsterdam - Reviewed!Amsterdam Travel: Best Luxury Hotels in Amsterdam - Reviewed!Solo Luxury Travel: Best Caribbean Islands for Solo TravellersSolo Luxury Travel: Best Caribbean Islands for Solo TravellersAmsterdam Staycation: The Best Tips, Ideas & Hotels for a Staycation in AmsterdamAmsterdam Staycation: The Best Tips, Ideas & Hotels for a Staycation in AmsterdamNew Zealand Travel: 51 Interesting Facts About New Zealand AotearoaNew Zealand Travel: 51 Interesting Facts About New Zealand Aotearoa