Germany: Weekend Trip to Hamburg

ImageFinally making my first post here, so let’s hit the ground running. Earlier this year, I went on a weekend trip to Hamburg with about 35 other international students from the Universität Potsdam. (The photo is me with my buddy Bilgin, from Turkey. We’re sitting on an old balcony in the park that overlooks one of the North Sea’s inlets into the city.) We left Berlin early on Saturday morning, spent the days wandering Hamburg before coming back on Sunday evening.

Lots of cool stuff to do in Hamburg. It’s the world’s third-largest port, which means that I was looking forward to fresh fish. I was born in the Great Lakes area just outside of Detroit, and I have a lot of family in the New Orleans/Mississippi Coast areas, so I’ve had my fair share of good seafood. That being said, the fish in Hamburg was great, even by comparison. I was essentially guaranteed that if what I was eating came from the ocean, it was caught that morning. I had British-style fish & chips out of a newspaper, and what they call in the city the Bismarck Baguette (Named after Germany’s most prominent statesman following the Napoleonic Wars.) Basically, it’s a herring fillet that’s put in some bread–scales and all–with onions and sometimes pickles. I had enough of those to feed a family. In the morning–especially on Sunday–they have the Fischflohmarkt, or the fish flea market. It’s an auction house for freshly caught fish. Basically, if you like to eat fish, visit Hamburg.

Even if you don’t like seafood, there’s plenty to do. With 1,700,000 people, Hamburg is Germany’s second-largest city after Berlin. It has a distinctive nightlife and has the largest Red Light District in Germany, located on Reeperstraße. Although modest compared to other Red Light Districts in Europe, there’s still plenty to do. It’s pretty touristy, and is essentially Germany’s version of Bourbon Street. Reeperstraße is also famous because it’s where the Beatles got their start before really hitting the limelight. (They were also known to visit a lot of the “services” that were offered there.) At the end of the street, they currently have a memorial to their memory and a small plaza named after them. So Beatles fanatics should definitely add Hamburg to any Beatles-themed tour.

And as with anywhere else in Germany, there are churches and museums galore. Definitely consider visiting Hamburg if you’re ever nearby. And don’t worry, I still have a full semester to just gush about Berlin, and now that I’ve figured out how to work WordPress, you can expect updates at least weekly.

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