Category Archives: Hideouts

„Hood of Stairs“ – The Treppenviertel

If you think Hamburg can only offer flat landscapes you are wrong! The Treppenviertel in Blankenese, Altona is a small neighbourhood located at a steep slope directly going down to the Elbe river. About 5.000 stairs lead through a cozy bunch of small mansions and ancient houses with a beautiful view on the container ships entering and leaving the Hamburg port. It is definitely worth to make a short trip to the Treppenviertel and climb up 88 meters while passing through meandering alleys and by white-painted houses enjoying the relaxing atmosphere.

It’s also easy to get there: If you take the S-Bahn #1 until Blankenese and from there bus #48 to Krögers Treppe (Fischerhaus) you are in the middle of the „Hood of Stairs“ – as I like to call the Treppenviertel – and can walk down the narrow stairs towards the Elbe.

In case, you are more keen of biking, you can rent a bicycle and take a ride along the Elbe river promenade (Strandweg) which is truely beautiful and not tiring at all. It’s a nice ride from Altona of about 10 kilometers and you’ll pass by the old villas of Övelgönne, the historical museum port, the Elbe beach, a few parks, a small, cute yacht harbour and maybe get to see one of the Airbus planes from afar which appear like flying wales. You will see a lighthouse after about 30 minutes of bicycling which is directly infront of the Treppenviertel. Get a drink directly at the Kajüte SB 12 or a little earlier at the Ponton op’n Bulln restaurant on a ponton on the river and then climb up the stairs until you reach the top, enjoy the view from a seemingly Mediterranean part of Hamburg.

During winter time, kids love to sledge on the adjacent sled tracks.

For cyclists and campers: The Waseberg right next to the Treppenviertel is well-known for its steep slope. If you keep going a little more along the promenade you will reach the Falkensteiner Ufer with the unique Elbe Camp – a hippie like camp ground with art, a beautiful and cleaner beach, a good restaurant, a playground for children and very nice people! In case, you are on your way with a caravan, please check out how to get there with a navigation system because it is not as easy to reach with a car of you don’t know the way. Don’t hesitate to ask people on the street – they usually know how to get there. It’s a wonderful place!

 

Photo: wikipedia / JoachimG

Low-Budget Festivals in Hamburg

Unique and temporary magic worlds inbetween informal networks

When you are in Hamburg, you definitely shouldn’t miss out on the one or other openair festivals – Jazz, Metal, electronic music, 70ies, rock, art and performances – all transforming (lost) spots in Hamburg’s urban environment. Here you can get a feeling of the music scene and how important such festivals are for Hamburg people who like to enjoy music in an artistic, unique, relaxed or crowded atmosphere.
Free/affordable, unique and colourful festivals are usually not promoted a lot (mainly due to financial reasons) but rather through local networks. I came up with a neat collection of interesting festival which are still coming up in 2014  (in chronological order):

 

Keine Knete – trotzdem Fete „no money – nonetheless party“
When: 25.07.2014 (Fri) – 27.07.2014 (Sun)
What: art, culture, music (HipHop, Punk, Rock, Techno, Dubstep, Drum’n’Bass, Jazz), workshops, festival for children, cinema, vegan food
Where: 21079 Hamburg
Comments: small size, noncommercial, outside

 

Hafengrün Festival „green harbour festival“
When: 01.08.2014 (Fri) – 03.08.2014 (Sun)
What: electronic music and free air culture. „Love, bass and sunshine“ at old harbour dockyard
Where: Altes Werftgelände, Neuhöfer Damm 98, 21107 Hamburg
Comments: 6-27 Euros

 

Spektrum
When: 02.08.2014
What: from HipHop, Dubstep to Drum’n’Bass
Where: MS Dockville Gelände, Alte Schleuse 23, Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg
Comments: cheap

 

Butterland Open Air
When: 03.08.2014
What: techno, electro, electro-swing, djs…
Where: MS Dockville Uferpark, Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg
Comments: cheap, cool location!

 

international summer festival
When: 06.08.2014 – 24.08.2014
What: art, performance, installations, theatre
Where: Kampnagel
Comments: costs depend on show, very interesting cultural venue

 

KNOTEN.13 „Festival for urban art“
When: 11.10.2014 – 13.10.2014
What: 40 urban art artists from all over Germany (“Zipper – Die Rakete”, Uli Pforr, Elmar Lause), music
Where: Kolbenhof, Friedensallee 128, 22763 Hamburg
Comments: 3-10 €, very charming venue, „we don’t want to show just art, we want to celebrate it!“

 

Kulturflut „culture flood“
When: 02.10.2014 – 04.10.2014
What: music (Folk Rock, Ska, Kammerpunk, Singer), local and international artists, readings, comedy, art exhibition, impro theatre, programme for children
Where: Gorch-Fock-Park, Finkenwerder-Hamburg
Comment: partly for free, first time ever!

 

Got money – more festivals
There are the ‘biggies’ with crowds of visitors, with a certain theme, and often expensive. Free exceptions are the Duckstein Festival (18.-27.07.14) and the legendary 70ies music parade Schlagermove in St. Pauli. Special but rather expensive are the metal festivals Wacken Open Air, Hamburg Metal Dayz and Elbriot FestivalDockvilleReeperbahn FestivalFilmfest Hamburg with national and international movies, Überjazz and Elbjazz.

 

Back again in 2015
Special, free but only again in 2015 are Hamburg’s Woodstock-like festival Wutzrock (since 1979), peaceful electronic dancing at Grünanlage, ska etc. at the Sommerfest Umsonstladen HeimfeldJazz Open at Planten un Blomen park, the cultural neighbourhood festival Altonale48 Stunden Wilhelmsburg, and the International Short Film Festival (2014 30th anniversary!).
In case, you plan to experience Hamburg in 2015, definitely check out one of these great events.

 

Hints on facebook
Would you like one more hint? I check out current open airs, usually small, for free and noncommercial here. Festivals and open airs are definitely worth to check out in Hamburg! Be open for surprises and some magic 😉

Guide to Hamburg’s Parks

Since the sun came out for the Hamburg summer in the past few weeks, I’ve been spending a ridiculous amount of time in the leafy parks across the city.

Whether I’m picnicking with friends or reading by myself, I’m constantly in a haze of wonder at the beauty and diversity across these grassy city retreats. And I’m not just talking about the whispering trees and blooming flowers; I’m talking about the humanity!

Everywhere you look there are humans engaged in the most diverse range of activities. From sports to picnics, we’ve got you covered with everything you’ll need to have a parkfect day out.

Park Day Out Checklist

  • Take a blanket or rug big enough for your group of pals (or yourself!) to sit on.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of the german sun, you CAN get burnt! If it’s hot, take some sunscreen.
  • If you’re by yourself, take a book to read and find a shady tree to relax under.
  • Sports! Throughout hamburg’s parks you will find an endless array of activities going on; there’s slack lining, tennis, bowls, badminton, football, hula hoops, juggling, cycling, skateboarding and acrobatics; to name a few! So if you can, head down to the park with a football or hacky sack so you’re not overcome with jealousy of all the fun everyone else is having. If you don’t have any games to take to the park you can always chat the the lovely people with the slack lines, they are usually happy to give you a go! Or take a deck of cards to pass the time with friends.
  • Food. Take a picnic lunch with you for the cheapest alfresco meal in the city. The local supermarkets (like Edeka) sell nifty little BBQ sets, a foil tray of coals with a mini grill on top. Pick one of these up for around €3 and some bratwurst and you’ll be having a right ole German time. They are SO easy to use, and you can cook just about anything on them, right there in the park.
  • Drinks. It is legal to drink on the streets of Hamburg, and yes… this includes the parks. Pick up some cold beers or a bottle of wine to add to you picnic.

Now that you’re a fully equipped and professional German picnicker, you need to find a park to rock out in. Hamburg is a really green city, there are parks and gardens and cemeteries everywhere. Here are three of my favourites:

Planten un Blomen (Best for: Families/ Sight Seeing/ Couples)

At 47 hectares in size, Planten un Blomen is one of the largest parks smack bang in the middle of the city. This park is great for wandering around, visiting the different themed gardens and taking in the perfectly manicured landscapes. They offer free deck chairs for you to enjoy the sun on and there are amazing fountains and sculptures scattered across the grounds. There are also cafes and ice-cream shops, and even water-based games for the kids to play (for free).

planten

Wohlers Park (Best For: Slack-lines/ Group Picnics/ Couples)

Wohlers Park is an old cemetery, tucked away in the St Pauli district. Don’t be turned off by it’s title as a cemetery though, this park couldn’t be more full of life. Tree lined paths weave in and out of hidden glades, picnic areas and open meadows. What I love most about this park is that despite its smallish size, you can still get lost in it due to the clever planting of trees and bushes that create so many hidden little parts. On a weekend the large open areas are full of people having picnics and playing sports. The overall vibe here is amazing and it is one of my favourite places in the whole city.

wohlers2

Schanzenpark (Best For: Drinking/ Sun Bathing/ Socialising)

Schanzenpark is located just behind Sternschanze U-Bahn station. The park itself is quite big, but the particular area I am talking about here is the main hill. Everyone gathers on this hill that catches the afternoon sunshine and every ray right until nightfall. Because of the angle of the hill towards the sun it’s great for sun bathing, but it’s also where people go to drink and hang out. There is usually a dude with a guitar or sound system as well sharing music across the grassy knoll. If you want to relax, perhaps try another park; if you want to party before the sun goes down; try the hill.

schanzenpark

Soul’s Darkside – Le Fonque

a) Are you a vampire?

b) Does the thought of a dark room with sensual red lighting turn you on?

c) Do you like to get down to Soul, Funk and Disco tunes?

d) Does the sound of vinyl stir your little stomach butterflies?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you must read on, I have found your new favourite Hamburg hangout.

Since 1995, Le Fonque has been spinning their vinyl decks to bring revelers the finest soul and funk tunes… every night of the week! The dimly lit room, soft couches and blood red lighting create an intimate ambiance while the DJs unite the bar through the love of music.

Le Fonque is open every night of the week from 9pm. Depending on what time and day you go, it will either be a sexy little retreat where you can get cosy on the plush couches, or it will be bursting at the seems as everyone gets down to the funky vibes.

***

You can find Le Fonque just off the busy Shulterblatt at Juliusstraße 33, 22769.

Paradise in Hamburg – StrandPauli Beach Bar

One of my favourite things about Hamburg (besides it’s fiery community spirit, unique culture and diverse creativity) is it’s BEACH BARS!

There’s nothing quite as relaxing as reclining in a deck chair, sand between your toes and cold beer (or cocktail!) in hand. And luckily for you dear reader, you can find such tropical-esque escapes all over Hamburg. Over the course of Spring and Summer we will be bringing you a series of articles covering our favourite beach bars. And first on our list? …Strand Pauli!

SP_F&B01

As soon as you walk through the entrance of Strand Pauli you begin to fall in love with the place. Incredible views of the River Elbe, couches and deck chairs scattered around so you can soak up the sun’s rays and watch the passing ships. As the sun sets, a romantic atmosphere falls across venue; If you dig your toes into the sand you can still find the hints of warmth from the day’s sunshine, and overhead strings of little lanterns light up to illuminate the paradise that is StrandPauli.

They also offer a great menu of delicious food and drinks (we recommend the quiche!), and on Sundays there is a breakfast buffet from 10am. We highly recommend you arrive early to find the perfect place to perch in the sunshine, as it can get quite busy when the weather smiles!

***

SP18_Panorama

Strand Pauli is open from 11am – 11pm everyday (Midnight on Friday and Saturdays).

You can find StrandPauli on the harbour front at Hafenstraße 89, 20359 Hamburg.

 

 

The Mobile Blues Club

Tucked away in a little Sternchanze parking lot sits the Mobile Blues Club. An old wooden truck wagon set back among the trees and rainbow fairy lights. A hand-made iron archway on the street declares ‘bar’, but at first one might be dubious as to what the wagon at the end of the dirt track actually contains. At first I thought it was a private campervan, the motley collection of people milling outside part of some eclectic looking private party that I desperately wanted to be a part of.

Fear not though readers, this incredible venue is open to the public, and the lovely staff at the Mobile Blues Club will welcome you with open arms. When you step inside the ‘front door’ of the wagon you are instantly embraced into the most intimate and alluring music venue I have been to in a long, long time.

The soft candlelight dances across walls the colour of red wine. Heavy velvet curtains frame the performer on stage. Everyone sits close together on chairs or on the floor as live music rattles the bones of the wagon and unifies the small crowd in a bohemian romance. The Mobile Blues Bar is a truly magical musical experience.

The venue can fit around 20 people comfortably. The music is first-class, spanning genres from Folk and Blues to Punk Country. The drinks are cheap. AND the entire production is run on donations, a felt hat is passed around for you to offer what you can for the performance.

For a special night out with a bit of an alternative twist, we definitely recommend a trip to the Mobile Blues Club. The wagon is open Weds-Sun and live music usually starts around 9.30pm. Check Mobile Blues Club for full details and listings.

IMG_20140417_215857

You can find the wagon in the parking lot on the corner of Schulterblatt and Max-Brauer-Allee (next to Central Park).

Central Park Opens This Thursday!

Central Park, one of Hamburg’s most beloved beach bars tucked away in the Sternchanze district, opens it’s doors for the summer this Thursday! A must see while in Hamburg; whether it’s reclining on a hammock in the sunshine sipping on a delicious cocktail from the Von Eden Kochbar, or sharing a beer with friends around an open fire in the evening, we are sure you will find the beach of Central Park the perfect oasis to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Central Park is a short walk from Sternchanze S-Bahn station and is open from 10am (when the sun is shining) until 11pm (12pm on Saturdays) from Thursday the 17th of April.

Central-Park-Abends-web_7944cd4d7a

Central Park, Max-Brauer-Allee 277