Hamburg was the last city we added to our trip itinerary. We knew we wanted another city in Germany, but we didn’t know which one would be a fun, cool place but would also make sense location wise and have an airport with departing flights to Madrid. Hamburg seemed to be the best choice. I didn’t know much of anything about Hamburg before going except that it had me wondering if hamburgers originated from there (they were invented in the US but rumor has it a man from Hamburg created the first one). I have to admit, Hamburg was my least favorite city on our trip. I’m not sure if that’s because it followed incredible cities like Budapest, Vienna, Prague, and Berlin, but it just didn’t seem to wow me. But that’s ok, we still had a great time and I’m happy we went.
After that whole “missing our bus debacle” that morning in Berlin, we arrived to Hamburg a couple hours later than we had planned. We went straight to our hostel, the Generator Hamburg hostel, which was conveniently right across the street from the bus station. This hostel was possibly bigger than our hostel in Vienna. This place was MASSIVE. I was seriously so impressed with all of our hostels. After we checked in we stopped for lunch at a local kebap place.
That evening we walked around the Reeperbahn, which is Hamburg’s red light district. I had never been in a red light district before so it was definitely and interesting experience. I’ve never seen so many sex shops let alone sex being advertised in windows of bars! It sort of creeps me out and makes me think of the movie Taken. Like, what are these businesses?! We weren’t terribly hungry but it started to rain so we took cover in a restaurant where our dinner consisted of beer, french fries, and dessert. So healthy! Haha.
Like most of the cities on our trip, we started our first full day in Hamburg with the free walking tour that was offered. We saw some of the sights and learned about Hamburg’s history. Hamburg is an industrial-looking city that sits on many different canals. In fact, Hamburg has more bridges within its city limits than any other city in the world. A funny moment on the tour was when we stopped at a coffee shop and our tour guide told us the name of a pastry that is unique to Hamburg. So we all went inside and ordered this pastry. It turned out this coffee shop accidentally mixed up the signs and the name of the pastry was in front of a different pastry. So the pastry we all ordered was more like a chocolate croissant. It was still delicious! But we were disappointed to find out the pastry we were eating wasn’t actually unique in any way haha.
After the tour, we had curry wurst for lunch! We had seen curry wurst everywhere and is apparently a specialty so we had to order it. It just tasted like a normal sausage with ketchup-like sauce. I wasn’t impressed, but at least I can say I’ve had it!
After lunch, we went to the #1 rated tourist destination according to TripAdvisor: Miniatur Wunderland! This place is a huge toy land made up of very intricately detailed miniature displays. There were different sections, including an American section that had a miniature Las Vegas, Florida Keys, Mount Rushmore, and Bryce Canyon! We spent a few hours in this place because there was so much to look at. It was a very different experience!
That night we met up with the pub crawl advertised at our hostel that met in the red light district. We were a little late because they go out so early in central Europe!! But we met up with them and the leader seemed a little less-than-enthusiastic for being a pub crawl leader. We went to a few bars/clubs around the Reeperbahn area and they were a ton of fun. The one we ended with played so many old songs like “It Wasn’t Me” and “No Scrubs.” It was great! We also met a cool Australian girl and German guy that we hung out with for the rest of the night.
Every Sunday morning, bright and early at 7 a.m., is the Hamburg Fish Market and it came highly recommended by everyone as something we had to do. Our tour guide that day said the way to do it is to stay out all night Saturday and then go straight there. So the four of us decided we would do just that. The club we were at was starting to clear out around 5 a.m. but we were staying strong, even though we were starting to dance like zombies. We ended up leaving the bar at 6 a.m. to go get something to eat. Finally 7 a.m. came around so we headed over to the fish market! We were all in such a daze and just wanted to go to bed so we didn’t stay too long. We walked around for a bit and went into this hall area where there was a lively concert happening! It felt like a festival. It was bizarre to see so many people so lively and awake while we were severely crashing. Afterwards, we all took the metro back to our hostel. We were all so delirious that some random guy near us on the metro hiccuped and we couldn’t stop laughing about it haha. We got back to the hostel around 9 a.m. GAH! Good thing it was the end of our trip!
So our day technically started with the fish market and then we took a little “nap” from 9:30-12:30. Fortunately it was the last full day of our trip and there isn’t too much to see in Hamburg so it was a very chill day. We hung out at Starbucks, walked around the city and port area, and strolled through our last European Christmas market! There was one actually still up and running so it was only natural that we would want to spend our last moments of our trip at one. We had our last sausages for dinner and then we headed back to the hostel to sleep since we were exhausted.
Sadly our trip had to come to an end. We refused to miss our flight so this time we took a cab to where we needed to be haha. We had breakfast at the airport and then waved Central Europe goodbye. It was nice to land back in Madrid- it felt like we had been gone for forever! It’s easy to forget how tiring traveling can be so it was glorious to sleep in my own bed that night instead of in a room with 6 other strangers. But overall it was an AMAZINGLY INCREDIBLE trip! It will be 2 and a half weeks that I will undoubtedly remember for the rest of my life.