SHOPPING in Hamburg:
They're still around: the good old record shops - the ones from 1977 that don't only sell music, but also myths in thin paper sleeves. The owners know precisely what the regulars are after, while they do their very best to find the right music for less frequent or first-time customers. Fair prices and often great offers are available here. What sets Michelle Records apart are the concerts which are held there every now and then - directly in the shop window!
Among the new collection of Bent A. Jensen one can find suits from a period spanning eight centuries. And they all have one thing in common: style! Herr von Eden designs unusual suits for both male and female clients, which are quite possibly the coolest suits around. Here nothing looks as if it has come straight from the rail, yet all of the suits are ready-made. Upon purchase the suits are adjusted to perfection for the customer. Jan Delay, a prominent customer, is certainly a fan of the masterpieces. And even the most sceptical of shoppers would admit that these suits look damn cool.
Deluxe delicatessen: Butter Lindner is a haven for any gastronome and amateur cook. Here simply everything tastes good. Hamburg's in-crowd head to Butter Lindner to pick up their essentials. From bread and pastries to sausage, sweets, vegetables and spices, here you can find everything you need for your favourite recipe, or just a delightful snack. And the quality is so good that even star chef Tim Mälzer regularly drops by to stock up. The highlight, after which the shop was named: butter directly from the block. Salted or not, sliced to measure.
EAT in Hamburg:
Those in search of passion need look no further, promises chef Thorsten Gillert. And he is true to his word. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at Bude 1 and watch it transform into the trendy Artisan in the evening. Artisan offers diners set menus from four to seven courses, while the appropriate wine accompaniment comes recommended by professionals. The menus change daily leaving guests an element of surprise, providing they remember to reserve. Even star chef Tim Mälzer is impressed, openly acknowledging Thorsten Gillert as the city's most creative chef.
For over 25 years now Matsumi has been serving the best that Japanese cuisine has to offer. The restaurant was originally opened for Japanese guests, quickly becoming a success by standing out from the many homogenous Asian competitors. Needless to say sushi is on the menu, while the hotplate sunk into the table is always popular. You'll be surprised how tasty sake can really be: at Matsumi you can try out 10 to 15 rice wines. The unrivalled highlight, however, is the blowfish. The chef belongs to a small group of cooks in Europe who have a licence to prepare the delicacy.
Enjoy a taste Portuguese of life with fish, wine and sweets! The Portuguese quarter winds around the harbour - more precisely around Dietmar-Koel-Straße. If you're an enthusiastic eater, then it's certainly worth a visit. Galego is one of the most popular restaurants in the quarter, both with tourists and locals. Reserve a table in advance to ensure you can enjoy truly wonderful fresh fish. If you forget to do so, then try Sagres just a few doors down the road at number 53.
SIGHTS in Hamburg:
Whether you are in love or just in love with Hamburg after dark: when morning breaks everyone is drawn to the Old Elbe Tunnel. Those who manage to cover the 426.50 metres below the Elbe to the other side of the river can enjoy what is arguably the most beautiful sunset the city has to offer. The whole city was overcome with pride when the technical wonder was opened in 1911. Nowadays the tunnel plays the role of a lovingly maintained area of nostalgia. Visitors must take a lift down to the tiled tunnel, which greets them with an imposing atmosphere. And it's precisely this that has drawn in film and TV crews, giving the tunnel a cult status. If you want the tunnel all to yourself, you can even rent it as an event venue.
The Koppel 66 celebrates its 30th birthday this year. It's especially the arts which is celebrated on the former factory site near the central station. The framework is provided by a closed engineering factory. Already back then metal was worked on here in the building which was erected in the style of historicism. Basically nothing has changed. But additionally there are materials like wood, pottery, silk, olive oil and leather which are processed and presented in the twelve publicly accessible workshops on four floors. The handmade shoes and ball pens made of rosewood can be found in the first floor. One floor above there are self-knitted scarves. If you want soap made of natural ingredients you have to go into the basement. By the way: only the respective artists know when the particular ateliers are opened. If you want to avoid closed doors you should stop by at the fairs which take place twice a year (spring and advent) and are free of charge. Also in the house: the forum of the artists' organisation Gedok and Café Koppel with vegetarian dishes and self-made cakes.
This view will cost you nothing? bar a few calories - there's no lift to take you up the 136 steps. Via a wooden flight of steps one can reach the observation platform of one of Hamburg's most unusual office buildings. An astounding EUR 30 million was invested in its construction, but the architect team Bothe Richter Teherani ably implemented its plan. The aesthetics of the building are beaten only by the phenomenal view of the harbour.
STAY in Hamburg:
Located in Schanzenviertel and just a stone's throw from Karo-Viertel is Fritzhotel and its 17 sought-after rooms. They may not be the most spectacularly furnished dwellings, yet you'll be exactly where the city thrives. Just around the corner you'll find bars, pubs, restaurants and shops. A multi-cultural scene, hospitality and the city centre on your doorstep - what more could you want? Double room from 90 Euros.
This hotel has history. It was once the most famous bordello in northern Germany, despite fierce competition in the harbour city. Attentive onlookers will immediately recognise from the baroque furnishings what once went on here, with flock wallpaper, baldachins and mirrors giving its past away. Today it is an extraordinary hotel with an extravagant design. The Parisian charm of the Village Hotel appeals to artists and musicians alike. A relic of the past: free coffee day and night. Double room from EUR 85.
Designer furniture, textured wallpaper and retro-chic. The hotel is the perfect base for urban nomads, who feel at home surrounded by a striking and bold ambience. The rooms are available in the sizes M, L, XL and Studio. Families should opt for the XL-Family category. Should you feel lonely then make yourself comfortable on the leather sofa in the hotel's living room, where you'll almost certainly find friendly conversation. The same goes for the roof terrace in the summer. Double room from Euro 95,-.