Travel: How to spend 48 hours in Hamburg

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Germany’s second largest city has something for everyone, from the buzzing nightlife of the LGBTQ-friendly St Georg neighbourhood to the beautiful Old Town, where you can enjoy picturesque canalside walks.

If you plan on treating yourself to a weekend of luxury, book a room at The Fontenay, a modern five-star hotel on the Outer Alster lake. Prices start from €320 per night, but you’ll wake every morning to glorious views.

With its handy, central location, hotel Tortue is a good option for tourists hoping to see the city on foot. The traditional building has been beautifully updated, with rooms and suites both available.


As well as cuisine from around the world, Hamburg boasts plenty of traditional eateries where you can really taste the city’s heritage.

Popular with locals, Laufauf serves up fresh fish, casseroles and classic German dishes, as well as delicious beer and wine. It’s a casual place where you’ll feel every inch the Hamburger.

For a night to remember, opt for the modern Mediterranean food at trendy Bianc in HafenCity, part of the Hamburg-Mitte district. Order the nine-course Emotions menu, which brings food to life by “evoking gastronomical sensations”.


Have you heard of Hamburg’s Reeperbahn? It’s just as big and just as wild as Amsterdam’s Red Light district, and in German is known as die sündigste Meile, or the sinful mile.

Zum Silbersack is one of the most famous watering holes there, and serves up cheap drinks and loud music, alongside vibrant clientele. Warning: expect sticky floors.


For an overview of the city’s past, present and future, take a guided tour of the Rathaus City Hall. The building holds an estimated 647 rooms, but it is thought there could be more, as a secret room was only found when a document fell behind a filing cabinet.

Spanning 260,000 square metres, Speicherstadt – or warehouse city – is a must-visit. The UNESCO World Heritage Site has many cafes, tourist hotspots and picture-perfect views.