Hamburg’s Gängeviertel (which translates to corridor quarter) at Valentinskamp is one of the old living quarters of the middle and working class built in the 19th centuries. It consists of half-timbered houses and tiny alleys. Hygienic conditions were poor, and many buildings were torn down after a cholera epidemic. Today, only a few of the old buildings remain, and plans to tear them down, have been met with anger from artists and activists who have made this area their home. You can find galleries, art exhibitions, and other manifestations of creativity here.
This movie theatre is located in an old factory for marine propellers (remember, Hamburg is a port city). On Tuesdays, they show movies in their original language with subtitles (usually, movies are dubbed into German). There are several cool bars and restaurants in the area as well. (Friedensallee 7-9 in the Ottensen neighbourhood, tickets are €8 on Tuesdays).
Altes Land is a marshland region in the outskirts of Hamburg whose name translates to “old country.” It is popular for day trips between spring and fall where one can enjoy the many apple and cherry trees. Due to the many fruit trees, it is particularly beautiful in spring when the trees are blossoming, and in fall, during the harvest. You can get there by taking the metro S3 to Neugraben and, from there, bus 257 in the direction of Cranz or Jork.
The biggest garden cemetery in the world is located in the neighbourhood of Ohlsdorf (Fuhlsbüttler Straße 756). Due to the park-like nature of the cemetery, it is popular for walks with tourists and locals alike. It’s not considered at all bizarre to go here to see the blossoming trees in spring.
One of my favourite bars in Hamburg offers excellent caipirinhas at €4 during the daily happy hour. You can sit outside or inside, but make sure you order and get your drink yourself from the bar. Aurel is located in the hip Ottensen district at Bahrenfelder Straße 157.
The “long row” is a street in the St. Georg neighbourhood most well-known for being the centre of LGBTQI life. As such, it is the starting point of the yearly Christopher Street Day (the German version of Gay Pride). It features rather expensive boutiques as well as ethnic stores and several bars and restaurants. This street is considered to be one of the most beautiful ones in all of Hamburg, but this means, of course, that rent here is extremely high – a prime example of gentrification.
Instead of taking one of the tourist boats make sure you take one of the ferry lines that are part of the public transport system. As such, the ticket is included in your day or week pass.
This picturesque neighbourhood comprising more than 5000 steps on several stairs in Blankenese will remind you of France. You will get lost in the small alleys and admire the beautiful mansions that are located on the way to the river Elbe. Blankenese is an old fishing village whose inhabitants acquired a lot of wealth, as a result of which this neighbourhood is now one of the wealthiest ones in the entire region.