Even though none of us are allowed to actually travel right now, we can still take mental vacations. So sit back, relax and join us on an action-packed two days in Hamburg and Berlin. With only one free weekend to spare before moving back to Michigan, we knew we had to pack Germany’s two largest cities into one journey. We’re becoming real pros at this whole one city (or country) per day thing!
First Stop: Hamburg
Here are some highlights from our lovely Saturday in Hamburg.
I’m pretty particular when it comes to hotels. Is anyone surprised!? We always look for accommodations with 4 or 5 stars and high guest ratings. We also book most of our hotels through Hotels.com or Marriott Bonvoy so we can collect points and get free stays.
We are so glad we discovered Fraser Suites in the heart of Hamburg. Dating back to 1907, this historic building was once used as the office of Hamburg’s Tax Authority. Today, it houses a luxury hotel.
Fraser Suites has beautiful decor, comfortable beds, and a posh bar. There were even chocolates waiting in our room when we got back at night!
St. Michael’s Church
Located right around the corner from our hotel, St. Michael’s Church is one of the most important baroque churches in northern Germany. The stark white interior walls were strikingly different from many of the churches we’ve seen throughout Europe.
Rathaus (Town Hall)
The impressive architecture and design of Hamburg’s Town Hall makes it one of the city’s most iconic buildings. The original Town Hall was destroyed in a fire and the new one wasn’t built for another 50 years!
HafenCity (Harbour City) + Speicherstadt (Warehouse District)
Hamburg’s HafenCity has a hip, industrial vibe with modern architecture and cozy coffee shops. Filled with red brick warehouses and canals, Speicherstadt is the largest warehouse district in the world. In 2015, it was awarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This waterfront community is being redeveloped into an urban live, work, and play zone. It certainly checks all of those boxes!
This futuristic looking concert hall is known for its outstanding acoustics and design. The glass facade is comprised of 1,000 curved windows that transform it into a crystal masterpiece. Although we didn’t have time to see a concert, we did get to walk along the Elbe river just before sunset and enjoy a glass of wine overlooking this iconic building.
The Chilehaus is no ordinary office building. This stunning structure highlights 1920s brick expressionism and is another one of Hamburg’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Right near the Alster, this prominent department store exudes luxury from head to toe and even has its very own champagne and oyster bar.
Venetian Masked Magic
To our surprise, locals dressed in elaborate costumes with Venetian flair posed along Hamburg’s shopping arcade. We later learned it was a special celebration to mark the start of Carnival season.
Everyone who knew we were going to Hamburg said Reeperbahn was a must. Home to Hamburg’s red-light district, this lively avenue is filled with bars, restaurants and nightclubs. We ventured into its crowded streets to see what the buzz was all about, but opted for a quiet dinner for just the two of us.
Check back soon to see how we explored Berlin in less than 24 hours and hear all about our detour on the way back to Wiesbaden.