Although the last week of January might be a bit ambitious to wait for any good weather outside, inner me is already ready. Here is my ultimate bucket list for Hamburg when the sun is out.
1. Explore Elbstrand in Övelgönne
With no need to take a regional train or bus, residents of Hamburg have a unique opportunity to enjoy the sun and water just within the city, in a picturesque neighbourhood known as Övelgönne. A small fishing village in the past, Övelgönne today is a perfect place for a Sunday stroll or a bike ride.
Apart from routine small houses and numerous restaurants stretching along the Elbe beach one can also find here the largest boulder in Northern Germany. Known as Alte Schwede (Old Swede in English) this impressive ‘stone’ weights about 217 t that undoubtedly attracts crowds of curious idlers. I was not an exception.
2. Relax in Planten un Blomen
Another sprawling oasis to relax in the city jungle is a peaceful park of Planten un Blomen. Ironically, located just behind Hamburg’s infamous red-light district of Reeperbahn this park is known for its meditative environment. A 45-hectare green territory is filled up with unique theme gardens (just to name a few, Mediterranean terraces and Japanese landscape garden). Either to reach nirvana or examine some exotic trees and flowers this place is a must both for locals and tourists. Ooh and it’s just a real paradise for nature photographers!
3. Watch ships from Altona Balcony
Not for nothing is this place called a balcony. Located on a rise this ground studded with several benches provides a stunning view over Hamburg. When the sun is out, it is a fantastic spot to observe cranes, massive container ships, small fishermen boats as well as get the real maritime spirit of freedom. It is also a place from where you can observe majestic cruise ships that fetch into one of the three existing terminals of Hamburg — the Cruise Center Altona. Two others, and namely Steinwerder and Hafen City are located within one hour by public transport.
But here is a time-saving tip for you! If want to travel between terminals, opt for a bike as it often prevents you from fetching a compass you might make by metro or car. As the city heavily covered by water, you do have to bypass much water. Thus, taking a shortcut by bike from Altona to Steinwerder through the Elbe Tunnel (literally under water) can buy you another 20 minutes. Besides, you can evidence a one-hundred-year-old historic path that was originally designed to serve port workers as a connection route between two sides of Elbe.
4. Read at Außenalster
I barely can imagine any other activity as enjoyable as watching water. Probably watching water and reading a book in between? If for many Außenalster or Outer Alster Lake, is a favourite place for jogging or walking a dog, I would eagerly recommend it for stretching on a grass with a good book, too. Adequately peaceful and calm, the area gives a feeling of being outside of a hectic city, whereas tiny sailing boats gently invite you to make another lazy trip into your dreams.
5. Bike to Stadtpark Hamburg
Without constant shower rain outside, cycling-for-pleasure season can now be officially opened! Riding for longer distances can not only make you fit and sweaty but also allow you to explore more distant areas that are off the usual tourist path. Add to this favourite bits on your recent playlist, mmm. Thus, if to take another 30–40 minutes from Altona Balcony to reach the elite neighbourhood of Winterhude, you have a chance to end up in the biggest park in Hamburg!
Another one-hundred-year old landmark of good 150 hectares is used for various purposes today, from sunbathing and grilling to music and art events. Not to mention, massive open airs and all kinds of concerts. For those familiar with Berlin, these ginormous grass-plots with their chilled crowd, ardent joggers, and grilled cheese might remind a scaled version of Tempelhof.
So don’t forget to check my ultimate bucket list for Hamburg when the sun is out the next time you’re in the northern German capital.
© 2018 Elena Bubeeva, All Rights Reserved.