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The city I live in.

    Bars & Pubs  
    Nice places  
Modified: 03.11.2003

Since more than 30 years I am at home in Hamburg. During that time one finds some nice places, some well known and crowded, others unseen and quiet. And of course some nice localities where you can get good cocktails or wonderful meals. Or some where you can just sit and enjoy yourself. Some of them I will introduce here:


Bars & Pubs:
Christiansen, Fischmarkt.
After some owner changes the bear is now named Christiansen's and is better than ever. The owner is a barkeeper as you find in books, and the crew is friendly until 6 o'clock in the morning. The cocktails are first class, one of the best bars in Germany. At weekends it's very crowded, on weekdays it's more quiet and pleasant.
Bambus, Brüderstraße, Großneumarkt.
The name of the bar is a description: Each piece of furniture is made of bambus, even the counter. At the wall some nice photos of Cuba create even more Caribean atmosphere. The bar is a place of quietness, no loud music, seldomly crowded. Unfortunately it's open only Friday and Saturday, but if you want you can rent the bar. You have the choice between more than hundred cocktails, the drinks are good and the prices are low. Wow!
Amphore, Hafenstraße.
What a perspective. Provided the weather is good you can sit outside and watch the ships on the Elbe. This is the place to have breakfast until 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Very kind staff, a good, but not too exotic breakfast and no brunch on Sundays, so if you are here early you should be able to gather one of the tables outside without a reservation.
Trotzdem, Kanalstraße.
Sind many years it's the place in this area, many guests, but not too busy. The staff is always friendly, the menu shows some specials that you will get nowhere else: Jaffels (= toasted sandwiches), Klappstulle (= bread with meatball, but a more rural kind) and vegetables with dip (and they are enough to get filled up). Some interesting drinks, eg. wheat beer with banana and Elbe water (beer with coke). And some wine gums and other sweets on the counter; this will help on your way home...
Golden Pudel Club, Hafenstraße.
Independent movement without an end. Here you could get Drehtrink (some sweet drink in plastic bottles you may remember from your childhood). Beer in bottles, a very grubby atmosphere. Dont go there wearing a suit. And very, very good musik, sometimes livebands. Every day different, every day very interesting, every day something that you have never heard before. If you are eager to hear something new, this is the place.
Ahoi, Hafenstraße.
There had to be a bar called Ahoi in Hamburg. Here it is: Some kind of renovated, but not noble. Nice staff behind the counter playing funny records, space projectors throw strange images on the walls and the ceiling. A littel bit off from normal and a nice place.
Havanna Bar, Fischmarkt.
In every list of good things there is a bad example. Here it is. The world could be so wonderful: The Havanna bar is one of the most beautiful bars in Hamburg. A high room with fans on the ceiling, a very well designed counter, lot's of palm trees and very beautiful people. And the cocktails look good, decorated with an unbelievable amount of tropical fruit. But this fruit salad does not enhance the quality of the cocktail at all, classic cocktails are done really bad. Maybe just have a look into this bar and proceed to the Orkan bar at the opposite side of the place.
Café Fes, Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte, Holstenwall.
The most beautiful café in Hamburg. The courtyard of the museum is covered by a glass roof. Here it is possible to sit comfortably under palm trees, even in winter. On Sunday there is a very good brunch buffet, always fully booked (if you plan to go there with more than two people you may have to reserve a table two weeks in advance) and a little bit busy. Tip: Try to get there on Saturday, you can get a good breakfast then in a very quiet atmosphere.
Café Canale, Pölchaukamp.
A small, quiet café, a little bit hidden in the souterrain. On sunny days you can sit in the little courtyard, from inside the café you have a look at a small channel. The breakfast is not an exotic sensation, but good, and the tasteful interior usually makes you stay an hour longer.
Doc Cheng's, Neuer Jungfernstieg.
In the souterrain of the famous Hotel Vierjahreszeiten is a restaurant with a bar called Doc Cheng's. This is a very special bar. Of course you can get all the classic drinks you could think of, and then there are some exotic drinks: Cocktails with green tea, juice of guaves or even Wasabi can be found in the menu. And a very cultivated atmosphere, of wich even the to see and to be seen is part of.
Bar Migeel, Winterhuder Weg.
A nice, small bar, very private, some good cocktails that you will not get somewhere else and an excellent bar keeper and owner. My second living room, warmly recommended.

Nice places:
Planetarium, Stadtpark.
This is the quiet part of the central park of Hamburg. At the huge fountain (it's more a little lake, the pumps are usually switched off) there are some banks on wich you can enjoy the day. Some people with dogs pass by, elder people rest here. I stayed here many hours during my studies with my books. If weather permits the small meadow invites you to take a sun bath (without the noise and the hectical crowds on the large meadow of the park).
Lookout point, Alter Elbtunnel.
From the Landungsbrücken you can walk underneath the Elbe using the old tunnel. If you get out on the other side and then keep left you get to a wonderful lookout point. The skyline of Hamburg stretches in front of you, and you can see the harbour and the ships passing by. Even if the place is usually crowded by tourists, on stormy weather you can enjoy this lookout all on your own.
Tropical greenhouse, Planten un Blomen.
Not really a hidden, unknown place, but definitely one of the most beautiful ones, is the tropical greenhouse in the old botanical garden. The greenhouse has different departments, each with it's on climate (from tropical humidity to quite cool), in front of the greenhouse are some terraces going downhill at the old moat. There are some comfortable chairs that invite everybody to stay after the hectic of work and shopping in the nearby city center. The whole ensemble is a relict of the second international garden show (IGA) in Hamburg and a great example of the architecture at the begin of the sixties. It is listed for the protection of historic buildings and that way this place will remain untouched in the future.
Botanical garden, Klein Flottbek.
The University of Hamburg that has never been a honoured institution of the city provides some wonderful gifts to the public for free. For example the  botanical garden. It is a beautiful park, in a lake there are some artificial islands (on my favourite one there are 3 Gingko trees and an Araucaria) and they even have Redwood trees there. A very enthusiastic program of guided garden tours, a plant exchange (where you can get some of the plants the botanical institute has grown) and some classical concerts in the greenhouse (in cooperation with the University of Music and Theater). This is a must for friends of plants and nature.
Quarter of Kontor houses, City-Center.
South of Steinstraße is a quarter of Kontor houses (originally a Kontor is the room of a traders building in wich the book keeping and contract negotiations took place) from the 1910th and 1920ies. The most famous of all is the Chilehaus that was built by Fritz Höger for Henry Sloman, who traded with saltpetre from Chile. Opposite the building there is the Meßberghof which has one of the most beautiful staircases in the world. In this building one of the darkest chapters of German history was written: Here were the headquarters of the company that sold the chemicals to the Nazis, that was used to kill millions of people in the German concentration camps. In the quarter there are a few small shops, a few residentail buildings (belonging to the architecture of the 3rd Reich), a nice mixture. Unfortunately there are only a few places to relax (for example a small café in the tip of the Chilehaus), but it's always worth a visit.

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