Being new in Hamburg is exciting! Believe us, you made the right choice. But we know how our beautiful harbour city can come off a bit grey and rough in the beginning. Especially when you lack orientation. St. Pauli, Wilhelmsburg, Eppendorf, Sternschanze, Eimsbüttel, Altona,… no clue? No problem, we got your back with our guide through seven of Hamburg’s neighborhoods. Enjoy!
Hamburg is a beautiful city. That’s probably why so many people from all over the world come here for studying, working, settling here or just traveling through. We decided to share our secret places with our English-speaking community because true locals love to make internationals fall in love with their culture. A warm welcome to you!
Which lifestyle do you fancy: smooth, modern, glowing, alternative, maritime, luxurious or down-to-earth? It doesn’t matter, because Hamburg has it all. It offers a vivid urban atmosphere as much as many idyllic rural settings. On top of that, cultural diversity can be found everywhere, which is due to a long tradition of maritime trade. About one-third of the residents have a migrational background. This city is diverse and we are proud of this.
St. Pauli’s divergence is hard to put into words. It’s famous for having the longest party-mile of Europe, the Reeperbahn. Sex shops, a red-light district, but also cozy pubs, theatres and modern clubs, it’s a mile of diversity. By nighttime, their bright lights beam the floating masses right into another universe. But the crowded streets and the sinful redlight district is not for everyone. Many locals, on the contrary, find their love for St. Pauli in the side streets like the Hamburger Paul-Roosen-Straße or Clemens-Schultz-Straße.
The Reeperbahn runs parallell to parts of our beautiful harbor with Landungsbrücken as the most touristy place of St. Pauli. It’s hardly surprising that the magic of the Elbe still catches our breath even if we see it almost every day. If you want to catch the sunset and be completely happy with your new home, sit down at Park Fiction under the Plastic Palms, yeah you heard right, we have our own Cali vibes. Do you know why else we love St. Pauli? It’s one of the most colorful quarters of Hamburg. And don’t be surprised, you will end up here more often than you might think!
The streets of Sternschanze are probably the most popular ones in Hamburg. The hip district is officially the smallest quarter in the city but it is gathering the best places for shopping, hanging out and going out. In the main street, the Schulterblatt, you can eat your way through Portuguese bakeries, fishmongers or Currywurst (the most german sausage) shacks. After a hard day of work, the various bars are crowded with people longing for beer, wine or cocktails. From most bars, you can see the Rote Flora, a building that has been occupied since 1989 and represents the leftists and the alternative vibe of the neighborhood.
Around the corner, just in front of the train station Feldstraße is the Karoviertel where its beautiful, small street Marktstraße is located. This area is known for little concept and pop-up stores, vintage stores and adorable coffee spots. Both districts are full of life and young people. It’s always busy here but to catch the prime time, go there by night. Bar hopping or lingering at corner shops? It’s your choice! When it comes to a good party, you don’t want to miss out on the night club Uebel & Gefährlich. The former war bunker opens its doors at midnight and is popular for long techno nights.
In a city as big as Hamburg, some quarters feel like independent cities. Altona is one of them. Historically it hasn’t always been a part of Hamburg. Just 155 years ago, it was a part of Denmark. Sounds crazy, right? The must see’s are the old town with the town hall of Altona and the trendy neighboorhood of Ottensen. The whole quarter of Altona used to be a poor industrial area. Once it was home to the working class and immigrant population but today it has transformed into a vibrant and popular residential area.
Exemplary for this transformation are old factories, where now restaurants, studios, offices and hotels found their home in industrial-chic style. Today the neighborhood in Altona is still diverse! Families, singles, internationals, artists, and freelancers all coexist peacefully. The place where they all meet is Ottensen – the heart of Altona. Stroll around the boutiques, art venues, bars, and cafés in the Ottenser Haupstraße and Bahrenfelder Straße.
If you are looking for a family-friendly, residential yet urban neighborhood, Eppendorf and its neighboring districts Winterhude and Hoheluft are the right choices. In Eppendorf, the upper-middle class and workers with higher income feel home and it’s not surprising. The quarter is famous for its magnificent houses, fancy restaurants, and boutiques. The best boulevard for strolling beautiful cafés or dining in lovely restaurants is the street Eppendorfer Landstraße.
During long summer nights, family and friends come together at Hayns Park, which is located at the Eppendorfer Mühlenteich. On this lake-like part of the Alster, you can watch swans (don’t feed them!), small romantic boats, stand-up-paddlers, and oarsmen. It’s just the perfect spot to relax! Directly on the other side of the water, you can see the district of Winterhude. Just like Eppendorf, it has many canals, bridges, and impressive buildings. Those northern quarters of Hamburg combine the untroubled flair of a residential area with the urban city life.
St. Georg is a distinct neighborhood with noble hotels and shabby squares. It’s always busy here and crowded with travelers. No wonder, the central station is just a few footsteps away located. The hotspot of St. Georg is surely the Lange Reihe. It’s a pretty long street with nice restaurants, bars, and cafés. You can visit Frau Möller for german food and watching live sports or having breakfast in one of the oldest cafés in town, the Gnosa. This part of St. Georg is also known for its vivid LGBTQ scene. Just a few blocks away from Lange Reihe is the Steindamm. It’s a unique street known for its multicultural spirit. In this street, you might even feel like in a foreign county. St. Georg is contradictory, but you always find what you are looking for. A little hint: The sunset on St. Georg’s side of the Außenalster is breathtaking.
Located next to Sternschanze, the University of Hamburg and Altona lies the quarter Eimsbüttel. Whether you’re a student or have a family, everyone wants to live here. It’s more residential than the Sternschanze and you find almost only local people. This makes Eimsbüttel a trendy and relaxed place. The main street is Osterstraße, which is full of restaurants, small shops and bars. If you’re already addicted to our sweet pastry Franzbrötchen, you will find one of the bests in town at Kleine Konditorei.
Another hotspot for good food is Eppendorfer Weg. It’s perfect for a sunday stroll with food-friends. Eimsbüttel’s architectural style consists of a mix of remarkable old buildings and cozy houses crossed by many lovely parks. On the edge of Eimsbüttel, you walk right into the Grindelviertel, which surrounds the main campus of the Hamburg University. The shops in that corner aim at students: cheap copyshops, bookshops, snack bars, places which sell used bicycles and the Abaton cinema. Generally speaking, Eimsbüttel feels like a small town within the big city. It’s slightly more family friendly and moves at a much slower pace than most parts of the city.
Wilhelmsburg is one of the most developing districts in Hamburg. It has been considered a troubled quarter for a long time, but in the last years, the district has become a more popular place to live. Wilhelmsburg is a multicultural, diverse hotspot for artists and students. Some parts of Wilhelmsburg are dominated by industrial areas, whereas in the south you find parks and beautiful places by the riverside which are worth a visit. Haven’t heard of Wilhelmsburg yet? Well, you definitely will in the next years. In spring and summer, most of Hamburgs open-air festivals take place here. The highlight is the MS Dockville. Every year Hamburg’s biggest music festival invites thousands of people and popular artists like Billie Eilish to the island district.