This is our 4th international edition of Creating Really Awesome Free Trips!
Hello everyone, I’m Midsommarflicka (which is Swedish for Midsummergirl) and normally I blog at “So, it was weekend. And I was bored.”
I am so honored to show you the beautiful and much beloved city of Hamburg, Germany, where I moved nearly three years ago for university. Although my name is Swedish, I am not – I am German, which nevertheless means that English is not my mother tongue, so there might be some weird expressions in this post – please ignore them!
(I will include some German translations… And the colors I used to mark the different lines are those which are used here on all maps – S is for S-Bahn, meaning commuter/city train & U is for U-Bahn, meaning underground/subway train!)
If you want to spend some days in Hamburg, you definitely want to buy yourself a ticket for the public transport. Going trough the city by car is no fun, trust me. I had to do that once: it took me more than two hours for only 30 kilometers / 18,5 miles! So, the whole public transport system here is called HVV. I would suggest you buy Day Tickets / Group Tickets or Weekly / Monthly Tickets, depending on how long you stay. Another option to go around here are the CityBIKES (StadtRAD) – the first 30 mins are always free!
Now that you have your ticket for our HVV, you can experience the first two of my tips:
1. Bus 111
Links: The Sights Along the Line (sadly only in German, but Google Translate isn’t that bad… Or you can just look up all the sights individually!)
How to get there: Altona S1, S3, S21, S31 (S11, S2 doesn’t run all day) or Überseequartier U4
On average every 111 seconds this bus comes across another sight here in Hamburg. So, if you or your kids are tired or you just want to see a little bit of the city without walking and don’t want to do one of the typical (expensive) Sightseeing Tours, this might be a good alternative.
Of course you can do a lot of different harbour tours here and they are for sure all nice. But they are also quite expensive! So, it is much cheaper to use all the ferries (Fähren) the HADAG operates (and to the HVV belong).
I suggest line 62 because if you go off again at the second stop you can climb the Docklands (the building’s called like that) and have an awesome view. And if you go off at the third stop, you’re in……
How to get there: Neumühlen/Övegönne Ferry 62 or Bus 112
…you’re in Övelgönne! It’s an urban beach on the river Elbe. In Övelgönne there’s also a small museum harbour, where you can see some old ships! You’re also allowed to go swimming in the Elbe! And while lying on the beach you often have the view at big cruise and/or cargo ships! It’s still amazing every time for us that we live here 🙂 There’s one bar/restaurant in the middle of the beach which has toilets for free!
4. Old Elbe Tunnel (Alter Elbtunnel)
Links: wiki Elbe Tunnel
How to get there: Landungsbrücken S1 and S3, U3
As I already wrote, we have a big river here (big enough to build a harbour in it) and of course people always want to cross it. For that reason we have a few big bridges, but also tunnels (in which are always traffic jam – I told you to go by trains and busses!). The tunnels we are using nowadays were built 1975, but there are older ones from 1911, which seem to be kind of small, they are just wide enough for a horse-drawn-carriage. As we don’t use carriages here anymore, the tunnels doesn’t get used for regular traffic. But you can still walk through it and have a completely different view to the landing bridges and the city from the opposite side. (Tip: Use the elevators. At least for the way up. Seriously!)
Planten un Blomen is Low German for plants and flowers and this describes what you have to expect here: a park with a size of 47 hectares – in the middle of the city. In the park included is even a apothecary garden (Apothekergarten) and a Japanese Garden & Teahouse (Japanischer Garten & Teehaus). During summer, May until September there are also “waterlightgames” every evening… Oh, and don’t get irritated by the tall hotel building, the congress center, the TV-tower and the fairground which are all surrounding the park – you really can relax in the park, trust me! If you’re coming in summer, chances are good, to see me lying there somewhere lying for my next exam, ’cause the university is just around the corner. In the park are also two playgrounds and some tropical green houses in the Old Botanical Garden, which belong to the university.
6. Mineralogical Museum
7. Zoological Museum
Links: Mineralogical Museum | Panorama View of the Mineralogical Museum | Zoological Museum | all the other museums
How to get there (to both museums!): Grindelhof Bus 4 and 5
…speaking of university: We have a few more museums that belong to our university and are absolutely free (but of course take donations). Some of them might be more interesting than others (like the Algal-Museum…), but two of them I would like to mention here:
The Mineralogical Museum (Mineralogisches Museum) shows 1.500 objects, such as extraordinary and exquisite minerals and various meteorites from different origins and it houses the heaviest and biggest meteorite displayed in Germany. There are also special exhibitions, which are changing from time to time…
It’s open only on wednesdays (15.00 – 18.00) and sundays (10.00 – 17.00).
The Zoological Museum (Zoologisches Museum) shows skeletons and models of whales; preparations of all bird species in Central Europe, European mammals such as moose, bison and wolf and of more animals such as rhino and okapi and insects. So, it shows anything you would expect from a Zoological Museum.
It’s open tuesday till sunday (10.00 – 17.00) and closed on mondays and holidays.
8. Concentration Camp Neuengamme
Links: Concentration Camp |
How to get there: Bergedorf S21 and from there Busses 227, 327
I’m aware, that these tips here should be family- and kid-friendly and that this last tip I have, may not fit, but… this is Germany and this is our history.
And if you’re here it’s a good opportunity to remember what have happened and remember that we are the generations who should keep that history alive to make sure it never happens again. (I’m spare pictures for this tip…)
Okay, ending with this tip maybe wasn’t my best idea, because it’s a bit depressing. But I promise: Hamburg is gorgeous and beautiful and fun! If you ever come here, write me a message and I show and tell you everything I know about Hamburg!
[Photos: mine, hamburg.de, wikipedia.org]