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Hamburg is an arresting and contrasting city, with a strong sense of its own identity. As Europe’s second-largest port, it is a thriving commercial centre with plenty on offer for visitors to do and see. Hamburg can be both family-friendly and an ideal adult getaway – but that means it’s important to choose your area carefully. Hamburg has distinct districts which offer very different things, from miniature trains and pleasant harbour tours, to Europe’s most open and vibrant red light district. Fortunately, budget accommodation can be found all over the city.
Hamburg’s Aldstadt does not look as a old as a lot of other European Old Towns because it was extensively bombed in the second world war and subsequently rebuilt. However, it still offers Hamburg’s main landmark, the striking Town Hall, which stands on the harbour edge and features an impressive marketplace. The Aldstadt also provides access to a large artificial lake, where it’s possible to take boat tours. Hotels are available at mid-range prices, and it is a very convenient, central location.
Just across the harbour is the ‘New Town’. Bordered on one side by the water and on the other by a ribbon of gardens and green spaces, this is a perfect location for families. It’s Hamburg’s premier shopping destination, attracting well-heeled locals who come to browse in the designer stores. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants to keep you fed and watered throughout the day, and a good range of accommodation, including excellent value budget options.
Like many former working class districts, Schanzenviertel is now bohemian chic. It’s a diverse neighbourhood, a mix of wealth and grunge. It’s a great destination for young travellers or those wishing to connect with their inner hippie – independent cafes and restaurants serve up exotic and vegan dishes, while the trendy bars offer late-night entertainment. Markets and independent shops offer a very different shopping experience to Neustadt, but an equally enjoyable one. There’s a wide range of budget accommodation available.
Looking on a booking site, you could well be lured by the budget prices of St. Pauli hotels – just make sure you know where you’re heading. Hamburg’s red light district is centred around the Reeperbahn – the main thoroughfare through St. Pauli. Not a place for anyone who is easily embarrassed – it is brash, exhibitionist and strictly adult-only. Some streets are forbidden to those under 18. Still, it comes with top musical pedigree in the form of a Beatles legacy, musical theatre venues and cabaret entertainment. In the south of the district is the much less risqué Landungsbrucken harbour – the main embarkation point for boat trips and the site of a Sunday morning fish market. By all means stay in St. Pauli – just be aware of exactly what that means.
x The average starting price for a place to stay in Hamburg is £76 per night.
aolkartik Very well kept, close to the train station, ample parking space, friendly staff (does speak English well enough), clean and cozy rooms. Yes, would recommend to all. Just one concern that is the internet connection that is lousy and couldn't connect at all during my stay, so don't expect it while you are there. Peace :)
fleetcmd The hostel is really close to the main train station and easy-to-find. I got a 6-bed dorm. The room was clean, the beds have individual reading light which won't disturb your roommates, standard electricity plug and 2 USB connectors so I could charge my phone and camera battery at the same time (I could not do that in any other hostels I've been so far!). If you bring your own padlock, you can put your things into a drawer under the bed and have it locked. You get a magnetic keycard for entering the hostel, the rooms and even to the section where the rooms are located. I've only met keycards once, in France a few years ago. Those never opened the door and sucked. This one, at Generator just works fine with no problem. You can get a breakfast for €5.50 per day, which is not the cheapest thing in life, but the food is great and you can have it between 7:00-11:00 AM. Their late-night bar is also a nice place for a chat with friends. The hostel staff usually ignores people entering in/out on the main door. At first it was strange, but it's probably because there are so many guests passing by during the day. However, as soon as you ask them, they are helpful, so I'm satisfied. It was a great hostel, would choose it again.
Mystic7 I didn´t stayed for a long time but the place was quite perfect! It was so clean, with bathroom for each dormitory. The location is fine, easy to find. I rent a bike at the hostel: a bit expensive (10€) but a good way to visit Hamburg I think! I recommand it +++ !
gayle.murr We arrived at 1am and not only was reception still open we were able to order pizzas and beers, a great way to start the holiday! The breakfast each morning was great although at 9.50EUROS a little pricey. This is a little too far out of the centre to walk but the bus and underground service is great with stops near by so not an issue. The rooms were clean and perfectly fine for a weekend away.
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