Six reasons to fall in love with Hamburg

Category: Travels & Places
Published on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 11:27
Written by Jane Bürger
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The first time I went to Hamburg was in 2001. I was still living in the South of Brazil. The fact that I have German ancestors gave me a sense of Teutonic belonging as I have always looked up to their strength in rebuilding an enviable nation. Even though many of 'gaúchos' (people from Rio Grande do Sul) are descendants from a German Herr or Frau, there is still a rather mammoth-sized cultural barrier between us. Anyway, this is something that I could write loads of pages about. On this occasion, I just want to tell you why I love Hamburg. Here are a few reasons:

1) Hamburg has a wonderful system of cycle lanes and lovely parks, so that you'll see an endless number of bikers everywhere. Walking and cycling are deeply engrained in their culture. Almost everybody has their daily routine built on a kind of outdoors gym come hell or high water. Surprisingly enough, you won't see Hamburgers wearing helmets or reflective vests.

2) You'll be astonished by the enormous amount of great works of art in every nook and cranny. Graffiti and street art really stand out along the train lines or in tiny bricks or tiles hidden in any corner of the city. You'll be gratefully fascinated by this whole sub-culture and maybe you’ll wonder why it's still being prosecuted.

3) In Hamburg you don't have a chance to get bored. You'll be totally overwhelmed by all the things that are there for you to do. It'll be difficult to decide what to do next. From street festivals, subtitled films, bustling nightclubs to rare museums, in this city there is something for everyone.

4) There aren't any dodgy areas in Hamburg, at least in comparison to most cities in Europe. Can you imagine a group of stunning blonde girls walking alone at 3.00 a.m. in the middle of an unlit park without a care in the world? What’s more, very small children go to school on their own. It seems that the police have far more time on their hands.

5) You get an all-night public transportation from Friday to Sunday and on bank holidays' eves. You can easily live in Hamburg car-free. If you buy a monthly transit pass, you can dispose at any means of transport (bus, train, harbour ferry) and you’re also allowed to take along a passenger for free on weekends, which comes in handy. Although it looks as if nobody supervises your card, it's worth having it to avoid being fined.

6) The icing on the cake is the amazing ‘Cotton Club Jazz’. There you can see the most outstanding musicians performing with heart and soul. It’s literally a hole in the wall with steps leading to a basement where you feel as if you've entered a cute and cosy lounge. The bewitched audience comes from all walks of life and gathers there just to get the best of an unforgettable night out.

It may well be that after reading my reasons, you feel tempted to give Hamburg a chance, just to check I haven’t made it all up!

Cotton Club in Hamburg