Before and after a stag weekend in Hamburg...
May 18, 2009 2:54 AM   Subscribe

A weekend in Hamburg, with two parts to it - what's worth doing and seeing?

Hello! I'm off to Hamburg in the last weekend of August. I'm really looking forward to it, but would appreciate the insights of Ask Me on a couple of things:

1) The occasion for the visit is a stag weekend. As far as I know, the only so-far-organised activity is paintballing on the Saturday. The crowd is not your typical Brit stag party, as it's composed of a multinational, multi-age crowd (Brits, Germans, Americans, some Scandinavians I think, ages ranging from mid-20's to mid-40's, I don't know about 60% of them), but I'd imagine a few steins will be being consumed. So recommendations for things to do in Hamburg for a large (15+) group of people, many of whom don't know each other all that well. I've heard something about a Fischmarket?

2) I'm catching an earlier flight than most of the rest of the group (mainly to avoid flying Ryanair, because we hates them, precious), so will be in Hamburg on the Friday afternoon between 5 and 10pm, before meeting the rest of the party. What could I/should I do with that block of time?

3) Random questions - what's the best plan for transport for the two and a bit days we're there? Any recommendations for budget hotels/hostels? Anything on that weekend that could be considered unmissable?
posted by Happy Dave to Travel & Transportation around Hamburg, Germany (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I can't recommend any hotels or hostels.

The Fischmarkt is an open market that takes place early on Sunday Mornings. It is a very interesting mixture of people. There are tourists and local merchants that are up before dawn and there are cracked-out tourists and locals who have partied hard through the night mingling together among fishmongers and flea markets. There is a lot of good food and drink to be had as well. You can also take a walk through the old Elbtunnel.

As far as stag parties in Hamburg are concerned, the Reeperbahn is pretty much where it's at. It's like the redlight distict in Amsterdam, but with less drugs and not so much the "meat market" aspect of prostitution. If anyone in your party is interested in that, I can't really help you, other to relay advice that was given to me: Stay away from the streetwalkers (duh) because the prices are always higher than what they promise. Walking through Herbertstrasse is always fun but just look and don't touch. Remember, every country's sailors walk down that street when their ships are in port. There are plenty of private and clean brothels in Hamburg with reasonable prices, but you are going to have to ask someone else where they are.

In addition to that there are tons of bars and clubs to see and hear great music (Docks, Prinzenbar, Grosse Freiheit) on the reeperbahn and on the side streets (Komet, Babarabar, sommersalon). There are a few Irish pubs and English bars there as well, but it is kind of hit and miss, because sometimes they may get a bit rowdy. Also check out the clubs on Hans-Albers-Platz. If you want to drink some decent cocktails with an awesome view over the harbor, check out the 20up club in the Riverside Hotel. Try to get there early (around 8 or 9) so you don't have to wait in line in the lobby and then not be able to find a table when you finally get up there. Trust me.

A good Chinese restaurant on the reeperbahn is Man Wah. I'm not sure if they can accommodate 15 people though. Better call ahead and make sure.

Also not too far away from the Reeperbahn is a neighborhood called the portugiesisches Viertel (Portuguese Quarter) woth tons of good restaurants.

Also if you are in the mood for some hardy and delicious German cuisine and yummy beer, I can not recommend enough a place called Gröninger Braukeller. Prices are okay and with a lot of people, you can probably divide it amongst yourselves and save a little. Maybe you'll want to start off here.

However, the coolest thing that you can all see together is the Miniatur-Wunderland. The world's largest miniature train sets. Absolutely incredible. Seriously, don't miss that.

You can get to most places in town with the subway and bus.

If you have any questions, mefi mail me.
posted by chillmost at 4:01 AM on May 18, 2009

Response by poster: Just to clarify, as far as I'm aware no-one in our party will be availing themselves of anything more than a lapdance - but thanks for the stacks of other information chillmost, that really is hugely helpful. I'm totally checking out the giant train sets.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:05 AM on May 18, 2009

Regarding the Miniaturwunderland mentioned above: I enjoyed my visit there very much, but the best part was the guided tour behind the scenes. Unfortunately they only take six people per tour, but it's totally worth it. I'm saying this not even as a model train enthusiast, just as someone who likes to find out "how it works".

Added bonus: By making reservations for a tour, you avoid the lines at the entrance, which can be long. Take a look at their waiting time forecast and ticket reservations.
posted by amf at 9:41 AM on May 18, 2009

nthing the Fischmarkt, had an awesome time, defintely worth getting up early, or staying up from the night before. Beers at 9am took a bit of getting used to, but everyone else was doing it, they had a live band. Great experience. Enjoy your trip...
posted by chromatist at 10:15 AM on May 18, 2009

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