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Where to Stay in Hamburg: A Guide to Hamburg’s Neighborhoods

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I just got back from another trip visiting family and friends back in Hamburg. The city gets a certain amount of tourists but is far from being as popular as Berlin or Amsterdam. So there is not much information available for tourists. I already posted about six free things to do in Hamburg. And today I’ll be helping you make the most of your stay in Germany’s second-largest city with a neighborhood guide. If you’re wondering where to stay in Hamburg consider these neighborhoods when booking accommodation.

Ottensen

The area of Ottensen is particularly attractive with its many neoclassical buildings, cafés, and restaurants. It’s a neighborhood of the former independent town of Altona and used to be part of Denmark. As such, this part of the city has managed to preserve its unique character. It makes for a great place to stay due to its excellent public transport connections. (Several metro lines and long-distance trains depart from Altona train station.) What’s even better: You can get to Altona directly from the airport without having to change lines.

Barmbek

Barmbek is not the most intriguing neighborhood of Hamburg. But it’s easier to find less expensive accommodation there. That’s because it’s less popular and not as central as some of the other neighborhoods. However, several metro lines serve the neighborhood, and you can get here from the airport within ten minutes.

Blankenese

While Blankenese is quite a metro ride from the center of Hamburg, this former fishing village is particularly enchanting. If you have a bit more money to spend on accommodation you’ll enjoy this beautiful neighborhood close to the beach.

treppenviertel hamburg blankenese
The “Treppenviertel” in Blankenese is one of the most charming neighborhoods in Hamburg.

Eimsbüttel

Eimsbüttel is a fairly central residential neighborhood of Hamburg and doesn’t get a lot of tourists. It’s the perfect neighborhood if you want to get a glimpse of the everyday life of ordinary people. There are several restaurants and beautiful neoclassical buildings in the area around Osterstraße metro. And you can get to the center of Hamburg with different metro lines or buses. It’s a very chill neighborhood and one of my favorites in the city.  

Rotherbaum

The area Rotherbaum might be of special interest to students. After all, this is where you’ll find the campus of the University of Hamburg. There are some truly astonishing mansions in the area. But it’s also home to several bars, cafés, and restaurants as one of the centers of student life in Hamburg. As it’s also very central, you can consider yourself lucky if you find accommodation in this neighborhood of Hamburg.

St. Georg

LGBTQI travelers might like to stay in Hamburg’s St. Georg neighborhood, the center of LGTBQI life in Hamburg. There are several cafés and restaurants in the area, many of which proudly display the rainbow flag. The heart of the neighborhood is Lange Reihe, a street showcasing some of Hamburg’s most impressive architecture. Be aware, however, that, due to its proximity to Hamburg’s central station, St. Georg is also home to prostitution and drug use. At the same time, gentrification has played its part in making rent more and more expensive.

St. Pauli

By far Hamburg’s most famous neighborhood is St. Pauli, home to Hamburg’s infamous red light district. Tourists find the sex shops and bars as well as legal prostitution intriguing. While it’s undoubtedly an area of interest for tourists and popular for going out, I wouldn’t recommend staying here. The same things that make St. Pauli fascinating can easily become overwhelming. But if you’re wondering where to stay in Hamburg to take advantage of the city’s nightlife then this might be it.

Sternschanze

The Sternschanze neighborhood has become a synonym for gentrification and is extremely popular for going out to eat or drink. Despite the gentrification, I have a soft spot for this part of Hamburg.

Winterhude

Winterhude is another neighborhood you can get to quickly by metro from the airport or the center. But it’s not a touristy area at all. There are some very pretty canals as well as several impressive mansions. Personally, I consider this one of the best areas for tourists to stay in Hamburg. Because first of all, it has some stunning architecture. And secondly, it’s close to both the airport and the center.

winterhude hamburg
Going for walks in Winterhude means crossing several bridges.

Eppendorf

Eppendorf is a very posh neighborhood of Hamburg without being pretentious. The architecture shows Hamburg at its finest with well-preserved 19th-century buildings. Two metro lines connect the neighborhood to the city center. So you can easily get the best of both fancy Eppendorf and other neighborhoods.

Old Town and New Town

The Old Town and New Town are easy to reach because they are close to Hamburg’s central station. You’ll find most sights here (museums, City Hall, churches, and Speicherstadt). But, to be honest, if you ask me where to stay in Hamburg I wouldn’t suggest this area. Once the stores in the shopping district close it gets quite boring here. In my opinion, it might be better to go here a few times for sightseeing but not actually stay here.

Have you ever been to Hamburg? What’s your favorite place to stay?

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