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

Last Updated on November 13, 2020 by Nina Ahmedow

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.

What’s the Best Place to Stay in Hamburg Based on Your Interests?

Of course it all depends on your interested on needs. So here are some of the best neighborhoods to stay in Hamburg by interests.

The Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Hamburg for Party Goers

The following are the best neighborhoods to stay in Hamburg for people who want to experience Hamburg’s famous nightlife. They range from very tourist-oriented nightlife spots to areas the locals hang out.

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.

Here is a map of places to stay in Ottensen. To ensure a responsible stay I suggest looking for places that are not available year-round.

St. Georg

LGBTQI travelers wondering where to stay in Hamburg may want to consider the 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.

Check out these places to stay in Hamburg. But to avoid helping out property owners who drive up rent prices look specifically for apartments that are only available a few weeks per year. That is usually a good indication that somebody actually lives there.

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.

If you do want to be really close to all the nightlife here then you can book one of the apartments below. Of course, it’s best to look for one that a local rents out while they are on vacation rather than one that is rented out exclusively to tourists.

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. If you want to experience the local nightlife away from the red light district this might be the best place to stay in Hamburg.

There are several places to stay in the Schanze neighborhood as you can see in the map below. Because gentrification is such an issue in the neighborhood it’s really important to focus on places that are used as regular apartments and not only rented out to tourists. To check for this take a look at a place’s availabilty. If it’s available year-round nobody actually lives there.

If You’re on a Tighter Budget

Accommodation in Hamburg is expensive, and not everyone can afford to stay in what many would consider the best neighborhoods to stay in Hamburg.

Barmbek

When you’re looking at articles about where to stay in Hamburg Barmbek might not get the attention it deserves. 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. For those trying to save money without compromising on accessibility, Barmbek might be the best place to stay in Hamburg.

There are fewer places to stay in this neighborhood, but you should still be able to find something.

For a More Upscale Stay

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 his beautiful neighborhood close to the beach might be the best place to stay in Hamburg.

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

Rotherbaum

Despite being one of the wealthiest neighborhoods of Hamburg, the Rotherbaum area 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 very central, you can consider yourself lucky if you find accommodation in this Hamburg neighborhood.

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. If you want to live a more upscale experience Eppendorf is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Hamburg.

To See How the Locals Live

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 I consider it the best place to stay in 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. Not many lists will include Winterhude as one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Hamburg. But I think they’re making a mistake by overlooking the area.

And if you’re vegan you must come here at least once for one of the best vegan restaurants in Hamburg, An Vegan House.

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

The Most Central Area

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. But if you only have limited time this might be the best place to stay in Hamburg due to the easy access to all must-sees.

Have you ever been to Germany? Did this guide help you decide on where to stay in Hamburg?

where to stay in hamburg pin lemons and luggage

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