Despite being Germany’s 2nd largest city, Hamburg doesn’t offer a whole lot for tourists, but as Germany’s largest port, Hamburg houses a pretty spiffy financial district, and more famously the seedy red-light district. We only dropped into Hamburg briefly for a couple hours on our way to Amsterdam from Copenhagen, primarily to fulfill a childhood dream of mine: to eat a hamburger in Hamburg. Really.
We found street parking near a subway and took the metro into the heart of Hamburg. First, the main square:
Then we walked over to Buck’s Sports Bar in the financial district to try their well-reviewed burgers. Before arriving to Hamburg I actually took the time to research the best burgers in town. Not to my surprise, there were plenty of travelers who had also hoped to eat a hamburger in Hamburg. Reviewers raved about Buck’s Sports Bar, but we kept our expectations low because we didn’t think it would be possible to have a burger comparable to burgers back in the states.
Well, we were wrong. The burger in Hamburg was incredible.
Every patron in the restaurant were clad in clean suits and chowed down their burger using a fork and knife. We were the only customers who attempted to eat with our hands. Awkward stares came my way.
Because we all ate more than we should have and needed to walk off the calories, we slowly sauntered over to the seedy Reeperbahn neighborhood to get a glimpse of the red light district. We knew there wouldn’t be much to see since it was a Tuesday afternoon (hookers’ weekend), but we got our fair share of laughter. My favorite were the food chains. McDonalds and Pizza Hut, anyone?
Before heading back to the RV, we made one final stop at the notorious block of Herbertstrasse. The entrance:
The sign clearly stated that people under 18 are prohibited from entering, but it apparently also stated women are not allowed either. My clueless self walked to the other side and saw a block full of little shops with large window displays. I didn’t venture very far–a 40-something year old woman wearing nothing but a fish-net body suit stood up from her stool on the porch and angrily squirted water at me from a water bottle and yelled, “OUT! NO WOMAN!” Apparently she was not just a prostitute, but the street guard. I told Chris and another friend to walk to the end of the short block, and I’d meet them on the other side. It didn’t take long to meet them again; every window front was vacant except for a hooker guard on each end of the block. Normally the windows are filled with prostitutes luring prospective male customers into their rooms. Remember, it was a Tuesday afternoon. Hookers need their weekends too.
Still, we got a kick out of walking from one end of the red light district to the other end. The entire Reeperbahn neighborhood exploded with flashing lights, bars, clubs, sex shops, sex toys shops, and anything sex-related you can think of. We were thoroughly amused.
We only squandered a couple hours at Hamburg, which was all I needed to fulfill my hamburger dream. Nguyening!