Last winter, Kai and I were invited on a weekend trip to to Germany with Come to Hamburg. Originally they’d wanted us to visit in December for the Christmas markets, but as we’d already ventured to Cologne and Munich that year for the markets, we instead arranged for a weekend trip to Hamburg later in January. We flew into Hamburg after work on Friday. The flight was quick and within no time we arrived at the Mercure Hotel Hamburg City where we’d agreed to spend our first night. I’ve stayed at Mercure hotels before for work trips, and love their complimentary mini bars and healthy breakfast options.The views also weren’t too shabby!This time around, we dove into the beer stash and had a quick drink while admiring the city scape from our room, before heading out to dinner.A friend had recommended we try the Freudenhaus Restaurant, which has a cozy German menu and an eclectic interior to match. We opened the menu, and Kai whispered the words that always boot the night into a memorable direction.
Shall we order a bottle of wine?But of course, my darling!We ordered hearty meat dishes to accompany our red wine (we’re wine first, food second kind of people!) and dug in to the scrumptious fare.Fast forward two hours and we were closing down the place, finishing every last drop of our bottle!The restaurant was location in St. Pauli, home to some great nightlife and the city’s major red-light district.And while Kai and I weren’t trying to party, or pick up a hooker, we did stroll around, enjoying the glowing ambiance and the cool winter evening.We then hopped in a cab and headed over to DRILLING, a gin distillery and bar in Ottensen, which was suggested to us by the Come to Hamburg program.The ambiance was incredibly cozy, and the cocktails were fantastic.
Kai and I were also treated to a small tour of the distillery, which was shiny and pristine, and looked like a copper slot machine vs a bad ass fermenting contraption. And although we appreciated the craftsmanship in which the gin was made, ordering our cocktails was probably the best part of the DRILLING experience! I chose a drink that left the ingredients up to chance, rolling a pair of dice to determine what gin elixir I would be sipping on!It was a ‘gemütlich’ (warmth,friendly,and good cheer) end to our first night in town!On day two, we had a small bite at our hotel, followed by a to-go coffee from Coffee Fellows.We then took our time strolling over to Hobenköök market for the real food deal of the day!The rain started picking up outside, and we were happy to have a cozy spot to enjoy our afternoon!Come to Hamburg had arranged a table for us in advance, so we strolled around, checked out some of the market stalls and stands, and then slid into a comfy corner booth for our brunch.We then ordered a feast, which started off with tea and cake . . .And ended with salad, granola, bread baskets, eggs, and yogurt for two!
This was one of our favorite activities of the trip – the perfect way to spend a drizzly afternoon!Afterwards, the rain had let up a bit, so we decided to walk to our next stop – the Kunsthalle – by foot.We popped into a few shops.And wandered along side streets and through some of the city’s red brick districts.With a blue umbrella, adorably gifted to us by Come to Hamburg! Those guys think of everything!Next up was our stop at the Kunsthalle. The Kunsthalle is Hamburg’s art museum, and is one of the largest museums in the country.We had a blast exploring the many colorful rooms of the Kunsthalle, and could have stayed much longer, had we not had a high tea booked in afterwards!We did our best to wind through the whole place.Our afternoon tea was booked at Reichshof Hamburg. We were seated in their lobby area, and tall stack of sandwiches, pastries, and crumpets was placed on our table!We sat back and relaxed, sipping delicate herbal tea and tucking in to all of the sweets!By the time we left, it was getting dark, and it was time to switch hotels!Our second night would be spent at the Scandic, which we chose due to it’s chic design and central location.When we got to our room, we debated what we should do that evening. We were stuffed to the brim with pastries, and were also not really keen to get wet once again by venturing out into the drizzly city. So we put on our hotel robes, got some takeawaay, and lounged in the plush hotel bed, all while watching Bird Box. It was the BEST Saturday evening I could have wished for!On day three, it was still raining, so we decided to take a ride with Hamburg City Tours, a hop on hop off bus tour that would allow us to check out the city’s attractions without getting wet!The only thing that didn’t really occur to me was that it might be difficult to see out of the bus windows in the rain!
But wow did it make for some stunning, drizzly Hamburg pics!We got off the bus along the water front, and debated stopping for some fish and chips. But we kept saying ‘Ohh, let’s get them at the next spot!’ and then suddenly we were back inland!Somehow we would up right back in St Pauli where we’d explored on Friday night!
Recognize this guy from my night time pictures?!
Instead of fish and chips, we stopped to get a coffee and cake, and then called one of Kai’s friends who lived in the neighborhood.
Turns out she lives right around the corner! So we met up at her adorable place for a tea and then all went out for a burger!It was a DELECTABLE way to end the weekend, which was filled with just the right amount of exploration and relaxation!While I’ve never thought to visit Hamburg off the cuff, this visit completely changed my mind! Despite the rain, we really enjoyed tasting the city, and I can only imagine how dreamy it is in the spring and summer! My good friend Sophie now lives in Hamburg, so I know I will be back again to visit soon.
Big thanks to Come to Hamburg for putting us up both nights, setting up our brunch at Hobenköök, the high tea, drinks at DRILLING, our museum passes, and bus tour! We will definitely come again!