I'm not sure if this is the...
I'm not sure if this is the right place to write this, but I'll do it anyway.
What I saw in Hamburg, something I haven't realise in Helsinki, was homeless people. There seem to be so many of them, just in the centre.
It was kind of a shoc for me, because as I said, in Finland there aren't that many of them.
Blocks of Mall Shopping!
One of the major differences I've experienced between shopping in Germany, and in the United States is that the former generally leans a bit more towards boutiques and specialty shops as opposed to large shopping malls. Since I've been living here, I've become a big fan of the the specialized and attentive customer service provided by my local boutiques, and there is definitely something quite charming in being able to greet my local sales people and cashiers with a warm air of familiarity each day. However, every once in a while I do long for American style mall shopping, where I can purchase a variety of things for a variety of purposes for a variety of people (!) all under one roof, and only have to deal with a roundtrip train ticket vs. making multiple stops throughout the city.
Enter the "Quaree Einkaufzentrum" (or Quaree EKZ) at Wandsbek Markt. Located in the Northeastern reaches of Hamburg, you can make hours of shopping all in one locale, and chances are good that you'll find every personal need, souvenier, or gift for a loved one all under one roof. In addition, there are small gourmet food stands and a Cinemaxx Movie Theatre, as well as Germany's flagship department store "KARSTADT". The mall is directly accessible from the train line U1-"Wandsbek Markt" with an underground entrance, and has 3 levels of stores. Also worth noting is that the mall's ground level entrance/exit " Wandsbeker Marktstrasse" is about a full block of inexpensive shops ranging from teen fashion stores like "NewYorker" to excellently priced home/gift stores such as "Samt & Sonders" and "Strauss" to cheaper stores for casual shoes, cheap luggage and bags, etc. On the Wandsbeker Markstrasse block you can also conveniently find several banks, an EDEKA grocery store, C&A Department Store and an organic supermarket.
Just as a comical sidenote, don't be surprised that if you mention the location "Wandsbek Markt" to a Hamburg native you might be met with a strange look or a reaction that resembles a rebuke of some sort. In all sincerity, I believe it's because most Hamburgers not only shun mall shopping as a part of their normal shopping routine, but they generally do not travel far outside of their own neighborhoods for purchases unless they're going downtown or to an IKEA depot. Additionally, Hamburgers pride themselves a bit on having very sophisticated and image-conscious boutiques, so "going shopping" outside of your neighborhood means (for most people) that you're going to stroll the exclusive area along Junfernstieg and watch swans float in the canals before you pick up a small designer piece: by contrast, the Wandsbek Markt is right in the middle of an drab, working class outskirt and does not fit in with the majority's self-perception as chic and cosmopolitan. Quite frankly there is nothing wrong with the area other than the surroudings being "unfashionable", and some of the stores on Wandsbeker Markstrasse being cheap. Beyond that, keep in mind that you're going there to shop and get the most value for your currency exchange, so perception does not matter. You'll never need to leave the mall block to get all of your shopping accomplished, and chances are you will find items that those who live "in the city" have never seen, will want to purchase when they do see them, and you will have gotten them at a reasonable price. A few shops to keep in mind on your journey to Quarree EKZ-
HOME ARTICLES/GIFT ITEMS---
SHOES & ACCESSORIES---
Bijou Brigitte (accessories )
YOUNG MISS/TRENDY FASHION---
Hennes & Mauritz
Hunkemoller (finer lingerie sleep and loungewear)
Karstadt Sport & Kinderwelt
FOOD & GOURMET---
Arko Chocolatier Shop
Geflugelhof Schoenecke (poultry and game)
Kamps (bread and pastry shop)
Tchibo (fine coffee & gift shop)
Reformhaus Engelhardt (organic foods)
TeeKontor (worldwide imported tea and tea accessories)
BATH & BEAUTY---
The Body Shop
Konzertkasse bei Wiland (inside the WEILAND Bookstore)
Don't forget, be sure to take a stroll outside on Wandsbeker Markstrasse to find a couple of other great gift shops, as well as the C&A department store at the end of the block. The best bargains to be had in this shopping center are primarily for young trend fashion. All the latest styles can be foun here, affordably and under one roof.
Hafenrundfahrt - a lot of fun
Hafenrundfahrt will take you first through the Speicherstadt, where in ancient times the goods from Overseas were stored in the "Free-trade-zone" before they were finally eighter taken through german customs and sold in germany, OR taken to one of the ships and delivered abroad.
Then the Hafenrundfahrt will get across the river Elbe and taking you to the new cruise-terminal at "Grasboook-Kai" - and when you are lucky you may see there one of the big oceanliner like Queen mary II or Freedom of the Seas - the rest of the tour is a few docks and some parts of the industrial port, while lots of ships will pass by your tour-boat.
These tours will start at the place, where the Feuerschiff is docked
ordinary prices are 10 euros (8 euros for Hamburg-card)
Another Hafenrundfahrt will start at St.Pauli Landungsbruecken
the duration of most tours is around 60 minutes
between 10.00a.m. and 05.30p.m.
they start daily every half hour from April-October
November-March only Sat+Sun 11.00a.m.+12.30+03.30p.m.
U Boat U-434
One of the more different attractions of Hamburg is this Russian U-Boat that lays docked along the Elbe River originally used for spying and reconaissance patrols. Today it is a museum and one can visit the inside and obtain a glimpse of how the 78 sailors operating it lived and worked in this 92 meter long steel "cigar". Sadly if you are not good on foot this is not a visit for you, since one has to be quiet mobile to explore this submarine.
Most famous church in the city
St. Michaelis, called "Michel", is Hamburg's main protestant church (Hauptkirche) and the most famous church in the city.
St. Michaelis is a landmark of the city. It is dedicated to the archangel Michael. A large bronze statue, standing above the portal of the church shows the archangel conquering the devil.
The 132 m high baroque spire totally covered with copper is a prominent feature of Hamburgs skyline and has always been a landfall mark for ships sailing up the river Elbe.
The present church building is the third one at this site. The first one was built from 1647 to 1669. It became the church of the new town (Neustadt), which had been created since 1625 inside the new city walls and which grew steadily. In 1687 the Michel became the fifth main church (Hauptkirche) and the new town (Neustadt) became a parish. That church was destroyed on March 10, 1750 by a lightning strike.
"Michel"In 1786 a new construction following the design of Johann Leonhard Prey and Ernst Georg Sonnin was completed. This is the church as we know it today. It was reconstructed twice in the 20th century:After catching fire in 1906 during construction work and
after the bombings of 1944 and 1945 .
Since 1983 renovation is on-going first the spire and then the roof..
Offering 2,500 seats, the Michel is the largest church in Hamburg. The spire, which offers an excellent view over the ciy and the harbour can be climbed, but there also is a lift.