I arrived here for two nights in February 2017 on a trip that also included Dusseldorf and Amsterdam. I’d thought it was a bit nippy when in Dusseldorf but wasn’t prepared for the cold in Hamburg, it barely got above freezing for the time I was there.

Fortunately I had plenty to entertain me while I was here. My hotel was a modern 3* affair not far from the Reeperbahn, the party street (and red light district) that is one of Hamburg’s best known landmarks.

I’d managed to get tickets to Hamburg FC vs Cologne in the German Cup on the first night and caught the metro a station about 10 minutes walk from the ground, through graffiti-strewn alleyways and what appeared to be a forest. The mood was genial but it did feel like it could be a hairy experience on the way back if Hamburg lost! Fortunately they won 2-0 and the atmosphere in the large modern stadium was great – and the ticket only cost me £17!

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Great atmosphere at the Volksparkstadion

After the game I followed the crowds onto the Reeperbahn – what followed was an unforgettable night that I can’t remember. Ok I can remember some things – singing songs with Cologne fans in a karaoke bar in the early hours, being accosted by a very pushy prostitute (I resisted!) and having a deep conversation about environmental issues with a Bavarian professor.

Surfacing late the next morning, I set out to explore Hamburg. It was an interesting place, lots of interesting buildings, particularly around the docks and warehouse area. It was in one of these warehouses that I found this incredibly impressive model village which I spent a couple of hours in. There was plenty to see, and crucially it was nice and warm inside!

The second evening was a much more restrained affair, I found a couple of nice bars near the hotel and had a meal and a glass or two of wine. The next morning it was on to Amsterdam.

Hamburg is definitely great fun for a night out – I think I’ll come back again when it’s not Arctic conditions so I can explore it further.

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