I believe I have over the course of several years made it sufficiently clear that I love Stockholm so now it is safe to adopt some local patriotism for my current home.
At work, they have launched a new part of the paper dedicated this week only to Hamburg. We have literally been bombarded with PR-measures for this, instilling a timid enthusiasm for this hanseatic city in me. I love reading the part of the paper that helps me integrate into the city. At the same time, the editor in chief (who we all adore) refreshingly criticizes Hamburg’s complacent way of loving itself. A very good balance.
After only four weeks, obviously my judgement is not complete and I have been challenged by this city quite a lot. Still, I can already establish five (of many more to come) reasons why Hamburg is a good choice
- The gate to the world
When I hop onto my metro in the central station, I will see the trains going to Copenhagen and Prague. Walking around, you always hear many different languages, last night on the 7-minute-way to the mall I counted six different foreign languages. (Yes, Swiss is foreign.) Flights to all kinds of places go frequently all day. Hamburg is Germany’s gate to the world. It was from here, countless immigrants left for America. The port of Hamburg is the second biggest in Europe and the hanseatic history makes the place a city where you step of out the Swedish Church right into the Portuguese quarter. If you like a cosmopolitan breeze, this is a good place
- The entertainment offers
During the minute it takes to leave a metro station, I usually have already been confronted with 15 new events for the next two weeks. There a jazz festival, a new art exhibition, a science slam, the night of the museums – it feels like there is such an abundance of entertainment offers that one does not even know where to start. I have only seen the really big touristic highlights in my life so far, so I have lots to discover.
3. The location
For someone like me, Hamburg has a perfect location. It is close to the water, close to Scandinavia, and many people travel through Hamburg on their way, or to the city for the above name weekend trip, thus potentially visiting me. (I already have two, three visitors booked in and that says something after 4 weeks and not even having an apartment.) It is also a place people move to and it feels like the number of friends assembling in/around the city is rising. (Hello, Frederike, we’re waiting for you!) Apart from that, Hamburg is close both to Bremen and Berlin and only some 90 minutes away from my family.
4. The famous landmarks
Growing up in Germany, one has always heard of the glamorous Jungfernstieg, of the frivolous Reeperbahn, seen the people welcoming the Queen Mary cruise ship at the Landungsbrücken, one has imagined going to the Fish Market one day and studied Altona’s history at university. There are many songs about Hamburg’s landmarks, this is where people go for a weekend get-a-way. If you have not grown up in Hamburg, it does feel quite exciting to simply be passing by all the places that are surrounded by myths, romance and buzz.
5. The beauty
If you move here from Stockholm and are accustomed to the beauty there, you might be taken aback by Hamburg. But then you remember: the war, the reconstruction. And you realize that under the given circumstances Hamburg is beautiful, actually probably the most beautiful German metropolis. Also, if you are going to find well-dressed people, even if it is a small percentage, you will find them here.
This city might be hard on me, but I am determined to learn to like it. Come here and do so, too – you already got the first five reasons for that.