Besides currywurst, beer and a great rail system, one of EuroCheapo’s favorite things about Germany is that it’s generally a Cheapo-friendly European country. Hamburg is no exception, and the city’s selection of fun and inexpensive entertainment extends through the evening with flying colors.
Here are three central neighborhoods to check out when looking for a taste of nightlife in this harbor metropolis:
Kiez is what the locals refer to as Hamburg’s Reeperbahn and St. Pauli district. It’s a flurry of city life, with tourists roaming in and out of the Red Light District, bars and party streets. This is the city’s oldest party district, with a reputation dating back to sailor brothels in the 1600s. And it was where the Beatles first dove into rock-star debauchery outside England.
Sticking to the Reeperbahn can easily empty a wallet, so go for the side streets such as Seilerstrasse and Hamburger Berg. Hans Albers Platz offers some live music and dancing, though the famous Grosse Freiheit just opposite Reeperbahn is the jackpot for clubs and concerts. Beers are about €2.50, while cocktails average €6. Try Barbarabar or Rosi’s Bar for drinks, and check out Molotow for rock shows or Docks Club for larger acts.
This is a hood for the hip bar-hoppers. You’ll find plenty of good drink deals on the streets lined with cafés and lounges. Bars are usually full with good-looking trendsetters in their 20s and 30s, out with friends looking for a bit of flirting and a rowdy round of foosball in the back room.
Sternschanze is frequented by a creative crowd, and even the dive bars carry vintage charm and kitschy flare. To accommodate the “starving artist” types, Sternschanze is cheaper than other Hamburg nightlife hoods. Drinks average around €2 for a beer and €4 for a cocktail.
This hood is also a supreme place for cheap eats, from Indian cuisine to kumpir Turkish potatoes. Explore the options around the main drag Schulterblatt; some good picks include Katze, Saal II and Sofabar.
Lovely Altona has a laid-back that will appeal to Cheapos looking for a relaxing dinner and a night cap without the crowds and buzzing bars. The crowd here tops in the mid 30s, though most Altona patrons are easygoing young adults with jobs and who are looking for some low-key weekend fun with friends.
Like in Sternschanze, many of the buildings in Altona are romantic relics from the 19th century. The streets stay relatively quiet at night, though the inviting bars and restaurants welcome in passersby. Come to Altona to have some pre-party fun or to cool down from a busy day. For bars try Aurel and Rehbar. If you’re looking for music, Fabrik is a fun venue with live concerts and DJs.