Day 1. A culinary tour of Hamburg

With three days to explore a world of culinary delights and top sightseeing spots in Hamburg I couldn’t wait to get off the plane!  I’d travelled with KLM from Leeds/Bradford connecting via Amsterdam and with direct flights available from both London and Manchester, the city is easy to reach for a short break from all parts of the UK.

Motel One, Hamburg Airport
Motel One, Hamburg Airport

My flight had arrived late evening so I spent my first night at Motel One conveniently situated just a 15 minute walk from the terminal building.  It was my first time staying in a Motel One and I was suitably impressed.  Don’t be put off with the name ‘motel’ as this Munich based budget design hotel group offers stylish interiors at affordable prices.  Soon after checking in, I was settling in to my comfortable room for a good night’s sleep looking forward to the day ahead.

Motel One Hamburg Airport, breakfast buffet
The breakfast buffet

Waking up early, I tucked into the tasty breakfast buffet laid out in the lobby bar.  Suitably refreshed, I collected my luggage and reached Jungfernstieg by U-Bahn in the heart the city in just 25 minutes.  Walking up the subway steps out onto the grand promenade on the banks of the Alster, I couldn’t believe how beautiful it all was.

Hamburg Town Hall
Hamburg Town Hall and Alster

It felt as if I had been transported to Venice seeing the gleaming, white colonnades along the water’s edge.  With elegant designer stores and inviting bars and restaurants I enjoyed my morning stroll.

Beautiful colonnades in the centre of Hamburg
Beautiful colonnades adorn the Alster

Slightly further on, I came to the Mellin Passage, the oldest of Hamburg’s arcades and with its exquisite art-nouveau frescoes and stained glass it’s undoubtedly the most beautiful.

Mellin Passage, Hamburg
Mellin Passage, Hamburg

11.00 a.m. was fast approaching and time for the first of the day’s Alster boat trips starting from Jungfernstein (€18 for a one hour trip).  There was a live commentary in German but I didn’t miss out as I was able to listen in English by scanning a QR code on my phone.

Boat trip on the Alster, Hamburg
Boarding my Alster boat trip

The lake cruise was very enjoyable as it was lovely to view the city from the perspective of the water.  From the commentary, we learnt that the Alster was originally only a small river that flowed into the larger Elbe that was later damned to form a lake.

On board the Alster cruise boat in Hamburg
Enjoying my Alster boat trip

The cruise took us across the inner Alster and through the picturesque Lombardsbrûcke bridge which separates the inner and outer Alsters.  The inner part of the lake is lined with imposing buildings and grand hotels whilst charming villas and parks surround the outer.

Alster boat trip, Hamburg
Beautiful properties line the banks of the Alster

Towards the end of the cruise we passed through a narrow canal edged with desirable properties and large gardens sloping down to the water’s edge.  If you have time, I’d recommend taking one of these boat trips as they offer good value for money and pre-booking is not required.

Landungsbrücken, Hamburg
Landungsbrücken, Hamburg

For lunch, I opted for a fish sandwich as I’d read that these freshly caught delicacies in rolls have long been the most popular snack in the city’s culinary heritage.  I hopped back on the U-Bahn for the ten minute journey to Landungsbrücken in search for Brücke 10, a Hamburg institution.

Brucke 10, Hamburg
Brucke 10, Hamburg

The small cafe was easy to spot along the waterfront as it had a lengthy queue waiting to be served.  Thankfully, the queue moved fast and I only had to wait a few minutes until it was my turn.

My tasty mackerel sandwich at Brucke 10, Hamburg
My tasty mackerel sandwich at Brucke 10, Hamburg

The selection included herring, mackerel, prawn and crab and my chosen peppered mackerel in a freshly baked crusty roll was delicious, washed down with a glass of local beer.  Good value too as it all came to just under €10.

Scandic Hamburg Emporio, Hamburg
The Scandic Hamburg Emporio

Refuelled, I headed to the Scandic Hamburg Emporio to check-in to my home for the next three nights.  This large hotel lies only a ten minute walk from the Alster lake and I was soon taking the lift up to my Superior Plus room on the 8th floor.  The lift was an experience in itself as it’s walls transform from deep blue in the basement, gradually lightening to the palest of blues on the top floor, imitating the depth of the ocean.

Art room 811, Scandic Emporio, Hamburg
My art room at the Scandic Emporio

Rooms on the 7th and 8th floors are designated art rooms with works by various artists.  I was booked into 811, with the wall above the bed adorned by the works of Clueso (more details on my art room can be found here.)

Room 811, Scandic Hamburg Emporio
My spacious room at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio

With a double height ceiling and floor to ceiling windows boasting spectacular city views, the room was light and airy.  Alongside an extremely comfortable bed there was a complimentary minbar stocked with wine, beer, soft drinks, snacks and water.  Not only that, but guests in this type of room get access to the ‘Living Room’ a business style lounge with even more complimentary drinks and snacks.

Living Room, Scandic Hotel Emporio
The Living Room exclusively for guests staying in Art Rooms

The hotel and its facilities were lovely but there was so much of Hamburg I wanted to see so I popped on my coat and made my first stop of the afternoon at the Coffee Museum Burg.(Standard entrance €5).

Coffee Museum Burg, Hamburg
Coffee Museum Burg, Hamburg

I’m a coffee lover so there was no way I going to miss a chance of visiting this unique museum as it’s located in the heart of Speicherstadt.  Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this district is the best known symbol of the maritime history of the Hanseatic city of Hamburg.

One of the oldest coffee roasters still in use, Coffee Museum Burg, Hamburg
On display was one of the oldest coffee roasters still in use

It was in these warehouses that coffee, tea and spices were originally stored. On entering the building, we were greeted by the aroma of freshly ground coffee setting the scene for our guided tour.  Here we learnt about the cultivation, trade and roasting of coffee beans using old roasting equipment still in use today.

Coffee tasting at the Coffee Museum Burg, Hamburg
Coffee tastings in the museum

On display is a large collection of coffee related memorabilia from cups to pots and canisters of varying shapes and size.  Cafetières, pour over filters, espresso, siphon and percolators were all on display together with the history of the famous German Melitta brand of coffeemakers and filter papers.

Coffee and cakes in the Coffee Museum Burg, Hamburg
Enjoying coffee and cakes in the museum cafe

After our interesting  tour, we popped into the museum cafe for cups of their freshly ground coffee along with a selection of freshly baked Franzbrötchen pastries.  The coffee was very flavoursome and the local pastries delicious too!

Hafen City, Hamburg
Hafen City, Hamburg

This set us up nicely for an early evening guided walking tour of the Speicherstadt district which sits next to the modern, gleaming Hafen City.  It was both an architectural and culinary treat as we made stops at Foodlab, a must-visit working space for foodies, start-ups and anyone involved in the food scene.

FoodLab, Hamburg
FoodLab, Hamburg

Here we had a tour of the co-working kitchen where we watched chefs at work and of the pop-up restaurant where upcoming restaurants can experiment and offer their menus to the public.  I thought this was such a splendid idea with first rate facilities and if a pop-up event had been taking place during our stay, I would have been keen to experience it.

Hobenköök Market Hall and Restaurant, Hamburg Photocredit @Hobenköök
Hobenköök Market Hall and Restaurant, Hamburg (Photocredit Hobenköö

Our culinary tour of the district then led us to Hobenköök, a combined market hall and restaurant offering seasonal delights from around Hamburg.  Top chef Thomas Sampi and his team offer culinary delicacies to be enjoyed from both the market stalls and restaurant.  We enjoyed tastings of local cheese and wine in the convivial atmosphere of the hall before heading off to dinner with a difference close by.

100/200 Kitchen Hamburg
100/200 Kitchen Hamburg

We were so excited to be concluding our evening culinary walk with a dining experience at 100/200 Kitchen at the Elbbrücken.  This two star Michelin restaurant is located on the third floor of an unassuming building and furnished in industrial chic style.

100/200 Kitchen, Hamburg Photo Credit @René Flindt
100/200 Kitchen, Hamburg (Photo Credit @René Flindt)

We were seated in the upper gallery where we had splendid views down onto the large open-style kitchen.  The restaurant takes its name from a Molteni oven set to either 100 or 200 degrees centigrade and it’s on there that the chefs create their imaginative dishes.

100/200 Kitchen, Hamburg
Dinner at 100/200 Kitchen, Hamburg

With no actual menu, diners are served dishes linked to the seasons utilising the freshest produce locally available.  Not quite knowing what to expect, dining at 100/200 was a feast for our senses from mouth-watering lobster through to a Brussels sprout and pumpkin tart for dessert.

Enjoying my dining experience at Kitchen 100/2000 Hamburg
Enjoying my dining experience

It’s very different from other Michelin restaurants I’ve dined it with its casual vibe and relaxed atmosphere but it works well in the industrial surroundings.  The perfect end to my first day in lovely Hamburg.

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37 thoughts on “Day 1. A culinary tour of Hamburg

  1. ThingsHelenLoves

    I’ve enjoyed a few visits to Hamburg and surrounding areas, but I’ve missed out on the Coffee Museum. I love coffee and have a geeky interest in the different processes of making it and the blends, so I must put that top of the list for any future visits.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like Hamburg very much – and I’m also a massive fan of the Motel One chain. A colleague recommended them to me when I was heading for Stuttgart for a conference. I have plans to investigate some of their UK properties in the not too distant future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Stella for your interest in this post. Hamburg is a beautiful city and I’d return there any time! It was my first stay in a Motel One but was so impressed that I’ll be looking at booking some if their UK city locations too.


  3. What a wonderful experience Marion. Food tours of vacation destinations are the best. Would love to visit that coffee museum. The restaurant at the end of the day looks like a great adventure. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Seems like you had an action-packed day of exploring Hamburg and eating!! What a great combination. I like the sound of that Coffee Museum, especially the part about the coffee tasting. Your dinner sounds like it was delicious. You know you’re in good hands when there is no menu!


  5. Hamburg looks like a great city to explore and eat your way through. The Coffee Museum would be unmissable on my list too. What a wonderful way to end your visit to the museum with some pastries and coffee. I love the night shot of Hafen City. The Beatles sights would be a must for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hamburg and the Scandic Hamburg Emporio look absolutely lovely. I could spend some time browsing around the Hobenkook Market Hall. The food at 100/200 looks and sounds amazing! I’ve never heard much about Hamburg, so I really enjoyed this post! Thanks for sharing it with us, Marion!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My OH did his year’s industrial placement in Hamburg and we’ve spent many weeks here over the years, including one Christmas, visiting friends. It’s a fabulous place for a long weekend and I’m sure you’ll have a great time. I shall enjoy reading all about it Marion.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, what a fantastic experience, Marion! If something really distinguishes a trip, it is getting a taste of local life. I firmly believe that taking a food tour is having an expert by your side to help you explore the city in the most tasteful and informative way possible. A complete experience with taste, scents, knowledge, and memories! Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I loved this post. Thank you for sharing your experiences and photos. I can’t wait to travel to Germany again. I haven’t been to Hamburg but now it’s on the list of places to go there. I look forward to more of your blog posts. Happy travels!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Oh, I like your early morning stroll through the streets of Hamburg! And once again, a lovely boat trip. A mackerel sandwich – I love mackerel, but never had it like this! And what a lovely room (and all those complimentary stuff – that’s great)! I’m not a regular coffee drinker (though I love the aroma), but how interesting is your tour through the Coffee Museum. Lovely photo of Hafen City … and tasting local cheese and wine (and THAT dinner) … oh Marion, you must have had a fabulous first day!

    Liked by 1 person

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