Category Archives: Hotels

Sternschanze – the Cozy Boho Area of Hamburg

The bohemian and cozy Sternschanze or Schanzenviertel as it also is called, is one of my favourite parts of Hamburg. I discovered it last year, when I visited Hamburg too many times to count, and it was love at first sight.
Unfortunately my camera ran out of battery every single time I went to Sternschanze. Go figure. So I don’t have many pics to share, but here’s some of them. Some I snapped with my cellphone, hence the bad quality.

I feel that so many first time (or second or third time) visitors to Hamburg miss out on this area, cause hardly any city guides or tourists books do any coverage of it. It’s the smallest area of Hamburg and is squeezed in between Altona-Nord, St Pauli, Eimsbuttel-Harvesthude and Rotherbaum.

Sternschanze

Lining the streets throughout this neighbourhood are cozy cafés, bars and pubs, beer gardens and restaurants, which are almost all suitable for a low budget wallet. Many also have quite a nice terrace vibe and culture.

Here you find a good selection of food culture from all around the world; Indian, Portugese, Turkish, Japanese, Irish, French, Spanish, Italian, Morroccan, and German of course. And some restaurant and cafés also have an ecological/biodynamic profile, which makes it even better.

Lots of students as well as bohemian artists and other creatives live in the area which probably help to explain why the prices here are a bit lower than the rest of the city.

Getting there is easy. Just take the U-bahn U3 or the S-bahn S21 or S3 and jump off at Sternschanze. Or just walk. It’s walking distance from the gigantic Messe area, Marktstrasse/Karolinenviertel and Planten un Blomen. it takes about 20-30 minutes to walk to Jungfernstieg.

SHOPPING
There’s plenty of shopping to do here. You won’t find any of the big retailers here, but you will find plenty of alternative and edgy stores, second hand and vintage as well as new stuff.

Below is a pretty typical store window.

store window

Altes und Neue
Altes & Neue is a lovely shop with vintage and new stuff; jewellery, small items for interior decoration; doorknobs, candlelight holders, lamps, clocks, jewellery stands, that kind of stuff.
Location: Susannenstrasse

Altes und Neue

Altes und Neue

Altes und Neue

Mala
Another cozy store.

mala

Mala

Mala

Championship Records
One of several stores for vinyl and second hand records, LPs, singles and CDs.
Location: Suzannestrasse

FOOD & DRINKS

Kumpir
Kumpir is a Turkish baked potatoes resturant, perfect for a quick bite to eat. A huge baked potato so stuffed with all kinds of ingredients that you can’t even see the potato beaneath costs about EUR 3,60. You will get full, I promise. They have a huge selection of various fillings. Pick a combination from their menus or combine after your own taste and desire. I love Kumpuir so much that last time I was in Hamburg I visited it three times in two days.
Location: Schanzenstrasse. There’s also also another Kumpir at Mogenstrasse.

Frank und Frei
After visiting Kumpir take a walk a few metres to the right and enjoy a beer, a drink or a coffe at Frank und Frei. They also serve food. Sit outdoors or indoors. Cozy pub atmosphere indoors (looks like a typical pub with dark wood interiors and lots of framed pictures on the walls. Very nice and friendly bartender and staff.
Location: Corner Schanzestrasse and Suzannestrasse.

Frank und Frei

Sofabar
Cheap drinks and a huge selection of random sofas. Sofa bar certainly live up to its name. Here it’s all about the sofas. A favourite among locals and with a laid back atmosphere and cheap drinks it’s not hard to understand why. Good relaxed crowd.

Hessle Müslibar
Muslibar

HOTELS
There’s a few one or two star hostels in the area, and then there’s the fancy and cool 4,5 star Mövenpick Hotel, which is housed in the old (and heritage protected) watertower in the Sternschanze Park. The watertower got carefully and beautifully renovated into a hotel 2003 after being abandoned and empty for 45 years.

Mövenpick hotel

Right in the middle of the Schanzenviertel is also the Rote Flora, the most curious corner of Hamburg, but I will cover that in a separate entry.

All pics belong to Kuriosa Randoma, except for the Mövenpick hotel pictures which belongs to the hotel.

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Crazy Hotel: Wanna Play Stack House?

Innel Hotel which newly opened in Zaandam in Holland certainly firmly place the town on the world map. Talk about taking stacking stuff on top of one another on to a whole new level. This has to be one of the most crazy and awe-inspiring hotel designs ever. It has 160 rooms and is inspired by the traditional green houses (which I absolutely love btw) in the North-West of Holland. I wonder if the interior live up to the exterior?
The hotel is the brainchild of architect Wilfried van Winden from the firm WAN Architecten

Photo by Roel Backaert


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Summer Plans

Next year me and a friend will  travel around Europe on train  for 4 weeks. I was going to say backpacking but I don’t think that is a correct description, at least not how I interpet the word. We will stay at pretty comfortable hotels and not sleep at trainstations, campings nor on the trains. Hell, sleeping on  a train  can sometimes cost 120 EUR which is what a average  room at a 4 star hotel cost.  Anyway, train-hiking around in Europe is something I always wanted to do when I was younger but for some reason never did.

We will spend the first two weeks in Germany. My friend has never been in Berlin or Hamburg and I am dying to show both of those cities to her. I’ve been to Hamburg four times this year already, but haven’t been in Berlin since 2009. My longing to go there can be almost overpowering sometimes. I had planned to revisit two months ago but changed plans midthrough the trip and ended up elsewhere instead. Sometimes I think I must be the queen of improvising. 😉

When we are in Hamburg we will stay at Radisson Blu downtown,where I almost always stay when I am in Hamburg. They have such friendly staff, very nice stylish and modern design to all rooms and public areas (they extensively renovated the whole hotel 2009) and  it only takes 5 minutes to walkdown to Jungferstieg (central shopping street in Hamburg).  They also  have two great restaurants; Felinis, which is italian, and Trader’s Vic which is French-Polynesian, and where I once spent one of my most pleasant evenings at a restaurant. Ever.   There’s also a bar on the ground floor of the hotel and they make fantastic drinks there.

Apparently there is also a very famous bar on the 26th floor, but I haven’t been there which is embarrassing considering I’ve stayed at the hotel 6 times and didn’t even know about the bar’s existance until a months ago when I read about it in a city guide. And now I seem to read about it as soon as I open any article, website or book on Hamburg. Go figure.


The lobby,  view from the room, and the room. Photos from  one of my most recent stays at Radisson Blu in Hamburg.