By Daniela Späth
I have been living in Hamburg for some time now, and even though this city evokes bitter sweet emotions in me, it saddens me that this time I will be leaving for good. Hamburg impresses and shocks me. It surprises and irritates me. But I have to tell you one thing, the more I think about it, the more I am sure about this fact, among the many things the city has to offer, it is the Hamburg nightlife that still draws me. I have lived here for more than a year and I cannot seem to get enough of it. I simply love it!
I only have a few weeks left in this beautiful port city, so come journey with me as I take you on my last night out in Hamburg.
00:12 am: We take the subway or S-Bahn to the Reeperbahn. Everybody knows this place, it’s the infamous part of Hamburg, almost like a red light district (for lack of a better word), but you get the picture. Do not even think about arriving before midnight that is too early. We’ll spend the whole morning together, so no worries.
Once you’re at the station, just follow the crowd literally speaking. They will all be going in the same direction. You cannot possibly get lost. Just go with the flow. Do not preoccupy yourself with finding a fancy dress, take the shittiest (excuse the language) shoes you have, everything will fall in to place once you are there. Take around twenty or thirty Euros with you. Trust me that will be enough. The bars, pubs and clubs we’re going to do not have entry fee, okay, may be only one.
00:25 am: Our first stop, let’s call it a warm-up, is the Sommersalon, directly on the right side of Reeperbahn. You will recognize it by its fresh orange style, normally at this time it is not that full so there is enough space. It’s a nice starting point to buy a drink, dance and get used to the crowd.
00:45 am: Do not get too comfortable, another bar/pub/club awaits! It is time to move on, the night is young. Come on, let’s see a live band! Let’s go to Molly Melone on Hans-Albers-Platz. It’s quite a huge bar and normally there are some live bands playing and the entry is free.
01:21 am: Not yet in the party mood? No worries, next round is on me! But not here, we will walk to this tiny little bar called Lucky star. It’s located in the area called Hamburger Berg; to get there we will need to cross the Reeperbahn then switch to the other side. It is always very crowded, but cozy, probably because of its famous schnapps called Mexikaner, a local product of Reeperbahn.
This local brew costs only 50 cents for each, and has interesting ingredients which include tomato juice, corn vodka, pepper, salt and Tabasco. Sounds disgusting? Well it’s more of an acquired taste after a while, you get to like it. Oh, and the music? It’s awful. There is always a stupid pop song from the 70s playing from the jukebox. This is one of the must go to places and it’s just original. Otherwise no one will believe that you have been to the Reeperbahn, seriously.
02:00: Okay, have you had enough Mexikaner? How about a little rock and may be HipHop to move your body? Great, let’s cross the street to Headcrush. Once we are up the stairs, we enter in to a huge dance-hall, but if it’s too crowded here or if we don’t like the music, we can switch over to Nachtlager, again just across the street. If you’re a rock fan, you’ll love it for the great vibe, good music, and cheap beer.
02:47: Bit of a break? Sure, no problem. Let’s go to an orange bar called Barbarabar, just next to Headcrash. It’s a great place to cool off,chill out and have a drink. May be even play bit of table football.
03:20: You know what, I’m really getting hungry. You won’t believe how much I would love to have some hot French fries now! Probably the best fries in town, I highly recommend trying them. Let’s take a ten minutes walk to Kleine Pause (literally translated “small break”). There is always, I mean always a long queue. But you’ll know why after you have ordered your French fries or your burger. The owner is yelling around, and making jokes. I just love it! It’s really worth the wait and the walk.
03:59 am: So with a little break and some fries, I’m thinking you have enough energy for a Karaoke? Well I’m not really the Karaoke type, but, I like going to this place called Thai Oase. It’s just hilarious to be there. From Kleine Pause it’s may be a ten-minute walk. It’s located at the end of the famous street called Große Freiheit.
04:17 am: All these people, I’m getting a little enochlophobic( yes feel free to look this word up), I really need to get some space. Why not go in the direction of Landungsbrücken, right next to the harbor. Let’s sit outside and have a drink in this comfy little bar called Couch Kapitän which just feels like a nice living room, and after leaving this bar, we will go directly to a small green area where we’ve got an amazing view over the harbor called Park fiction.
04:40 am: Common guys, hope you are not tired, we are just getting started! So let’s go to the first club called Golden Pudel where we’ll pay an entrance fee (but just a few Euros). It’s just a walking distance from Park Fiction. They play mainly alternative music and electro and is easy to find because it’s a wooden house in the middle of the harbor. Sometimes it reminds me of a witch’s house, perhaps because it looks spooky on the outside.
05:33 am: Oh, damn it! It’s already five! It’s time to make our way to the legendary Fischmarkt. At this time of the year it opens at 5 o’ clock in the morning. But wait – there is just one more bar I’d like to go to, across the Fischmarkt at the building called Fischauktionshalle, but we’ll come to that later. So let’s go to Golem now. It’s quite a hidden bar, from the outside it doesn’t really stick out. Once we’ve entered, there is a huge piano that immediately grabs your attention but let’s head downstairs there is also a small club. Let’s have a look!
5:56: Okay, enough of Golem. I need fish. Good thing it’s being sold anywhere (close to the harbor that is), along with breakfast, coffee, fruits, souvenirs, and everything else you can imagine. But that is the market outside the market hall. The big market hall may not be what you think it is. They don’t sell a lot food in there but two bands are playing on each side of the market hall! Have you ever seen anything like that? I mean, how cool is that!
06:30: Oh man! Now I’m really getting tired. Let’s enjoy the last bite of the fish and drink the last sip of our beers. Then I’ll probably get sad because I’ll remember: I fell in love with Hamburg the night I first went out to the Reeperbahn.
PS: If you want to see the places I mentioned, click on the map and on the anchors I put there. Then you will get a short description and small photo of the place. Enjoy!