Leaving Las Vegas (jk, Hamburg). Part 1

It’s been almost a month now since I arrived home and I guess it goes without saying: I’m a crappy blogger when it comes to consistency. But I suppose everyone’s been in a summery, lazy, procrastinating vibe (hey, no judgment) … Before getting into today’s topic, I’ll just quickly throw it out there:

UAAAAAAA, I MISS HAMBURG SO MUCH!!!

I definitely didn’t think a city in Germany can make such a big impression on me… No offence to Germany. I’ve heard before that Hamburg is quite diverse and full of people from around the world, but I would’ve never guessed it would strike so many chords in my soul. Too cheesy? It’ll get better.

Now, I’ve been thinking about what kind of message I want to send through this particular post. Obviously I will agitate you to visit Hamburg throughout the whole thing, so by the time you’re done reading it, you’ll either buy it and start packing your bags or unsubscribe from this blog all together. However I didn’t want it to be too generic and touristy, so I’ll just use my own words instead of quoting a “10-must-see-spots” list. You can use a guidebook or Tripadvisor for that…

Hamburg is actually the first big city I had luck and absolute pleasure to live in for a brief period of time. It is home to almost 2 million people (half of my home country) and a destination for obviously thousands, if not millions, of tourists. The previous European cities I lived in were perfect for a safe and eventful student life, but they were definitely not Hamburg. By far, I can safely say, it is my favorite city to live in. (Sorry, my beautiful Venice)

I really struggled figuring out the structure of this post (being all professional and stuff), but after some consideration I realized why not go for a good ol’ list?

10 ish REASONS WHY HAMBURG IS YOUR NEXT DESTINATION

 1) Hamburg is really diverse. Its neighborhoods cater to diverse groups of people. There are super expensive streets offering high-end shopping; family friendly neighborhoods where the only noise you’ll hear is birds chirping; marine districts, since Hamburg is clearly a harbor city; multiple green areas, parks, lakes and canals; there is the famous Reeperbahn- sex, drugs and rock-&-roll district, where people are never sober and the party never stops. What’s there to say?… Hamburg has it all.

2) People of Hamburg are really nice and welcoming. Since Hamburg is literally a cultural melting pot (Hey, USA), people treat newcomers with respect and generosity. Almost everyone speaks English too and is happy to help.

3) Hamburg is really open-minded. No matter who you are and where you come from, who you pray to, who you vote for or who you love, the city will treat you equally. I know some people will disagree with me, but I’ve definitely seen equality there and can safely say that Hamburg can teach the world a couple of things on mutual respect.

4) Hamburg is an architectural masterpiece. I don’t know how they do it, but somehow modern buildings blend with the old historic ones beautifully. Not that I’m an expert on the issue, but they just fit perfectly to my eye and don’t distract from the abundant architectural heritage that the city has to offer.

5) There is sooo much to do that doesn’t require a lot of spending. Go see the singing fountains in Planten un Blomen; enjoy some live jazz performance in one of the little music cafes; have a picnic in one of the parks or work on your tan on the Blankenese beach (just make sure you do that in the two weeks of warm weather that Hamburg offers); have a drink in one of the bohemian cafes in the Sternschanze district; go clubbing for God’s sake! Even though the majority of clubs ask for an entrance fee, you can still find a “free entrance” sign.

6) There is a metro transportation system. I know this one’s stupid and will not sound like a big deal to most readers, but in my case, having had the option to take the tube to work, made me immensely happy. I love the metro system! Just so you know, while in Moldova, I usually take minibuses (yes, it’s a thing) or trolleybuses (yes, they still exist) to get somewhere. On the other hand, in Holland, I mostly cycle. God bless the tube, for it is stress-free, traffic-free, rude drivers-free, quick, clean and safe means of transportation. And I don’t have a wedgie by the time I get to my destination. TMI?

7) Food. German, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Greek, Indian, Japanese… you name it.

8) This is for all my hipsters out there. There is a Starbucks cafe on literally EVERY CORNER. Or maybe Starbucks is not cool anymore, in which case never mind, idunno…

9) The atmosphere. Maybe it’s just me, but the city’s vibe had a positive influence on my emotional well-being. You just want to be better while you’re there. You’re more daring and adventurous- so you try new things, but at the same time, you want to take proper care of yourself and strive to be a better human being.

10) It’s just great. You’ll believe me when you get there. The weather may not be top-notch, but it definitely shouldn’t be an obstacle for someone who wishes to get to know this beautiful city.

Hamburg is a typical contrast-city. It’s big and small, loud and very quiet, business and party, green and architectural, historic and modern, traditional and multi-cultured, conservative and open-minded, nerve wrecking and exhilarating, very welcoming and very difficult to leave.

In a few days I will be returning to Holland, but the rendez-vous I’m most excited about now is definitely with Hamburg.

Join me next time for I will be grumpily ranting about my travelling-by-bus experience from Berlin to Chisinau.

It’s good to be back, WP!

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