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Port city on the Elbe River

Hamburg

Hamburg is filled with sophisticated coffee bars, vibrant street art and one-of-a-kind restaurants. This port city, where daily life centres around the water, exudes a cool maritime vibe. From an industrial urban beach to Deathpresso: our editor, Irene Broer, takes you to her favourite spots in this metropolis along the Elbe.

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Irene Broer

Irene Broer, a freelance editor, has been a writer with iFly KLM Magazine for many years. Five years ago she moved to Hamburg and never left. As chief editor of Gute Leute Magazine she shares all the hotspots in the city, “I never get bored in Hamburg. Every neighbourhood has a unique character, and I always find something new to explore: from street art to cocktail bars and fun lunch destinations. I always try to reflect this diversity in my magazine. In this article I will take you to some of my favourite spots where you can soak up Hamburg's alternative vibe and feel its unique connection to the water.”

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    St. Pauli's fish market

    Early birds and night owls

    On Sunday morning I love going to the Hamburg fish market – that is, if I get out of bed on time. Until about nine in the morning, market stands line the shore of the Elbe displaying tons of fresh fish, baskets full of fruit and vegetables, chocolate, cheese and even houseplants and laying hens. The true night owls stay up: it's a local tradition to end a night in St. Pauli's club district with a visit to the fish market. Sip a last round of beers in the historic market hall, dance to live music or sink your teeth into a hearty Bauernfrühstück (scrambled egg with potato and bacon).

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    Deathpresso

    Serious coffee

    For a strong shot of espresso I head over to kopiba, one of my favourite places in the district of Schanzenviertel. Kopiba is one of the few coffee bars that roasts its own beans in an antique coffee roaster in the back of the store. In addition to its own brand Deathpresso, with a distinct skull logo, you can also enjoy homemade pies and simple lunch dishes. At night the espresso machine is turned off and locals flock here for a different kind of shot.

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      Elbstrand

      Urban beach with industrial view

      In Hamburg ferries are part of our regular public transportation system. On a sunny day I love hopping on a ferry to Elbstrand. As the name suggests, this urban beach lies along the shore of the Elbe River and looks out over Hamburg's industrial port with its moving cranes and enormous container ships.

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      As soon as temperatures rise, locals pack the beach to tan, walk their dogs or watch their children play. For cold beer and a fish sandwich, head to the narrow pedestrian street behind the beach.

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        Luicella’s Ice Cream

        Queuing for ice cream

        The enormous line snaking down the street is a sure sign that Luicella's makes the best ice cream in Hamburg. I have stopped by to sample some of its unique flavours, such as avocado with raspberry sauce, goat’s cheese and lavender (delicious!) or pumpkin-chai latte, served either in a cone or a take-out container. The small shop with its ice cream maker in St. Pauli has become so popular that there are now numerous locations of Luicella’s around the city. And if you have a brilliant idea for a new ice cream flavour, write it down on the blackboard.

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        MOMO Ramen

        Noodle soup to the sound of hiphop

        A love for hiphop and Japanse noodle soup is the formula for MOMO Ramen: a cosy restaurant in Eimsbüttel, the current epicentre of the Hamburg hiphop scene. The walls are plastered with vivid murals and hiphop is always playing in the background. The menu offers a pretty nice variety of ramen soups. My favourite is the tantanmen with spicy Szechuan peppers. Vegans will be happy to know that the vegan options are just as delicious as all the other varieties on the menu!

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        Vegans will be happy to know that the vegan options are just as delicious as all the other varieties on the menu!

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        DRILLING

        Old marzipan factory

        Not candy but booze. I recently discovered the DRILLING distillery, housed in an old marzipan factory in west Hamburg. This is one of the few distilleries in Germany to make single malt whisky, rum and other unique liquors (such as a red beet brandy wine). And visitors are welcome to have a taste. The talented bartenders in the cocktail bar mix up the most intriguing concoctions. How about a whisky sour or sherry with Japanese cherry liqueur.

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        Can't decide? Roll the dice: one will determine the main alcoholic ingredient and the other gives the flavour.

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