Europe,  Travel Diaries

Europe Travel Diary: Hamburg

Our Europe Travel Diary is an informal rundown of our day-to-day activities while backpacking Europe, starting with Madrid. This travel diary entry is based on our two days in Hamburg.

Do check out our Top Tips for Travelling Europe and our 2 Months in Europe Itinerary to see our route!

Day 51: Berlin to Hamburg


As soon as we arrived, our first point of call was checking into our accommodation. Thankfully, our hostel was only a two minute walk from the bus station. We could see it from our room it was that close. Our room was quite nice, for a hostel, apart from the fact it was on the sixth floor. Despite their being many Generator Hostel’s across Europe, we hadn’t stayed in one before. Hopefully this would live up to the great reviews it had.

As we arrived in good time, we dumped our stuff and headed out to explore the streets of Hamburg. We ended up going through many Christmas markets which, due to covid, were quite a hassle to get into. Despite having to download numerous apps and constantly showing vaccine passes, the mulled wine was definitely worth it! 

We walked along the river and around the main square and then to the Speicherstadt which is Hamburg’s industrial district. Having done our research we knew it was a place worth visiting but it was far prettier than we could have imagined. The buildings were all lit up and mirrored beautifully on the water.

Given all of our walking, we were in dire need for some food. Thankfully, we found a gluten-free Italian restaurant not too far away. The food ended up being incredibly and reminded us of how good the food was in Italy.

We then made a lazy walk home to the comfort of our bed and to plan the next day. We also had a well earned rest after a long day travelling and exploring.

Day 52: Hamburg 


We woke up in good time in preparation to see the rest of Hamburg. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t playing ball and was very gloomy and wet! We decided to stay inside and skip breakfast in the hope it’ll ease off. However, it didn’t stop anytime soon.

Nonetheless, we couldn’t put off our hunger any longer so we set out on our quest for lunch. This was eventually found in the name of a restaurant called Groot.

Groot was a traditional German restaurant serving a variety of meats, some amazing mashed potato, with carrots, and gravy. We were also served Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) which, whilst not to our liking, was something we glad we tried. We politely ate as much as we could before leaving the rest. The cafeteria-style restaurant was full of busy locals on the work breaks which added to the authenticity. In addition, the staff didn’t speak much English but were very accommodating and we absolutely loved it.

Given the weather, we decided to venture back to the hostel and have a relatively chilled day. We thought there was not point wandering around wet and making ourselves miserable. As such, our only job of the day was to find a patch. Before this could happen, we had to put our washing on at the basic facilities the hostel had. 

Now it was time to souvenir patch hunt. Leah had a great idea that as the main train station in Hamburg was also a two minute walk away, we should check what souvenir shops it had. The parts of Hamburg we had already seen we’re very helpful. It turned out to be a stroke of genius and the first shop we went into had the perfect patch so we snapped it up straight away. 

We then went for more of a wander around the station and found a massive food court serving everything from Subway to Sushi. We decided that we would definitely come back here for dinner. On our way out, we also spotted a Dunkin’ Donuts store. As Alex had never had a Dunkin Donut (sheltered life), we popped in to grab a coffee each whilst Alex also got a white chocolate Donut. Unsurprisingly, he said it was the best he’d ever had. We enjoyed these back at the hostel, in a common area where we just chilled out for the rest of the day. 

Once here, we also decided to sort our washing out but it was still soaking wet. Alex had to go back and forth to reception asking for more and more tokens as the dryers were horrendous. It ended up getting to a point where we needed our clothes upstairs in order to pack so we had to sort out the damp washing into usable and “hanging”. A lot of stress. 

We eventually got hungry so went back to the food court in the train station and Leah settled on a Mexican over the Indian, as she didn’t like yellow rice. She opted for some amazing creamy chicken type thing with rice whilst I had a chilli con carne burrito. 

We then ran back to our hostel to dodge the rain and get an early night! Unfortunately, it was then for the tireless task of packing before we headed off to Copenhagen the next morning.

Day 53: Hamburg to Copenhagen 

We set our alarms for 8:30am as we hoped this gave us plenty of time to pack. Due to Covid, there were only two other people in our eight bed mixed-dorm and they were also leaving this morning. This meant we didn’t have to worry too much about waking other people up! 

The bus ride was like any other bus ride, pretty easy and non-eventful with the occasional emergency stop. However, this one was different as we had to get a ferry from Germany to Denmark. As such, the bus parked up on the ferry and we went upstairs for a wander and onto the deck for lookout. It was quite cool coming out of the port, especially as you could see some industrial fishing boats and an offshore wind farm.

Leah was hungry so we hunted for something she could eat. We eventually found some Goulashsuppe whilst I had a Franks Hot Dog. Unfortunately, the suppe was pretty horrendous so Leah didn’t eat that much and I only ate a little bit because it was that bad. 

When we had finished, it was time to back on the bus and carry on our journey. 

The only other notable event was border control where we were all required to disembark with our hand luggage AND our hold luggage. We were then instructed to line-up with everything in front of us and were warned they would inspect our bags. Fortunately, they simply just logged our passports, checked the bus was clear and then sent us on our way without checking anything else. What a waste of time. 

Hamburg Summary

We actually loved Hamburg as a city! Unfortunately, we were only there for two days and it did rain pretty much the whole time we were there which was a shame. 

That being said, we definitely preferred Hamburg in comparison to Berlin as it is a lot easier to get around and the people were a lot friendlier. 

We enjoyed the food, the Christmas markets and wandering over the bridges in the evening during our stay. 

I think we would definitely go back to Hamburg and see a bit more of the city, hopefully when the weather is a bit nicer! 

Europe Travel Diary

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