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Hamburg-Paris - days left, where else to go ?

Hamburg-Paris - days left, where else to go ?

Dec 15th, 2003, 05:26 AM
  #1  
Tat
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 284
Hamburg-Paris - days left, where else to go ?

Hello there.
We are arriving to Hamburg on midday of Thursday, April,1. My friend picking us up and we are staying at her appt.
Friday night we are heading to a Paris - returning on Tuesday. Night train, so not missing much while sleeping. BTW if anybody knows what is the French "sleeper for 6" looks/feels like, please, tell.
So, we are back on Tuesday and having Wed and Thu to ourselves while my friend is working.
Friday, Sat, Sun is our time togeather as everyone off for Easter break.

My question is how would you, Wizards,
1. spend Wed and Thu in Hamburd and
2. would you go any close place like neighborhood country for 3 Easter Days ?

Much appreciated.
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Dec 15th, 2003, 05:38 AM
  #2  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,143
Hi Tat,

I thnk that you will find Ben Haines's "Night Trains in Europe" useful.

http://www.twenj.com/tipsnighttrains.htm
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Dec 15th, 2003, 05:56 AM
  #3  
Tat
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 284

Now when I know "how"
I need to find out "where"

Thanks, ira.
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Dec 15th, 2003, 06:33 AM
  #4  
hsv
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,801
Hi Tat,

my suggestion would be to start the day with a nice breakfast, probably at "Literaturhaus Cafe" (Library Cafe) at Schwanenwik. The rooms are gracious (esp. downstairs), the service not always, but its overall nice.

You might then head towards the port (Landungsbruecken). There is an S- Bahn (express trains) and U- Bahn station (subway, which in Hamburg runs in large parts above ground level) station adjacent.

You might want to take a cruise of the port with one of the small boats called "Barkassen". They will take you through a part of the city where there are loads of ancient warehouses for storing all sorts of goods like carpets, coffees and teas. Some of them are still operative, others are being converted to office and apartment buildings. It is called "Speicherstadt".

Returning you might want to have some seafood lunch. There is a rustic restaurant called "Fischerhaus" in the direction of the Fish Market (Fischmarkt). Its interior hasn't been improved in centuries and the side orders are probably nothing to write home about, but the fish is fresh and comes in great portions. Many locals frequent it.

You might then want to proceed to Fish Market and do some window shopping in the shopping arcade called Stilwerk (Style works). Lots of very upscale interior design stores.
If you step across the street, there is a ferry landing. Jump onto a boat and let it take you down the river. Get off at either the next stop (Oevelgoenne) and take a leisurely stroll down Strandweg and take a glimpse at the cute old captains houses lined up for a few kilometers. After about 10 minutes you will reach a famous kiosk right on the beach called Strandperle. There is not much about it except for its setting right across from the container port and its big vessels. Still it is a wonderful place to hang out in the evenings, after the sunset for a beer on the beach and a look at the zillions of port lights.

You might also want to stay on the ferry until you reach Finkenwerder, an island in the river that today is more or less an unattractive suburb. If you switch boats there, you can continue to the next station called Teufelsbrueck, where there is a nice cafe (Cafe Engel) on the quai. You might then take a longer walk back towards Oevelgoenne or even take a walk further down the river to Hamburgs picturesque and hilly suburb of Blankenese with lovely old homes, which might be preferable. There are buses and S- Bahns to take you back into town. The boats are included in a daypass for public transport, BTW.

Have dinner at one of the many beautiful restaurants. My favorite currently is Stocker (Max- Brauer- Allee in Altona district) which offers gourmet Austrian cuisine in a lovely setting with about the most courteous and friendly service you can imagine. Great wines, decadent desserts. It comes at a small price but is very much worth it.

For Thursday you might want to explore a bit more of the city center. Start at Rathaus (City Hall) and venture into the many shopping arcades offering some of Germany's finest shopping opportunities. Lovely stores around Jungfernstieg and bigger department stores on Moenckebergstrasse.
You might also want to hop on one of the City Tour buses (preferrably the all red one which is endorsed by the bigger hotels).

Do get off at St. Michael's church,
one of Hamburgs landmarks, admire the organ (if you are lucky) and climb (or take a ride) up the tower for a splendid view of the city. Close by there is a small alley which will give you an impression what the heavily destroyed and rebuilt city looked like, two centuries ago (Krameramtsgasse).

Returning into the city center you might want to consider renting a row- paddle- or sailing boat on the Alster lake right downtown (Outer Alster) either in front of Hotel Atlantic or on the other shore close to the Hotel Interconti at Bodo's Bootssteg, where you also might want to enjoy some coffee or a small beer on the berth.

Should it be raining, there is Kunsthalle, a museum sporting older an modern art right next to Central Station (Hauptbahnhof). Also interesting is Museum for Hamburg history or (at least for every male who's still a boy at heart, but sympathetic females, too ;-)) the Hamburg Model Railroad in Speicherstadt, which is a fascinating small world of trains naturally rebuilt surroundings. In the same building there is Hamburg Dungeon, an interactive museum which demonstrates life in Hamburg some centuries ago and might send a shiver down your spine.

You might want to have dinner at Restaurant Fischmarkt (Ditmar- Koel- Str. and irritatingly not on Fish Market). Nice atmosphere and great seafood, although no view.

If you prefer to have your fish with a view, there is Fischereihafen Restaurant by the river, which is an old classic (a bit old fashioned) but a hang- out for local celebreties. It does come at a price.

Top off the evening in one of the in- bars with a nice cocktail. On the (inner) Alster in downtown, there is Ciu's on Ballindamm featuring the city's probably most extensive whiskey list. Closer to Fischereihafen Restaurant and right on the River shore there are Au- Quai Bar, which is a modern laid back chilling lounge with a gorgeus view and terrace and Bar Savanh in Restaurant Indochine some 500 m further down the River, one of the hippest places to hang out, also sporting a gorgeous view and offering possibly the best drinks.

Another option might be Tower Bar on top of Hotel Hafen Hamburg. From here you might venture directly into the slightly seedy nightlife of Hamburg's famous redlight district called Reeperbahn and its surroundings (referred to as "Kiez").

In the surroundings, you should allow for one day in Luebeck.
It is a picturesque and well preserved medieval city close to the Baltic sea. By car it will take you not more than 45 min. to get there (1 h max.), train about the same.
Take a stroll through the relatively small Old Town. Take a glance at the museum of torture inside the city's landmark Hostentor Gate. Pay a visit to the home of Germany's famous writer and Nobel Prize Winner Thomas Mann, who emigrated in the 1930s to Pacific Palisades, Calif. and taught at Princeton Univ. Do also visit the churches of St. Marien and the Dom.
Have lunch at the old fashioned restaurant called "Schiffergesellschaft" - or for a more local and less touristy spot "Luebecker Hanse" featuring French influenced regional cuisine.

The Baltic sea with the seaside resorts might appeal to you, too.
You might also pay a visit to Stade (medieval town to the South West of Hamburg) or Lueneburg (South East).

The countryside in Mecklenburg (German state formerly Eastern Germany) is lovely, too. Some palaces there that might attract you- one of them in Schwerin. But that's a drive of up to 2 hours.

Lots of things to do- look forward to your trip.

Should you have any specific questions, do post!

Regards
hsv
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Dec 15th, 2003, 06:37 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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A great, easy, and quick day trip from Hamburg would be to head up to Lübeck (~45 mins). My wife and I were there last October and really enjoyed it. (Even with the cool, damp, typically German October weather.) It has a nice old city, maritime feel. We did lots of walking, visited several of the chruches (we especially liked St. Katherine's "museum" church), and, of course, hit the Niederegger (sp?) marzipan shop and cafe.

For the weekend, if it was me, I would head up to the North Sea or Baltic Sea coast, but this may be as I have never been but was interested in heading that way. (I've been living in Germany for the last 2 years.) You should be well situated in Hamburg in terms of train travel (or, of course, if you friend has a car).

Enjoy your trip,
Paul
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Dec 15th, 2003, 06:39 AM
  #6  
Tat
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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I AM a female b...t...w... HA !

Thanks for planning it for me so good.

What about going visit neighbors like ... I don't remember which country is closest ?

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Dec 15th, 2003, 07:20 AM
  #7  
Tat
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Please, wizards, concentrate.
My friends are Hamburgers , so I will not get lost with them around.
Neighborhood countries is where I want to go to. Just need to know which ones are closest or best to see.

thanks
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Dec 15th, 2003, 01:29 PM
  #8  
hsv
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Tat,

do I understand yourf last post correctly?

If you have friends (which you had already stated) that guarantee you such a great time you won't be lost, why ask for activities, anyway ?

Regarding neighboring countries: Are you kidding?- Does the invention of a map ring a bell?

I'll try to remain contructive, though:

About 150 km (that's approx. 95 miles) to the North, there is Denmark. It is inhabited predominantly by Danes...It is in Northern Europe, part of what is called Scandinavia. (BTW with all countries mentioned here, we are talking about Europe, Northern Hemisphere of a planet called Earth).
You can get to one of the Danish islands by ferry from Puttgarden in Germany to Rödby on the island of Lolland. It is possible to proceed to Copenhagen from there (I would guess about 2 to 3 hours).
The Danish mainland is about 150 km away. You can get to Odense on the island of Fyn from there or take a drive to the North Sea Coast (island of Röm) From Römö you could take an excursion to the North German equivalent of Long Island called island of Sylt. Very upscale, very scenic, very beautiful.
To the South West there are the Netherlands, aka Holland (if you have not heard the former name). That's approx. a three hour drive.

Figure for yourself.

hsv
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Dec 16th, 2003, 06:14 AM
  #9  
Tat
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hsv,
I appreciate your input even written in style you wrote it.
However if you concentrated you would understand that yes, I have friends to get me around Hamburg.
I want to go somewhere else for couple of days and want to make up my own mind about where to go.
Out of 3-4 closest countries I wanted to pick most loved and popular by American tourists. I apologize if I wrote it in a way that it was difficult to understand.
Thanks
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Dec 16th, 2003, 08:56 AM
  #10  
hsv
 
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Tat,

just being a bit ironic- did not mean to be rude;-)

Germany is surrounded by

- Denmark (North)
- The Netherlands (West)
- Belgium (West, South of Netherlands)
- Luxemburg (West, South of Belgium)
- France (Southwest)
- Switzerland (South)
- Austria (South)
- Czech Republic (Southeast)
- Poland (East)

Of all mentioned there is only Denmark and probably the Netherlands that are reasonably close to Hamburg, as Hamburg is in the far North of Germany.

You might consider a trip to Sweden, too, which is accessible by ferry. It is a long trip to the rural South of Sweden, though.

If I were you, I would either drive up the Baltic Coast to Copenhagen, if you insist on seeing one more country or drive to Römö as mentioned, from where you could take a beautiful daytrip by ferry to the island of Sylt in the North Sea. Denmark is very laid back- not much to do, but great for relaxation.

If you would prefer to stay within Germany, you might also like to take a drive along the Baltic coast in the direction of Rostock (East, former Eastern Germany) and probably lodge in Kuehlungsborn (before Rostock) or in Wustrow (behind Rostock). Beautiful area.

For some reason undiscovered to me, Americans tend to frequent the South of Germany more. I suppose they like the scenery of the hills and mountains more. Plus, people might be a bit more easily accessible down there whereas North Germans tend to be a bit more reserved. Do not mistake this for unfriendliness, though, just a different mentality.
You'll be in the comparatively flat North- but there is a certain charm about the country, too, that just needs to be discovered.

Look forward to your trip- you certainly will enjoy it.

hsv
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Dec 16th, 2003, 09:06 AM
  #11  
Tat
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We all gonna have 4 days 8-11 of April off.
So, let say we had been in Paris for 4 days, explored Hamburg for 2-3 days while our friends are working and we have 4 days togeather left.
I was hoping may be (after reading up here) to drive to Amsterdam and take a quick look at tulips ? Yeah, and that famous "gils" place too ? Ha, almost forgot.
I do not want to stay in Germany for those 4 days, I want to sample as much countries as I can so next time to know where I do not want to go, see ?
I am kind of very compulsive, so I have to pre-visit first and then visit on purpose.
I know for sure I will love Paris, I have no idea if I'll like Amsterdam (I do not like tulips so much either, but people are going, must be reason)
Thanks hsv
P.S What is FODORS anyway ?
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Dec 16th, 2003, 11:51 AM
  #12  
hsv
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Tat,

you're welcome!

Cannot comment on Amsterdam, as I have no experience. I would estimate driving time at 4 to 5 hours, though.

Copenhagen is nice- you might want to give that a try alternatively. Driving time from Hamburg also around 4 hours incl. ferry passage.

Hope u don't mind the undertone in my previous post anymore- just a misunderstanding probably. Friends again ?

hsv
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Dec 16th, 2003, 11:55 AM
  #13  
Tat
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No hard feelings !
Thanks, Copenhagen is cool too.
Isn't it motherland of Andersen ? Hans Andersen, ferry tales master ? Remember, "Snow Maden" ? I would love to go. And I like taking ferry too.
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Jan 5th, 2004, 08:16 AM
  #14  
Tat
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Talked this over with our friends and decided to go to Amsterdam for a day.
Possibly night train (if exists ... does it ?)
So, my husband suggested while myself and our daughter admiring tulips - he is going to run around red-light district (running around will be the only option for him as I am planning to strip him off the money completely
Then dining, walking and coming back.

I am wondering if it is a GOOD idea ?
I think it is, but welcome critics.
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Jan 5th, 2004, 06:52 PM
  #15  
 
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I'm not sure anyone mentioned the wonderful Hamburg zoo, with its layout that lets visitors do tours (on your own kind, with route laid out) for various lengths of time. Also, the arboretum and adjacent gardens are lovely.
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Jan 5th, 2004, 11:45 PM
  #16  
hsv
 
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Underhill,

GREAT suggestion- Hagenbeck's zoo is the only (and one of the oldest) privately owned zoos in Germany. They pride themselves for keeping the animals on display in the most natural settings possible.

By arboretum I suppose you mean the park called "Planten un Blomen" in downtown- it's fairly nice during summers, too, if one wants to chill for one or two hours.



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Jan 6th, 2004, 04:54 AM
  #17  
Tat
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Thanks, ZOO it is !
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