Tired of being the obvious tourist when visiting a new place? The Culture Trip is happy to help you out. Follow these six simple rules to enjoy the ‘most beautiful city in the world‘ like a true Hamburger would.
Rule #1: Wear functional clothing.
North Germans live by the mantra ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, just a bad choice of clothes’. In Hamburg, North Sea winds mean that experiencing four seasons in one day is a very real possibility. Accordingly, to fit in with the local crowd, be equipped with a wind- and waterproof jacket—bonus points if it comes with zippered inlays for all weather conditions. Granted, dressing like going for a hike in the Alps may be overkill for just strolling along the shopping streets, but when in Hamburg…
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Rule #2: Cycle everywhere.
Hamburg is a fairly flat city with excellent cycling infrastructure, so a short bicycle ride will take you everywhere. Locals love their bicycles, and it’s not difficult to see why – they’re a quick and cheap way to get around and stay fit, and they’re great for the environment. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to join in: Hamburg is dotted with over 200 StadtRAD stations filled with bright red bikes, which can be rented and returned to any station in the city, and the first half hour is free.
Rule #3: Use public transportation.
Wish to wander further afield? The city’s public transportation network has you covered. Using public transport, true Hamburger-style, will save both time and money and, unless it’s rush hour, that bicycle can come along for free. Expensive harbour boat tours can be easily replaced by a round trip on the line 62 of the HADAG ferry service. A U3 metro ride can compete with most hop-on/hop-off tours, and the bus routes 48 and 111 spoil travellers with excellent views of the city’s iconic sights.
Rule #4: Skip Starbucks.
Resist the lure of familiar international coffee houses and go local. After all, Hamburg has dominated global coffee trade for centuries and is home to world-leading coffee producers like Tchibo and J. J. Darboven, whose first coffee house dates back to 1677. Across the city are exceptional coffee roasters like Speicherstadt Kaffeerösterei, Kaffeerösterei Burg and Elbgold, as well as hip third wave cafés like Milch, Playground Coffee, Public Coffee Roasters and Stockholm Espresso Club.
Rule #5: Stay close to water.
Between three rivers, countless canals and waterways, Hamburg is a city built on water—something the locals value and know how to make the most of. Every spring, the River Elbe hosts the largest port festival in the world, while the end of the summer is celebrated in grand style along the Alster shore. Throughout the year, the Hamburgers sail, row and paddle in the rivers and lakes, while those looking for less physically exhausting pastimes relax on the sandy Elbe beaches or seek out the best secret spots for watching passing ships.
Rule #6: Worship the sun.
There aren’t many people in the world that can compete with North Germans’ enjoyment of the sun. At the first rays of spring, the Hamburgers flock to the city’s parks to soak up the sun, have picnics with friends and grill countless sausages. Cafés and restaurants roll out outside seating, equipped with obligatory warm blankets, and city beaches and beach clubs spring to life. Even if you come from warmer climates, join the locals in their worship of the sun and savour the entire city coming alive with a joyful laid-back vibe.
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It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.