Germany’s celebrated port city of Hamburg derives its wilful, irrepressible character from its maritime setting and history. Wander the city streets and you can’t fail to absorb it, from the historic harbourfront to the network of canals and the lively Fischmarkt in the borough of Altona. There’s a huge range of places to stay at notably affordable prices, so check in to a room at one of Hamburg’s finest hostels – which you can now book with Culture Trip.
Here’s a friendly, family-run hotel with pedigree – it dates from 1961 – offering a range of sound-proofed rooms. Despite shared bathrooms, it’s more discreet than a lot of the competition in this non-stop city, guaranteeing privacy, peace and quiet. Wake each morning to breakfast in the newly renovated breakfast room, with its large sun terrace for the warmer months. The hostel has its own car park – free for guests – secure parking for bikes and motorbikes, and, within 15 minutes’ walk, a tram stop for trips to the centre.
Close to Hamburg central station, MAC City Hostel is ideal for budget-conscious travellers who want to explore the city and have good transport links. Rooms are clean and basic, with shared bathrooms and luggage storage. Make the most of the free snacks, drinks and wifi in the communal lounge, and consider bike rental organised by the hostel – it’s a quick and easy way to get around the city. If you’re looking for a cosy night in, there are board games and puzzles.
Hostels can be effortlessly cool, and Cab 20 is the proof – an essay in natural materials that make the place feel warm and inviting. It can also lay claim to being Germany’s first cabin hostel – all the rooms are in private cabins. Each of these has a queen-size bed, free wifi and wireless charging stations. They’ve also thoughtfully added built-in Bluetooth speakers and storage systems that’ll swallow up your luggage, so you’ve got plenty of room.
With its setting beside one of the city’s historic canals, Innside Hamburg Hafen is a funky, fun place to base yourself for a weekend. There’s plenty of light pouring through large windows, and graffiti-inspired murals throughout add pops of colour and character. If you fancy lazing over a drink, there’s a sun terrace overlooking the canal where you might also like a bite to eat. When not out on the town, make the most of your down time – there’s board-game rental, a monthly “sofa concert” and a Finnish sauna to soothe post-party limbs.
Glossy and sophisticated but also family-friendly, the Scandic Hamburg Emporio has memorably cool rooms with statement art and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city. If travelling with children, book the Superior Family room, which includes a pull-out sofa bed for the young ones. The on-site restaurant has a kids’ menu, and is open for lunch and dinner. When looking after little ones has exhausted you, head off for some relaxing “you” time – the hotel has not one, but two saunas.
What’s in a name? In this case, one of Hamburg’s main exports: beer. The Niu Keg recalls an age when more than 400 breweries operated in the city. Throughout the hostel, you’ll stumble upon references to Germany’s best-known beverage, ranging from stylised barrel patterns on the floors to circular barrel shelves on the walls. Rooms fall into three sizes: the Tripster, the Townster and the Hipster – the largest of the three. This includes a double bed and seating area with a pull-out sofa, finished with fun, nautical-style design details.
This is an updated version of an article originally by Anwesha Ray.
If you want to loosen the purse strings a bit, book one of the best hotels in Hamburg, and check out our guide to the top boutique accommodation in the city. Read on to find out how to spend a weekend in Hamburg, and head to the coolest neighbourhoods in town.