5 Parks to Enjoy the Autumn in Hamburg

5 Parks to Enjoy the Autumn in Hamburg

As the summer comes to a close, Hamburg’s lush green parks metamorphosize into an ocean of colors with many shades of green, yellow, orange and brown depicted on their trees. Speaking of parks, did you know that almost 9 % of Hamburg’s total city area is public parks and another 9.5% of the city’s area is protected natural reserve?! Deservingly the city was voted as the “European Green Capital” in 2011. Here’s a list of our favorite parks for a colorful autumn stroll to enjoy before the clocks are reversed and the long dark winter kicks in.


City Park in Hamburg

Hamburg’s largest park is a magnet for nature lovers all year round. We love it even more in the autumn because once its many trees turn orange-red-yellow, pretty much every other corner of the park turns into a photo spot. A perfect place for a leisurely stroll or an energizing evening run. Once there, don’t forget to check out a “proper” beer garden in the city – the Landhaus Walter to the park’s north and the Sierich’s Biergarten on its south. 

Niendorfer Gehege

Niendorfer Gehege in Hamburg

Almost a forest right at one’s doorstep, spread on a whopping 150 hectares and at a distance of about 20 minutes from the city center, the Niendorfer Gehege is a forest inside Hamburg. Its 15 km long trekking trail is a particularly inviting location for long walks during the golden season when its flora shines in its most vibrant autumn colors. A special highlight are the free-living animals of the natural reserve area and if you’re lucky a few shy deer make show themselves during your autumn walk. A children’s play area and a pony farm make the Niendorfer Gehege popular among families as well.

Harburger Berge

Harburger Berge Park in Hamburg

Hamburg may be far away from the Alps, but if there is one place where Hamburgers need all-terrain shoes to go for a hike then it has to be the Harburg mountains, yes that’s what it literally means ???? Home to the city’s highest spot at 116.2 meters above ground level, this can be a challenging trek for many as one does do a number of ascents averaging between 40 to 70 meters while walking through the mixed forests. Admittedly, the Harburger Bergen are a little away from the city, but they can be easily reached with the S3 line from its Neuwiedenthal station. 

Jenisch Park

Jenisch Park in Hamburg

An ideal place to stroll around, jog or walk the dog, the Jenisch Park is equally popular with all. Designed in the style of an elegant English garden, the 42-hectare park stretches alongside the Elbe and offers enough space for beautiful autumn walks through rustling leaves. Those interested in art and culture should definitely make a stop at the Jenisch House and the Ernst Barlach Art Forum. And those who haven’t had enough of nature can stroll to the nearby botanical gardens and be enchanted by the exotic plants there.

Ohlsdorf Cemetery

the Ohlsdorfer Cemetery in Hamburg

Europe’s largest park cemetery is also an impressive natural area. Come autumn and the park turns into a colorful sea of leaves. The park offers an ideal opportunity for long reflective walks in the fresh air and is easily reachable with the S1 and the U1 lines. Given that it is also a cemetery where the last mortal remains of thousands of people are preserved, it promises to provide the spooky factor for an eerily walk on Halloween. 

Hamburg’s Delicious Fast-Food, the Fischbrötchen

Hamburg’s Delicious Fast-Food, the Fischbrötchen

While hamburgers may have originated in Hamburg, its most popular sandwich does not have a beef patty in it, but fish. Yes, put a piece of smoked, fried or pickled fish inside a bread roll and you have the Fischbrötchen – one of Hamburg’s most widely consumed snacks today. The Fischbrötchen go well with the maritime flair of the city and people are easily convinced of their being a part of Hamburg’s culinary heritage. Here’s a list of our favorite Fischbrötchen joints in the city for you to try out. Afterall, it is one of the must-dos while you’re in Hamburg – having a hamburger..err…sorry, trying a Fischbrötchen ????

Bei den Sankt-Pauli-Landungsbrücken Nr. 10

Brücke 10 

A perennial favorite of ours, an all-weather place to enjoy a Fischbrötchen located right in the heart of its harbor. The Brücke 10 at the last pier of the Landungsbrücken is not really an insider tip as the area is always bustling with people, visitors and locals alike. Freshly baked bread and a wide choice of fish options, screeching seagulls and passing by ships make the Brücke 10 a place to try a Fischbrötchen even if you didn’t intend to have one – the atmosphere is just infectious, but in a healthy way! Try their Krabbenbrötchen and you will thank us always for this suggestion ???? (Bei den Sankt-Pauli-Landungsbrücken Nr.9)

 Kleine Haie, Große Fische 

If a döner kebab is not your choice snack during an evening of indulgence, then try a Fischbrötchen at the Kleine Haie, Große Fische. Located right in the heart of the party district of St. Pauli, their offering of Fischbrötchen is somewhat unique and also perhaps somewhat healthier than what the other fast-food joints, kebab stalls and pizzerias dotting the neighborhood offer. (Querstr. 4)


A refreshing new entrant on the Fischbrötchen scene of the city, the Underdocks promises to revolutionize the way Fischbrötchen are done and eaten in Hamburg. With a wide array of fusionized and innovative creations like corn-coated sardines and marinated black tiger shrimps, their Fischbrötchens are definitely ushering a new-era of street food in Hamburg – the Fischbrötchen 2.0, as they call it. (Neuer Kamp 13)

Expeimental Fischbrötchen
Altona Fish Market

Altonaer Fischmarkt

Any list of fish joints in Hamburg would be incomplete without a mention of its Sunday-morning highlight – the fish market or the Altonaer Fischmarkt as it’s officially known as. Traditionally, a fish mongers’ market, but now an attraction in its own right, the fish market has perhaps the densest fish offerings in the city, both raw and prepared. Our to-go place is the stand of Marx und Sohn and theirs is arguably the best Backfischbrötchen in the city. Try it with the garlic sauce. Num! Num! Num!  (Grosse Elbstrasse 9)

The Alster Lakes: Hamburg’s Liquid Soul in the Heart of the City

The Alster Lakes: Hamburg’s Liquid Soul in the Heart of the City

Hamburg is a city defined by its relationship with water. And no other element in the city’s geography drives this point home than the existence of the Alster lakes as its center. The outer and the inner Alster have been ground zero for Hamburg’s urban life since the 1850s. A stroll around the inner Alster even today shows us the base of the city’s socio-economic life, with the Rathaus, the seat of political power, being a stone’s throw away. The outer Alster, on the other hand, showcases Hamburg in its 19th Century glory, with the mansions of its old elite, its very well kept parks and the numerous watersport options in town. Especially, during the summer months, the Alster becomes one of the most happening places in the city. And to help you navigate it, we have drawn a list of our top activities around the Alster.

Alster Boat Rides

Admittedly, the Harbor boat cruises draw much more attention and a lot of that has to do with the availability of public transport ferries, however, the Alster boat rides are not for everyone. They sail off the beaten course, to paraphrase the idiom. Away from the hustle of the commercial harbor, they show you Hamburg the city from its waterside. Classical architecture, lush green lawns, clear blue skies (only in summer), plenty of water and fascinating views is what they offer. The vessels themselves are a decent blend of traditional steamships like the “St. Georg” and the modern solar-powered “Alstersonne”. The routes also vary, but almost all cover both the Alster lakes. Some are hop-on and hop-off, whereas others just take you around on the same boat. The Kanalfahrt is especially popular for taking you around Hamburg’s many canals. There are also reasonably priced refreshments and snacks available on board.

Alster boat tours

 Go Boating

rental boats on the alster lake

If there’s one thing that makes the Alster lakes that is the presence of all kinds of boats. If a boat cruise isn’t exciting for you, then you can rent a paddle boat, a sailing boat or even a stand-up paddle board from the numerous establishments that dot the banks of the outer Alster. To rent a sailing boat, one requires a license (Segelschein), but most other vessels are available without such requirements. “Barca An der Alster” is not only conveniently located and has competitive prices, but also boasts of a cozy café/bar attached to it. Please note, drinking and driving are frowned upon, but not drinking and boating ????

Bella Vistas – the Fernsichtbrücke and/or the Lombardsbrücke

The Fernsichtbrücke marks the end of the outer Alster and the Lombardsbrücke is one of the bridges separating the outer and the inner Alsters. Standing on the former, one is bedazzled by the sheer size of the outer Alster and the boats that, no matter what season, are going around it. It is actually a view into the city’s liquid soul. Views from the latter offer a brilliant panorama of the city’s clean skyline and its architectural face. Both are amazing spots to take photographs! ????

Bella Vista of the Alster lake

Enjoy a Sundowner at the Spanish Steps

Spanish steps in Hamburg, Germany

Yes, it’s not just Rome. Hamburg also has its very own Spanish steps. It’s not gelato that is consumed here, but rather gin and tonics ???? The stairways and the pontons around them are a Tapas-Bar of the same name that uses the space as its service area. Amazing views of a canal flowing into the outer Alster as well as the last rays of the setting sun are what brings many guests to this spot. The place does get busy, but the service and prices are reasonable enough to wait for a spot.

Pay Your Respects to the Alster Swans

Not to be forgotten are another highlight around the Alster – the Swans. These are not just any swans, they are the goodluck charm of the city of Hamburg. A popular belief holds that as long as there are swans around the Alster, Hamburg will be a free and prosperous city. That is why since 1664, swans are creatures protected under law – protected from being hunted, beaten and insulted(!). So be respectful to them while you’re enjoying your time around the Alster ????

Ready for a Treat? Try Hamburg’s Delicious Franzbrötchen!

Ready for a Treat? Try Hamburg’s Delicious Franzbrötchen!

While its origins may be speculative, one thing is for sure that Franzbrötchen is the definitive highlight of Hamburg’s baked delicacies. This distinctive roll generated from the French style butter puff pastry in its dough and the Swedish Kanelbullar in its flavoring is no longer a regional specialty, but can be savored pretty much all over Germany today. However, we in Hamburg take our French rolls seriously – a bi-annual Franzbrötchen competition at the Museum of Hamburg History makes bakeries compete with each other for the best recipe in town and win-over our hearts and minds. Afterall, the Franzbrötchen is our national pride. A popular saying alludes to it being a cure for all sorrow and worry. In the morning or in the evening, for a snack-on-the-go or as an accompaniment to your coffee or tea, there’s never an inappropriate time to bite a Franzbrötchen. So, here’s some of our favorite places try one in Hamburg.


  1.     The Kleine Konditorei – a two-time winner of the Franzbrötchen competition, this 4-outlet chain of bakeries mostly located in the West of the city takes baking in general and its Franzbrötchen in particular as a passion. Roughly about 10,000 Franzbrötchen are baked everyday and each of them is crafted by hand! Every visit to them is a delight.
  1. Braaker Mühle – also a winner of the Franzbrötchen competition, Braaker Mühle dominates the bakery scene in the east of the city with its 15 branches and its presence at almost all of the city’s major weekly markets. Not only do their Franzbrötchen taste heavenly, but their version of Franzbrötchen was also voted the most beautiful out of all 47 participants in the 2018 competition!
  1.     Franz & Friends – the most experimental of Hamburg’s Franzbrötchen makers and the one chain that has it in their name! This is one bakery where you can satisfy your curiosities of mixing Franzbrötchen with seasonal fruits like strawberries, apples or with dry fruits like walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, etc. Besides, they have a weekly special when a selected variety of the Franzbrötchen is sold just for 1€ making you there at least once every week.