Discover Hamburg Altona (Schanzenviertel Hamburg)

Marle

Mar 04 • 6 minute read

Nestled amid Ottensen and Blankenese, Hamburg Altona features a juxtaposition of urban graffiti and historic buildings; kiosk culture tempts you to sip a beer on the kerb, while Michelin-starred restaurants catch the eye of noble clientele.

As full of contrasts as the Hamburg Altona neighbourhood is, its vibrant blend of people adds to the character of this Hamburg district. One thing you can be sure of: if you snatch up a room in Hamburg Altona, you're guaranteed you won't have a dull moment in the coming months.

Let's go, discover your new neighbourhood Hamburg Altona! Bet you don't know these 12 spots yet.

What is part of Hamburg Altona?

When you set foot in the eastern districts of Hamburg Altona, you pass apartment buildings with historic facades, grab an Astra Alster in hip bars with a laid-back flair in Sternschanze and pick up your weekly groceries in unpacked shops in Ottensen.

Down on the Elbe beach, hipsters from the eastern districts of Hamburg Altona meet well-heeled society from the western Elbe suburbs in Hamburg Altona.

More west of Hamburg-Altona, splendid villas and detached houses in Blankenese bristle with life.

And it’s precisely the motley mix that shapes the character of this Hamburg district, ranging from chic to casual within a few minutes. Take a look at what all belongs to Hamburg-Altona:

  • Eastern districts of the district: Altona-Altstadt, Altona-Nord, Ottensen, Sternschanze.
  • Northern districts of Hamburg-Altona: Bahrenfeld, Groß Flottbek, Iserbrook, Lurup, Osdorf
  • Western Elbe suburbs in Hamburg-Altona: Blankenese, Nienstedten, Othmarschen, Rissen

Ready to walk through Hamburg-Altona like a true local soon? We have 10 places for you that you shouldn't miss!

10 places you should know as a newcomer in Hamburg-Altona

In Hamburg-Altona you can get fresh fish and a fruit box at a bargain price at 5 a.m. or take the last shots on the Schanze. We have 12 places you shouldn't miss as a newcomer to Hamburg-Altona.

1. The early bird catches the worm... or fish.

There's no doubt about it: unless you're in the 5 am Club, it's tough to drop out of bed that early just to pick up some fish and a fruit box at the fish market. However, the Hamburg Fish Market in the Fish Auction Hall has been a tourist hotspot for Hamburg-Altona since the 19th century and so every Hamburger must have been there at least once, also you as a new Hamburger.

Set an early alarm or go straight to the fish market after a night out. The 112 bus "Braune Brücke - Övelgönne/Neumühlen" will take you almost to the gates of the fish market (Fischmarkt bus stop).

With a fruit basket and fresh fish under your arm, you're off to the next spot, which luckily isn't far from you. Walk up Große Elbstraße, past AM KAI (take a fish sandwich here!) and then head for the Altonaer Balkon.

2. No balcony in Hamburg-Altona can compete with this view

In the heart of Hamburg-Altona, you'll find what is arguably the largest balcony in all of Hamburg: 27 metres above the Elbe, you have a panoramic view of the container port, the Köhlbrand Bridge, the old port terminal, the shipping traffic and the hustle and bustle along the Elbe. Grab a seat on the benches or sit on the grass and soak up the view.

Say, aren't you getting a little hungry? Get ready for the tastiest sandwiches! Walk up Max-Brauer-Allee until you turn right into Große Bergstraße. Can you find beer benches and tables set up? Great, then you're at the next stop.

3. Vegan paradise at Klippkroog

A special spot in Hamburg Altona is the Klippkroog. Rough and charming, its interior with ply design tempts you to linger. For vegans and non-vegans alike, you can feast on homemade spreads, vegan scrambled eggs and pickled tofu.

And on we head to the next stop. Did you bring some shopping bags? Upon entering the next shop, your shopping experience will suddenly feel so free, free of plastic, cardboard and co. Wanna bet? Walk past Altona station until you find the Stückgut shop on Am Felde.

4. Shop without packaging at Stückgut

You won't have plastic bags blowing around your feet at Stückgut, and you can fill your oatmeal directly into a jar. Great deal, isn't it? At Stückgut you'll find everything from A for apple rings to Z for zucchini.

You can tap your olive oil, fill nuts into a jar and wrap dog treats in some fabric. And if you come to the shop a bit unprepared today, you can even get jars for a deposit and start shopping right away. With Stückgut in your neighbourhood, you no longer find an excuse to waste plastic, paper, aluminium or other useless junk. And yes: even toothpaste is available as a chewable drop. Everything is possible!

Still not done with your unpackaged shopping for today? Why don't you try the multicultural weekly market at Spritzenplatz, since you're already in the neighbourhood? Walk down Am Felde and then turn right onto Erzbergerstraße. When you arrive at Spritzenplatz, the smell of herbs, coffee and flowers will already be wafting towards you.

5. Weekly market at Ottensener Spritzenplatz

In the heart of Ottensen in Hamburg-Altona, a multicultural community comes together every Tuesday and Friday: find oriental sesame rings next to Dutch cut flowers and fruit and vegetables from local farmers. Brightly coloured carrots and vibrant salads draw your wide-angle gaze as you stroll through the weekly market.

It's a highlight even for the surrounding offices, which are tempted by the fresh smell of fries during their lunch break. After fries and fruit, it's time to do some shopping à la fashion magazine, literally. Walk towards Bahrenfelder Straße and from there onto Eulenstraße. On the corner, you'll find the next location, framed in white ornaments and blue/white tiles: Modemagazin.

6. Browse through the fashion magazine

... or walk through it. In the fashion magazine (Modemagazin), labels change on a weekly basis, so you can get inspired by new designers and artists week after week. This pop-up store in Ottensen (Hamburg-Altona) offers fashion brands a place to display their products, giving their customer a feeling of browsing through a weekly released fashion magazine.

By the way, in addition to fashion, you can discover other highlights: besides designers, there is also a place for artists with fresh, creative ideas to show their creations.

After your shopping marathon between sustainable toothbrushes, colourful fruit and cool fashion, it's time for a snack; perhaps the most favourite food for Germans: bread. To do so, walk from Eulenstraßen to the left onto Mottenburger Straße. When you turn right onto Ottenser Hauptstraße, you might already spot a queue of hungry bellies waiting outside Zeit für Brot.

7. Take your time for bread

Germans rave about their bread and rolls, which from childhood on end up on the breakfast plate with jam in the morning and end the day with a Stulle with salami or cheese in the evening. To other nations, the hype around the flour-water mixture may sound ridiculous, yet as soon as you taste a fresh,warm loaf of bread from Zeit für Brot or a sandwich, odds are that you'll be lining up to get organic rolls for breakfast right away.

Come on, grab a friend and meet her at the next location. Walk up Bahrenfelderstraße until you're across from the Kiosk2000 to the right on a dreamy street called Kleine Rainstraße. Feeling the garage flair already? Then you've found the right place.

8. Meet for a wine at Il Garage

The name says it all: Christian and Philipp have turned a former garage into a rustic and cosy spot, with a great and exceptional wine selection from the in-house wine shop. The II Garage has established itself as the 'Feierabend Wein' in the neighbourhood, where you can hop over for a wine Tuesday to Friday between 5 and 10 pm.

Cheerful from the cosy detour into the wine garage, head back to Kiosk2000 from where you walk up Friedensallee until you're facing the Zeishallen.

9. Movies in original sound in the Zeise cinemas

Lucky you, as an expat in Hamburg you don't have to miss out on cinema films despite language barriers. In the Zeise cinemas with their retro charm, you'll rarely find mega-blockbusters, instead, you'll find carefully selected films in their original sound, the ones that don't always make it to the big screen everywhere.

If you turn up in front of the Zeise Cinemas at 10.30 p.m. on a Tuesday night, you'll have a double treat: along with your sneak preview and surprise film, there'll be a short film beforehand! And: a small bag of popcorn is included for free.

So get yourself into the Zeise cinemas and pick a film.

Did you take part in the Q&A at the end? Great, now you've really earned your after-work beer, and that's just down the street towards Kiosk2000.

10. The crowded cult bar at the Aurel

In front of the Aurel, the guests are already swinging their hips in rhythm to the Latino beat booming out of the speakers, people grab a bar in front of the shop or sit comfortably on the side of the street with their caipirinha. Sometimes the bus comes by and everyone has to stand up until the bus makes it through the crowd. At Aurel, you not only feel the South American spirit, but you also get that rare barley juice - their beer from the barrel.

Tell me, how does it feel to be a true Hamburg Altona?

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