28.05.2016 - Kyrre Dahl- Follow on Facebook
Hamburg is not the prettiest of German cities, but it certainly tries to upgrade its reputation in the new Hafencity area, which also includes Unesco World Heritage site Speicherstadt. And I found excellent ice cream.
Germany is one of my favourite countries for travel, with excellent public transport and a enjoyable ice cream tradition. I have been to Hamburg once before, but did the terrible mistake of going to the one place I have heard of, Reeperbahn. That visit made me swear I would never go back to this city ever again. Luckily Hamburg has changed and Hafencity is something very different.
Hafencity or "Harbour City" is an old port area, where old port warehouses of Hamburg are being replaced with offices, hotels, shops, official buildings, and residential areas. The project is the one of the largest rebuilding projects in Europe by landmass, according to Wikipedia. The area is still a building site, but you can already see the shape of what it will look like in the future.
Beeing an old port are, water is everywhere, which really ads to the charm. Architecturally the area is an exciting mix of brand new buildings mixes with old industrial buildings that are beeing renovated. In between them are numerous canals with shops, restaurants and outdoor cafes. The Cruise Ship terminal is also located in Hafencity and what looks like an old paddle steamer offers sightseeing around the harbour area.
In Hafencity you will also find Speicherstadt, which is a brand new addition to the Unesco World Heritage list. This is an unique warehouse district with lots of musuems and contains one of Hamburgs biggest attractions, Miniature Wonderland. This model railway is enormous and even includes models of an airport and entire towns and mountain resorts, in addition to replicas of railways from around the world.
Hamburg city centre is not that interesting, but the area around Jungfernstieg is nice. This is "Inner Alster", part of a huge lake. Sitting and enjoying the sun lakeside with friends is a very popular activiity. And this is also where I found excellent ice cream! This time I just passed by and tried my luck, sometimes that really pays off.
In the shopping centre Europa Passage I stumbled upon Gelateria L'Italiana and ordered Spaghettieis (Spaghetti Ice Cream). It was impressingly perfect with the ice cream melting on my tongue with just the right taste for spaghetti ice cream. The service was also very fast, I hardly had time to pick up my phone while I waited. Another fun fact is the huge menus, the table was not big enough for the entire menu. The content was impressive too, with lots of choices.
Located on the first floor of the shopping centre, you have good views of Inner Alster and the place is obviously very popular, beeing almost completely full on a wednesday afternoon in May. The only downside was the price. 6.90 euros for a classic spaghetti ice cream is more than usual, 8.90 for the special versions with fruits or berries is steep. Although this good ice cream is worth the price.
Europa Passage is located in the city centre, next to the train station Jungfernstieg and the Rathaus metro station, see map above. It is only 10 minutes walk from the main train station. The cafe is upstairs, but they also have a take away counter on the ground floor.