Article by: Brent Foster from Robin and the Tour Guides Hamburg
We all by now know that feeling… staying at home, cleaning the apartment again, doing diverse house-projects, binge watching Netflix, being bored due to the corona lockdown and social distancing practices. Getting together with friends and family is tabu or maybe even forbidden and even a visit to our favorite restaurants isn’t allowed due to the Covid-19 lockdown here in Germany.
It seems that there is nothing worthwhile to do because everything is closed, forbidden, or just not allowed in a group. But not to worry, here in Hamburg, there are still a lot of activities that you can do even in the cold of winter that are safe, fun and memorable. Here are our top 5 safe things to do in Hamburg during the covid lockdown and the best part is they are also worthwhile after this whole covid lockdown is over with.
The old Elbe Tunnel was completed in 1911 and is still today a wonderful way to spend some extra time. Just go to the Landungsbrücken No. 6 to the large rounded stone building. On your way, you can also enjoy a nice Fischbrötchen (pickled or salted herring in a roll) at the little imbiss of Capt’n Schwarz. Then take the historic lifts 23.5 meters underground to the entrance of the tunnel. Or if you fancy, enjoy the stairs, but do be warned if you are afraid of heights, 23 and a half meters doesn’t sound like much but is a long way straight down.
Once going through the tunnel you can enjoy the beautiful historic tiles and murals on the walls of the tunnel. Just be mind the bicyclists riding by. It is a good ten minute walk to the other side with markers in the middle mentioning the deepest point of the tunnel. On the other side, you can enjoy a great view of the city from the south side of the Elbe river. In fact, you can even see all 5 of Hamburg’s main churches. Take some wonderful selfies and enjoy the fresh breeze and the best part is, when you are finished you get to go back through the tunnel!
In the middle of the Planten un Blomen Park that stretches along the former city walls are Europe’s largest Japanese Gardens. Beautiful flowers and exotic plants, streams with coy fish, traditional Japanese houses and walkways allow you to discover a surreal landscape as if one were far away in the land of the rising sun. Among cherry blossom trees, bonsai, azaleas and rhododendrons you can find the perfect backdrop for photos and relaxing as well as nice walks. The peaceful burbling of the stream makes it also a great place to maybe practice some stretching exercises or meditational breaks.
If interested in World War II history, you should visit the St. Nikolai memorial in the center of the city. It is like an open-air museum attesting to the horrors of war and persecution. A bombed out church from the British and American bombing campaign, The Operation Gomorrah. The Steeple happened to survive but just the rubble of the bombings is pretty much what is left. There are numerous memorials in and around the church with photos as well. One can see what the church looked like before, during and after the bombings. Also, every Thursday at 12 o’clock the carillon (bell organ or glockenspiel) is played live. You can listen to the beautiful music for free and it usually takes about 45 minutes.
If you are just looking for a nice walk and fresh air then the beautiful Alster lakes are the place to visit with the public parks and stately villas. Whether a nice jog, walk or bicycle ride around the Außenalster with its 7.5 kilometers, you will get enough exercise for the day. Enjoy also maybe a romantic canoe ride with one of the many boat rentals along the lake and discover the wonderful canals surrounding the lakes. Also, visit the posh area of Rothenbaum along the west side of the lakes to get a coffee and maybe a Franzbrötchen, a traditional sweet cinnamon bun here in the city. The Alster lakes is a wonderful place for a nice stroll.
Enjoy a lovely outing with a ferry ride from the Landungsbrücken (Ferry 62 from the bridge number 3) to the suburbian Teufelsbrück (Devil’s bridge) pier. Be wary though, you will have to change the ferry at the last stop of the 62 line, Finkenwerder, into the ferry 64. However, they come at coordinated times which makes transitioning to them easy and effective.
Once at Teufelsbrück you can visit the Jenish Park with its centuries old oak trees and magnificent fields. Or just enjoy some excellent chips on the pier at the restaurant Engel (“Angel”) while enjoying the view of the ships passing by and maybe even see a Beluga airplane fly by at the nearly located Airbus factory. On the way back take the touristy bus route 111 that drives along the lovely Elbchaussee, the millionaire homes and villas with a great view of the Elbe river and ports.
This blog was written by Brent Foster, from Robin and the Tourguides. We are looking forward to welcoming you on our tours again after the lockdown. Till then we from the Robin and the Tourguides team wish you much health, warmth and many happy times!