July 17, 2014

From the street of Paris to the obscure lanes of London, we’ve been asking our favourite city dwellers to show us top-notch places to hang when travelling around Europe’s finest cities.

To prep our minds for the up and coming MS Dockville festival (win tickets HERE), we asked Fashion Journalist, Fabian Hart, to show us what’s happenin’ in Hamburg.

Over to you, Fabian.

Othmarschen / Elbstrand MY CITY: HAMBURG MY CITY: HAMBURG

To claim that Hamburg is a city by the sea is a very romantic idea- but, to be honest, it’s a bit of a stretch. Hamburg may be a city with a lot of water, but to reach the open sea you still have to travel 120 kilometers. That’s also the length of the River Elbe between Hamburg and Cuxhaven, where it flows into the North Sea.

One of my favourite riverside areas is Övelgönne. Here you can escape from the noise of Hamburg City, and enjoy lazy summer days barbecuing, gaping at big container ships, hot guys, hot girls and hot dogs.

Wilhelmsburg / Energiebunker
MY CITY: HAMBURG Credit: Energiebunker VJU im Energiebunker

Hamburg is marked by some notoriously indestructible remnants of the Second World War; in particular these two identical enormous bunkers. The more famous one of these concrete monsters stands bullish on Heiligengeistfeld, in the district of St. Pauli.

In a few weeks the Klaxons and FM Belfast will play gigs right on top of it. The last floor is home to Übel und Gefährlich, one of the best clubs and event venues the city has to offer.

In its shadow stands the second one of the twin bunkers, just a few kilometers away on the Elbe island Wilhelmsburg. The bunker was completely fitted with solar panels and now also functions as a biomass block-type thermal power station, generating enough power to supply the whole district with warm water and heat. Located at the top of the power station is Vju. This Café/Bar is completely surrounded by glass and opens up to a big terrace, offering sweeping views of the city from a rather unusual angle.

Savoy Kino

I live in St. Georg, but don’t expect me to ramble on about how up-and-coming this area is. Here on the Steindamm, no one has ever heard of “Lifestyle” and, albeit being famous for its adult cinemas, the street has retained its innocence. The Steindamm is noisy and sometimes dangerous, but it’s no different from anywhere else in Hamburg. Sometimes it looks like New York in the ‘80s- or so I’ve been told.


In the honourable district of Winterhude the Kampnagel, a former factory, offers alternative events that stand in stark contrast to this industrial area. Today, the factory regularly hosts events from an array of musicians, actors, and dancers.

In the summer, the Factory yard is turned into a space for the Kampnagel Summer Festival. This year it includes pianist Chilly Gonzales, ballet master Michael Clark, rapper and poet Mykki Blanco and other unmissables.

Museum f. Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg
Credit: Maria Thrun

Living in St. Georg also means that you’re only a short walk away some major Hamburg museums. The Deichtorhallen and the Haus der Fotografie exhibit contemporary art and photography, the Hamburger Kunsthalle is a gallery for contemporary art, and the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe focuses on handicraft – this museum is currently showing an exhibition dedicated to not-so-wearable clothes by Rei Kawakubo, Martin Margiela, Iris van Herpen and other avant-garde designers.

Wilhelmbsburg / Dockville

I’m really into festivals, but only the sort where you can escape at night or in the morning. Waking up in a rain-drenched tent, brushing my teeth with beer while standing in the queue to use one of those nasty portable toilets is not quite my cup of tea. Yes, catcall me here if you like- or better, do it at the Dockville Festival.

MS Dockville takes place in-between a wasteland and an industrial area in Wilhelmsburg; a far cry from all the things everyone has in mind when they think about Hamburg. When Kaytranada fills the Fabrikpanorama with his smooth electronic sounds, and the sun goes down behind the containers, my beloved bed will be long forgotten.

Credit: Roman Rätzke

After I worked for various magazines in Hamburg, Berlin and Munich, I fell into a state of despair with The internet was obviously the best place for publishing, but where was I supposed to work? I tried the home office idea, but every time I was at home, I found myself in front of my desk with an infinite number of tasks.

A year ago I reclaimed my apartment and rented an office in the city centre with a friend instead. My friend Anna runs a food and photography blog and you’ll most probably find us on the Domplatz at the Speersort during our lunch breaks. No place in the city centre has so much green space. It almost looks like a lido, except the pools are missing.

Sautter + Lackmann Bookshop

I stumbled upon this amazing bookshop in my first week in Hamburg, ten years ago-I was killing some time when I arrived too early for a date.

To cut a long story short, I’m still dating the bookshop. It’s the best place for fashion and art publications. There’s a particular emphasis on photography, film and graphic design. Beware, when you come here, you’ll fall in love instantly, but breaking-up won’t be easy- you won’t get over this gem so quickly.