A Few Fun Facts About Hamburg

Hamburg is quite a city. Located in northern Germany and the country’s second-largest city, it’s full of wonderful, weird cultural traditions and kind, warm Hamburger (that’ll make sense later). It’s also the home to our very own Sir Nikolai, and in our time there, we’ve learned some heartwarming, surprising, and fascinating facts it. Read below for 10 of our favorites, and if you have more to add, let us know!

  • Sir Nikolai is a short walk away from the stunning Elbphilharmonie (nicknamed “Elphi”), one of the largest concert halls in the world that also has some of the most state-of-the-art acoustic technology in existence. Book a guided tour and do your best Adele impression.
  • Every Sunday morning from 7 to 9:30am, locals come together to get a little tipsy on beer and buy fish at Der Fischmarkt. You’ll also see people rolling in straight from the club. Drunk shopping at its finest!
  • Men from Hamburg are called Hamburger, and women from there are called Hambergerin (both words are singular and plural). And don’t be alarmed when they always greet you with “moin” instead of “hello.”
  • While many think Hamburg is where the hamburger was invented, Germans who immigrated to America in the 19th century are likely the originators. They gradually Americanized the German Hamburg steak, resulting in the hamburger.
  • Lake Alster, the lake in the heart of Hamburg, is known for the 100+ swans that call it home. There’s a real-life person out there whose job is to look after them, and they’re called the Schwanenvater, aka the Swan Father—a tradition since the 17th century (dream job alert). One of the Schwanenvater’s chief responsibilities is to escort the swans from their summer home of Lake Alster to their nearby winter home of Lake Eppendorder Muhlenteich (it doesn’t freeze over, thank heavens).
  • Speaking of cool jobs, “greeting captains” are stationed at Willkomm-Hoft (Welcome Point) on Hamburg Harbor, where they play the national anthem of every ship that passes through. As the anthem plays, they lower the Hamburg flag and raise the foreign flag.
  • Hamburg’s public bus company partnered with a secondhand store to install little libraries on 150 buses. You can take a book for the ride and bring it home if you don't want the story to end, and when you finish it, you can either bring it back to the bus or mail it back to the store. Mothers and their children are seen utilizing the libraries the most. No, you’re crying!
  • Hamburg has over 2,500 bridges, the most of any city in the world. That’s more than Amsterdam, Venice, and London combined.
  • Hamburg’s red light district is the biggest in Europe, and the main street is called Herbertstraße, where women and minors are banned from entering. (Kids should probably be banned from every red light district…) Street prostitution is legal during certain times of the day on a street called Davidstraße.
  • Hamburg’s Speicherstadt (constructed from 1883-1927) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as the world’s largest warehouse complex built right on the Elbe River on top of thousands of oak poles.