Shopping in Hamburg: from luxury to Baltic fish
Every city break should include a spot of shopping, even if it’s only to browse the shops and markets. If you are planning on travelling to Hamburg, in this article we will fill you in on where to shop in Hamburg.
If there is one thing that has made Hamburg into what it is today, it is without a doubt commerce. The historic, powerful Hanseatic League united northern Europe through trade in the Middle Ages, building a thriving network of cities and ports that has flourished to this day.
One of its principal members was Hamburg. As Germany’s second city and one of the largest ports in Europe, the so-called free city is a true commercial and cultural capital of the twenty-first century. In it you will find everything from shopping arcades to streets lined with shops, through to excellent shopping centres and very well-known markets, a traditional feature all over Germany.
The centre of Hamburg is the main shopping area in the city. Read on to find out about the main areas to go shopping in Hamburg.
- Neuer Wall
- Europa Passage
- Where to sleep in Hamburg
A charming porticoed shopping arcade on the banks of a canal, Alsterarkaden was built to impress. The shopping centre is one of the most iconic places in the city centre, opposite the City Hall, where strolling is a true delight. Cafés and exclusive shops occupy the small premises behind the arches.
At Alsterarkaden you will find shops including everything from watchmakers, jewellers, which use the famous Baltic amber, and luxury clothing brands, to restaurants, cafés and chocolatiers. The arcade was designed by Alexis de Chateauneuf, the German architect and urban planner responsible for planning part of Hamburg after the great fire of 1842, which destroyed a third of the city centre.
Behind Alsterarkaden is the street Neuer Wall, another iconic thoroughfare in the centre of Hamburg. One of the city’s luxury shopping streets, and one of Europe’s top 10, it boasts major international fashion, haute couture, footwear, jewellery and homeware brands.
Neuer Wall takes its name from the new wall that was built between 1530 and 1538 as an additional fortification to the old city wall. It was demolished in 1707, with a new street opened up in its place.
Another symbolic shopping destination is the Fischmarkt, which has over 300 years of history in the Altona neighbourhood, in the west of Sankt Pauli. The market takes places every Sunday from 5 am to 9.30 am on the banks of the Elbe river
and is a true morning spectacle. Even when the sun has still not risen, the port area is full of stalls, vendors, customers and curious onlookers, who come either to buy fish, listen to the fishmongers’ chatter or simply to have a good schnack for breakfast.
But it’s not just fish that you will find in this street market. Fruit, clothing and other items are also on offer here. Next to it, the Fischauktionshalle (the Fish Auction Hall, the old fish market) is today a space hosting live music where you can dance and have a drink in the morning.
Also in the centre of Hamburg is Europa Passage, a large shopping centre that opened in 2006, boasting over 150 shops and eateries. One particularly interesting feature of the building is the ovoid-shaped central courtyard.
Europa Passage is home to the main German and international brands and is a great place to spend a great day out. Its location, just a short walk from Hamburg City Hall, makes its the perfect place for a spot of shopping.
Jungfernstieg is a charming promenade on the banks of Binnenalster lake, right from Europa Passage. Rebuilt after the great fire of 1842 in the current neoclassical style, it was then the site of Sillem’s Bazar, Germany’s first shopping arcade, in 1843. Decades later, in 1912, the Alsterhaus shopping arcade, which still continues to this day, was opened.
Although it is no longer one of Hamburg’s most important shopping streets, Jungfernstieg still boasts shops and some of the largest shopping centres in the city, home to several banks, art galleries and luxury shops. The aim was to create a unique setting, facing Binnenalster lake, which would be a place to relax and meet in the heart of the city.
As previously mentioned, Alsterhaus is situated on Jungfernstieg promenade and is one of the city’s classic shopping centres that is still open more than a century later.
Alsterhaus opened in April 1912 in an elegant five-storey building. In it you can find the main German fashion brands as well as international designers. There are also beauty, home and travel sections and a gourmet top floor.
Where to sleep in Hamburg
An intense day of shopping can be tiring. Which is why there is no better place to stay than the Barceló Hamburg, a modern four-star hotel right in the city centre, which will provide you with the rest and relaxation you need on your stay in Hamburg. The hotel boasts cutting-edge design in one of the best areas of the city, just 500 metres from the train station and very close to the main points of interest such as the City Hall.
The Barceló Hamburg is an excellent place to stay in the Hanseatic city. In addition to the different types of rooms available, its facilities include the restaurant 1700 serving fusion cuisine and an extensive wine selection, and its terrace with city views, from where you can relax with a drink after a day of shopping in Hamburg.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I buy on a visit to Hamburg?
Ships in bottles, miniature lighthouses and sweets are some of the most typical items to buy in Hamburg.
Where is good to shop on the cheap in Hamburg?
The Fischmarkt is one of the best markets to find cheap items and bargains in Hamburg.
What are the most famous shopping streets in Hamburg?
Alsterarkaden, Neuer Wall and Jungfernstieg are three of the major shopping streets in Hamburg.