My favourite part of my Hamburg adventure with Hamburg Tourism and Nordic Travel Bloggers was having the opportunity to discover the brand-new UNESCO World Heritage area of Speicherstadt and the Kontorhaus districts in Hafen City – the Harbour City.
Speicherstadt is the old warehouse district, built on a series of narrow islands beginning in the late 1800s. This is where the goods like tea, coffee, and spices coming into the port were stored, the thick walls protecting them from the elements. With the introduction of container ships, few goods are stored there today, with the exception of Oriental rugs. The area is surrounded by canals and connected by a series of bridges, where you can take in the views of the water flowing past the beautiful historic buildings. The Kontorhaus district is a complex of office buildings dating from the 1920s-1940s to house port-related business. The most outstanding of these buildings is Chilehaus, named for the source of the Salt Peter that led many to their riches.
|The inner courtyard
Many of the the buildings in Speicherstadt are being developed into cultural and tourist attractions. The most popular of these is Miniature Wonderland, the most visited museum in Hamburg. The Wonderland is the world’s largest model railrway, where visitors can take a journey through the mountains of Switzerland and Austria, the towns of Middle Germany, the countryside of Scandinavia, the landmarks of America, and the sights of Hamburg itself. The amount of detail of truly incredible, with not only moving trains, but cars, boats, airplanes, even a space shuttle! There’s light, and sound, and the lighting is on a cycle so you can experience the entire exhibit in both day and night.
A great thing about Miniature Wonderland it that you can explore a tiny Hamburg, from the piers of Landungsbrücken to the canals of Speicherstadt itself. In this version of Hamburg, the still-in-progess, modern Elbphilharmonie is completed, and it even opens to reveal an audience watching a concert inside. People of all ages were completely taken in by this miniature world, including me.
|Theatre im Hafen by night
Another great experience in Speicherstadt was the brand-new Coffee Museum and Roastery, newly opened in an old coffee warehouse. The museum on the lower floor has a great collection of coffee-related artifacts and insight into coffee culture, and the ground floor is a cozy café and roastery.
|The Coffee Museum
We were invited to take part in a tasting, where we could sample five different coffees from around the world. Did you know that there’s a proper technique to coffee tasting? The secret’s in the slurp! Slurping the coffee takes air into your mouth, which helps you truly taste all of the flavours of the brew. After the tasting, we had the opportunity to create our own blend. I choose a strong Indian bean, mixed with a sweeter, milder Papua New Guinean one to create an exotic mix.
|Creating my own blend!
Many other opportunities for exploration lie in Speicherstadt: it’s also home to the Maritime Museum, the Hamburg Dungeon, and Dialogue in the Dark, which hopes to break down boundaries through exhibitions on life without sight and hearing, and offers both Dinner in the Dark and Brunch in Silence. With its naming as a World Heritage Site, and the ever-growing development of Hafen City itself, Speicherstadt will continue to grow and flourish, which continuing to provide a link to Hamburg’s historic past.
|Incredible Kontorhaus staircase
This trip was part of a collaborative campaign between Hamburg Tourism and Nordic Travel Bloggers. They’ve invited me to Hamburg, and provided support and suggestions to help ensure I got some extra insights into what the city has to offer. I’m also being compensated for the trip. However, I retained full control over my itinerary as well as all material being shared, and I will only be sharing with you authentic and original experiences I believe you’ll enjoy.