Hamburg’s hipster district: Sternschanze
Above the beautiful medieval churches, the canals and all the must-dos of Hamburg, if you want to see another side of the city, Sternschanze neighbourhood is the place to be! Usually referred to as Schanze.
One of my most read articles in the blog is the Madrid’s Malasaña guide, well let me tell you that Madrid has some serious competition in terms of cool, alternative, hipster districts.
As soon as you reach Sternschanze station, you can already spot graffitis, wall art and signs of the local alternative culture. What I loved the most about Schanze, is that it’s not gentrified hipster. Hip stores and galleries meet cheap falafels and rustic buildings. An interesting mix that reminds me of Berlin. Just like all cool neighbourhoods around the world, the area has the best thrift shops, cozy cafés, bars and galleries. A perfect location to wind down after a day of sight-seeing.
The neighbourhood is also a symbol of leftwing activism. The graffiti-covered former theater Rote Flora for example is an open air canvas for #AntiFa slogans and heavy political messages.
Like most hipster neighbourhoods, the favourite transportation method here is the bike. So be careful with the bike lanes, the locals do ride pretty fast.
The area is not too crowded with tourists (like myself), it’s an amazing place for people watching and a taste of the local youth life. I’m afraid that it’s gentrifying as well, so visit it before it loses its character. Hipster districts are the best areas to score vintage finds, binge on International food, latte art, cultural events and this is where the best brunches usually happen.
How to get to Schanze?
Subway line stop near Sternschanze: U3
Train lines stop near Sternschanze: A1, RE7
Bus line stop near Sternschanze: 15
S-Bahn line stop near Sternschanze: S11
Where to stay in Schanze?
The hype option
Fritz im Pyjama, they have several locations all over the area, but all perfectly located. This is your typical hipster boutique hotel. How cool is their logo below? 🙂 One of their locations offer more affordable options and dorm beds… but not your regular hostel option: Pyjama Park Schanzenviertel.
The luxe option
Mövenpick Hotel Hamburg, if you’re less about hip design and more about classic luxe, this is your best option! The famous Movenpick chain hotel chose the best location in the city. The hotel overlooks Schanzenpark park.
The budget option
Hotel Pacific, the decor is quite dated but this is the best rated budget option near Schanze… Breakfast is included for extra money saving! The prices start at 55$ for a private room, which is pretty affordable in a city like Hamburg.
Thrift shops in Schanze
I already told you about Humana in My Madrid thrift shopping guide. This NGO is amazing at promoting ethical sustainable shopping and doing charity work at the same time. But while all the Humanas that I’ve been to in Europe offer mostly H&M and Zara like pieces, this one looks like your most hip vintage store, with alternative music on, beautifully designed shelves and real vintage pieces, sorted by style and colours. I scored a gorgeous pair of Parada loafers for… 30 €!
If you’re lacking time and only can go to one store, go to this one! This a kilo shop concept, where you pay your clothes per weight. But while I find the weighing process a little bit confusing elsewhere, in this store the colour system is really easy and you have scale at your disposition at every corner. You’d better avoid bad surprises at the cashier! The prices are a little bit higher than a regular thrift store, but the selection of pieces is really beautiful, and nothing is worn-out or low quality. A mix of handmade pieces from all over the world, designer finds and real vintage pieces. From bohemian to the currently-in-trend 90’s fashion. I left the store with a pair of faux-python boots and a floral velvet skirt.
… pun intended! The most affordable one on the list. The selection of pieces is less curated but you can score beautiful finds starting 1€!
📌 Hot dogs
Beautiful trendy store, but overpriced pieces. Still a good go for inspiration, window shopping or that one beautiful designer find. The store is gorgeously designed and you can tell that all the pieces on the shelves were individually selected and displayed.
📌 Flea Market
The weekly flea market happen every Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm. With all the surrounding cafés, you’re up to spend an amazing Saturday morning. The best combo is: Haggling at the flea market right before brunch.
Independent clothing brands and concept stores in Schanze
Contrary to trendy places like Le Marais in Paris, where concept stores are overly expensive, local brands and pop up stores are reasonably priced. Here is a selection if you prefer supporting independent businesses rather than fast-fashion brands. Adding to that, they have the most beautiful windows!
The most stylish optician store I’ve ever seen. They have a beautiful collection of sunglasses and the most unique optician store design. But I read some pretty bad reviews about their eyewear expertise.
With stores in both Hamburg and Berlin, this German brand’s name translates to= Broke & Beautiful… so the price range is on the affordable side. The store itself is very sweet with a pink and neon theme and the style is modern, casual and a little bit edgy.
European fashion design for women at its best. This brand is manufactured in Hamburg itself. Plenty of other labels are also displayed, a lot of accessories and jewelry to choose from.
Cowboy boots, bohemian statement jewellery and cool clothes. This is the sister brand of the locally reknown Fräuleinwunder.
Restaurants in Schanze
This place is for you if you’re craving yummy Turkish food, available in abundance all over Germany but with a comfortable and trendy set. Even the Kebab is cool in Schanze!
If your read this blog regularly, you know my love for ramen and authentic Japanese food. So that’s my go-to eating out option whenever I’m in a big city. In addition to the delicious and comforting ramen soups, they have a beautiful selection of authentic Japanese tea: oolong, matcha, sencha…Vegan options are available, not recommended if you can’t handle spicy food though! I also love the decor, floral sakura wall art and industrial design is a mix that I’d never thought would work.
I noticed a lot of Vietnamese restaurants in Hamburg, I suppose that there is a big Vietnamese community in the city. From street food small shops to more upscale restaurants like this one. This is the place to eat your pho in a lounge-like, very modern surrounding.
Can you think of anything more comforting than a soup in the cold seasons? This place specialises exclusively in soups, they are delicious and affordable. More suitable for a quick lunch though, there is nowhere to sit except few stools.
Cafés and bars in Schanze
Elbgold is known for using beans from the best growing areas in the world. For sustainable cultivation and fair trade are very important for the company. Visit their website to learn more about their ethical work: https://www.elbgold.com/.
Latte art, cakes, fresh orange juice and an intersting selection of local art magazine, appreciable even if like me you don’t understand German. The lighting is so cozy in the evening.
Very good quality coffee in a laid back cozy atmosphere with a touch of rock n’ roll. The cake selection is very appealing. The place is right next to Pick & Weight. Their 10 € brunch looks deliciousl!
A wide selection of beers, and a laid-back atmosphere. The bar also hosts cultural events and football game gatherings. Make sure to have your Shazam app on; because their playlists are the best!
If you’re up to trying artists and famous novelists favourite and long-banned drink, this is the place to be! A bohemian dark atmosphere and a unique venue for a night out with your friends.
Sternshcanze photo gallery
I hope that you enjoyed this guide and that I did this amazing area justice. I want to come back and show the area to Omar, my husband, we are both fans of artsy districts and this one is definitely one not to miss! Like everywhere in Europe, the best is to forget the guides and just go wander and get lost, I can assure you in this neighbourhood every corner is a surprise. I’ll let you enjoy the rest in pictures…
El Bocho in Rosenhofstraße, famous artist in Berlin!
Rote Flora theater, an open air canvas for leftwing political graffitis
Walk around the neighbourhood and discover gems like this store
Thank you Come to Hamburg for the invitation and for helping me arrange my trip. As usual all opinions are my own.
xo xo Dalal
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