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Warehouse Home & Away: Hamburg

Posted on Jul 7, 2015 by

Hamburg is home to the largest warehouse district in the world. Built between 1883 and 1928, the Speicherstadt, meaning “city of warehouses”, is located in the port of Hamburg and stretches for almost a mile along a network of canals. Neo-Gothic red brick warehouses tower over the waterways and humpbacked bridges, many of them still used to store goods such as cocoa, coffee, tea and aromatic spices. Keen to visit the Speicherstadt, we took a trip to Hamburg and found there was much to admire in Germany’s second city.

This feature was taken from Warehouse Home Issue 2. Enjoy the publication in full here.

Hamburg's Speicherstadt, the world's largest warehouse district

Hamburg’s Speicherstadt is the world’s largest warehouse district and surprisingly romantic and beautiful when illuminated at night.
Photography by Christian Spahrbier | Image courtesy of

Where To Stay: 25hours Hotel HafenCity

Within a short walk of the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg’s International Maritime Museum and the historic warehouses of the Speicherstadt, 25hours Hotel HafenCity is an ideal place to drop anchor. The hotel’s proximity to the harbour inspired much of its decor and the relaxed seaman’s club ambience. From the moment guests arrive at the reception desk, constructed from plywood packing crates, the modern maritime details are evident. In the cosy “cabins”, the wallpaper depicts colourful tales from life at sea and the minibar and desk are housed within a steamer trunk, complete with log book. Borrow the hotel’s bikes to explore the area. Afterwards enjoy the panoramic views of Hamburg from the rooftop Hafen sauna, housed in a decommissioned shipping container. After two nights on board at 25hours Hotel, we certainly left feeling ship shape.

25h-HafenCity Hafen-Sauna Hamburg shipping container architecture

The rooftop Hafen Sauna, housed in a decommissioned shipping container, is the perfect place to unwind at the end of the day.
Image courtesy of

Where To Drink: Altes Mädchen

Situated on the appropriately named Lagerstraße, Altes Mädchen serves over 60 different craft beers from around the world, in addition to the house Ratsherrn brews. Which is probably reason enough to visit. But beside the excellent food and drink, the brewpub’s atmospheric setting, in a lofty 19th century animal market, also explains its popularity with locals and visitors alike. Be sure to arrive early to secure a coveted seat at the central bar or sit outside on a sunny evening in the bustling beer garden.

Altes Maedchen restaurant bar, Hamburg

Over 60 different craft beers from around the world and a funky setting in a former animal market. This is a drinking hole with a difference!
Image courtesy of

Where To Eat + Shop: The Box

Hamburg is replete with design shops and trendy stores. But one of our favourite finds was The Box. An eclectic destination for “furniture and other good things”, The Box is set within a listing building in the redeveloped 19th century Borselhof factory. The striking industrial space is filled with high-end design temptations, quirky curiosities and original vintage furniture. A bookstore, two galleries and a buzzy little cafe / bar hosting live music and readings offer further opportunity to stay a little longer.

The Box Hamburg, an eclectic destination for “furniture and other good things” in a former factory.

An eclectic destination for “furniture and other good things” in a former factory.
Photography courtesy of courtesy of Lea Lüdemann and Gerhard Castenow

Where To Shop: LYS Vintage

Hamburg’s close proximity to Scandinavia is particularly evident in the excellent design shop LYS Vintage. Lys, meaning light, displays vintage originals and re-issues from the 1950s and 1960s alongside contemporary designers, both Nordic and international. Among our favourite brands, Gubi, Hay and Ferm Living’s latest collections are displayed in a gallery-like experience. This is certainly a shop to linger in. We found it hard to leave.

Lys Vintage is a beautiful Scandinavian style emporium in Hamburg

LYS Vintage is the perfect place to seek out Scandinavian style in Hamburg.
Image courtesy of

Where To Visit: Elbphilharmonie

The regeneration of HafenCity is currently Europe’s largest inner city development project. Among the internationally renowned architects involved in the redevelopment of Hamburg’s HafenCity, it is Herzog & De Meuron’s project that is the most widely anticipated. Standing beacon-like at the entrance to Hamburg’s harbour, Elbphilharmonie is a landmark of significant civic pride. Due for completion in 2017, even unfinished this remarkable structure is certainly worth a visit. The sheer scale of the former warehouse and its colossal iceberg like rooftop extension immediately impresses. However long you stay in Hamburg, make time to marvel at this incredible architectural feat.

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, designed by Herzog & de Meuron. Remarkable architecture & design.

The remarkable Elbphilharmonie stands at the entrance to the harbour.
Elbphilharmonie west elevation April 2014 © Thies Rätzke

This feature was taken from the Issue Two of Warehouse Home. To enjoy the publication in full click here or in the reader below.

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