Why You Should Visit Hamburg (Like, Now)

View from St. Michael's Church (Michel) in Hamburg, Germany
[The view from St. Michael’s Church should not be missed]
Over the course of our 3 months in Europe, my friend Stephanie and I ended up spending the bulk of our time in Hamburg. This was a total accident! But a very happy one.

I honestly wasn’t even really that excited to go to Hamburg in the first place – I really only went because we found a house sit there and it was for 2.5 weeks which I was stoked about (since we’d been traveling everywhere for about 1 week and I was ready to camp out in one spot for a hot minute), and because my friend really realllllly (like reallllly) wanted to go to Germany.

Canoeing along the Alster River
[Loved all the pretty garden houses/sheds that people had on the banks of the Alster River]
I was more like NORWAY! SWITZERLAND! AMSTERDAM! And I guess Hamburg? Since it exists?

(And I honestly prefer it to Berlin, too, for similar reasons that I preferred Lyon to Paris. But shhhh I didn’t say that…)

Dockland Office Building in Hamburg, Germany at sunset
[Check out that gorgeous sunset!! This is at the Dockland Office Building, and those are all a ton of stairs. I went for a run over there in the evening and it was so nice!]
But in the end, I feel like Hamburg is super underrated and it actually ended up coming on top as one of my favorite places! Here’s why:

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18 Things That Surprised Me About Germany

18 Things that Surprised Me About Germany
[Wernigerode, near the Harz Mountains, is a really pretty town]
When I first set out on my 3 month digital nomad/travel excursion we had just planned on staying in Germany for about 3 weeks, but that turned into 2 months! Whoops. And during that time I really fell in love with Germany – it’s such a lovely country!

Lübeck in northern Germany from St Peter's Church
[Lübeck is a beautiful town in northern Germany, and an easy day trip from Hamburg; this view is from St. Peter’s Church]
I’d been before – to Berlin for a couple of days and then Starnberg and Munich for Oktoberfest. But this visit was the first time I’d really spent an extended amount of time in one country, and in one city no less!

We were in Hamburg the bulk of the time and Berlin for 10 days, but I was also able to squeeze in some day trips and visit the Saxony region for a weekend, too. Here’s what surprised me most about the country itself:

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Where to Stay Outside of Munich During Oktoberfest: Starnberg

If Munich is Too Expensive, try Staying in Starnberg, a Cute German Town, During Oktoberfest!
[If Munich is too expensive, or you want to stay somewhere with a little more nature, give Starnberg a try!]
Full disclaimer: I don’t know if this will ALWAYS be a cheaper option, but for us it was! Plus, ima be honest, I really just wanted to stay OUT OF THE CITY since we had just come from a couple days in Paris and a few in Lyon.

But I digress – for us, it was the cheaper (and prettier, in my opinon) option!

So – STARNBERG.

Starnberg Lake (Starnberger See) near Munich in SeptemberThat’s right. You heard me. STARN. BERG.

It’s a pretty little town with and here’s why I loved it so:

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