I sat in a lecture on a weekday when I thought about what I wanted to do for my 21st birthday. I didn’t want a big party and I only wanted to celebrate with my family and close friends. But other than that I thought I’d treat myself to something special. I flipped open my MacBook and started typing. Half an hour later I had booked two train tickets to Hamburg and one night in a double room in a hostel right by the main station. I told my sister about my spontaneous trip where I had included her already (my sister had her own celebrations to attend in another city) and she was naturally excited. We hadn’t gone on a trip together for a long time and it was going to be her first time seeing Hamburg as well.

It took us roughly four hours from Dresden to Hamburg and we spent those four hours watching The Mentalist (we had downloaded a few episodes on Netflix), writing and munching on our snacks. We arrived in Hamburg in the evening, 9 o’ clock. We only had backpacks with us so we cruised a little and explored the main station and its shops. I bought a new book. We bought snacks and energy drinks for the night. We ate quick, unspectacular dinner and checked into our bedroom in the Generator Hostel. We were told we’d gotten the prettiest room with the prettiest view – we were on the highest floor – but instead of taking pictures of the room, we eventually joked around and made ourselves comfortable.

We watched Berlin Syndrome in bed and were on edge during the whole film, almost driving our energy drinks to waste. Eventually, we lay awake and talked, then fell asleep because we were going to have a full day ahead.

The next morning we awoke to clear windows and fogged landscape. Luckily, the fog had disappeared and the sun had come out when we were done with breakfast and checked out, headed towards the city and the shopping street, Mönckebergstraße. We went through shops, treated ourselves to Korean masks and skin care products and I got a new money pouch as well. We honestly didn’t know where we were going, all I knew was we’d just keep walking and see where that would take us. We ended up walking in all the right directions.



We eventually ended up at The Coffee Shop which is, as the name will tell you, a coffee shop with a stunning view on the bridges. We sat here for an hour, sipping on iced coffees and looking through the pictures that we’d taken. But most of all, we took a break from walking as our backs were hurting immensely after a while. Just because we’d refused to take breaks and kept walking.



We checked the Nivea shop, then Urban Outfitters where I bought myself an audio speaker, and browsed through Brandy Melville. Eventually our hunger took over and we sat down in Vapiano to eat Pollo Piccante and Carbonara el salmone which our friendly Italian cook made us in awesome speed.

We took the train back to Dresden at 4 in the afternoon because I still had some writing and tidying to do, and my sister had to study for tests. I loved our short but great and sunny trip to such a big, gorgeous city, that would probably pose as my German alternative to London, if I shall be honest. I’ll definitely come again.

Have you been to Hamburg before? Which spots should I see next time?