September 5, 2018

Memoirs: My Failed Solo Adventures in Hamburg

A Wake Up Call

It all started with a 2am Uber journey to King’s Cross station to catch a 3.05am National Express coach to Stansted Airport. The things you do to save money right? The coach was £6.99 but at least I saved on an overpriced cab and I could nap. 

I arrived at Stansted Airport around 4.45am, got through security reasonably quickly and to my usual spot Giraffe for breakfast all within half an hour. My flight wasn’t until 7.45am and you’re probably thinking I could have got to the airport so much later but I hate being late especially when it comes to travel. 

Next came boarding and of course RyanAir is the MegaBus of the sky. I purchase priority as for me it was only £7 each way and meant my bag wouldn’t be checked at the gate. 

An hour and 10 minutes later, after another quick nap, I arrived at Hamburg airport. 

The air felt cleaner and I was ready to explore this little city. The public transport was easy to navigate and I’d recommending purchasing the Hamburg City Pass as it works from the airport and in and around Hamburg.

After in being in Hamburg for a little while, I noticed that it was efficient, clean and similar to Amsterdam. Was everything outside London like this? 

Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn 

I was staying at the Movenpick located in Sternschanze and as soon as I got out of the station I saw the magnificent structure that was once the old water tour. But how to get there? Google Maps told me it was two-minute walk but of course I got confused and ended up going through the wrong entrance.

There were some, what I’d call dodgy characters who kept saying ‘Alo’ as I walked through the park and tried to get to my hotel. They kept staring at me and if its one thing being a solo traveller I find that I’m on high alert when it comes to creeps. What could they possibly want? I had my headphones in and my German is basic so I went down the ignorance is bliss route. 

When I’m alone, I like to walk with purpose as you never know when you’re going to be in danger. I know it’s not a good way to think but it made me think about parts of solo travel I dislike. And so far, Germany had been the only place I felt slightly on edge being a solo female traveller. 

All I could think, hmm, this hotel is in a park and of course a park is a public space and you cannot control the public. 

Anyway, I wanted to check in to my room earlier (I had contacted them beforehand) but I was told it wouldn’t be available until 3pm. So, I charged my phone for a bit and decided I would kill some time at the ZOO…

German Hospitality

I’d been in Germany for 3 hours but noticed that Germans were a little frosty. I’d watched a few of Wolters World handy travel summaries on YouTube in my run up to my trip and he expressed what Germans weren’t cold just professional. That’s the beauty of travelling, learning the different personalities each city, country or town holds. 


TBH I got the best sleep in Hamburg.

Anyway, back to the Zoo, this is possibly the best one I’ve ever visited. Before the animal rights police come after me, the zoo will still exist whether I visited or not so I’m just highlighting my experience. 

Asia is on the horizon soon…

The restaurant near the Flamingo exhibit has the worst service ever, I walked in, sat down, and was like hmm okay, is this like Nando’s  (where you have to order yourself) or is it table service? After about 7 minutes, I gave up and walked out. I refuse to put my money in places like this anymore. Old Char would have ridden it out, but present Char doesn’t have time to be missed about anymore. 

Shortly after I found a fish and chip stand and my mood improved. I was definitely hangry… 

View this post on Instagram

What is your favourite animal? 🐱 🦕 🐒 [#trippinwithchar] . . . . . . #tierpark #hagenpark #hamburgzoo #hamburg #animals #instapassport #instalove #instapassport #mytinyatlas #passport #travel #travelblogger #travelgram #tbloggers #tblogger #tblogger #travel #wanderlust #travelher #explorehamburg

A post shared by CHAR | ✈️ (@char_x.o) on

Anyway, I walked around Hagenpark for around 4-5 hours and I could have spent even longer. But as I couldn’t check in, I still had all my valuables on me, I was tired from a 1am wake up call and over life at this point. Dramatic, I know.


I came back to my hotel room, chilled out and ordered room service. The beauty of solo travel is that the only person you need to compromise with is yourself.


Day Two in Hamburg came along a little slowly. I planned on going to Underdock for lunch but I got there and it was closed. When I’m hungry, I get miserable. 


I got back on the U-bahn and decided to got to the Hamburg Town Hall. 

The sky was moody, was I moody too? NOPE. Just hungry. 

After a quick McDonald’s, check out my #MCBLOGGERS hashtag with fellow blogger Becky Bedbug for our favourite McDonald’s moments. 

Tour Bus Time

I didn’t feel like there was much to do or explore around the town hall and I really didn’t have a desire to do anything intensive either. Randomly, I got on one of those hop off buses in German which took you around the interesting parts of Hamburg. It was nice, but the only area I found remotely interesting was the Red Light District, known as the Reeperbahn. But again, it was the middle of that day and that area would only be lit up at night. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Anyway, after getting off and walking around for a bit, the should I was looking for in Hamburg I really couldn’t find. I headed back to my hotel and caught up on Netflix, ordered a hamburger and just chilled.

Was I continually comparing it to other places I’d been or was I judging it on the experience I was having there and then? It was definitely a mix of both. 

A lasting thought… 

Maybe browsing flights low to high isn’t always the best thing for me. I wanted to visit Germany, but perhaps I should have started with Berlin first rather than a secondary city? 

That leads me to blog post I published last week on ‘Why it’s okay not to fall in love with every place you visit’.

View this post on Instagram

Hamburg hasn’t been my favourite place I’ve visited and I don’t know if I’ll return anytime soon. I wonder if I should have started exploring Germany with Berlin… anyway that’s the beauty of travel, you’re not going to fall in love with every place you visit. I have a blog post coming soon on this very topic, for everything else, check out (link in bio). Are there any places you’ve been you didn’t particularly like? . . . . . #traveltheworld #igtravel #getaway #travelblog #instago #travelpics #tourist #wanderer #wanderlust #travelphoto #travelingram #mytravelgram #visiting #travels #travelphotography  #tagsta_travel#beauty #amazing #arountheworld #tourist#solotravel  #instago #ig_worldclub #worldcaptures #hamburg #explorehamburg

A post shared by CHAR | ✈️ (@char_x.o) on

Hamburg wasn’t for me but they shouldn’t deter you from visiting and maybe its worth a second chance from me. At least I got to see a walrus for the first time… 

View this post on Instagram

Walrus vibes 😂 [#trippinwithchar] . . . . . . . #hagenpark #wanderlust #travelphoto #travelingram #mytravelgram #visiting #travels #travelphotography  #tagsta_travel#beauty #amazing #arountheworld #tourist#solotravel  #instago #ig_worldclub #worldcaptures #tourism #worldplaces #traveller #traveler #hamburg #explorehamburg

A post shared by CHAR | ✈️ (@char_x.o) on

Have you been to Hamburg before? Or have there been any destinations you haven’t enjoyed?

Char xo  

13 responses to “Memoirs: My Failed Solo Adventures in Hamburg”

  1. Ricardo Da Costa says:

    Hey Char,

    Lovely post, I enjoyed it!

    Rico Travels

  2. Tina says:

    The photos of the zoo look amazing 🙂

  3. Dionne-louise says:

    Chars you are amazing at what you do with regarda to travelling its beyond inspiring and i am mesmirised by all the photos you produce even down to the food and selfies. Keep it going sis I am proud of you xx

    Celine xx

  4. […] Why I Didn’t Like Hamburg […]

  5. Ricardo Da Costa says:

    Commenting again because you retweeted on the TL.. yeah Copenhagen wasn’t really my favourite places, I just felt like there wasn’t much to do? I went to Berlin and there was loss of history and things I could do (mainly for free) but I found Copenhagen less appealing maybe?? Even booked last minute flight to leave the day before… ☕️🐸

  6. […] My Failed Solo Adventures In Hamburg […]

  7. giselle robinson says:

    I am also a solo traveller and I really enjoyed your post

  8. […] not going to lie my first visit to Germany didn’t go so well. Hamburg and I didn’t get on but since then I have been to Berlin and my faith has been restored that […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Me

Welcome to my little space on the internet, known as Memoirs and Musings. I’m Char, short for Charlotte and my blog/website/diary is dedicated to documenting my Memoirs and Musings, hence the name. I wouldn’t say I was your ‘typical’ blogger either. I don’t care about getting the perfect flatlay or feeling bad for not posting, I just enjoy writing. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. Anyway, I love to travel, indulge in a glass of white wine, when plans are cancelled and purchase overpriced make up.  I guess that’s me in a nutshell, trying to figure out this thing called life, have fun and never lose sight.