Enjoy an Astra. Photo: Stella Sommer. Feature photo, in the beer garden at the Grüner Jäger: malin156

Most people know two things about Hamburg: it’s where The Beatles came to fame and it is home to one of Europe’s most famous Red Light Districts.

AND SURE, IF YOU aren’t used to having sex flung in your face (or if you enjoy that), it may have some appeal. But one night of giggling in the sex shops, drunkenly and jokingly chatting up prostitutes, and dancing in a mainstream club to techno remixed R’n’B is enough. Time to move on to Hamburg’s less known and less flashy nightlife.

Photo: Stella Sommer

In stark contrast to a concrete, busy main road is the grassy island home to an old forester cabin turned bar/club: Grüner Jäger (Green Hunter). It attracts Hamburg’s indie, 80s, and gig loving crowd.

In the summer you can sit in the beer garden sipping on an Astra (the official, cheap but tasty beer of Hamburg’s red light district). In the winter you can lounge inside on the sofas.

Every Wednesday night is free when the club presents a newcomer band. On weekends, when anything from local hip hop, electro DJs and established bands like Unbunny grace the place, expect to pay between 2 and 6 euros.


Neuer Pferdemarkt 36, 20359

Open everyday for coffee from 6pm (2:30pm in summer)
Club opens Tues-Thurs from 9pm, Fri-Sat from 10pm, Sunday 8:15pm

Photo: Stella Sommer

Just a five minute walk from the Grüner Jäger stands a seemingly intimidating and hideously beautiful bunker. What could be a grim reminder of the Second World War has been turned into a music shop, rehearsal space and club.

A clanking elevator takes you up to the top floor consisting of two big rooms (combined capacity of about 1000), a chill out area and a spiral staircase leading you to the summit of this concrete mountain where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Hamburg. The music is mostly indie-rock and electro, and it hosts international bands of the moment for 20 euros.


Feldstrasse 66, 20359

Concerts start at 8pm and the club closes when the bands finish playing
Fri-Sat 12am-6am

“So what?” is exactly the attitude of this smoky, jukebox-music filled, old school St. Pauli bar. So what if you stumble in completely drunk at seven in the morning looking for another drink accompanied by another pack of smokes? Klaus, the old and gray, voiceless, chain-smoking bartender, sure as hell doesn’t care. He will happily try to understand your slurred speech and serve up one drink after the next. The bar stays open until the last person leaves (or hits the floor).

A mix of St. Pauli locals, who look like they haven’t left the bar since the eighties, and young, “trendy” people guarantee for an interesting Hamburg bar experience…if you can remember, that is.

Wohlwillstrasse 47

From 5pm daily

Deep in conversation. Photo: Stella Sommer

By Hamburg’s famous harbor is the small, wooden fisherman’s hut turned independent cult club: Golden Pudel Klub (Golden Poodle Club) which attracts Hamburg’s nostalgic locals and curious newcomers alike.

Re-opened in 1995, it’s covered in graffiti and grime, the dance floor is made up of split tiles and bits of the walls are peeling off. It’s cheap (entrance is free or 2 euros) and the electro/hiphop DJs (often big names) always impress. If you need some fresh air, and trust me you will, step outside to a beautiful view of the harbor.

If you’re too hungry to go back inside head to the Fischmarkt for fish, chicken, fruit and more. Traditional German music will keep the party going, and the market stall holders are infamously known as marktschreier (market screamers).

St. Pauli Fischmarkt 27, 20359

Mon-Sun 10pm- depends on the event

Mutter (Mother) is a dark and dingy pub with a homely atmosphere. With its sat-in sofas and couches, it is the living room for the Hamburg School (a late 80s, early 90s punk/experimental pop music movement with intelligent German lyrics). Promoters, band members, critics and fans all come here. But don’t expect any swooning, groupie behavior or autograph signing. Everyone is very chilled out…just like you should be when visiting your Mom’s home.

Stressemanstrasse 11, 22769

Opens at 8pm Mon-Thur, 9pm Fri-Sun. Closing time depends on how busy it is, usually between 2am and 6am.

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