Please note, I was invited to Hamburg for a press trip with Hamburg Tourism, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
When planning our holidays growing up, my family always wanted to travel far and away and do absolutely nothing on a beach somewhere. As I have grown older I have come to enjoy shorter, local trips on a more regular basis. More importantly, holidays are an incredible opportunity to reset. That doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing or relaxing though, holidays are a perfect opportunity to reflect the healthy lifestyle you want to live or reinforce the on you already do. So after my latest weekend trip, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on how to do Hamburg healthy in my typical eat-move-think-sleep style.
- You can tailor your meals to your food plan
I spent my weekend at the Superbude in St. Pauli, whose breakfast buffet was very accommodating. I was able to stick to mostly Whole30 and Paleo principles with their selection of cold meats, eggs, vegetables and fruit; though I couldn’t help myself when I saw the waffle-maker and cinnamon apples. Hamburg is a very health aware and conscious city, full of healthy restaurants including vegan options. As with any trip, it is worth scoping out the menus ahead of time to figure out how things fit with how you eat.
- Locally sourced produce is everywhere
Hamburg has a deep culture of free expression and looking after its own and this is most evidenced by the success of the local brands. For example, Fritz Kola is the standard fizzy drink you will find: not only is it locally produced but it is sustainable and made with fewer and healthier ingredients than most colas while delivering a sweet and clean taste. Similarly you will find local beers, locally roasted coffee and a plethora of street food markets with healthy, eco-friendly choices aplenty. In Hamburg healthy, locally-sourced produce is easy to come by.
- When in Hamburg, have a hamburger
As much as I’m a Lifestyle Doctor, I’m also a foodie. So when in Hamburg I had to have a hamburger. It is said the hamburger was originially known as a roondshtook vahrm, which can still be ordered at Krameramtstuben and Oberhafen Kantine.
- Climb to the top of the St. Petri Church tower
The oldest church in Hamburg also has the highest viewpoint of the city. Climb all 544 steps and you’ll get a serious cardio, leg and bum workout. It’s worth it though for the breathtaking panoramic views of the city. By the time you come back down you’ll have done over 1000 steps!
- Paddleboarding on the river
Hamburg is full of rivers and one of the best ways to enjoy them is standing atop a paddleboard. I was nervous at first, but the great teachers at SUP Club on the river Alster made it super easy and fun to enjoy. I was up standing on my board quickly and maintained it for over an hour. Not only was it an incredible way to take in different views of the city, it was a great core workout and balance exercise. All the balance work and pistol squats I’ve been doing were put to good use. This was a beautiful and relatively easy way to make my trip to Hamburg healthy.
- Walking tour of Schanzen and Karolinenviertel
These are the Shoreditch of Hamburg, forming an incredible local ecosystem of their own. Tomas Kaiser gave us a truly insightful tour, highlighting the historical backdrop of German and Danish influences culminating in a region where freedom of expression is sacred and care for each other come first. Schanzen and Karolinenviertel form a creative haven full of local food markets, boutiques, bars and cafes as well as the backdrop for graffiti artists, fashion designers and startups to express their ideas. There are many outdoor play areas and Flora Park even has outdoor climbing if you’re feeling adventurous!
My weekend in Hamburg made me think a lot about being a conscious consumer and supporting local produce and businesses. It is investing the time, effort and money in high quality items that not only sustains the local ecosystem but enables it to deliver the best for you and your health.
We stayed in the Superbude located in Schanze. Plenty of their guests are looking to rave and so some people might prefer a quieter location; however my sleep there was uninterrupted. Moreover, it was located in an area where we got exposed to more of the culture of the people of Hamburg and so on balance it was a great place to stay.
That’s my guide on how to make your trip to Hamburg healthy. How do you make your trips healthy? And if you’ve been, how did you make your trip to Hamburg healthy?
Dr Dilraj Kalsi uses Lifestyle Medicine and Digital Health to empower patients to reverse disease via his online clinic Hippocrates Lounge. He is a Lecturer in Digital Health at the University of Warwick and publishes regularly on patient empowerment with colleagues from Oxford University. For all his latest health tips straight to your inbox, sign up here!