© ThisIsJulia Photography
© ThisIsJulia Photography
© Timo Sommer / Lee Maas
© ThisIsJulia Photography
© ThisIsJulia Photography

One day in the south of Hamburg

On the go in Hamburg's South with Silke Schwartau

Welcome to the south of Hamburg! Or more precisely in Harburg and Finkenwerder. Historic and modern architectural styles meet around the Harburg inland port. A bit similar to Hamburg's HafenCity. On the other hand, Finkenwerder still has the cosy charm of a fishing village - a completely different Hamburg unfolds here, with rural features. Harburg and Finkenwerder are also a good starting point for exploring the Hamburg metropolitan region. Welcome to Süderelbe in the south of Hamburg! My name is Silke Schwartau and the last ten generations of my family have lived on Finkenwerder. We say "on" because the district is located on a peninsula in the Lower Elbe. The best way to reach Finkenwerder from Hamburg city centre is by taking the HADAG ferry.

Silke Schwartau
© Timo Sommer / Lee Maas
Silke Schwartau lives in the tenth generation on Finkenwerder.

Off to Finkenwerder

It will take you down the Elbe, offering a great and relaxing ride along the port of Hamburg - past the fish market, the museum harbour Övelgönne and the Blankeneser Treppenviertel. Also, you will never have any kind of traffic jam here! Finkenwerder can be described as a sort of small neighbour from Harburg, Hamburg’s southwestern-most district, that used to be an industrial site. Nowadays, it is a modern residential and commercial district around the Harburg inland harbour, where historical and modern architectural styles merge. Maybe a bit like Hamburg HafenCity. Finkenwerder, on the other hand, has the charm of a fishing village, although the Airbus plant alone attracts around 50,000 visitors annually. I would like to take you on a tour to explore the area around Harburg and Finkenwerder and introduce you to some sights in the south of Hamburg.

Fishermen's houses and modern art

A perfect day around the Süderelbe should always begin outside, behind the dikes that prevent Finkenwerder from flooding. Starting from the pier, you only have to walk a few steps to find yourself in the town centre with its half-timbered buildings and fisherman's houses along narrow streets and alleyways. Beautiful Hanseatic souvenirs can be found at De Stuvloden (Auedeich 54) or at Bücherinsel Finkenwerder (Steendiek 40). If it’s market day, you should get yourself some old fruits that are barely known nowadays. These are sold directly by farmers from the  region. If you are looking for a bit more vibrant city feeling in the south of Hamburg, take a bus or S-Bahn to Hamburg-Harburg. From Harburg train station, just follow the path through the quaint lanes of the Lämmertwiete, a beautiful little street with cobblestones and crooked half-timbered houses. Also, don’t miss the old Phoenix rubber factory, now a modern shopping centre (Hannoversche Straße 86) with some great modern art details. This is where you can have a look at the famous Falckenberg Collection that also exhibits works by Daniel Richter and Jonathan Meese.

Between marina and animal park

Harburg’s inland harbour is always busy. Old silos and oil mills blend with modern residential and office buildings. The former granary, which houses the Italian restaurant Silo 16 (Schellerdamm 16), is always a great option for lunch or dinner. While enjoying your dish, you can watch the ducks in the water and have a walk through the marina afterwards. The Archaeological Museum Hamburg (Schlossstraße 2) offers insights into Harburg’s history and has more than 2,5 million catalogued objects. It has, therefore, the largest archaeological collection in northern Germany. Back in Finkenwerder, I stop for a bite in Landungsbrücke (Benittstraße 9), directly at the Elbe. The grilled salmon here is just exquisite. Then I get on my way to the Osterfeld dike, passing old farmhouses. Fruit and walnut trees can be found everywhere as well. The path will lead you directly to the Westerweiden conservation area. If you’re in luck, you might even spot wild geese here. The Airbus manufactories are nearby, too (Kreetslag 10).

A Fish Called Finkenwerder

This dish is known far beyond the south of Hamburg. Whoever speaks of fish Finkenwerder style means fried flatfish with crispy bacon and fried potatoes. Restaurant Zum Storchennest (Osterfelddeich 2) knows how to get this done like no other place. This rustic restaurant is an old farmhouse with a thatched roof located on a dyke. This is where Airbus employees, tourists and locals meet and mingle. If you are looking for a charming hotel for the night, you can’t go wrong with (Hein-Saß-Weg 40), which offers a great river view from every room. Not least, people from Finkenwerder are always happy about visitors who are not only passing by on their way to the  but also take their time to look at what the peninsula has to offer. One day will barely be enough to discover everything – I swear!

© ThisIsJulia Photography


Around Harburg's inland harbour, historical and modern architectural styles merge. It's maybe even a bit like HafenCity. Finkenwerder, on the other hand, has the charm of a fishing village. – Here, you see a quite different, almost rural side of Hamburg. Harburg and Finkenwerder are also good starting points for discovering the Hamburg metropolitan area.

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