48 hours in... Hamburg

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START on Friday at 5pm by checking in at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski (www.kempinski.com, from E429 for three nights).

• 7pm Sip a glass of sparkling sekt in the classy Alex Alsterpavillion, (ww.alexgastro.de.world) on the Alster waterfront at Jungfernstieg 54.

• 8pm Friesenkeller Jungfernstieg (www.friesenkeller.de) introduces you to regional dishes such as eel soup and eisbein (sauerkraut, pork, mushy peas and boiled spuds).

• 11pm Back at the Kempinski, enjoy a nightcap in the art-déco Atlantic Bar.

• Saturday, 10am Browse the upscale arcades in the city centre, along the mile-long Neuerwall.

• Noon In Hanse-Viertel, the most glam of all Hamburg’s arcades, treat yourself to a glass of fizz, a platter of lobster or a dollop of caviar in one of the smart stand-up lunch counters.

• 2pm Take the lift to the top of the 132-metre spire of St Michael’s church, the hub of the medieval Hanseatic city.

• 10pm Stroll through the waterfront St Pauli district. At Grosse Freiheit 36 (www.grossefreiheit36.de), the Eighties still rule, while for those with more sophisticated tastes Birdland (www.jazzclub-birdland.de) hosts swing, jazz, bepop and Latin bands.

• Sunday, 10am A massage (E68) or a rejuvenation treatment (E116) in the hotel’s spa will help you to detox.

• Noon Cruise the inland waterways of the Alster with a one-day hop-on hop-off ticket (www.alstertouristik.de, E12). Stop off at Alster riverside café Bobby Reich for Sunday lunch.

• 8pm Splash out with dinner in the Kempinski’s swanky restaurant.

• Monday, 11am Check out.


THE FACTS EasyJet (www.easyjet.com) flies from Edinburgh to Hamburg three to four times a week from 21 March for around £108 return.

The Hamburg Card (E8.90 per day) gives free public transport and discounts on tours, harbour cruises, attractions and restaurants; www.hamburg-tourism.de