It took me a while to get used to the name Rathaus.

See, Rathaus are German city halls (effectively ‘home’ to the Government) yet in plain English, it always sounds like Rat House to me so I can help but imagine a mini house for rats and mice (rats and mice belong together as far as I’m concerned) or a regular house with gigantic rats and mice (…the latter is a scarier thought though).

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There’s nothing ‘rat-like’ about Rathaus Christmas market in Hamburg and as lovely as Santa Pauli Christmas market was Rathausmarkt is the big daddy of Christmas markets in Hamburg! It’s enormous and even has a humongous sparkling Christmas tree to boot.

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By this point, we were properly starving and proceeded to raid the Christmas stall for every and any food in sight! It. Was. GLORIOUS!

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Eventually, it was time to head back to the Renaissance Hotel for dinner in our amazing 2 bedroom suite (…and yes, I’m ‘name-dropping’ the 2-bed part so you know how HUGE this place was – I ain’t ashamed to admit I was very impressed with the place and wanted to show it off to everyone. 🙂 I have photos of me in every pretentious pose imaginable all over the suite. Hehehe!)

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The next morning, I refused to get up early! Staying in a place as amazing should always involve a huge element of enjoying the place and so we did just that (barely making it to breakfast in the nick of time, of course).

To be fair, it was also raining and freezing hence the reluctance to head out early but eventually, the Christmas markets called and we heeded, heading right back to Rathausmarkt.

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Rathaus Christmas market led to St. Michael’s Church, an impressive baroque church (arguably the most famous in Hamburg) and definitely one of the prettiest!

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Exploring St Michael’s was an excuse to escape the cold and the rain but soon enough, we found somewhere else even better suited to this purpose – Public Coffee Roasters café.

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This was a place that was recommended to us by quite a few people but I didn’t even realise it till I started to warm-up, coffee in hand.

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Another great spot to pop into is right next door to the café and that’s a fairly new shop called Winkel Sinkel where they have all manner of cool gadgets, trinkets and widgets waiting for you to peruse.

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You can get everything from your gin and tea to tiny ornaments and house plants in this one space. Plus, we got talking to the owner, who’s really lovely so if you visit, tell them we said hi! (I’m so presumptuous about them actually remembering us – they’ll probably be like “Who???” 🙂 ).

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By the time we’d gallivanted through the town (and stopped off in the Christmas market for a gluhwein top-up) it was well and truly dark and almost time for our dinner reservations at the Marriot!

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We hurried back to the hotel, got changed for dinner and walked the whole 2-minutes down the road to the Marriot for an fantastic (and much welcome) 3 course meal which included roasted goose as the main – a traditional meal typically had in the area… or typically had in the area at Christmas time? I can’t remember which, I was enjoying far too much to pay close attention.

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Tummies full, we trudged back to the Renaissance for a good night’s kip in a suite that I knew I would struggle to say farewell to. Huge thanks to Eurowings for spoiling us at Christmas in what was quickly turning out to be one of my favourite German cities!


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  • The Ginger Passports

    It looks like you had so much fun! The lights are beautiful, although I am struggling to work out what the orange and blue picture is of haha — what is the weather like in Hamburg this time of year? And what type of food is popular at the markets?

    http://www.thegingerpassports.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      lol! I think I know the one you mean. It’s like a tented merry-go-round for kids. Hamburg was so much fun. The weather was a mixed bad. Sunny one day and rainy the next. When it was sunny, it was freezing though it was a lot milder when it was raining. Popularity wise – most places seemed fairly busy to be honest – the one thing I know almost everyone can agree on is the gluhwein! 🙂