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The elegant Alsterarkaden

Visitors who stroll along the quays of the Kleine Alster will certainly notice the Alsterarkaden. These elegant white arcades along the water evoke a touch of Venetian elegance. These stylish shopping arcades are the showpiece of downtown Hamburg. Browse the shop windows of exclusive designers or grab a table at a patio on the water and watch the elegant, well-heeled shoppers.

The shopping galleries behind the Alsterarkaden are perfect for an afternoon stroll and some window shopping. The Mellin Passage is the oldest shopping arcade in Hamburg. Marvel at luxurious delicatessen shops, exclusive jewellers and upscale fashion boutiques. Look up to admire the magnificent art deco frescos and stained-glass windows in the 19th-century arcade. And don’t worry about going hungry. Take a break and indulge in cake and pastries in one of the traditional cafés.

The Alsterarkaden evoke a hint of Venice
The Alsterarkaden evoke a hint of Venice

Hamburg

Surprising artwork

The arcades are a historic treasure which stand out in the modern city of Hamburg. Their special design was the work of Alexis de Chateauneuf, one of the most important urban planners in Hamburg after the Great Fire of 1842. The Mediterranean flair of the shopping arcades is no coincidence; Chateauneuf designed the Alsterarkaden in an Italian style, emphasising symmetry and circular shapes.

Between the shopping arcades and the Neuer Wall shopping street lies the Mellin Passage, the oldest and smallest shopping arcade in Hamburg. Here you will find luxurious pharmacies, authentic book stores and elegant purse shops. In 1989 there was a fire in one of the shops and the building was subsequently torn down. During the restoration, workers made an amazing discovery: beautiful art deco ceiling frescos and stained-glass windows were found behind the rubble. Today these have been completely restored and can be admired once again.

“A lovely surprise: beautiful frescos and stained-glass were uncovered during the restoration process”

The shopping arcades seen from the Rathausmarkt

Sweet temptations

The Alsterarkaden are located in the heart of Hamburg, only a 5-minute walk from the Jungfernstieg subway station. Follow the Kleine Alster to the Rathausmarkt for the most beautiful view of the charming white arcades on the water. Then go across the street to marvel at the shining watches, expensive hats and elegant purses and shoes. For a tasty souvenir visit Godiva Chocolatier – the chocolate creations are impossible to resist. For more sweet temptations continue to the Arkaden-Café and choose from the overwhelming selection of cakes and pastries. Sample a creamy Käsekuchen or a moist Apfelstrudel.

A slice of Käsekuchen

Photo credits

  • The shopping arcades seen from the Rathausmarkt: Christian Meuller, Shutterstock
  • A slice of Käsekuchen: Kersy83, Flickr