Founded in 1901, the Schauspielhaus is Germany’s largest theatre. There’s much to enjoy in its varied programme, from children’s plays to premieres of new pieces.
An intriguing new exhibition of Alberto Giacometti’s portraiture, ‘Encounters’, opens at the Bucerius Kunst Forum on 26 January, running until late May.
Built as market halls a century ago, the Deichtorhallen are now part of the city’s Art Mile of galleries and museums. Mystic Silver, showing works by German artist Anselm Reyle, runs until 27 January.
The Der Kunstverein, meaning ‘art club’, was founded in 1817 and shows work by local as well as internationally renowned artists. An exhibition of Bremen-born Norbert Schwontkowski’s paintings and sketches opens on 26 January.
The homely Das Dorf serves no-nonsense, home-cooked food – which in winter might mean venison stew with dumplings, a creamy chestnut soup, or beef roulade with red cabbage and mash.
Café Gnosa is a favourite with locals, serving simple, inexpensive mains (salads, quiches, pasta) and stellar homemade cakes.
Just by the casino, Tarantella is smart without being stuffy and attracts a style-conscious crowd. The open-plan kitchen produces globally influenced bistro fare, including some inventive vegetarian options.
Germany’s kaffee und kuchen (coffee and cake) culture is very much alive and well. Sample a slice of rich chocolate cake at the gracious, art deco Café Paris or join the locals at the café inside the Galeria Kaufhof department store (Moenckebergstrasse 3).
Following a two-year renovation, the century-old Hotel Atlantic Kempinski (rooms from €179) is on fine form; come the evening, the Art Deco Atlantic bar is a stylish spot for a cocktail, with leather club chairs and a gleaming, mirrored bar.
The Side Hotel (rooms from €135) is a modish, 178-room design hotel with coolly minimalist interiors, a spa and pool, and a terrace with fine city views.
The five-star Park Hyatt Hamburg (rooms from €195) is quietly luxurious, with vast rooms, marble bathrooms with L’Occitane toiletries and a pool.
For luxury items and leading fashion labels head to Neuer Wall, whose resident boutiques include Jil Sander, Joop (number 9) and Louis Vuitton (number 37).
When it comes to nightlife, this area rivals St Pauli. Lange Reihe street is dotted with bars, including the easygoing, ever-popular Frau Möller and down-to-earth Kyti Voo (Lange Reihe 82).
The Cotton Club is a well-established live music venue, with a swinging programme of jazz and blues.