The Shopping, Chocolate, and Gal Pal Guide to Hamburg

What does a girl do when four cups of coffee still can’t revive her from a late night on the Reeperbahn and a jam-packed, writing-overloaded day in Starbucks? She closes the computer and goes shopping instead!

Ever since I was little, shopping has been my escape. I’m not talking about that lazy, online browsing where you add items to a cart that exists somewhere out there in the sky and have them delivered 5-6 business days later. No, I’m talking about real shopping, where you spend the afternoon wandering in and out of boutiques, perusing through each rack, item by item. I love running my hands over beautiful clothes, examining funky shoes, and imagining myself at my next (okay, first) black-tie gala wearing the elegant gown on display in the storefront.

Megan Galbreath | Lets Go

Luckily, my brain had fried in the right place. I found myself in Hamburg’s glamorous district of Neustadt, a luxurious neighborhood in the center of the city known for high-end shopping and fine dining. For the next two hours, I (window) shopped my way through the streets, admiring everything from snakeskin-print heels to chocolate masterpieces to antique vases. The sun had finally come out for the day, and it seemed like shopping had made everything right in the world…just like my mom always taught me.

Stumbled upon this cute café when I was window shopping! Wish I had found it earlier that day instead of hunkering down in Starbucks to work for three hours.

I thought the highlight of my day would be when I stopped to enjoy a Godiva dark chocolate shake on the Inner Alster Lake. I mean, shopping and chocolate? In Europe? On a dazzling lake? How does life get better than this? Turns out that I was about to find out. Early on in my shopping experience, I had messaged some friends that I met at the chocolate museum on my first day in Hamburg. They invited me to join them for dinner at a German restaurant called Das Dorf, in the vibrant and multicultural neighborhood of St. Georg.

Megan Galbreath | Lets Go Hazel, me, Rumana, and Fiona after grabbing cocktails in Hamburg’s infamous Reeperbahn. I’m the only non-Scot of the group! Thanks to the Chocoversum for bringing us together. Chocoholics, unite!

So, to Das Dorf I went! Fiona and Hazel were sisters from Scotland who were on holiday together in Hamburg. We spent the evening laughing and joking, swapping traveling stories, sisterly memories (they have the same age difference as me and Hannah), and exclamations that we needed to get together in the future if we ever found ourselves in the same country again. I am so thankful to Fiona and Hazel not just because they picked up my tab (which was definitely not student budget guide-friendly), but because they were two kind and genuine girls who gave me the pick-me-up that I needed to make it through the rest of my trip to Hamburg. After seeing how much fun they had exploring the city together, it makes me all the more excited for my own sister to join me at the end of my travels. Shopping, chocolate, and girl time – just what the doctor ordered!

P.S. The Chocoversum by Hachez may be the best museum in the entire world. I hope you enjoy these pictures half as much as I enjoyed the chocolate bar that I made in their chocolate factory.

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