Weekend in Hamburg

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Hey guys!

I hope you are all good 🙂

Today I wanna share with you about my short trip to Hamburg I made last weekend.

I mentioned that me and my boyfriend were planning to go to Hamburg. The idea was to go on the first weekend of June, but we got so excited with the idea that we decided to anticipate the trip, so we went last Saturday. \o/

Since Hamburg is only 2 hours away from Münster, we decided to make it a short trip, we left on Saturday at 7am and came back on Sunday at 4pm.

Hotel

I booked our hotel on booking.com and I found the IBIS Budget hotel which is very well located, close to the train station and to the center as well, we did everything walking, so it was very convenient to us.

The price for one night was good as well, we paid 77 euros for one night (No breakfast included, you can pay 7.50 and have breakfast there, but we didn’t think it was necessary for us).

The check in is at 2pm, but since we arrived at 10am in Hamburg, we decided to go to the hotel to see if we could leave our bags in there in a locker or something. The staff were so nice that they allowed us to check in earlier – probably because the hotel wasn’t full and our room was ready, but still, very nice, 5 points to IBIS! 😂

Another nice thing to mention is that when I made the reservation, I sent them a message asking for a room in the top floor and they attended my request, which I also found very thoughtful of them 🙂

The room itself is very small – as you can see in the picture, but very clean and comfortable, perfect for a one night stay and for couples. I definitely recommend IBIS Budget if you go to Hamburg!

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Our small, yet comfy bedroom

The City + Restaurants and Bars

For this trip, we didn’t search much on what to do there. I saw one picture on instagram – the Speicherstadt, and that was basically what motivated us to go there. We are also not big fans of museums or exhibitions, we like to walk (a lot!) and go where catch our eyes, and that’s exactly what we did.

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The place who made me want to go to Hamburg

We started our walk by going to Speicherstadt which is the largest warehouse district in the world – where the buildings stand on timber-pile foundations, oak logs, in this particular case.

The architecture is unbelievable and so beautiful, we made sure to take our time in there to check everything and of course, take a lot of pictures!

There are some museums located in this area as well, but as I said, it was not our goal to visit museums this time, but you can check them here

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After that, we started walking to the center and it was very crazy because during our walk, we didn’t see a single soul in the streets, we don’t know if it was because of the virus or any other particular reason. But as soon as we got into the center, we found out where everyone was! lol

The center of Hamburg is very nice, full of stores (as it should be) and with 3 or so churches around it as well. They were very pretty on the outside, but pretty basic on the inside, since it’s free, it’s still worth to check 🙂

It’s worth to mention that we were impressed by the architecture of the city, every building was so beautiful and they all matched each other, it’s crazy.

After walking for hours, we decided we deserved some drinks and to eat something – not much since we wanted to save ourselves for a proper and nice dinner #travelingionabudget lol

We went to Sausalitos which is a Mexican chain restaurant in Germany, and we had some drinks and fries. As usual, we sat next to an amazing building and made sure to take some pictures.

We decided to go back to the hotel, rest a bit and prepare ourselves to go out again at night for dinner and drinks.

For dinner our main plan was to go to ALEX restaurant, it has a view to the Alster Fountains – a very big lake that is surrounded by restaurants. We called to make reservations but they were completely full, however we decided to go there anyway and try our luck.

When we got there, there was a huge line just to put your name on the waiting list, so we gave up at the same second! We decided to walk around the place and we found a boat restaurant called Alsterlagune

The restaurant was not very full and the view was amazing. They serve seafood, meat and pasta. We chose to order a steak and omg! we were not disappointed! The food was very well served and the meat was delicious! Being a Brazilian and my boyfriend Argentinian, we are very picky when it comes to good meat, we have been struggling to find a good steak for a reasonable price for a while now, so we were not expecting much from this place, but we were very surprised on how good this steak was!

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The price was very ok as well, with drinks plus our plates, we paid around 30 euros each. Totally worth it and we were full forever lol

After that, we decided to have a drink at Reeperbahn – which is a street and entertainment district in Hamburg’s. Is one of the two centers of Hamburg’s nightlife and also the city’s major red-light district. 

It was a 40 min walk from the lake until there, but we were so full that the walk helped us to get back on track! The night was very agitated and we went to Spielbudenplatz – which is a place with many bars and street food in an open area, to have drinks.

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After that, we were destroyed and came back to the hotel.

On the next day we only had a few hours before our train to depart. We did the check-out in the hotel and decided to go check the Elbphilharmonie concert hall building, which is so cool! The building is one of the largest and acoustically most advanced concert halls in the world.

After that we decided we needed to have a hamburger in Hamburg, just because! lol I googled some places and found Otto’s burger. We made our way there and we were not disappointed!

I ordered one of their special burgers of the day, which was a burger with gorgonzola cheese, aioli sauce and caramelized onions (it was heaven!) and Juan ordered the Chuck Norris burger.

This was by far one of the best burgers I ever had! 10/10! The place was also vey cute and the service was great as well. In total we spent 40 euros with the burgers and drinks.

After that we made our way to the train station and came back home!

And that was our trip to Hamburg! Very short but perfect for the weekend, I loved it and recommend to everyone 🙂 The architecture was something I wasn’t expecting to be so amazing and I was very happy with the positive surprise.

I hope you liked it and I would also like to mention that all these amazing pictures were taken by Juan, so if you like, please make sure to follow him on instagram for more great pictures 🙂

We talk soon!

Exploring my Own City

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Hey guys ✨

Today I wanna share with you the amazing Saturday I had discovering a new place in my own city!

The initial plan was to take the train (love taking trains! And since the lockdown, I wasn’t able to go anywhere) to go to a nearby city called Haltern am see. It’s a 20 minute train ride from my city and it has a little beach in there, so my boyfriend and I thought it would be the perfect mini getaway.

When we arrived at the train station, we found out that for a round trip in a 20 minute ride to our destination, it would cost us 24.00€! It’s not extremely expensive, but we think is not worth it for such a close destination and that we could go to a bigger city for the same price. So we decided to abort the plan 😦

Our disappointment lasted only a few minutes since we started to check the map and first we thought about going to the Zoo (which was also vetoed due price as well lol) and then we decided to just walk in the lake we have here in Münster – the Aasee. The lake is quite famous and we always go there, but this time we decided to go beyond our usual place and explore a bit better.

For our surprise, we had the best time discovering this part of our own city. We found out a mini forest which is something we love so much and have been looking for a while now.

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A mini farm we found in our way

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Happy explorers!

I have been living here for two years and to still find new places to go is always amazing 🙂

We spent the mid morning/early afternoon walking and after we were done, we found a bar and decided to stop for a drink and to eat something.

I must say that it was not the best pizza of all times, but the view + our hunger, made it great!

After that we made our way back home happy that our train ride didn’t work out!

I’m now starting to plan our first trip since the lockdown! I’m thinking about Hamburg, which is very close by and with lots of nice things to do. So I will definitely come back to tell you about that too 😀

That’s it 🙂 a very short post to just show a bit of my weekend. Ah, if you liked the nature pictures, you should check my bf’s instagram @pimbaholic and check out more!

Happy Sunday everyone ✨

Finding a house in Germany

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Hello!

Today I would like to share with you some tips for those who want to find a place to live in Germany or just have the curiosity to know how the process works in here.

I need to start by saying that I will be telling my experience in finding a place in the city I live, Münster, but the websites, tips and process applies to the whole Germany.

And before we really get started, another thing I have to point: IT’S👏🏼 NOT👏🏼 EASY!👏🏼 – I live in an university city and it can take you several months to find the right house due the high demand.

Where to Start?

There are a few ways to find a flat/room/house around Germany. The first one – and probably the best/most effective one is, through people. There’s always someone who knows someone that is offering a place. So as soon you get here, let people know you are searching for a place!

Besides that, here are the main websites where you can take a look and start your search:

Yes, eBay! When you live in Germany, eBay will be your best friend! You can find everything, second hand furniture, free furniture (this deserves a whole new post, I need to tell you how I furnished 90% of my house on eBay!), clothes and flats!

This is how it looks like 🙂

You can first register (pink highlighted square on the right) and then click on Immobilien – the second pink square on the left, and start looking for what you want! You can select a lot of filters to find the type of place you want.

Unfortunately this eBay doesn’t have the English version available :/ What I do is to open the site in Chrome, then activate the translation to English and voilà!

I must say that this is not the most popular website to find houses, but it was the one I found mine (I will share my experience at the end) so it’s the reason why I included here.

WG is one of the best ones when you wanna find a place, specially if you are looking to rent a room in a shared flat/house.

They also have the option to switch languages to English and Spanish – just scroll all the way down on the website and you will see the option to change languages, which makes things a bit easier for us 🙂

As you can see from the image, is kind of the same thing as eBay, but here you can choose to find a flat-share, 1 room flat, flats or houses.

I like this website because it’s very easy to navigate and people really put an effort when advertising their places. They will tell a little bit about themselves and also tell what they expect from you as a flatmate or as a tenant.

This one is very similar to WG-Gesucht, but you won’t have the option to change the website to English.

Just an extra info: WG-Gesucht and WG-Suche are mainly focused on shared flats. Of course that you can still find flats and houses, but that’s their main focus 🙂

This one is a very broad website to find places, you can find places from flat until nursery homes! 

Writing your Profile

Once you know where to find a place, you need to have a good profile. Make sure to have as complete as possible, with pictures, your e-mail, phone number and the most important: a nice letter! 

Present yourself, inform where you are from, you age, the languages you speak, your hobbies, what brings you to Germany, for how long you are here for, what you like to do in your free time, if you are a smoker or not and if you have pets (very important info in here, since some places don’t accept smokers and/or pets). 

After that, read carefully people’s ads, since in some of them they will ask you to inform something extra that you might not have it in your standard letter. Is also nice to make each application personalized, insert the person’s name and something else you found nice about the room/flat that got you interested in applying for the place. 

Visiting a Room/Flat

After you apply for a room/flat, the landlord/room owner will schedule a day so you can visit the place. Most of the times they will inform the same day/time for a certain amount of people who also applied for the place, so don’t be scared if you get there and you see 4/5 people checking the place as well – as I said, is not easy and the competition is high!

Make sure to check everything and ask all the questions you have! (I can make a separate post just for the most common questions when renting a place). This is the place you will live, so make sure you know everything about it!

If you are visiting a room, make sure to talk to the flatmates as well, see if you like them and if your interests are aligned with theirs – it’s very important to have flatmates that you get along with, makes the whole flat sharing experience better, or less stressful hahaha

Documents for Application

After checking the place, you will apply for it. The required documents will depend a lot from place to place. But from my experience and the people I know, they will ask you for a copy of personal documents, an income proof, the SCHUFA (SCHUFA is a German private credit proof that you can request in your bank – it costs around 30.00€) and sometimes they will ask you to have a house insurance as well. 

The documents can variate from case to case, but those above are the most common ones. 

After this, they will analyze your profile and your documents and will give you an answer if you got it or not 🙂

My Experience

I’ve been living in Germany for two years and lived in two different houses. My first house was a rented room in a shared flat with a german girl. A person in the company I work was leaving the room and I was informed that it was available. I lived with this girl for one year until we both decided to leave the apartment and move to another place – she found a place closer to her work and since she was moving out, I decided to look for a place for myself instead of finding a new flatmate. 

The story of my second flat is an exception, because things happened very fast and the place is a rare find. 

I found my flat on eBay Kleinanzeigen. I sent a message to the landlord and the visit was on the following week. When I got there to visit the flat – I kid you not – there were at least 10 people checking the place as well. The flat is very well located and with a good price for the location/size. 

Everyone was speaking german and I was the only non-german speaker. My boyfriend who went with me told me, “Lari, there’s no way that you will get this place, forget about it”. OH WELL, I sent my application and on the following week I was signing the contract! lol this is really an exception because usually it doesn’t happen this fast and landlords usually prefers people that can speak in German for communication purposes. 

BE AWARE OF SCAMS!

Before I finish this post I must warn you about scams. They exist and very much common in those websites. 

If the flat is very nice, perfect size, fully furnished, low rent – be suspicious! They will usually ask you to make a deposit into another person of your trust in western union or any other transaction website. They will also claim that they are not in town, therefore they can’t show you the flat and they will be so very very nice with you. So be aware of that and don’t fall for this, if you’re in doubt, start asking more information to the person you are talking to, like their phone number, a contact of the previous tenant… I’m pretty sure they will stop replying to you 🙂 

I guess that’s it! I hope I was able to cover most of the process of finding a house here in Germany.

Please let me know if there’s anything else you would like to know! In the future I can make a post about what to ask in an interview to your landlord, and another one on finding cheap/second-hand furniture – which I love doing it! 🙂

I hope you liked, tschüss!