5 bars where you can meet the locals in Hamburg

1) Aurel

The façade is crumbling, because sadly the Aurel – a central feature of Alma- Wartenberg-Platz – is soon to make way to redevelopment. Drop by before the day comes, to down a Grosse Freiheit (beer) with an old friend. Either at the bar counter below the DJ’s platform, or right in front of the Aurel. It’s a great place to watch the neighbourhood’s comings and goings.

bar counter at Aurel bar in Hamburg

Bahrenfelder Strasse 157

+49 (0)40 3902 727

2) Toast Bar

Being in the Toast Bar often feels like being at a well-attended party in a nice sitting room at somebody’s shared flat. It’s cosy and crowded, talk drowns out the techno in the corner and somebody’s lit up a smoke. All your close friends, present and future, are in here. And there’s a good selection of cocktails, beer and hard liquor.

two glasses of white wine

Wohlwillstrasse 54

+49 (0)40 4318 2339

3) Thier

The picture behind the counter at thier shows roaring bears, monkeys and goats sitting at a bar. Yet the little bar at one end of Schulterblatt doesn’t shout aloud. Locals are more likely to head for thier to meet their gang.

dark interior and wall decoration with animals at Thier bar

Schulterblatt 98

+49 (0)40 4136 9387

4) Mutter

You inevitably give a grunt when the suggestion arises again: “Will we meet at the Mutter?”. For over 20 years, this dive has been home to many an Astra beer and its appurtenances. Denizens philosophise, argue and snack in a haze of nicotine and beer – as quite a few band singers of the Hamburg School will tell you.

red lights and decoration at Mutter bar

Stresemannstrasse 11

+49 (0)40 4318 2106

5) Möwe Sturzflug

The Möwe is practically an institution. The bar serves its own mouth-watering creations, including the classic ‘Möwenschiss’ (‘seagull poo’) with Korn/pumpernickel/horseradish, now rivalled by the Hamburg speciality ‘Mexikaner’ (Korn/tomato juice/Tabasco). The room behind the bar could be your own sitting room, in summer you can stand around in the front yard and be cool.

people enjoying a drink outside Möwe Sturzflug

Clemens-Schultz-Strasse 96

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