One of the many joys of a trip to Germany, apart from their warm reception for Russian and American visitors, is their bargain tickets for day travel.
Just over a tenner (it’ll be £20 soon if the exchange rate continues to plummet) gets you a ticket for up to 5 people to ride the whole of Hamburg’s trains and tubes all day. And Hamburg is a vast city.
To get full value from our investment, I randomly took the S-Bahn from our Altona base and randomly jumped out after 10 minutes, without a clue where I was.
WARNING – DO NOT TRY THIS IN LONDON.
The information board said Langenfelde, so a pub crawl round Langenfelde it was.
Your challenge today is to find anything out about Langenfelde, let alone about it’s pubs, on the web. The railway station has a Facebook page, but that’s your lot.
This is when you realise what an absolute wonder What Pub is; a virtually full on-line directory of every pub in the country. In the Hamburg suburbs, you’re relying on Google Map searches under “pub” or “bar”. I set course for Heisenberg and Urknall, with the Scottish-themed McDonalds as a backup.
A giant block of flats at the station gives you no real feel for the place, though underpass street art that hasn’t been defaced yet is a promising sign.
A fairly dull shopping street quickly turns into the prosperous commuter enclave it clearly is. Bright brickwork and attractive flat complexes, each with their own corner pizzeria, all packed with 30-something locals on a Sunday night. Much as you’d find in a Dortmund or Nuremberg suburb, without any of that craft nonsense.
Finding a pub was trickier, Heisenberg looking promising on their website but oddly closed on Sundays, thus denying me of a half litre of Carlsberg for £3.
Urknall does a good salvage job for Langenfelde, offering a winning combination of football pub, cheap diner and punk dump. Well, what counts for punk in Germany, if not Hull.
Here “punk” stretches to Mikey Dread, Dali and Pink Floyd.
But I’m a sucker for old tat in pubs, which is why I was the only drinker inside at 8pm on Sunday.
You’re only allowed to support St Pauli round here (I did see one lone Hamburg SV shirt) so the Braunschweig poster in the loo is obviously ironic.
As is the loo entrance (I hope).
I get to sit at the bar and pay for my beer here, always a plus. If I’d sat outside I’d never have understood the banter anyway.
Beers from Alster, Lubster, Erdinger, Duckstein and Murphy’s, but you don’t come to Hamburg and not drink Astra, do you.
Clean, crisp and dull, rather unlike the pub. Visit for the toilet art.