Altona-Altstadt, Hamburg

After two years living, working, and learning here in Hamburg, I’ve realized we’ve told you very little about the city that Ken and I have grown to love.

We actually moved in May 2013 from our top floor apartment in a historic house in Othmarschen, to a red brick post-WWII apartment complex in Altona. This is a photo of us moving:


While our home sounds dull and unromantic compared with our first apartment, we are so much more centrally located to an area that lured both myself and Ken when we first visited Hamburg in May 2011 with the prospect of moving here.



Altona is located west of downtown Hamburg, in an area that was incorporated into the city during WWII. With four train lines running frequently through it, and lots of shops, cafes, supermarkets, pharmacies and bars, it’s quite a happening part of town. Altona is split into two, in my opinion. You have Ottensen to the west, which is the hipster walking area with lots of nightlife, little shops with local items, and cafes with really good milchkaffee and kuchen. Then to the east, separated by Altona bahnhof and S-bahn stations, is the up-and-coming Altona-Altstadt. A lot less historic looking due to British air raids in late WWII, Altona-Aldstadt is almost entirely residential.


It’s a little cuspy, sitting on the edge of a large Turkish community, and is where the weird drunkards from the train station sort of hang out, and…it’s where Ken and I live, across from a monstrosity that is to become the new in-town walking only IKEA:

Ken in Altona

New cafes and shops have already transformed the area a lot since we’ve moved in, and despite it’s boring red-brick exteriors, we love it. There are parks galore, there is lots to do and it’s filled with life. Plus we finally have a bathtub, a guest room and a totally doable kitchen that we half built ourselves.



More on that – when you rent an apartment in Hamburg, it comes with the bare bones. Meaning our apartment came with an oven and top-range. We needed to bring our washing machine (which we purchased for the last place). We needed to buy a refrigerator (at least this one is not a mini-fridge), installed every light and ceiling fixtures (I’ve become an expert 1970s ceiling lamp refurbisher), installed an extra counter top in the kitchen, shelves, curtain rods, shower rod…we needed to bring a medicine cabinet/mirror for the bathroom, under the sink storage, we bought closets (there are NO closets in any German apartment….anywhere.) Yea…I think that’s it so far. We’re still missing a dish washer and more personalization, but it’s been a large project and takes time and effort that sometimes Ken and I don’t have by the end of the week.

Back to Altona-Aldstadt. When Ken was at a Beamline experiment, and it was still nice to walk outside, I took a few photos of our hood. Welcome to our new (since May) home.



This is directly across the street from where we live:





  1. cindy wrote:

    so great to see your life there! i look forward to seeing it in person! have a wonderful time on your trip.

  2. Carol wrote:

    Found it a nice area to stay in, too.