There’s no doubt about it: Hamburg’s coolest neighborhood is the Karolinenviertel. Most commonly referred to simply as Karoviertel, this small part of town is Hamburg at its finest.
While the area has a lot in common with Sternschanze in terms of vibe and architecture, its location has allowed the area to stay off the radar of most visitors, thereby developing in a more local direction and, to an extent, avoiding the massive gentrification that befell other parts of town.
The Karolinenviertel is tucked away at the opposite extreme of St. Pauli—that is, far from the party area. It is also within walking distance of Sternschanze. However, here you won’t find the neon lights of St. Pauli, nor the party atmosphere of Schanze. Likewise, you’ll find virtually no tourists. Rather, you will find an authentic and alternative neighborhood full of cafés, second-hand shops, and awesome record stores.
Also, the Karolinenviertel is known for its street art! Every time I go there I see something new: graffiti, stencils, and flyposters. This makes walking through the Karolinenviertel, with its small, working-class houses or tall apartment buildings from the Gründerzeit period, a very entertaining activity on a warm, idle day.
Known as a former Punk stronghold, the Karoviertel has developed into a creative and multicultural neighborhood. Still, gentrification happened, and many of the squats and Wagenplätze ended up disappearing. The area feels gritty and has a bit of an edge, but is still very clean—I mean, this I Hamburg, right?
This time around I’ll just let the pictures do the talking.
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