Directly on the bluffs of the River Elbe lies the classy district Blankenese. Its inhabitants tend to call it their little village. A very special part of the district is the charming Treppenviertel. Its name refers to the many narrow, winding stairs and alleys that lead from the river up to the town.
Magnificent villas and Art Nouveau buildings, pretty houses with gardens and a view of the River Elbe, a sweet historical town center: Blankenese is a lovely place to live. This former fishing village used to be the home of captains and river pilots. Wealthy merchants later moved into the charming thatched houses. Today Blankenese remains an expensive place to live. One must often dig deep into their pockets for a furnished apartment in this neighborhood.
They don’t call it the steps district (Treppenviertel) for nothing! If you follow Hohen Weg to Hang and then Beckers Treppe, there are 171 steps from the Bahnhofstrasse to the sandy beach by the river. Everyone takes this path sooner or later: locals, kindergarten groups on outings, tourists and, fulfilling an unofficial rite of passage for every citizen of Hamburg, to attend the traditional Easter bonfire on the beach. People seek out the water, to go for a walk along the river or to ride with one of the ferries to the other side of the Elbe.
The beach on the River Elbe is below Blankenese and you can reach it either from the town or from the water. You can visit the town on foot or with the "mountain goats." These are buses which are built to handle the slopes of Süllberg mountain. The ride is different from any you’ll experience in the city. The bus does not stop for any traffic lights. Rather, the driver has to look out for oncoming cars. The drivers agree by gestures which vehicle will proceed first around the tight corners. Quite the experience!
Short profile Hamburg-Blankenese
- green, picturesque and noble Elb suburb
- cozy village
- Elbe river beach, banks of the Elbe
- steep bank to Elbe, stair quarter
- Süllberg with café, restaurant and viewing point
- Elbe with Elbe islands, Mühlenberger Loch
- predominantly expensive place
- large villas on the Elbchaussee
- beautiful single-family houses
- many old buildings
- former captain's houses
- many parks
- Easter fire
Recreation and leisure
Number one is of course is the Elbe (sailing!) along with the beach and walking trail along the shore. The Blankeneser and Mühlenberger Sailing Clubs are among sone of the largest and most active clubs in Germany. The regatta club has a clubhouse on the Elbe. Cycling enthusiasts can enjoy the Cyclassics in Blankenese as the racecourse includes the Waseberg). The outdoor pool Marienhöhe is very close. Otherwise, there are an infinite number of parks. The Roman Garden includes an amphitheater and hosts open-air performances in the summer. Trees abound in the Falkenstein nature reserve. Many citizens of Hamburg flock to the traditional Easter bonfire which takes place on the beach.
Beware, big ships
In the summer, good weather brings all of down to the beach on the Elbe. Some brave and daring individuals even go for a dip in the river, but you should be extremely careful when the big ships chug by. The huge ships can generate a treacherous undertow. On the opposite bank lies the Mühlenberger Loch, which was partly filled in for the aircraft manufacturer Airbus. To the south one can see the marshlands, the so-called "Alte Land" where apples and cherries are grown for all of Germany. West of Blankenese is the Falkenstein forest and the Falkensteiner shore. Family homes stand prettily along the slope leading down to the water, some with fantastic views of the River Elbe. There are even mountains in Blankenese: the Süllberg (75m) and the Bauers Berg (91m)
With charm and character
You will find just about everything you could need in the town center: small shops, schools, doctors, cinemas, cafes, bakeries, exquisite restaurants and a train station. In the heart of the neighborhood, residents and tourists take in the hustle and bustle of the marketplace and enjoy chatting with one another.
The public transport system includes ferries, which connect both banks of the Elbe. The large Airbus factory is in Finkenwerder.