Taking its unpredictable weather into account, Hamburg developed a system of shopping “passages,” or arcades, mostly in the Neustadt (New Town) neighborhood. I discovered several worth visiting, and fortuitously, they lead right from one to another. On a rainy or cold day, this shopping itinerary would be ideal.
Start in the Kaufmannshaus passage on Bleichenbrücke, a modern, white mall that is especially good for women’s clothing. Be sure to stop in Concept Store, which has some items by Hamburg designers. Exit on Grosse Bleichen.
Across the street is the entrance to the Hanseviertel passage, with brick-lined storefronts and a barrel-vaulted glass roof. Inside, you’ll find the music store Hanse CD, which has a strong classical and jazz selection, as well as Tott & Co. for fine men’s shoes, Gepp’s for local gourmet gifts and Confiserie Paulsen for chocolate. Stylish young women will also find plenty of tempting shops to browse. Turn to the right to exit at the far end of the block on Grosse Bleichen.
Cross the street to the entrance of the Galleria, a much smaller passage containing a number of shoebox-size independent upscale boutiques. I stopped in Das Atelier Hamburg, which specializes in custom men’s belts, and I also recommend browsing Bagger & Gehring’s collection of clean-lined jewelry.
Exit out the same door onto Grosse Bleichen, turn left and walk down the block to the Kaisergalerie, a small but beautiful passage with top designer names like Karl Lagerfeld and Escada. This passage has the strongest selection of fine men’s clothing.
Each passage also has at least one café or restaurant in which you can stop to refresh yourself. I’m partial to Atelier F in the Kaufmannshaus, which is “inspired by French cuisine and the uncomplicated American way of life.” ’Tis a gift to be simple.