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a city by city guide to the best indie clubs, bars, record shops and local bands

Hamburg, Germany
By Melanie and Daniel

Germany’s second largest and by no doubt prettiest city, Hamburg, has a vibrant cultural scene. With half of the nation’s magazines and many advertising agencies and bands rooting here, it’s a magnet to creative people from all areas: music, arts, design, photography, film, and fashion. The heart of the city is the river Elbe with its great container port. In summer the place to be is the Elbe beach, which starts South of Altona at the ferry stop Ovelgönne. Sankt Pauli, with its famous red-light district around the Reeperbahn, the Kiez, is the best place for a good night out. Start off in the urban Schanzenviertel for dinner or a few drinks in one of the many bars and restaurants. Then move on to the Kiez where most clubs are located. On the way you’ll pass the Millerntor Stadium, home of the Sankt Pauli football club. At daytime the “Karolinenviertel” around the Marktstrasse offers a wide range of second hand, young designers and record shops. As people here don’t like getting up early, most shops don’t open before noon. When it comes to music, Hamburg is famous for its very unique pop culture, the so-called "Hamburger Schule“. During the late eighties and early nineties bands like Blumfeld, Die Sterne and Tocotronic released their debuts on L’age d’or, a famous Hamburg-based record label. Their smart and sophisticated German lyrics as well as their critical attitude towards society had great impact on the German music scene.


Revolver Club

2nd and 4th Saturday, 23 h – open end, admission 5 €
Hamburg’s very own indie superclub. The Revolver club celebrated its fifth birthday recently. Over the years the Revolver club has become his own trademark for a delicious collection of classics and brand new favs. Indiepop, Britpop and Manchestersound is played by Djs Benny and Marco. As the club always changes its location frequently (at the moment they switch between Uebel & Gefährlich and Grüner Jäger), check the internet or flyers for the next event.

Hip Cat Club
Nachtasyl, Alstertor.1, 20095 Hamburg
If you’re interested in 60s, Northern Soul, Underground! Beat, Soul, R'n'B, Garage, Psychedelia and funky rock rarities ... voila - here’s your club! Usually located at the Nachtasyl (Alstertor.1, 20095 Hamburg) with its beautiful interior, Hip Cat Club DJ's Ben Jones & Ron Duis with special guest DJs make you shake your hips! Dress up and take a trip with the hip crowd!

Prima Pop
1st and 3rd Friday an Grüner Jäger, 23 h – open end, admission 3 €
The prima pop duo Wiebke and Stefan presents its very own IndieRave; the finest mix of Pop! and electro. Prima Pop takes place at the Grüner Jäger on every first and third Friday of the month. Drinks are priced well and the little dance floor is crowded with people who want to party the night away! Even at 5 a.m., when you’re on your way home from some other club, you can pop in and you won’t be the only one dancing away to the last songs played.

2nd and 4th Friday, 23 h –open end, admission 2- 4 €
The youngest indie club in town: THIS IS POP! On the 2nd Friday of the month they play all the tunes between indie, Britpop and elektro which are too slow for the disco, but still deserve to be played, at the Miss van Meer. On the 4th Friday it’s Disco Time when Djs Jörn and Daniel spin their tunes in the lovely Prinzenbar and play your indie, Brit and Elektropop favs.

Kiss Kiss Club
1st and 3rd weekend, 23 h –open end, admission 2- 4 €
The Kiss Kiss Club is also a rather new club. Their music is a mix between indie, rock and electro. Always a good night out. Take a look at their myspace page for further information.


Molotow/Meanie Bar
Spielbudenplatz 5, 20359 Hamburg
The popular concert venue Molotow is home to the Revolver Club and the more indie-rock than pop Motorbooty. To the Molotow belongs the cosy Meanie Bar. Drinking your beer and watching people walking by through the large window is a bit like sitting at home watching TV.

Golden Pudel Club
Am St. Pauli Fischmarkt 27, 20359 Hamburg
“The most popular club in Germany.” So they say. We recommend Monday night’s exhibition opening. The club’s gallery is smaller than an average bathroom, but it’s free, there’s always good music and the chance of dancing on a Monday night. Best in summer! Also visit the Park Fiction right above the Golden Pudel Club.

Grüner Jäger
Neuer Pferdemarkt 36, 20359 Hamburg
Between the Schanzenvierrtel and Kiez is the very popular Grüner Jäger. We recommend the Prima Pop! (indie and electro-pop) nights. Also check Grand Hotel Van Cleef and Karrera Club (both indie).

Kastanienallee 20, 20359 Hamburg
The prettiest venue you’ll find in Hamburg. It used to be a cinema back in the 1930s. Rediscovered by the indie crowd this summer it now hosts small concerts (Pelle Carlberg, Sunshine Underground, Jens Lekmann...) and the highly recommended Indie clubs THIS IS POP! and Kiss Kiss Club.

Uebel & Gefährlich
Feldstraße 66, 20359 Hamburg
The latest club in Hamburg is the Uebel & Gefährlich. Set in the Medien Bunker (Bunker=bomb shelter) it hosts selected concerts and clubs (e.g. Revolver Club). A liftboy will take you upstairs where you’ll have lovely view over the city through one of the very few windows.

Frau Hedis Landgang
Neuer Pferdemarkt 3, 20357 Hamburg
MS HEDI, Landungsbrücke 10, Innenkante
Legendary for the Frau Hedis Tanzkaffee - boat trips in summer, they have now opened this adorable little bar that’s opened all year round. Check on board on MS Hedi when you get the chance to. It is an absolute must. All of the interesting clubs and bars have their own Hedi boat trip once a year. MS Hedi will take you on a trip through Hamburg’s harbour while you dance away to your favourite DJ’s tunes.


Miss van Meer

Neuer Kamp 17, 20359 Hamburg
The interior reminds you of someone’s living room and it can actually be bought. It’s a cosy place to chill. Watch out for THIS IS POP! nights! Bar’s special: gin & rhubarb juice

Stresemannstrasse 11, 20359 Hamburg
“Livingroom” to Hamburg’s music scene. It’s best after concerts nearby, always good when everything else is already closed.

Saal II
Schulterblatt 83, 20357 Hamburg
I’ve seen people, including the staff, dancing on top of the bar, but that was an exception. People go there for a drink and chat with friends and then move on to the next bar/club or go home. Good music and breakfast!

Toast Bar
Wohlwillstr. 54, 20539 Hamburg
It’s a rather small place where various DJs (most of the time a friend of the bartender) play excellent music each night of the week. Famous for the vast amount of peanut shells on the floor, it’s best in summer when everyone sits outside on the pavement, watching people passing on their way to the Kiez.

Yoko Mono
Marktstr. 41, 20357 Hamburg
A bar with excellent cake and coffe at daytime, and various DJs at night. As it’s next to the Hinterconti gallery, it’s always worth checking their website for the dates of the weekly exhibition opening (usually Fridays at 19.00).

Other bars worth a visit:

Beat Club
Hopfenstraße 32, täglich ab 22 Uhr

Cobra Bar
Friedrichstraße 29

Egal Bar
Marktstraße 131

Wohlwillstraße 50

Silbersackstraße 17
Sad music for happy people at “die traurigste hasenschaukel der welt”.
( tip)

Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 59

Zoë 1
Clemens-Schulz-Straße 96

Zoë 2
Neuer Pferdemarkt 17

Record Shops


Neuer Kamp 32, 20357 Hamburg
A brand new store next to the Schlachthof/ Knust. It’s specialized in local bands. No matter which band from Hamburg you fancy, they’ll have their record.

Burnout Records
Beim Grünen Jäger 21
At Burnout Records you’ll find rather indie-rock then pop. So if you like your music a bit louder and a bit faster then Belle and Sebastian, this is the place where you’ll find your records. They also offer many new indie singles, so don’t be shy.

Championchip Records
Susannenstraße 21
Here you’ll find not only indie stuff (new and 2nd hand) but also punk and rock’n’roll.

Michelle Records
Gertrudenkirchof 10
When you’re feeling the deep desire to go shopping and spend your money on vast amounts of records, you should visit Michelle – a rather small record store with an excellent selection of indie and underground vinyls and cds. Found in 1977, it is the oldest record store around. The shop is hidden in a quiet road nearby the main shopping area. Prices are fair and the staff is very charming and helpful. With luck on your side you might even see a local bands like Tocotronic or Die Sterne play a secret gigs there.

Slam Records
Schulterblatt 104/Bahrenfelder Straße 98,
Slam Records offers 2nd hand vinyls and CDs only. Some of it a bit overpriced, but always worth checking. We recommend the Schulterblatt store as it offers a wider and better selection of records.

Schulterblatt 36/Paul Nevermann Platz 1/Ottenser Hauptstraße 19 (CDs and books only)
Zardoz offers a wide range of new and 2nd hand Cds, vinyl, DVDs and books. The larger store is at the Paul Nevermann Platz. The Schulterblatt store also offers a large selection. The staff is very friendly, and even if some of the records are a bit overpriced, it is always worth checking



“And then there was this cold winter evening, January 2002, on a trip to Berlin, where the smalltown girl and boy suddenly had an idea. The perfectly natural consequence of it all, really - to take the adventure a little further: why not start our own label? We could call it Félicité”

Die Goldenen Zitronen, Beginner, Jan Delay

Fidel Bastro
Stau, Lovehaters

Grand Hotel Van Cleef
Death Cab for Cutie, Tomte, Kettkar, Bernd Begemann, Olli Schulz und der Hund Marie, Marr

l'age d'or
Blumfeld, Tocotronic, Die Sterne, Von Spar, Superpunk

Tapete Records
Samba, Josh Ottum


If you'd like to recommend a club, bar, record shop, band or any indie delight for inclusion in the Indie Travel Guide, please email us. If we've included a link to your band/shop etc, it would be lovely if you could link back to us. Thank you!

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