Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

January 12, 2011

I’m back from a day trip to Hamburg and enjoyed it very much! Hamburg is a beautiful city and Germany’s second largest with over 1.8 million residents. I was surprised how vibrant it was during a weekday in the dead of winter — though we got lucky with blue skies and sunshine which took the chill off and made walking around a delight. My friend and I shopped mainly in two districts — die Schanzenviertel and also in Eppendorf. When I’ve been to Hamburg in the past, I found myself downtown outside of the main station since Habitat is there, but yesterday my friend Tinna helped me to discover this whole new world of Hamburg shopping that I didn’t know about before — what fun to explore and a great way to gather inspiration in the dead of winter…

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

I can’t believe how much Hamburg reminded me of Boston and Amsterdam combined though still feeling very northern German. I guess it makes sense because it’s on the water, is a big seafood lovers city and has lots of brick buildings and old factories restored into fancy restaurants, shops, lofts and offices. There are many canals with over 2300 bridges (more than Amsterdam or Venice), is known as a port city, boasts both old and modern buildings, and most people speak English. It also feels very free and open-minded but in some ways very conservative and the people come across as very proud of their city and of being a resident of HH (Hamburg’s official name is the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg or HH for short). I can’t wait to return again! I also loved how many stores Tinna showed  me that had gorgeous clothes from Denmark and Sweden — I walked into some shops and felt love at first sight. I can’t wait to get to know Hamburg a little more this year because now I have so many reasons to go back and because it’s so close by — I can zip up there on the train in 90 minutes — why not!?

While there, we spent time at Die Wohngeschwister so that is mainly what this post is about — this interiors shop and cafe with nearly 6,500 square feet (600 meters) of retail space. Organized into various theme areas under one large roof in a former Steinway piano factory, you can find everything from ethnic to modern, Scandinavian country, books + stationery, ceramics + kitchen stuff, white + pure living, flea market-inspired finds and more. A college student can find affordable things here right alongside the lady who has money to burn — they have such a huge variety at all price points. Their cafe was also lovely, with massive vintage paned factory windows and the food coming out of the kitchen looked delicious — homemade soup with crusty bread, hearty sandwiches, and their coffee was divine. I’d return to this store just for a bowl of soup, though of course I’d have to have a walk around  because their selection changes often and lots of great lines can be found at Die Wohngeschwister. I spotted things from House Doctor, Rice, Cath Kidston, Atomic Soda, Nordal, HK Living (I purchased this light for my kitchen), Krima & Isa, PTMD (the best paint from the Netherlands in neutral colors with a matte chalky finish that I’m really into right now, I bought a can of Swish Gray to try at home), Madam Stolz and other European brands.

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping>

Die Wohngeschwister + Hamburg Shopping

In addition to Die Wohngeschwister, who has four stores in Hamburg now including their newest addition for kids — Wohngeschwisterchen (which we also visited — they have a huge selection including Ferm Living, TAJ Wood & Scherer and more) we visited Wunderhübsch (a gorgeous Danish clothing store that will launch online next week), Hummel (Danish store with great clothes for sports, yoga, etc.), Cucinaria (all things for the kitchen, and I do mean all!), TM Room 77 (an interiors shop with a sweet corner for the kids with things from Maileg), and a fantastic shop that I’ve been wanting to see since I moved to Germany called Lys Vintage. I met the owner and her new baby boy and had such a nice time browsing her well curated selection of finds from brands such as Normann Copenhagen, Tine K Home, Bleu Nature, Louis Poulsen, Ferm Living, House Doctor, Cole & Son, HAY, Meyer Lavigne, Areaware, Anna Carin Dahl, Susan Liebe, GamFratesi and Secto Design to list a few.

I also stopped by Bullerei, a new restaurant owned by chef and author Tim Mälzer who is known as the German Jamie Oliver. You can see lots of photos of it here — it is a gorgeous space and I noticed plenty of Kusmi tea on the menu! I even saw Tim Mälzer himself. Yay for me!

So that sums up my trip to Hamburg. Next time I visit, I’ll be sure to show you more great shops! I hope you enjoyed my travel notes!

(images: holly becker for decor8)


  • Reply Isa January 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    I love it when you leave lots of links like this! I hadn’t heard of most of these. Thank you! :)

    As to Hamburg: it is a glorious city! (I didn’t know it was second-largest… wasn’t that Munich…??!)

  • Reply Sanja January 12, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    There goes my afternoon :) such a fresh and exciting post, so full of life. Thanks!

  • Reply decor8 January 12, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    @Isa – I thought so but according to Wikipedia, it is 2nd largest now.

  • Reply Anna January 12, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    ooooh. We are snowed in today so this post was like getting to go shopping from my computer! Love it!

  • Reply Karena January 12, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Wonderful images, I would love to visit as I have a dear friend from Hamburg!!

    Oh, I have a Great New Giveaway from Blydesign! Come and enter!

    Art by Karena

  • Reply erin January 12, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Oh wow, what great pictures! AND a lovely way to start my day. Thanks for sharing. I’m a bit jealous, but it truly put me in a good mood to see all the lovelies. :)


  • Reply Tamara, Bella Boho January 12, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Oh what fun and dangerous to the pocket book! I would leave with many, many bags full!

    Thank you for sharing =)


  • Reply Lucia January 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    ohhh loved that shop!! How did you manage to leave that place?!! I would have spend the whole day there!!!

  • Reply Will January 12, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Oh my goodness I feel so inspired, Holly! That little owl is so super cute. I bought a little one like the fellow you snapped, except it’s gold. Glad you had a wonderful time in Hamburg. xx

  • Reply Alexandra January 12, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Thanks so much for these pictures! This blog is such a treat and so inspiring that you made your dream come true to live abroad. You’re one of my inspirations for starting my own new blog this week of things that I love and I hope you’ll enjoy mine too. I just posted about my favorite space in Portland.
    Wishing you a wonderful new year filled with beautiful discoveries and explorations!

  • Reply juliette January 12, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    love the recap! Can’t wait to head up there again myself – such a cool city!

  • Reply Christina January 12, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    It´s been a while since my last trip to Hamburg – seems that I have to get back there asap. ;-) And by the way, what a great and inspiring blog!

  • Reply michelle January 12, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    You’re not kidding Die Wohngeschwister really is retail heaven. Your description of Hamburg is so enticing, it is definitely on my list of places to visit.

  • Reply Katie - Coco Målé January 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    never been to Die Wohngeschwister (nor Hamburg for that matter!), but I love shops where things are kind of thrown all over the place and there’s only a few pieces of each item. It makes them seem all the more unique and original. Does the name mean anything by the way?

  • Reply Julia January 12, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I live in Hamburg and haven’t been there yet! (Which is better for my wallet I guess.) Your article made me want to go really bad tho!

  • Reply diana strinati baur January 12, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Happy you enjoyed my old home town. I spent a whole lot of time both in the Schanzen and also in Eppendorf when I lived there.

    Hamburg is also the most affluent city in Germany, as well as the most understated. The elegance is very low key. Because of the harbor, the seventh largest in the world much of the wealth is in trade. Hamburgers keep to themselves, but tend to be very stylish, have beautiful homes, and there is lots of style in the city.

    …and, more bridges than Venice and amsterdam… together!

    Next time, I have a few suggestions for you – culinary ones. I love Tim – we spent many a lovely evening at Das Weisse Haus when he was the chef there. He and Jamie Oliver are very close friends, they apprenticed together, I believe.

  • Reply melissa January 12, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    every time i see posts on european shops i cry a little inside … we need this in north america !!!
    Thanks Holly…. love when you post things from Germany. It’ll help me out when I travel there this summer (fingers crossed)… my family will be sooo busy taking me to all these wonderful places

  • Reply laura evans January 12, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    did someone say road trip … i have to talk my friend into hamburg she would go nuts … ok we’d both go nuts! thank you for sharing your experiences.

  • Reply Katie Truelove January 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    I love your travel notes! I have never been to Germany but I will certainly use these notes if I get a chance to visit Hamburg. It looks like a wonderful city– so nice to have a list of beautiful/unique shops to visit that are off the beaten tourist path:)

  • Reply Janneke January 12, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Always so nice to read your blog Holly! It’s great how you take the time to share these stories and pictures with us, thanks!

  • Reply susan January 12, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Oh wow, if I’m ever so fortunate to travel Europe, I’ll be sure to put Hamburg on the list of must-sees! That shop looks amazing with so many beautiful things! I love the pink clock and the owl candle holder. Thanks for sharing!
    Greetings from South Africa =)

  • Reply Linnie Joy January 12, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Oh beautiful, light and oh so airy….you brightened my day right up!!

  • Reply lizzie [love your way] January 12, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    looks like a lovely shop! my great-grandparents are from hamburg and i was so close when i went to germany, but didn’t end up braving the 2-hr shuttle there for some unknown reason…this is beautiful.

  • Reply Monica January 12, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful shopping experience! Wish there was something like this in the Frankfurt, Mannheim, or Heidelberg area. Is there?! Any one?!
    The lamp you picked up is fab!

  • Reply Dagmarette January 12, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    This store is amazing! 6,500 square feet of everything I love! This place could be dangerous! I love the turquoise wall with mismatched frames.

  • Reply Nessie January 12, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Stumbled upon your blog, love the look of it. Hamburg looks like retail heaven to a decorating fanatic like myself!
    But I do disagree with comparing Tim Mälzer to Jamie Oliver within his role as a cook in Germany (on the other hand, maybe I’m too disconnected with the culture of my own homecountry…) While Tim Mälzer may have participated in the “Themenwoche” about (healthy) food of ARD, his social engagement related to healthy eating habits falls quite short of what I know Jamie Oliver has been doing.

    • Reply decor8 January 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      @Nessie – Many Germans refer to Tim as the “German Jamie Oliver” and he has even been compared to him by many journalists and bloggers.

  • Reply petite capucine January 12, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    I would have loved that store! I found Hamburg a city full of beauty, money and culture, it is true, but not welcoming. The two weeks I was there, I felt a distinct chill from the people of Hamburg that put a damper on my enthusiasm for the place. (Like the repeatedly encountered curt, silent nod as the only response to an appreciative “Danke”.) My German friends explain that Hamburg is known for this, a very Northern city with a matching degree of reserve. In a German trip, I would return but would not base my trip there – it lacked as many toeholds for connection that ground good experiences as the more southern cities, in my totally personal opinion. But that store is evidence that the people of Hamburg nourish a deep love for charm, though they don’t wear it on their sleeves!

  • Reply Sara January 12, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Looks and sounds amazing!! I will definitely add it to our must-see list for our summer in Germany this year!

  • Reply Bianca January 13, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Sounds like it is well worth a visit! I’m so going there when I go live in Europe (in 2012). Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Cheeky January 13, 2011 at 2:33 am

    Oh my! I could happily live in that store. Thanks for sharing, really enjoying your blog.

  • Reply Melissa January 13, 2011 at 4:07 am

    What a wonderful shop. I think it’s probably good I’m nowhere near it but such beautiful things. And I love that it’s in an old Steinway factory! I was having a gloomy grey day until I saw this post and the eye candy fed my soul a little bit. Thanks!

  • Reply ARTiculateART January 13, 2011 at 6:26 am

    The owl candle holder is just adorable! Would love to shop at that store!

  • Reply mel January 13, 2011 at 7:31 am

    oh wow! now i want to hop in my car and drive the 869.15 km to hamburg just to shop in wohngeschwister! looks amazing. thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Sinje January 13, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Thank you for your great post about my hometown! I currently live in Switzerland at the lake Constanze, which is stunningly beautiful, BUT I can’t help but miss Hamburg! And Wohngeschwister is the most dangerous store I’ve ever been in. I always spend waaaaaaaaaay mre money than I’ve planned :)

  • Reply nic {luzia pimpinella} January 13, 2011 at 9:53 am

    holly, i am happy that you like my neck of the woods! :o))) for me HH is the most amazing german city. i really love it!

    wohngeschwister is a cool place to shop. i hope you didn’t miss my personal fave…. the WÄSCHEREI in the jarrestaße!? ;o)

    so cool you had fun!

  • Reply Natalie January 13, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Nice post, makes me want to travel too!

  • Reply ana January 13, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I just loved your trip tips. I would love to visit Hamburg although it’s a longer trip for me, since I live in Lisbon.

  • Reply Traveling Mama January 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    All of my girlfriends have been talking about how great the shopping is in Hamburg, so we were going to go during our holiday break but our boys were sick. We hope to go very soon and now I have added motivation! I don’t think it is far from Copenhagen either.

    • Reply decor8 January 13, 2011 at 4:35 pm

      @Traveling Mama – Now that you live in Copenhagen though, I don’t think you’ll find anything in Hamburg that you can’t find in C’hagen. So many of the stores carried Scandinavian finds and the other popular European labels. I think, because I’ve been to C’hagen, that you may find more diversity in products in Amsterdam — The book Amsterdam Handmade can be a real nice resource for you. But then again, Hamburg is really nice so maybe for the experience of it you should go in the summer.

    • Reply decor8 January 13, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      @Traveling Mama – And P.S. C’hagen is pretty close to Hamburg, you can zip down on the train and be there in 4 hours I think.

  • Reply sachiko January 13, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Oh, Hamburg seems to be so lovely! I would love to visit someday. If only Manila has the same aesthetics. But things are quite different here and I would love to discover more of these lovely places that are not from a tourist-guide-y point of view, but from a genuine lover of beauty with a thing for design and who knows what she wants. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  • Reply Pamela Bates January 14, 2011 at 12:21 am

    I did not know that I needed to go shopping in Hamburg, but apparently I do. Those sweet white bowsl with the vine remind me of something I created this week- neat to see similarities.

  • Reply Karine Ardault January 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    oh, Holly, this seet post makes me realize how much I miss my shopping expeditions… Arusha (Tanzania) does not offer that many possibilities.
    thanks in any case for so many eye candies;
    have a lovely week-end!

  • Reply Nina January 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    Put a visit to Die Wohngeschwisteron my list for my next trip to HH. Love to read your HausMaus Blog too. Have lived in Hannover myself for awhile, fell in love and followed him to the east coast (NJ)…

  • Reply Traveling Mama January 15, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Thanks for those tips! Honestly, I think my biggest motivation was Habitat, but I told my husband it was all the bridges and canals. :-) I doubt he bought it. He knows me too well! I bought Amsterdam Handmade after someone suggested it to me after reading about my Shop 52 project. I didn’t realize when I started my Shop 52 that it is very similar in idea to this book, but oh well! It’s been really fun getting to know the shop owners here and I think it would make such a great city guide because most people miss all the best shopping in Copenhagen… which of course, in my opinion, is in the small shops. I’m trying to go to Amsterdam this year to meet up with some of my girlfriends and I will definitely be taking Pia’s book!

    • Reply decor8 January 16, 2011 at 12:28 am

      @TravelingMama – What is Shop 52, can you tell me about it?

  • Reply gunes January 16, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    very nice city, i have been once and really impressed. made lots of photos but could not post them yet :(
    loved all your photos, thanks to share!

  • Reply Patia January 20, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Thank you for this visit to Hamburg. I am somewhat obsessed with the movie “Mostly Martha” (“Bella Martha” in Europe), which was filmed there.

    • Reply decor8 January 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm

      @Patia – I LOVE that movie!!!! :) The US version has Catherine Zeta Jones but I liked the German one because the actors were ones I’d not seen before. Have you seen the Til Sweiger films over here, they are great — I watch with subtitles on in English so I can learn German. This one (it has a part one and two) is super cute and shot in Berlin.

  • Reply Victoria January 22, 2011 at 4:36 am

    What a delightful post! You pleasure seeps from the page!
    Now I put Hamburg on my must see when next in Germany
    I am mostly in Berlin or Munich, because of my family, but you make me want to go there NOW!
    The hard part is that one cannot bring much overseas because of all the weight restrictions….
    Schoenes Wochenende!

  • Reply Patia January 26, 2011 at 7:06 am

    @Decor8: Thank you for the response and suggestions. The preview looks cute and I added “Keinohrhasen” and “Zweiohrküken” to my Netflix queue. I’ve watched “Mostly Martha” so many times that I’m starting to pick up some German. I refuse to see the U.S. version because I don’t want to ruin it for myself. ;-)

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