Hamburg The DOM Festival
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Hamburg The DOM Festival

Games, thrills, a Ferris wheel and nostalgia at the iconic event in Hamburg

The Dom market ignites central Hamburg in the St. Pauli quarter three times a year, in an area known as the Heiligengeistfeld, which is otherwise a quiet wasteland. Lasting about four weeks each time – with the Spring Festival in March, the Summer Dom in July and the Winter Dom in November – and the city centre of Hamburg is transformed into a bustling fairground. You can find vintage horse-carousels and thrilling high-tech roller coasters; you can wander around with the aroma of roasted almonds, sausages, pancakes and various waffles in the air. Each event brings something different; but here are the best attractions you should not miss.

The Ferris Wheel

The Ferris wheel on the Hamburg Dom is a thing of beauty and a local treasure. Even for people who do not go to the Dom enjoy the sight of this huge machine decorated in 250,000 LED lights. It measures over 60 meters in height, making it the highest transportable Ferris wheel in the world.

In the cozy 42 passenger cars, riders experience a nice, quiet journey with fantastic views over the gorgeous city of Hamburg. You get a good overview of the large fairground and the other rides, St. Pauli and the Harbour. Make sure that you dress warm as the winds can get pretty nasty up there, even in the summer.

Best XXL Exclusive

With a flight height of 45 meters, the Best XXL Exclusive is considered “the queen of giant swings”. The oversized swing celebrated its premiere in 2015 and guarantees an exciting and exclusive flight experience. With 4 times the gravitational force (4g – just like a rocket launch!) this modern marvel is sure to give you an unforgettable ride. It’s has a 120° angle from left to right and in a circle, meaning the swing also rotates around its own axis. This means you should maybe eat light (or not at all) before you brave “the Queen”.

Eating at the DOM

The DOM is as much about the rides and all the other bright attractions as it is about the Fairground Food. But be warned, none of the food is particular healthy, but sure is tasty. Consider it a guilty pleasure. Almost all the food at Hamburg DOM is prepared on the spot and therefore fresh. You can get by with just having tasty snacks, savory and sweet or you can go for a whole meal, and most of them at fair(ground) prices.

Over 50 stalls serve dishes, like the popular Currywurst sausages and BBQ steaks with potatoes, not to forget: The traditional Hamburg Fish sandwiches (recommended). Of course, you have the standard sweets on offer everywhere: Cotton candy, Danish liquorice and the classic roasted almonds. If you want to take away a sweet souvenir, buy your loved one a Lebkuchen-Heart. Everybody does it!

And if you still can’t get enough of the sweet stuff, about a dozen bakeries sell the traditional, tasty and unhealthy Hamburg pastries “Schmalzgebäck”.

With all these delicious treats awaiting, there’s only one thing to keep in mind: hit the roller coasters first and then the food!

Friday Fireworks

It may just be a side note, but every local loves it. Whenever the DOM is present in the city, there are serious fireworks that can be seen every Friday night at 10:30 p.m. And it’s not just five minutes of cheap rockets and a lot of noise; we are talking big New-Years-Eve-style fireworks. They last for 15 minutes and are visible (and audible) from almost everywhere in the inner city, which always makes for a nice surprise. The best spot to see them are, of course, right at the DOM or at a nearby rooftop bar. One spot is CLOUDS Heaven’s Bar & kitchen, a very good cocktail bar with an open rooftop terrace, right at the helm of the Reeperbahn. There, you’ll practically have a front row seat to the fireworks exploding up high!

The showcase of trends When Alsterhaus opened in 1897, women fell in love with the fashionable hats and parasols from across the border in France, as well as the selection of food and products imported from the far East. Nothing has changed for more than a century, and Alsterhaus is still a reference point for what’s hot in town... and all over the world.
Hanseatic modernity The atrium of the Alsterhaus at the ground floor has been completely renovated by designer Sebastian Herkner. The Luxury Hall hosts international brands in a neoclassical structure with a contemporary maritime ambience.