Let me guess - it's Sunday, you're hungry, and you were just about to run down to the local supermarket to get a frozen pizza when you realized that you live in Germany now and therefore, almost everything is closed on Sundays. Yes, I could easily write a whole article about why I oppose this rule; however, most Germans I've met don't seem to care - "just do your shopping on one of the other 6 days of the week!" , they say.
It's true - Sonntagsruhe is a holy concept in Germany. But when you come from a country where you have the freedom and comfort to shop on any day of the week, this just seems so backwards and old-fashioned. Then again, the same thing can be said about many things here in Germany, for example the aversion to credit cards. But this is just the way it is so you better get used to it. When in Rome, right?
Did you forget to buy groceries before Sunday? There's still hope for your growling stomach
Nah. There are ways to get around this German bizarreness. You see, there are still a few places in Hamburg where you can get groceries on Sundays, as long as you're prepared to jostle with a bunch of other people who were too busy or too lazy to go grocery shopping the day before. Here's the list:
At Hauptbahnhof, Hamburg's central station, most shops are also open on Sundays. Here you'll find an Edeka that is open from 7 am to 11 pm, a Spar Express kiosk, Rossman, a pharmacy, fast food places, and some small boutiques such as Douglas (cosmetics), Press Buch (books & magazines) and Görtz (shoes).
2. Bahnhof Hamburg-Altona
Do you live in Altona and don't feel like dragging yourself all the way to Hauptbahnhof for some eggs and milk? It's your lucky day! At the Altona train station, you can find Edeka and Lidl, and they are both open until 10 pm on Sundays. You'll also find some cafés, bakeries, and small shops open here.
3. Hamburg Airport
If you live in the northern part of Hamburg, it might be more convenient to get your Sunday groceries at the airport. At the publicly accessible area of the airport, there is an Edeka that is open from 6 am to 10 pm. Or, you know, you could hop on a plane and fly to a country where everything is open on Sundays and you don't have to go to the airport just to get some toast and yoghurt on a Sunday. The choice is yours.
Apples or plane tickets, apples or plane tickets...
Some small kiosks may also be opened on Sundays. You may not find much in terms of groceries here, but hey, they'll definitely have snacks, and sometimes even milk, eggs, and frozen pizza - but for about double the price compared to your local Aldi!
If it's Sunday and you're looking to spend some money on literally anything other than what you can get from places mentioned above, the World Wide Web is your only hope. It's like window shopping, but without the Hamburg rain and the endless queues. Win-win.
Note! Verkaufsoffener Sonntag
On four spectacular Sundays a year, the Germans give in and allow all shops to be open from 1 to 6 pm. All rejoice! Shops in the bigger malls (e.g. Europa Passage, Hamburger Meile) will be open on this day, along with most shops along the Mönckebergstraße. Seize the day and pretend you're in a different European country for a day. You can find the exact dates here.
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