A lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, Brexit, the Royal Family, travels around the world, Europe, and being British in Berlin!
Posted on February 10, 2018 by thebritishberliner
As you know, last week I told you about how I was invited to Hamburg, as a guest of Hamburg Marketing.
What you don’t know, are the details of my press trip!
The thing is, I’ve been to Hamburg many times, but I’ve never been to Hamburg as a tourist!
Why is that, you might ask?
To be honest, I simply don’t know!
But I wanted to shake things up a little, and change!
If you recall, almost a year ago, I went to the International Trade Fair in Berlin, otherwise known as ITB Berlin, and met up with some of the marketing people of Hamburg.
You could say, that we actually met on Twitter, ‘cos a British blogger – Eat Shoot Sleep Travel asked me about the traditional Fish Market in Hamburg, and I didn’t know!
The fellows at Hamburg.com saw this, reached out and said,”Hey! Come to Hamburg. See for yourself!”
So I did!
Thanks so much Hamburg Marketing!
Hamburg really isn’t that big, so follow my footsteps and don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk too!
Hamburg, otherwise known as the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, is the second-largest city in Germany, and has a population of about 1.8 million people!
Just so you know, Berlin, with a population of just 3.55 million people, is the federal capital, and the largest city in Germany!
And let me tell you, it doesn’t even feel like a city…!
Hamburg lies in a very strategic position with Continental Europe to the South and the Nordic States to the North. The North Sea is to the West and the Baltic Sea is to the North-East.
Hamburg stretches out on the River Elbe, has many small islands and lakes, and borders the states of Schleswig-Holstein with lovely places like Lübeck and Lower Saxony.
Hamburg is the type of city that I respect because like Berlin, Manchester and London, it’s a City State and has existed since the time of the Holy Roman Empire!
Hamburg is also a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, a World Heritage UNESCO site, with signs of wealth and glory all over the region. Of course, during the Great Fire of Hamburg, and during the Second World War, the importance of the harbour made it an important target, such that many parts of the city, was destroyed.
During the 13th – 16th century, Hamburg was considered second only to the port and city of Lübeck, as a central trading hub for sea-borne trade.
With the discovery of the Americas and the emerging transatlantic trade, Hamburg exceeded all other German ports, and became the main Central European hub for freight travel, transatlantic passengers and from 1871, the principal port of trade in Germany!
A PRESS TRIP is normally described as a visit to a destination, country, city, hotel, venue etc, organised for media groups.
It usually introduces and presents the best bits of a particular itinerary and is usually for a small group of journalists or bloggers, or an organised private trip.
Although a press trip could be for a few hours, it usually refers to a trip of a few days.
A familiarization trip, or FAM TRIP as it is better known, is similar to a press trip however, it usually includes a visit to a number of sights, venues, activities, accommodations, or restaurant spots, in one area or region.
It is typically organised for travel industry professionals, to give them a better understanding of the regions and products they are trying to sell to their clients.
Lots of different activities are included so that as much as possible can be experienced. Sometimes journalists might attend a FAM TRIP too.
In both instances your costs will usually be covered, though this will vary depending on the organiser.
I categorise official FAM / Press trips as different to customised press trips.
On official FAM / Press trips, pretty much everything is paid for. Including transport, hotels, food & entertainment such as the following:
However, once I confirmed it, a very important client also contacted me, so I ended up arriving one day earlier than the other participants, and leaving earlier too, so I paid for my own dinner and refreshments.
It would have been ideal, but my hotel had lost the press package that should have been waiting for me, and by the time I had contacted everyone to find out where it was, all the tourist sights had closed!
I never did find my press package, but that’s a story for another day!
My visit to Hamburg was a press trip.
Once the Press trip officially started, we didn’t have to pay for a single thing!
Of course, if you suddenly fancied a spot of your finest whisky, Monsieur. Or felt that snacks and drinks from the minibar were perhaps included. You’d be wrong!
Your hefty bill and service charge, would be all on you!
Well, my first big break came just five (5) months after I started writing as a blogger.
To be quite frank, I have been extremely lucky to be at the right place, at the right time.
In 2014, I happened to be at the Sony Centre in Berlin where I got chatting to a PR person who promised to put me on the guest list of the Berlin Music Video Awards. She did, and even though, I never saw her again, my pro-active activity coupled with an outgoing personality, and a genuine interest to get involved, opened the door to being invited into the VIP section, a glimpse into the media world, and a whole host of people who had a friendly eye, and were willing to help me in my quest for knowledge and information.
A press card and a TV documentary about me came about because of the simple matter that when I undergo to write a piece, I make a thorough job of it.
People really like my personality, so I’ve often been an invited guest of city-destinations in which trips have been organised and customised to my own personal requirements. This is the best type of press trip to have, so I consider myself extremely lucky and very honoured. You can read more about them here.
However, on every group FAM trip, I’m usually either the only blogger in vicinity, or the only European there!
You can imagine my anxiety.
The point of this PRESS trip was to introduce the region as not only an interesting place to visit, but a historical cultural one too. A destination that would hit all the right spots for someone like me.
And ultimately, someone like you!
This press trip was a three (3) day exploration, starting from Friday and finishing on Sunday.
I didn’t have any information as to who was going to be there, and what type of bloggers would be attending.
You tend to get a little anxious that you’re going to be too shy, people aren’t going to like you, you’re not going to like them, you end up being that blogger, or that you’re going to be completely out of your depth and thus, comfort zone.
I also felt a little nervous about the sleeping arrangements.
I always do of course, but still, I constantly worry, and it brings me out in a sweat since nobody actually tells you!
And because I arrived one day (1) day before the others, I was placed in a grown-up more corporate-like hotel called the Scandic Hamburg Emporio, while the others were in a young-ish boutique hotel called the Fritz im Pyjama Hotel.
At first, I was a little disappointed not to be placed in the same hotel as everyone else, but when I saw my room at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio, I soon forgot all about it!
Yes, I know.
Silly isn’t it, but there you have it!
Book Scandic Hamburg Emporio, the Fritz im Pyjama Hotel, or your own Hamburg Hotel here!
The Host was Hamburg Marketing. They were highly organised and thoroughly fantastic.
On this press trip we were expected to be doing the following:
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 12
DEPARTURE: December 1st
RETURN: December 3rd
SPEICHERSTADT AND HAFENCITY: TRADITION AND MODERNITY
Located in the very heart of the city, the innovative architectural design of HafenCity on the waterfront, make it well worth exploring.
You will find the historic Speicherstadt warehouse district with its beautiful canals, red-brick facades, winding bridges and picturesque views, which together with the Kontorhaus district and Chilehaus, were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2015.
Speicherstadt is the world’s largest coherent warehouse complex and includes a number of interesting museums and exciting exhibitions!
Hamburg is a city with a rich choice of top-class cultural events for all lovers of culture, renowned orchestras and theatres, a vibrant museum landscape with spectacular exhibitions, as well as experimental dance theatre and world-class ballet productions that reflect Hamburg’s great cultural diversity.
Hamburg has plenty to offer.
I was excited!
I managed to join the group for a quick dinner, had a glass of champagne, then took off!
‘Would have been:
I didn’t have time to do any of these activities, but as I arrived a day earlier, I was able to make my own way around, and spent quite a pleasant afternoon (with sprinklings of snow) at the Hamburg HafenCity, the Speicherstadt or Warehouse District, the Altona-Altstadt or Old Town, the UNESCO Kontorhausviertel, and the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, otherwise known as the Elbphilharmonie!
Since it was around Christmas when I went to Hamburg, I also managed to fit in the historical Roncalli Christmas Market, and the very famous Hanseatic Gänsemarkt Christmas Market, otherwise known as the Goose Market!
Mind you, I would have quite fancied going to the Hamburg Dungeon!
It was a pretty packed programme, but awesome!
As I write this, it’s February 10th, and so much has happened since!
The staff of Hamburg Marketing (Jessica & her team), and awesome guide for the weekend – Marc Müller – were all warm, welcoming, hilariously funny (you should hear the stories!!), but very professional.
They made sure that we were well-looked after, nobody got lost or forgot anything. And nobody got left behind or ostracised.
There were moments of laughter, but most importantly, lots of smiling, laughing, and learning from each other.
We all got on extremely well!
We were a small group of just ten (10) bloggers (including myself) from five (5) international countries.
Our job for that weekend was to visit and see the region for ourselves and hopefully, discover the many interests and joys of Hamburg, so that other travellers and visitors are encouraged to come and visit themselves.
And we did!
By the way, a Hamburger Labskaus is a speciality usually only found in North Germany.
It’s a gripping combination of corn beef or cooked salted meat, beetroot, potatoes, pickled gherkins, onions, rollmop, and a fried egg plopped on top of it all!
This article is part-sponsored, and even though I was invited on this trip as a guest of Hamburg Marketing, Visit Hamburg, Deutsche Bahn and the Scandic Hamburg Emporio Hotel, all opinions and the hearty markets that I visited in Hamburg, are my very own!
I’ll be continuing my last visit to the UK and telling you all about my visit to Belgium later in the season!
I’ll be at the UK Germany 2018 Launch Party on Valentine’s Day – on the 14th of February, 2018. Tickets are free of charge, so if you’re in Berlin, join the party!
I’ll be at Berlin’s most famous film festival – The 68th showing of the Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale, taking place between 15th – 25th February, 2018. Everyone’s most excited! Tickets are on sale from 12.02.18.
I’ll be at the ITB Berlin or the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin – the world’s leading travel trade show, taking place between 7th – 11th March, 2018. You can buy tickets here.
Save the Date!
I’ll be there. Will you?
If you’re not in Berlin in February, then move on!
February is going to be busy!
See you next week!
Watch this space!
Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.
I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!
Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!
A win-win for all!
Thanks a million!
Category: German, German Christmas Market, German culture, German guide, GERMANY, Germany, Hamburg, Hamburg guide, Hamburg Marketing, Hanseatic City of Hamburg, how to, inspiration, INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL, media, motivation, new media content creators, North Sea, port city, press, Press Trip, ships, social media influencer, The Baltic Sea, The German Baltic Sea, the travel industry, THOUGHTS & IDEAS, TOURISM, TOURS, TRAVEL, Travel and Tourism, travel the world, Visit Germany, Visit Hamburg, world travelTags: FAM Trip, Fourth Press Trip, Germany, Hamburg, Hamburg guide, Hamburg Marketing, Hamburg press trip, Holy Hamburg, how to, international travel, press, Press Trip, press trip to Hamburg, Scandic Hamburg Emporio, Visit Hamburg, world travel
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I'm a British girl from Manchester living in Berlin with my German husband and my half British – half German son. My blog is a lifestyle expat travel blog and puts a focus on my promotion of culture, history, travels around the world, Europe, Brexit, the Royal Family, British-German life and being British in Berlin - I am The British Berliner!
I’m sold. I would love to explore Hamburg soon, especially now after reading your post, Vic! Exceptional pictures. 😉
Thanks very much Agness!
Hamburg really is, pretty cool! 😀
Lovely to know all about Hamburg. You make it sound like a great place and l would definitely love to visit. So many places, so little time. I just love how pretty everything looks here. Great coverage! 🙂
Thanks so much KemKem! That’s awfully nice of you to say so. 😀
Hamburg really is pretty nice. I’m astonished I didn’t go “properly” sooner. Yeah, go for it!
An interesting post about the interesting city. But what will you write, if you did not like a city which you were invited in?
Thanks very much Victor!
Very true! However, I have a personal policy that nobody can see what I write until it’s published. Nobody has any control about how, when, and what I write about, and if I don’t like the destination, I certainly won’t be writing about it!
However, I’m not one to destroy the reputation of a vendor simply because I didn’t like it, as my taste differs widely from the taste of others! For example, I hate air-con, rooms with carpets and curtains, coffee, chocolate, coconuts, and any other nut, bananas, and hot beach destinations! I’ve been to Thailand many times, and not once did I go to the beach. I don’t like Singapore, South Africa, or the Dominican Republic either, it doesn’t mean that they’re awful, they just don’t do it for me, so I don’t write about them!
Thank you, Victoria.
You’re very welcome. I greatly value your view and opinion Victor.
I love reading the ins and outs of your experiences with FAM trips and the evolution of your blogging journey. You’ve had some pretty incredible opportunities. It’s super inspiring. Keep it up Victoria!!
Thanks so much Justine. That’s so nice of you to say so! 😀
Yes, I’ve had some really great opportunities and I’m very grateful for them. But you’re not doing too bad yourself! Vietnam is a lovely country. I went there for the first time 11 years ago (Yikes!), and I loved it right from the start. Mind you, at the end of my 30 days going from one end of the country to the other, I flew to Bangkok for a break!
Here’s to more of the same. Cheers! 😀
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Awesome post, I love reading your blog post! Definitely, I’m looking for a destination for my long trip next year. 🙂 Germany is now written on my travel list, I believe there are a lot of different fun things to do in Hamburg. But for now, Since I am very much busy at work these days, I have decided to jump into a short break to get some relaxation and freshen my mind for next week. At last! I finally found a place where to hang myself just for momentarily and It’s called Isle of Pines, http://excursioniledespins.com. =)
Thanks so much Kim!
Yep! There are loads of things to do in Hamburg. You’ll like it very much as you seem to like water destinations surrounded by water! For more of the same, click on the link ahead! https://thebritishberliner.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/hamburg-an-introduction-to-a-port-city/
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