Being new in Hamburg opened up a lot of questions – will I find a cosy place to live? Will I find a decent job? Will I get along at the university? Will I like Hamburg? The moment I arrived I knew that at least the latter one wouldn’t be a question any longer. Hamburg offers a lot of entertainment and distractions for anyone who wants to discover them. But how can a student find all the beautiful things that Hamburg has to offer without spending a fortune doing so?
One way is the so-called “free-card” that every first semester student of the University of Hamburg receives. Some facts – altogether one can experience 15 museums and 12 theatres for 3 months…for free. In the last seven weeks I visited as much as I could in order to explore Hamburg’s cultural sites and share my experiences with others.
One of the museums I visited was the Bucerius Kunstforum with its temporary art collection by Roberto Matta. These huge, colorful, fictional imaginings on high-contrast black walls are simply impressive and well worth a look, allowing for a real escape from reality. Another way of spending hours in an artistic, cultural atmosphere is the MKG – the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe. It doesn’t matter whether one likes inspiring black and white photographs; colorful, designer furniture; Japanese sketches or creative instruments. The MKG offers art and design for every taste. If one, however, is more interested in nature, a visit to the Freilichtmuseum am Kiekeberg is a must-see. On these twelve hectares one can experience the way of life back in 1600 and how it developed up through the 1950s. It’s not only historical houses and gardens that can be visited there but also animals that were and still are part of farm life – like geese, sheep and pigs. Some may argue that this is more interesting and educational for children than for adults, or, in this case, students, but could there be a better opportunity to be a child again and rejoice in all these things once more? Nevertheless, if one wants to discover something more grown-up, there is nothing like the Sankt Pauli Museum. At the moment the exhibition of Günter Zint’s photographs illustrating the last 50 years of the “errant mile.” The photos show everything that characterizes the Reeperbahn – from the bars to the people.
After racing around town, exploring so many exhibitions, I thought it was time to go and have a seat. So why not go to one of the theaters! One of the most fantastic things the free-card has to offer is that one can see all the performances he or she likes. But with one condition: To get a free ticket for a ballet, an opera or a play, you have to go to the box office within the last 30 minutes before the show begins. This can either end happily – when one gets an excellent seat – or not so happily – when one doesn’t get any seat at all. I’ve always wanted to see a ballet performance, but couldn’t afford it. Thanks to the generosity of the free-card, I now can and will visit as many as possible. The same goes for the opera. I’ve never seen an opera either and to be honest I don’t know if I’ll even like it! But the free-card from the university will give me the chance to find out. And find out I will, at least before December 31, 2012 when the offer expires.
And so I’ve seen the historical, cultural, artistic, natural and exiting aspects of Hamburg within the pas 49 days, and still there are many sites left to go and see. And I will definitely use my free-card to experience as many of them as I can, and I certainly recommend that every other owner of a free-card does as well.
For further information please visit: www.meinefreikarte.de
Jackie was listening to Maroon5 – Payphone while writing this article