Accommodation in Hamburg is among the most expensive in Germany, but while the city boasts a quota of design hotels that are big on the wow factor there are also some excellent hostels. Reservations are advisable for all. Which area you stay in depends as much on your plans as your budget. Hotels in the city centre provide sights on your doorstep, but leave you marooned from the nightlife. Gay-friendly St Georg is another option, although a minor red-light district means you should be wary of any bargain hotel around the Hauptbahnhof and Steintorplatz. St Pauli and the Schanzenviertel are the best bets for hostels and nightlife. Private agency St Pauli Tourist Office (Beim Grünen Jäger 7–8; 040 98 23 44 83, pauli-tourist.de) is a good source of budget flatstays in the St Pauli area.

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