Matthew Hillier

Matthew Hillier

Grand Elysee Hotel, Hamburg

Travelling to Hamburg, one of the first things you will observe is a city besieged by stag parties. You’ll encounter them on the plane, on the train and walking around the city; groups of men, where one is generally dressed in drag, an Oompa Loompa outfit or crotchless lederhosen, and is routinely humiliated by his friends. They flock to Hamburg for the ReeperBahn, where gaudy nightclubs, kegs of German beer and the notorious red-light areas combine to make what has become a stag rite of passage. But beyond the decadence and seediness of the nightlife, there is a port city with an interesting history. Hamburg’s rise as a centre of…