Hamburg – Hanseatic city and city-state, the multifaceted “Venice on the Elbe,” the former German gateway to the world – is the second largest city in Germany. There’s so much to reveal about the town that you simply have to visit it yourself. But just never forget to take an all-weather jacket!
The bustling metropolis of Hamburg is captivating with its unique mix of maritime flair and diverse culture. Numerous attractions await you around Germany’s largest port and along the Elbe. These include the historic Landungsbrücken (Landing Bridges) – floating piers that form the starting point of every harbor tour. Or the Speicherstadt district – built from 1883 onward and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015 – whose canals and bridges give this historic warehouse district a Venetian touch. In addition to the so-called “Michel,” a Protestant baroque church, the Elbphilharmonie, a 110-meter-tall [360-foot-tall] concert hall with outstanding architecture, is now also considered a landmark of the city. And finally, Hamburg is known for its famous soccer clubs HSV and St. Pauli as well as the “sinful” Reeperbahn district.
Buxtehude is located to the west of Hamburg, on the German Fairytale Route and the Este River. This tourist gem boasts a historic center, a cozy pedestrian zone, and many listed buildings and half-timbered houses.
Timmendorf Beach, on the other hand, offers a wide range of tourist attractions. This spa town with a 6.5-kilometer-long [4-mile-long] sandy beach is considered one of the most fashionable Baltic seaside resorts and, with just under 9,000 inhabitants, registers around 1.3 million overnight stays per year.
Directly to the north is Scharbeutz, another Baltic seaside resort that has a Slavic history dating back to around 1000 AD. The metropolitan area includes a heath and various lake landscapes that mark the beginning of Holstein Switzerland.
With regard to the statutory regulation of smoking, the Hamburg Protection from Passive Smoking Law from 11 September 2012 regulates smoking to the extent that smoking rooms are only permitted in public houses with more than 75 square meters. However, these must be structurally and technically self-contained in such a way that no smoke can penetrate the non-smoking areas. In smaller places with less than 75 square meters and with only one guest area, smoking is permitted if no prepared meals are offered and persons under the age of 18 are not allowed to enter. Smoking establishments must be clearly marked as such at the entrance. Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony have a similarly liberal approach.
La Casa del Habano – Wolters & Consorten GmbH
Burchardstraße 15 – Chilehaus C
T: +49 40 30 70 38 80
Opening hours: Monday–Saturday 10am-7pm
Christoph Wolters, who established the first Casa del Habano in Germany in Meerbusch in 1996, ended up in Hamburg in a roundabout way in 2006 and opened this Casa in the historic Chilehaus, built in 1924. The somewhat labyrinthine store consists of small rooms with the typical Casa range of cigars in the walk-in humidor and accessories, as well as a large selection of spirits on numerous shelves. The lounge can accommodate about 15 people on benches and chairs and invites you to linger. You’re always likely to meet like-minded people, as this Casa is an institution in Hamburg.
Carlos André Cigar Lounge in Se7en Oceans
Europa Passage, 2. OG/3rd floor
T: + 49 40 32 50 79 44
Located in the Europa Passage and not far from the Jungfernstieg subway station, the Se7en Oceans restaurant welcomes cigar smokers in the Carlos André Cigar Lounge, which has the best view of the Inner Alster Lake. However, due to renovation work, the lounge was closed at the time of going to press.
Bar Atlantic Smokers Lounge
An der Alster 72–79
T: +49 40 28 88 862
Opening hours (bar):
Outdoor seating in the courtyard
The Smokers’ Lounge is located in the Grandhotel Atlantic, which has existed since 1909 and now belongs to the Autograph Collection hotel group. The hotel is directly on the Outer Alster Lake and conveniently located on the access road to Kennedy Bridge and not far from the main railway station. The Smokers’ Lounge, which was rebuilt during extensive remodeling of the hotel in 2019 and is now somewhat reduced in size and has a green and white interior design, is directly behind the Atlantic Bar on the right, coming from the entrance past reception. It seats 10 people on red Chesterfield furniture; a table humidor provides cigars from the Davidoff range. The attentive and friendly wait staff serves international and classic drinks directly from the bar, as well as interesting, innovative interpretations of their own creations. With the full-bodied and strong The Attic cigar from the West Tampa Tobacco Co., I enjoyed a very interesting Ginger Lemongrass Martini – a lovely earthy, fresh combination. An all-round nice atmosphere for enjoyment and taking a breather – if cigarette smokers coming from the bar didn’t constantly disturb the peace in the room.
Gilbert de Montsalvat Lounge at M. Niemeyer Cigarren
Lange Reihe 102
T: +49 40 34 99 42 97
In the St. George restaurant quarter, not far from the main train station and diagonally opposite a Bavarian pub, this Niemeyer branch is home to the lounge of its namesake, Gilbert de Montsalvat. When you enter the tobacco store, don’t be distracted by the cigarette and magazine counter on the left-hand side, but look straight ahead to the lounge, perhaps a little to the right – the extensive range of spirits is enthroned there. In the lounge, after selecting a suitable cigar from the walk-in humidor opposite, you can settle down on one of the 13 leather seat cubes and tune out the hustle and bustle of Hamburg’s streets. The excellent and competent staff recommends and provides drinks and – if you wish – cigars. I was offered a Honduran Eiroa CBT Maduro Toro Gordo to go with my black coffee and an El Sueno Larmes de Cigares Trinidad gold rum. A great choice! Highly recommended – it’s a great place to stay!
Leo’s Café Davidoff Cigar Lounge
T: +49 176 41486450
Saturday & Sunday 9am-6pm
Outdoor seating available
This very spacious café with high ceilings is located in the venerable Collonaden Straße, built in 1876, where all the buildings have been listed as historical monuments since 1978. At the back, up the stairs, there is a small but fine smoking lounge where cigar smokers seeking peace and quiet can choose to sit in either of the two Chesterfield armchairs or one of the four couches. The café and the cigar lounge that have a shabby chic style, the friendly service, large television, the modern chandelier on the ceiling, and the large selection of drinks will invite you to linger and pleasantly pass the time. The lounge also serves as the living room of the Hanseatic Smoke cigar club – other smoking groups are, of course, just as welcome. During my visit, to go with my strong afternoon coffee I enjoyed a suitable box-pressed Saga Short Tales Tomo III – L.I.V. Labor Ipse Voluptas by Nirka Reyes from the Dominican De Los Reyes Cigars factory.
Duske & Duske
Große Bleichen 36
T: +49 40 34 33 85
Outdoor seating available
Located in the Hanseatic quarter and run by friendly, cool Hanseatic staff, the Habanos Specialist offers a lounge at the back of the store in addition to the classic standard program. Unfortunately, the lounge was closed due to remodeling when I visited.
Smokers Room in The Fontenay
T: +49 40 60 56 60 50
With outdoor seating (at the bar)
Located on the Outer Alster Lake, the Smokers’ Room is directly on the right after you enter on the ground floor and before the large lobby of the 5-star superior hotel, with its impressive modern architecture and design. There’s space for about 15 people on a selection of wing chairs and two L-shaped seating areas. The room is decorated in light brown tones, the armchairs in brown and dark green. As the actual hotel bar is located on the seventh floor high above the Outer Alster, it offers a wonderful view of the Hamburg skyline, while on the outdoor terrace, the fresh Hanseatic air blows around your nose and ears, which certainly adds a new flavor nuance to enjoying a cigar.
But on the ground floor, in the Smokers’ Room you’ll be “dry,” with a good range of drinks served by the friendly personnel from the restaurant a little further away. If you haven’t brought your own cigar with you, it’s not too difficult to choose one from the cigar menu or the large cabinet humidor stocked with a wide range of sticks from the likes of Rocky Patel, Davidoff, Montecristo, Trinidad, Flor da Selva, Partagás, and Padron. I enjoyed an earthy, spicy, medium-bodied 1502 XO Toro with a strong Negroni – one of the “ambience” recommendations of the tour. Unfortunately, the room is also used by cigarette smokers, whose leftovers are a nuisance.
Neuer Jungfernstieg 9–14
T: +49 40 34 94 0
daily from 5pm; cigar-smoking allowed from 10pm
Last call: Sunday–Thursday 12:30am, Friday & Saturday 1:30am
Once hotel guests have wrapped up their business, enjoyed a relaxing visit to the hotel’s own wellness and spa area or a lavish dinner in the Michelin-starred Haerlin restaurant, they then head to the Jahreszeiten Bar – a special gem of the Hanseatic city. But if you’re a walk-in, and you’ve passed the always friendly concierge, you’ll find this small, dimly lit bar to the left of the entrance staircase in this distinguished 5-star grand hotel, which has existed since 1897 and is right on the Inner Alster Lake. Take a seat in one of the two large seating areas, each of which can accommodate about 10 people – arranged over two levels thanks to a spiral staircase – or on one of the 15 bar stools at the counter. Choose your favorite drink from an international selection of the finest spirits – such as 70 different whiskeys and 25 different types of gin – or from the in-house creations. Take a breather and enjoy your cigar with a view of the lake (unfortunately only from 10pm). I enjoyed a full-bodied, robust 1910 As de Oro Toro with my strong Dark ’n’ Stormy drink. Another “ambience” recommendation of the tour.
bar bleu in Hotel Tortue
T: +49 40 33 44 14 00
Opening hours: daily, 6pm to last call
Located in Hamburg’s Stadthöfe quarter, Hotel Tortue is home to this small, dimly lit 34-square-meter [approx. 365-square-foot] bar in dark wood and petrol colors with its cozy and intimate atmosphere. It’s located near the hotel staircase opposite reception and accommodates around 30 people on red-leather-covered bar stools and an L-shaped bench along the wall. The attentive and friendly bartender, a master of his trade, serves a small but very fine selection of drinks and spirits, with plenty of scope for his own creations. Smoking is expressly encouraged here – it’s a classic, timeless luxury smokers’ lounge; two table humidors bear witness to the good range of cigars on offer. You’ll simply want to spend more time here, enjoying yourself and taking a break. I savored a dry Smoked Plain, somewhat reminiscent of an Old Fashioned but not as spicy and sweet, combined with a full-bodied Gurkha Dragonfly to the music of the bar lounge. The “quiet” bar recommendation of the tour.
La Casa del Habano Hamburg HafenCity
T: +49 40 87 07 25 66
Outdoor seating available
Since October 2023, Hamburg has been one more La Casa del Habano richer. Wolters & Consorten opened its second branch on Überseeboulevard in HafenCity. If you find this somewhat hidden Casa – the Hamburg administration hasn’t numbered the houses on this boulevard – you enter through a large window front into a cuboid room. Two thirds of the room is in shades of brown, which designates the store and lounge area. The remaining third has a dark green interior and is separated by a large window front and houses the walk-in humidor that stocks purely Cuban delicacies. The friendly reception and good advice, including from the boss Christoph Wolters himself, who’s always available for a chat, do their best to make this Casa a popular place to visit. Once the weather warms up, the Casa will be extended to include a larger outdoor seating area in the modern surroundings of HafenCity. My black Americano coffee was accompanied by a Cuban Quay d’Orsay No.50, which was launched on the German market in 2017.
Cigar & Whisky Lounge – Pröhl Tabak & Whisky
Lange Straße 36
T: +49 4161 22 95
Opening hours: Monday–Saturday 8am-6pm
Outdoor seating in the winter garden courtyard
This store is located at the southern end of the pedestrian zone in the small, tranquil town of Buxtehude. It was initially for magazines and lotteries, but the real “paradise” is at the back: all kinds of types of spirits, sizes and selections are lined up next to a small walk-in humidor room with a good standard range of cigars. Heading upstairs, you enter a bright lounge with brown chairs, which seats 15 people. Once you’ve chosen your favorite cigar and drink from one of the friendly staff members before heading down to the lounge, nothing will stand in the way of an enjoyable and quiet smoke. Or you’ll be asked to join an amicable, interesting conversation, as happened to me when I visited and enjoyed a Leaf by Oscar Corojo and a black coffee.
Chez Max Smokers Bar & Lounge in Böttcherhof Best Western Plus
T: +49 40 73 18 70
The large brick building complex of this 4-star superior Best Western Plus conference hotel in the Billstedt industrial area houses a bar and lounge. It was unfortunately closed during my visit due to renovation work and staff shortages. As management is actively looking for staff, anyone interested is welcome to get in touch and apply.
Kleine Freiheit 42
22767 Hamburg St. Pauli
Friday & Saturday 6pm-2am
Friday & Saturday 8pm-2am
Located not far from the Reeperbahn and its S-Bahn stop at the Kleine Freiheit and Holstenstraße junction, this cocktail bar is aimed at a somewhat louder and younger crowd. At the back to the left, slightly separated from the rest of the bar, is the smoking room, decorated in dark brown tones and accommodating around 15 people on Chesterfield furniture. Thanks to the unique and regularly varied in-house creations produced from homemade ingredients, the choice of drinks is a little more difficult if you don’t just want to enjoy whiskey or rum with your cigar. Although, of course, they don’t come up short with the classic mixed drinks, either. And if you don’t have your own cigar at hand, the bar stocks a small selection in a table humidor. A special feature is the “cigar menu,” where each third of a cigar is served with a matching spirit. During my visit, I enjoyed a slightly stronger Oaxaca Old Fashioned and a smoky Laphroaig Sour with the full-bodied 1910 As de Oro Toro. The “loud” bar recommendation of the tour.
Alte Königstraße 5
T: +49 40 38 54 09
Around 400 meters [approx. 3 feet] from the banks of the Elbe and not far from the Schleepark in Altona and its Bismarck monument, you’ll find this narrow, elongated specialist store by Stefan Appel in Alte Königstraße. At the back, there’s a small lounge that accommodates up to 10 people. As soon as you enter the store, you’re faced with shelves full of all kinds of delicacies and private labels – “cigars without frills,” as Appel calls them – and a range of spirits. A small and funny eye-catcher: the lounge has a converted barrel, where individual customers store their spirits with name tags to enjoy them when they visit. Looks like a very interesting round.
Les Privatiers & Bar 54°
23669 Timmendorfer Strand
T: +49 4503 89 85 560
April–October & Christmas season
Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays
In the touristy town of Timmendorf Beach, cigar passionados will find a little paradise in the lounge of Les Privatiers’ Bar 54° at Strandallee 90. There’s a large walk-in humidor with over 50 types of cigars, including the house’s own brands, accessories, selected drinks to go with the cigar, and plenty of space on two levels and two outdoor terraces. Read more in CJ issue 2/2024!
Davidoff Smoker’s Lounge – Hotel BelVeder
T: +49 4503 35 26 600
Opening hours: 24/7
If you drive or walk towards Scharbeutz from the south, this is the first building on the beach – the 5-star superior Hotel BelVeder with direct access to the adjacent Baltic Sea thermal baths and a small, fine smokers’ lounge on the ground floor opposite reception and left before the bar. It has two seating areas with armchairs and seats eight people. A small table humidor with a small Davidoff selection promises a nice smoke. The bar provides liquid delicacies with a focus on rum, but also an exquisite selection of whiskies and cocktails.
Here you can accompany our author on a tour of the cigar scene in and around Hamburg.