‘I get a bit of that port feeling every day,’ says Onejiru. She regularly makes the crossing from Neuenfelde to St. Pauli.
On the piers, the salty sea air blows briskly—given that Hamburg gets an average of 195 days of rainfall per year, visitors to the city typically receive a raw welcome in this spot. Yet there is a constant hustle and bustle on the piers. Groups of tourists jostle each other as they board boats, dockers gather at the small harbour kiosks over a beer or one of Hamburg’s famous fish rolls. On the horizon, Hamburg’s cranes stretch up high; at the harbour itself the ships’ masts rock in sync with the water. Since the completion of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, which has been an imposing backdrop to the pier since 2017, this place has finally become Hamburg’s showpiece. The St. Pauli Piers should be on every visitor’s must-see list—but locals enjoy a stroll here too. For Onejiru, the piers signify the beginning and end of her working day.