Schleswig-Holstein and the Baltic Coast

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Schleswig-Holstein and the Baltic Coast - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Altstadt

    Proof of Lübeck's former position as the golden queen of the Hanseatic League is found at every step in the Altstadt, which contains more 13th-...

    Proof of Lübeck's former position as the golden queen of the Hanseatic League is found at every step in the Altstadt, which contains more 13th- to 15th-century buildings than all other large northern German cities combined. This fact has earned the Altstadt a place on UNESCO's register of the world's greatest cultural and natural treasures.

  • 2. Holstentor

    Lübeck’s famous gate was part of the medieval fortifications of the city. It has two faces: one it shows the world and one it shows...

    Lübeck’s famous gate was part of the medieval fortifications of the city. It has two faces: one it shows the world and one it shows the city. The "field side," which faces away, appears as if it is made of two defensive towers connected by a middle gate. The "city side" looks like one smooth building and has more windows, arcades, and friezes. The inscription on the field side, added in 1871, reads, "Concordia domi foris pax," an abbreviated version of the statement, "Harmony within and peace outside are indeed the greatest good of all." It houses a museum with ship models, suits of armor, and other artifacts from Lübeck's heyday.

    Holstentorpl.
    - 0451 - 122–4129

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €8, Closed Mon. Jan.–Mar.
  • 3. Kunsthalle zu Kiel

    One of northern Germany's best collections of modern art, ranging from the Dürer period to the present, can be found here. It comprises more than...

    One of northern Germany's best collections of modern art, ranging from the Dürer period to the present, can be found here. It comprises more than 1,200 paintings and 300 sculptures as well as graphic arts, photographs, and video works.

    Düsternbrooker Weg 1
    - 0431 - 880–5756

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €7, Closed Mon.
  • 4. Lübecker Dom

    Construction of this, the city's oldest building, began in 1173. Its founder, Heinrich der Löwe himself, laid the foundation stone. The cathedral was initially built...

    Construction of this, the city's oldest building, began in 1173. Its founder, Heinrich der Löwe himself, laid the foundation stone. The cathedral was initially built as a Romanesque brick building, which was completed in 1230, but starting in 1266 its reconstruction to a Gothic hall church began. The building, which was repeatedly altered, was severely damaged in an air raid in 1942. It was not until 1982 that the reconstruction was completed. The richly decorated church houses, among other things, a triumphal cross by the Lübeck artist Bernt Notke and the Renaissance pulpit, which is decorated with seven alabaster reliefs.

    Domkirchhof
    - 0451 - 74704

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 5. Ahlbeck

    The island's main town is also one of its best resorts. The tidy and elegant resort is one of the three Kaiserbäder (imperial baths)—the two...

    The island's main town is also one of its best resorts. The tidy and elegant resort is one of the three Kaiserbäder (imperial baths)—the two others are Heringsdorf and Bansin—where Emperor Wilhelm II liked to spend his summers in the early 20th century. Noble families and rich citizens followed the emperor, turning Ahlbeck into one of the prettiest summer retreats on the Baltic Coast. Ahlbeck's landmark is the 19th-century wooden pier with four towers. Stroll the beach to the right of the pier and you'll arrive at the Polish border.

    Kurstr.1
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  • 6. Alter Garten

    The town's showpiece square was the setting for military parades during the years of Communist rule. It's dominated by two buildings: the ornate neo-Renaissance state...

    The town's showpiece square was the setting for military parades during the years of Communist rule. It's dominated by two buildings: the ornate neo-Renaissance state theater, constructed in 1883–86; and the Kunstsammlungen Schwerin (Schwerin Art Collection).

    Alter Garten
  • 7. Alter Markt

    The Alter Markt has the best local architecture, ranging from Gothic to Renaissance to baroque. Most homes belonged to rich merchants, notably the late-Gothic Wulflamhaus,...

    The Alter Markt has the best local architecture, ranging from Gothic to Renaissance to baroque. Most homes belonged to rich merchants, notably the late-Gothic Wulflamhaus, with 17 ornate, steeply stepped gables. Stralsund's architectural masterpiece, however, is the 14th-century Rathaus (town hall), considered by many to be the finest secular example of redbrick Gothic. The Rathaus is a mirror image of its counterpart in Lübeck, Stralsund's main rival in the Hanseatic League

  • 8. Alter Strom

    Inland from the lighthouse is this yacht marina. Once the entry into the port of Warnemünde, it now has bars, plenty of good restaurants, and...

    Inland from the lighthouse is this yacht marina. Once the entry into the port of Warnemünde, it now has bars, plenty of good restaurants, and touristy shops. The fishing boats lining the Strom sell the day's catch, smoked fish, and bags of fried mussels.

  • 9. Altfriesisches Haus

    For a glimpse of the rugged lives of 19th-century fishermen, visit the small village of Keitum to the south, and drop in on the Old...

    For a glimpse of the rugged lives of 19th-century fishermen, visit the small village of Keitum to the south, and drop in on the Old Frisian House, which preserves an old-world peacefulness in a lush garden setting. The house also documents a time when most seamen thrived on extensive whale hunting.

    Am Kliff 13
    - 04651 - 31101

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €5, Closed Mon.–Wed. Nov.–Apr.
  • 10. Aquarium GEOMAR

    One of the main attractions of Kiel, this aquarium is home to various animal species, fish, and crustaceans from the North and Baltic Seas, the...

    One of the main attractions of Kiel, this aquarium is home to various animal species, fish, and crustaceans from the North and Baltic Seas, the Mediterranean, and the tropics. Especially popular are the feedings (daily at 10 am and 2:30 pm, except Fridays) in the outdoor seal enclosure.

    Düsternbrooker Weg 20
    - 0431 - 6001637

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €3
  • 11. Bergen

    This small town is the island's administrative capital, founded as a Slavic settlement some 900 years ago. The Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church) has geometric murals...

    This small town is the island's administrative capital, founded as a Slavic settlement some 900 years ago. The Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church) has geometric murals dating back to the late 1100s and painted brick octagonal pillars. The pulpit and altar are baroque. Outside the front door and built into the church facade is a gravestone from the 1200s.

  • 12. Binz

    The largest resort town on Rügen's east coast has white villas and a beach promenade. Four kilometers (2½ miles) north of Binz lies the fascist...

    The largest resort town on Rügen's east coast has white villas and a beach promenade. Four kilometers (2½ miles) north of Binz lies the fascist resort of Prora, where the Nazis once planned to provide vacation quarters for up to 20,000 German workers. The complex was never used, except by the East German army. Redevelopment of the site began in 2003. Luxury apartments are available for rent and there is also a youth hostel. Museums and galleries here today do their best to document the history of the site.

    Strandpromenade 1
  • 13. Binz Beach

    The rule of the Baltics' most exclusive beach is "see and be seen." The 5-km-long (3-mile-long) and 54-yard-wide beach is the perfect place to sunbathe...

    The rule of the Baltics' most exclusive beach is "see and be seen." The 5-km-long (3-mile-long) and 54-yard-wide beach is the perfect place to sunbathe and swim, as well as stroll—there's a 135-year-old beach path promenade. The somewhat rocky beach is punctuated by the Seebrücke, a boardwalk that extends into the sea. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking; showers; toilets; water sports. Best for: partiers; surfing; swimming; walking.

    Strandpromenade
  • 14. Buhne 16 and Rotes Kliff

    Kampen's beach—divided into the Buhne 16 and the Rotes Kliff—is the place where the rich and famous meet average Joes. Buhne 16 is Germany's most...

    Kampen's beach—divided into the Buhne 16 and the Rotes Kliff—is the place where the rich and famous meet average Joes. Buhne 16 is Germany's most popular nudist beach, and Germans call this section "the great equalizer," as social inequalities disappear with the clothing. The Red Cliff section is less crowded than Buhne 16 and clothing is required. The beach access point offers one of the best views of the Cliffs and North Sea; the viewing platform is wheelchair accessible. The beaches are surrounded by a ring of dunes that beg for exploration. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking; showers; toilets; water sports. Best for: partiers; sunset; swimming; walking.

  • 15. Deutsches Bernsteinmuseum

    In the Deutsches Bernsteinmuseum, which adjoins the main factory, you can see a fascinating exhibit of how this precious "Baltic gold" is collected from the...

    In the Deutsches Bernsteinmuseum, which adjoins the main factory, you can see a fascinating exhibit of how this precious "Baltic gold" is collected from the sea and refined to make jewelry. The museum has pieces of amber that are between 35 and 50 million years old.

    Im Kloster 1–2
    - 03821 - 4622

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €8.50, Closed Mon. Nov.–Mar.
  • 16. Doberaner Münster

    Bad Doberan is home to this meticulously restored redbrick church, one of the finest of its kind in Germany. It was built by Cistercian monks...

    Bad Doberan is home to this meticulously restored redbrick church, one of the finest of its kind in Germany. It was built by Cistercian monks between 1294 and 1368 in the northern German brick Gothic style, with a central nave and transept. The main altar dates from the early 14th century.

    Klosterstr. 2
    - 038203 - 62716

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free; guided walks €5
  • 17. Europäisches Hansemuseum

    This museum is dedicated to the time of the Hanseatic League which is considered one of the most significant chapters in Northern German and European...

    This museum is dedicated to the time of the Hanseatic League which is considered one of the most significant chapters in Northern German and European history. It exhibits dioramas, original artifacts, and interactive elements to convey a journey through 500 years of medieval trading.

    An der Untertrave 1
    - 0451 - 809–0990

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €13
  • 18. Fun Beach am Brandenburger Strand

    Westerland's beach bursts at the seams in the summer months. More than 6 km (4 miles) of pristine white sand is filled with more than...

    Westerland's beach bursts at the seams in the summer months. More than 6 km (4 miles) of pristine white sand is filled with more than 4,000 Strandkörbe, a kind of beach chair in a wicker basket, which are all for rent. There's also volleyball, soccer, darts, and other beach sports. Despite its popularity, it is easy to find some privacy on the many secluded bike and footpaths. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards; parking; showers; toilets; water sports. Best for: partiers; snorkeling; walking; windsurfing.

    Brandenburger Strand
  • 19. Fürstenhof

    The home of the former dukes of Mecklenburg stands next to the Marienkirche. It's an early-16th-century Italian Renaissance palace with touches of late Gothic. The...

    The home of the former dukes of Mecklenburg stands next to the Marienkirche. It's an early-16th-century Italian Renaissance palace with touches of late Gothic. The facade is a series of fussy friezes depicting scenes from the Trojan War.

    Fürstenhof 1
  • 20. Günter Grass-Haus

    This mansion contains a museum devoted to wide-ranging exhibits on literature and visual arts, prominently featuring the work of one of Germany's most famous postwar...

    This mansion contains a museum devoted to wide-ranging exhibits on literature and visual arts, prominently featuring the work of one of Germany's most famous postwar writers and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature (1999), Günter Grass (1927–2015).

    Glockengiesserstr. 21
    - 0451 - 122–4230

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: €8, Closed Mon. Jan.–Mar.

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