Things to do in Lubeck and Northern Germany
Traveling is my passion. I love exploring different countries as well as experiencing unfamiliar cultures. Especially Africa stole my heart. Since I lived in South Africa for 3 years I got the chance to explore the country itself as well as Zimbabwe, Malawi, Kenya, Namibia, Botswana, Seychelles and Mozambique. I loved it.
Sometimes you travel so far to explore foreign countries while you have barely explored your own country. Last year I came to Germany to visit family and friends. Since I haven´t seen my parents for quite a long time I spontaneously joined them on a 10 day trip to Lubeck. Lubeck, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in Northern Germany and super close to the Baltic Sea. Honestly speaking, I didn´t know a lot about the city but it is actually visited by tourists a lot and one of the best places to visit in Germany. Back in the day it used to be one of the major trading centres in Europe and has remained an important trading centre to this day.
Besides checking out the city itself we also did quite a few day trips in the surrounding area. I have to be honest, I wouldn´t have thought that initially but the trip turned out to be amazing and reminded me of the beauty of Germany. Let me show you my favourite spots in Lubeck as well as in the surrounding area and find out why Northern Germany is worth a visit.
My favourite places to visit in Lubeck:
Take a picture in front of Holsten Gate Lubeck
Old Town Lubeck hosts most of the cities attractions. The Lubeck Holsten Gate is also located here. It is a red brick city gate that used to be a boundary of the old centre of the hanseatic city. Being one of the two remaining city gates, it is Lubeck´s most famous sight. Back in the day, the gate was on the 50 Deutsche Mark banknote and also on the 2 EUR coin only a few years ago. Indeed, looking at the gate I do remember that. However, if someone would have shown me the coin before I visited Lubeck, asking for the location of the gate I would not have had an answer for them. If you are keen to learn more about the gate and the city’s history you should visit the museum inside the gate. There is a permanent exhibition. You can find the entrance fee for the Holsten Gate Museum here.
Visit Lubeck Town Hall
Besides the Holsten Gate one of the other things to see in Germany is the Town Hall of Lubeck. This old brick Gothic building is definitely one of the most beautiful Town Halls in Germany. So far, I haven´t come across one that is more stunning. The inside has a lot to offer as well. Go and explore it on a guided tour. My recommendation for lunch: Restaurant “Ratskeller zu Lubeck”. It is based underneath the Town Hall and offers a variety of local dishes for decent prices. You can find out more about them here.
Relax on Mühlenteich Lubeck
Sightseeing can be quite exhausting. Especially in Old Town Lubeck it is always busy. A perfect spot to escape the bustling city is the Mühlenteich. It is a small pond right next to Lubeck Cathedral – basically around the corner from most of Lubecks main attractions. If you pick the right spot to sit, you can enjoy a stunning view of the Cathedral. I always passed there on my way home, just to chill for a few minutes.
Taste some delicious Lubeck Marzipan
Lubeck is world renown for its Marzipan. Niederegger Marzipan is a genuine product to Lubeck – a must try not just for those with a sweet tooth. You will find many shops, cafés and restaurants serving this delicious specialty in various forms. I have to be honest, I am not a big fan of Marzipan but the cakes they offered in the cafés were super yummy.
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Enjoy a stunning view from St. Peter´s Church Lubeck
St. Peter´s Church is one of the many churches of Old Town Lubeck. What makes this church special is the 50-meter high viewing platform which offers a magnificent panorama over the whole city. I was told that on a good day you can even see as far as the Baltic Sea. Unfortunately, the day I went to check it out the weather was really bad so I couldn´t see much.
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Go on a boat tour in Lubeck Germany
Another pleasurable way of discovering the city and the surrounding is going on a boat tour. There are different tours you can join. I went on a unique tour with a special bus – the Splash tour. It is an amphibian bus that can turn into a boat. It is the only vehicle that can be driven on roads and sail on water. The funniest thing was being on the bus on the water and watching the people on land watching us. It was literally written in their faces that they couldn´t believe what they were seeing. You can learn more about the amphibian bus here.
Since we also went on quite a few day trips starting from Lubeck, I would like to share my experience with you.
Best places to visit in Germany in the surrounding of Lubeck
Breath Nature at Ratzeburg Lake Germany
From Lubeck you can also go on a boat tour on the river Wakenitz, which takes you all the way to Ratzeburg Lake. The tour stops in Rothenhusen. The moment we got there I fell in love, it was one of the most peaceful and tranquil places I have been to in a long time. There is a restaurant that offers yummy dishes. After having lunch or coffee you can go for a walk but be aware: the lake is huge – don´t try to walk around it. That is not going to work otherwise you might miss your boat back to Lubeck.
Go for a swim to the Baltic Sea Germany
First things first, the weather can be quite rough at the Baltic Sea. At the same time, it can welcome you with the most amazing summer weather and therefore can be a real alternative to a beach vacation outside of Germany. We went on a day trip to the Baltic Sea. The beach towns that are super close to Lubeck and worth a visit are Timmendorfer Strand Germany and Travemünde Germany. I have to be honest, especially in the high season, those towns are packed with tourists. Nevertheless, the beaches are stunning and the towns themselves are beautiful.
My advice: If you planning to visit Timmendorfer Strand or Travemünde travel there during the offseason, this is generally right before the summer school holidays are about to start in Germany.
Visit the Island Fehmarn Germany
About an hour drive from Lubeck you will reach the Island Fehmarn, a water sports hub attracting thousands of water sports fans every year. Getting there is already stunning – a long bridge connecting the land and the island in the Baltic Sea. From Puttgarden, which is the capital of Fehmarn you can take the Puttgarden Ferry to Denmark. I would have loved to go as it only takes you 45 minutes to get there. Sadly, we didn´t have enough time that day to do so. Fehmarn also hosts many international festivals. When I visited the island I saw hundreds of bullies as the Midsummer Bulli Festival Fehmarn happened that weekend. The day we went to Fehmarn it was rainy and super windy although it was sunny when we started our journey in Lubeck. My advice: If you go on a trip to Fehmarn – always take a warm rain jacket with you as the weather can be unpredictable.
Meet Winnetou in Bad Segeberg Germany
Bad Segeberg is about a 1-hour drive from Lubeck and the location of the Karl-May-Festivals. Karl Friedrich May was a German writer. Winnetou and Old Shatterhand are his main protagonists. Every year they perform one of the novels of Karl May on an open-air stage in Bad Segeberg. The shows are performed twice in a day for about 2 months. Personally, I am not really a fan of Karl-May and Winnetou work but I have to admit it was worth it. Spectacular show scenery, stunt horses and stunt explosions as well as a final firework display – I actually enjoyed the show very much.
Things to do in Hamburg Germany
Only a 45 minute drive away from Lubeck you reach another German metropolis: Hamburg. When we went to Hamburg for a day trip we managed to fit in a city sightseeing bus tour, a yummy lunch as well as a harbour tour and then there was still some time for shopping.
Enjoy nature at Great Ploen Lake Germany
About an hour away from Lubeck you get to Ploen. This cute town is right on the shores of Great Ploen Lake, which is not the largest lake in Germany but it ranks up there in size. Although the lake is a German Tourists Attraction, it wasn´t crowded at all. When we went there we enjoyed a super nice walk from Ploen Castle to a small island called “Prinzeninsel”. It took us about 1 hour to get there on foot. You pass small beaches and walk through sort of a forest. The views are scenic and it is very tranquil – perfect to escape the bustling city life. We had a drink in the restaurant at the “Prinzeninsel” and then headed back. If you don´t like walking, jump on a bike and cycle around the lake. You can also take a canoe or a passenger boat. For those wanting to catch some sun or go for a swim, you can chill on one of the smaller beaches. The water is super refreshing and crystal clear.
Where have you been to in Germany other than one of the metropolis? Let me know in the comments!
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