I wrote about the reasons why I love Hamburg so much and one of them is because the city is so very near to the sea. Yes, one of the advantages of living in Hamburg is definitely the countless day trip possibilities to old, small fisherman villages and harbour towns in North and Baltic Sea.
All the destinations in this map are 1-2 hours drive away from Hamburg which makes them ideal for a day trip.
The hometown of Thomas Mann and Günter Grass, both word wide famous Germany novelists has a remarkable brick gothic architecture. Lübeck’s emblem Holstentor (Holsten Gate), built in 15th century, is not only the gate to the town but also to the Baltic Sea. Either by train or car it is super easy to get to Lübeck and perfect for walking tours around the old city (Altstadt).
When you make it to Lübeck you should not miss Timmendorfer Strand, only 15km away, even if it is only for digging your feet into the sand. Rent one of those special beach chairs (8€ per day) and listed to the waves carrying fresh sea weather.
Sankt Peter Ording
This 12km long and 2km wide sandy beach in the North Sea is the one which convinced me that Germany has some beautiful beaches to offer too.
Besides observing the tide while sitting in one of those special beach chairs, there is so much to do here… like kite surfing, windsurfing, land sailing, kite buggying, catamaran sailing or building huge sand castles.
Sank Peter Ording is one of few beaches where you can park your vehicle directly at the beach.
Have you ever heard of “Wattenmeer” (Wadden Sea)? The Wadden Sea is the tidal wetlands along the North Sea and Husum is one of the places in Germany you can enjoy wandering on the Wadden Sea, which is world Unesco Natural Heritage since 2009. The constant change with high and low tide during one single day is simply impressive. I felt like 5 years old again…
The small harbour is definitely worth visiting. Don’t miss it. Beautiful colourful houses, cafes, restaurants… Very idyllic and picturesque.
Heiligenhafen is located in a small bight which is separated from the Baltic Sea through two headlands, Steinwarder and Graswarder. In the harbour you can jump in a sailing ship which takes you to the meeting point of the bight with the Baltic Sea.
Rent a bike or walk around to explore the cliffs and the 4km sandy beach. Visit the bird sanctuary Graswarder. Spend some time and watch the sunset on the 435m long pier which offers many possibilities to make it as comfortable as possible for you.
The hanseatic city on the Baltic Sea with its brick gothic architecture is in the list of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO since 2002.
Walk around the large Market Place which is surrounded by gothic buildings and have a closer look at the building “Alter Schwede (Old Swede) and at the famous wrought-iron fountain (Wasserkunst) which is resting for centuries in the middle of the square. Behind the market place walk down the narrow streets and visit the churches St Mary (Marienkirche), St Nicholas (Nikolaikirche) and St George (St Georgen-Kirche).
When you had enough of the churches in Wismar, jump in your car and drive to Poel Island (Insel Poel) in about 30min. Start at the Timmendorf Lighthouse, walk down the small harbour and take a long walk in the Timmendorf Beach. Do yourself a favour and let your day fade out with the sunset over Insel Poel’s horizon.
Last but not least…
From Hamburg when you head to North Sea you’ll drive by the 98km long Kiel Canal which connects North Sea to Baltic Sea. In German it is literally called “Nord-Ostsee-Kanal”. In case you drive with a car, take time to have a look at this manmade canal which is supposedly the most used one worldwide.
For more insights get Lonely Planet Germany (Travel Guide).
Don’t forget to check my Pack List for useful travel items.
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