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northern Germany

In 2019 we spent three months in Germany. However, we did not go to northern Germany - Hamburg and Lubeck and ???
We plan to spend two weeks in northern Germany in April, 2023. We welcome suggestions for travel in that part of Germany.

Posted by
387 posts

I really liked this region - there is a bit of a Scandinavian flair and it feels different than the rest of Germany. In addition to Hamburg and Lübeck, I’d also recommend Wismar - interesting history and lots of picturesque buildings. Hopefully you have decent weather. Might be a bit too chilly for the seaside/beaches up there. Schwerin is also nice if you have time. Other interesting towns would be Lüneburg and Uelzen or the towns of Stade and Buxtehude along the Elbe.

In Lübeck - the Hansemuseum is well worth a visit. And we had a great meal at Fangfrisch (small, modern bistro focused on fresh, regional fish).

Posted by
2 posts

I would highly recommend Hamburg for a few days. Some of the things we enjoyed were the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, ferry along the Elbe, and the Elbe Tunnel. The bombed-out St. Nicolas Church and its museum were very moving.

We were interested in other Hanseatic League cities, as well, and spent a night in Lubeck. Interesting, but you do not need more than a day there. Also, we visited Bremen for a day which had a lot to see in its old town.

Posted by
556 posts

I'm a big fan of Northern Germany specially the eastern part. Wismar has been mentioned already which I like but I like Stralsund a bit more.
And I would strongly recommend to visit Bremerhaven with it's great German Emigration Museum.

Posted by
14580 posts

Good that you're focusing on going to North Germany. My first trip to Germany in 1971 focused mainly on North Germany, arriving in Travemünde on the overnight ferry.

Aside from Hamburg and Lübeck I would suggest the following smaller places: Lüneburg, Schleswig, Eutin/Holstein, Stade, Stralsund, Kiel (if you want to see another city), Greifswald, Schwerin (easily reached from Hamburg Hbf). Numerous interesting culturally and historical small towns up north, look into those in Schleswig-Holstein.

North Germany is basically/mostly off the American tourist radar, you'll see other foreign visitors, and to be sure , German tourists. Except in Hamburg, the 2nd largest city in Germany and the cultural center of North Germany, I hardly ever saw Americans , if at all, in North German towns. These were trips there in the summer, high season.

How far west or east do you want to go in North Germany ? To the Baltic or the North Sea?

Posted by
14580 posts

If you do decide on going to Kiel, ( I like going to Kiel, a jump-off point for other towns in Schleswig). I suggest taking the boat trip through the Kiel Canal (Nord-Ostsee Kanal). That can be arranged in the Tourist Office opposite of the main entrance of Kiel Hbf..

For something more modest, take the Kiel harbour boat tour, 1.5 hrs.

The tour goes up to Laboe before slowly returning. The narration is only given in German, you can see why too once you're on board. No audio-phones.

Posted by
6812 posts

I really enjoyed Hamburg; especially the Museum für Küntz und Gewerbe (Art and Design). It held some amazing exhibits and also has a very nice cafe in the lunch where I had an excellent lunch. I agree that St. Nikolai church is worth a visit, also - if you aren't afraid of heights, like me, you can take an elevator to the top for a beautiful view of the city. The Rathaus is another must-see - beautiful building with very ornate interior.

I really enjoyed just walking along the harbor and across the many canals in the city. As mentioned above, the Elbphilharmonie concert hall was very impressive - seeing it rise out of the water was amazing. The only tourist attraction I was not crazy about was the Reeperbahn - evidently it is a big attraction for tourists, but not for me.

Posted by
1989 posts

Definitely try to go to one of the northern islands in Germany. I never even knew that Germany had islands off shore but it's quite crowded in the summer. April should be fine.

Posted by
14580 posts

One such island group in North Germany include those islands opposite of Ostfriesland (East Friesia), among which are Borkum and Norderney. Prior to 1914 the German Chancellor Bülow had his summer house on Norderney.

Posted by
556 posts

If one has never been on a German island and it has to be the North Sea I would recommend Sylt (North Friesia). But 2 weeks is not enough to check out some cities and connect with the island spirit rsp. the 'Wadden Sea National Park' which is unique on this planet and UNESCO World Heritage.
I'm so happy that this part of Germany is on the agenda because there is so much more to see in Germany than places like Rothenburg:-) Wich probably most Americans know better then most of the Germans.

Posted by
14580 posts

Hi,

Depending on how far north you intend to go, I would suggest Flensburg if you want to see a city that escaped destruction or damage in the war. That also applies to small towns in Schleswig-Holstein, rapidly occupied by the British in April 1945.

Posted by
512 posts

I'd add Glückstadt and Helgoland to the list of suggestions you already have.

If you can catch an event at the Kalkberg in Bad Segeberg, do so. Haithabu if you are into Vikings. Jork near Hamburg, nature in almost anywhere in Schleswig-Holstein, the beach at St. Peter-Ording (especially on horseback if you can even kind of ride), Fehmarn on the Baltic, and Glücksburg are also all good. Some of the prettiest nature I have seen in Germany is the Niedersächsische Elbtalaue near Lüchow. But really, most rural areas here are hidden gems.

Posted by
556 posts

Thanks for the info about Lüchow. Will put this on my list :-)