Cuxhaven is a hidden gem of Germany’s North Sea coast. This unpretentious town encourages visitors to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, especially beautiful views and good food.
On a holiday to Cuxhaven, you can look forward to the changing face of the sea, dramatic tides, ancient architecture and delicious seafood fresh from the ocean, not to mention the unique attraction of being able to walk across the mudflats.
Why you should visit
Cuxhaven is unanimously agreed to be a gem of Germany’s North Sea coast. What it lacks in glitz and history, it compensates many times over with gorgeous sea views, rolling dunes, picturesque fisherman’s houses and delicious local cuisine.
When to go
Cuxhaven is notorious for its strong, chilly winds. These weather conditions make it an unsuitable winter holiday destination. However, in summer, when much of the continent is baking in heat, Cuxhaven almost always enjoys cool, pleasant days and nights, though in northern Germany the weather tends to be widely unpredictable. The North Sea never really gets luxuriously warm and so might not be comfortable for long swims.
How to get around
The two closest international airports to Cuxhaven are Bremen Airport and Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport, each around 100 km (62 miles) from the city center of Cuxhaven. Cuxhaven also has a domestic airport (Sea-Airport Cuxhaven/Nordholz). Cuxhaven‘s train station is also well-connected to the rest of the country. Within Cuxhaven, it’s very easy to get around in public transport, or on a bike.
What to see and do
Hit the beach
Cuxhaven’s beach, the Cuxhaven Duhnen, is its biggest draw. The soft, sandy beach stretches on for several miles and is dotted with adorable beach baskets.
Check out the promenade
Running along the length of the beach is an elevated promenade, Alte Liebe (meaning ‘old love’). On a sunny day, this is the perfect place for a lazy stroll and promises innumerable photo opportunities with the majestic sea and bobbing ships as a picture-perfect backdrop.
Admire the architecture
As you walk the promenade, you can’t miss the Kugelbake, or Cuxhaven’s old lighthouse. This 30 meter (98 foot)-high wooden tower marks the northernmost point of Lower Saxony. A hop away from the lighthouse, you will find Fort Kugelbake, a former Prussian fortress dating back to 1869. In the course of a guided tour, travelers can explore the walls, canons, bunkers, and other secrets of the fortress. While not a fairy tale castle, Ritzebüttel Castle, an aristocratic mansion dating back to the 14th century and exhibiting a delightful mishmash of various architectural styles, is also worth checking out.
Take in the mudflat walk
At low tide, travelers have the chance to embark on an exciting mudflat walk, all the way to the tiny island of Neuwerk (10 km (6.2 miles)), and spot rare species of birds on the way. You also have the choice of exploring the mudflats from a horse-drawn carriage.
What to eat
Given its proximity to the sea, it is unsurprising that the town is known for its finger-licking seafood dishes. The recipes are simple and use minimal ingredients, to highlight the natural taste and freshness of the seafood. Don’t leave town before sampling the famous crab soup and grilled herring. The nearby port town of Lübeck is famous for its 100% pure marzipan, and its popularity has spread over to Cuxhaven as well. So, for dessert, you can always treat yourself to delicious marzipan cakes, chocolates or pralines.
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