Lübeck is a charming 12th-century German town that packs many wonders—soaring churches, a picture-perfect harbor, adorable gabled houses, delicious food and unique architecture. However, its compact size means that it’s delightfully easy to navigate and a leisurely day is enough to allow a great introduction to this UNESCO-listed city. We chalked out an itinerary for you to spend a memorable day in this historic harbor town.
Kickstart your day with a breakfast that is quintessentially Lübeck. The 212-year-old Café Niederegger serves a range of irresistible marzipan-infused delectables, in keeping with Lübeck’s famed marzipan industry dating back several centuries. Forget about your waistline for a day and dig into melt-in-your-mouth cakes, tarts and chocolates, and wash it down with a marzipan cappuccino. Don’t worry, you will walk it all off during the day.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
On the second floor of the café, a marzipan museum walks you through the fascinating origin and history of marzipan. The highlight of the museum is the series of 12 life-sized figures made entirely out of marzipan. Entry to the museum is free. Both the café and the museum open at 9am.
Café and Museum Niederegger, Breite Straße 89, Lübeck, Germany, +49 4515 3011 27
With a full tummy and a happy mind, hop to the medieval Rathaus a few steps away from the café. This ornate medieval structure is unanimously agreed to be among the most beautiful town halls in all of Germany.
A two-minute walk from the Rathaus will bring you to Marienkirche (St. Mary’s Church). This 13th-century Gothic church is steeped in local myths and legends. It is believed that the Devil himself unwittingly helped in the construction of the church, thinking it was a tavern. Today, you can click a selfie with a smiling bronze statue of the Devil at St. Mary’s.
If you look up at the Epistle Chapel, with a little bit of imagination you can see a stone shaped like an old man. Legend has it he refused to die, but finally turned to stone on the church roof as he waited for death. Don’t miss the massive church bells lying broken in a heap on the cracked church floor. They have been left there as a stark reminder of the devastation of World War II.
St. Mary’s Church, Marienkirchhof 1, Lübekc, Germany, +49 451 3977 00
A few steps away from Marienkirche lies one of the most interesting museums in the city, Buddenbrookhaus, which will especially appeal to Thomas Mann fans, as this lovely Baroque building was once the family home of the Nobel laureate. Today, the museum not only educates visitors on the life and family of Thomas Mann through various interactive exhibits, but also lets you ‘walk through’ the setting of his famous novel Buddenbrooks. Budget at least one hour for this unique museum.
Buddenbrookhaus, Mengstraße 4, Lübeck Germant, +49 451 1224 190
A short stroll way, just about 450 meters (0.3 miles), from Buddenbrookhaus is another literary museum, Günter Grass-House. It is dedicated to Nobel laureate Günter Grass, another famous son of the soil. In this museum, you can learn all about this legendary writer, painter, sculptor and graphic artist, and see over 1300 examples of his work.
Günter Grass-House, Glockengießerstraße 21, Lübeck, Germany, +49 451 1224 230
For a superb gastronomic experience, we highly recommend Schiffergesellschaft. Housed in a crow-stepped gabled house from 1535, this restaurant serves authentic North German cuisine in a unique setting. The décor pays homage to the rich maritime history of Lübeck and has 200-year-old ship replicas dangling from the ceiling. This has been a top-notch restaurant in town since it opened its doors in 1868, so advance reservations are strongly recommended.
Schiffergesellschaft, Breite Str. 2, Lübeck, Germany, +49 451 76776
Lübeck is the best place to learn about the Hanseatic League, and there’s no better place in town for this lesson than the European Hansemuseum, which is our next stop. After a tour of the original artifacts and interactive exhibits of this museum, you are sure to emerge more knowledgeable on the rise and fall of the Hanseatic League.
European Hansemuseum, An der Untertrave 1, Lübeck,Germany, +49 451 8090 990
Next stop, Holstentor—bet you thought we were never going to go there—the most famous and iconic landmark of Lübeck, just 1.7 kilometers (one mile) from the European Hansemuseum. This 15th-century, red-brick, Gothic gate in a lush garden is a truly unique sight, with its rounded structure, twin towers and arched entrance. Afternoon is the best time to photograph this monument, and a vantage point to get a great shot of its architecture is from the Welcome Center next door. The Holstentor houses a small museum where you can see swords, armor and other original Medieval artifacts. The Holstentor also offers a panoramic view of the harbor and the city.
Pass through the gate to end up at the riverside. Here, you will see Salzspeicher, a row of six brick houses that were used as salt warehouses back in Hanseatic times, and a beautiful sight to behold, even today. A five-minute walk will take you to Petrichurch (St. Peter’s Church). This 800-year-old former-church is used today as a venue for events, and for a small fee offers the best views of Lübeck from its viewing platform 50 meters (164 feet) up. It also has a small coffee shop.
Petrichurch, Petrikirchhof, Lübeck, Germany, +49 451 397 730
At this point, you are only a few minutes away from Lübeck’s town center (Altstadt). The rest of your evening can be spent pleasantly getting lost in the myriad alleys meandering off around the old town. With a cluster of colorful Medieval homes, hidden picture-perfect courtyards, romantic benches and glimpses of the river, you never know what surprise might be waiting for you at the next turn. When hunger pangs strike, trace your steps back to the town center for dinner.
To end your night on a high note, head to one of the lively bars along Hüxstrasse and Fleischhauerstrasse, a few minutes from the town center. Alongside refreshing drinks, here you can expect to find lively music and an international crowd.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.