Northern Germany attracts tourists with its amazing diversity – futuristic cities with a rich past, such as Berlin and Hamburg, as well as a multitude of beautifully preserved historic towns. We take a look at the most exciting destinations in this part of the country.
Rostock is worth a visit for its four historic gates and its beautiful churches, including St. Mary’s Church, Nikolai Church and St. Petri Church. But the main draw for tourists in summer is the beautiful Warnemünde Beach, a very short drive away from Rostock. When in Warnemünde, take some time to stroll along the Am Strom promenade, lined with cafes, restaurants and shops.
Lübeck is a Unesco World Heritage Site whose existence can be traced back to the Middle Ages. It boasts the largest historic old town in Germany, which is lined by Renaissance guild houses and crisscrossed by romantic alleys. The symbol of Lübeck is the Holstentor, a fairytale brick gothic gate from the 15th century.
The skyline of the Hanseatic city of Stralsund is punctuated by a series of evocative brick-gothic constructions, including churches, the elegant town hall, and patrician houses. The Ozeaneum aquarium, part of the German Oceanographic Museum, is a favourite with families, and houses countless sea creatures, mostly from the North Sea and neighbouring Baltic.
Hamburg is truly a unique city, where historic and futuristic architecture have blended seamlessly, making it an absolute thrill to embark on an architectural tour of the city. Don’t forget to check out the Old Elbe Tunnel, which runs under the River Elbe, and was nothing short of pure engineering genius when it was built in 1911. Elsewhere, art lovers will be well at home in the many fantastic art museums and galleries in Hamburg.
The posh resort town of Binz, on the island of Rügen, promises powdery white sand, a lovely promenade and picturesque countryside – all of which prompt flocks of German sunseekers to head here for their summer holidays. Additionally, Binz has a series of marvellous architectural works, the most significant being Jagdschloss Granitz (Granitz Hunting Lodge) and the striking Prora complex.
The picturesque port city of Wismar on the Baltic Sea coast should not be missed if you’re interested in medieval architecture. The Unesco-listed city of Wismar has beautifully preserved its gabled patrician houses, Brick Gothic architecture and a massive medieval town centre. The colourful Old Hansa harbour is a particular highlight for a scenic stroll by the sea.