Lubeck is an old wealthy Hanseatic city. The city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Everything here is within walking distance and there is a lot to explore in this cultural heritage. Here are 10 different things that you want to check out during your visit to Lubeck.
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10 things to do in LubeckWe spent a week in this magical city in Germany. We ended up exploring the whole city and were out every day, being tourists like crazy. You can read our guide to Lubeck here if you want even more things to do while being in the city. In this post, we have picked 10 favorites that you should put on your to-do list. We went there during autumn but, we have heard that it is also really impressive during Christmas. It is said that the Christmas market in Lubeck is something really special. Since we haven’t been there during winter, we have chosen not to include the Christmas market in our “10 things to do in Lubeck”. However, if we go there and explore the Christmas market, we will add it to this list! Hope that you find our list inspiring!
1. Take a romantic boat trip
Take a romantic boat trip – no certificate or prior knowledge is required to rent a boat in Lubeck. The electronic boats are almost entirely silent as they make their way on the waters of the canals. It is also virtually impossible to get lost because the five-kilometer round goes in a circle. This is not an adrenaline adventure – no, this is a slow and romantic ride with a small boat that moves slowly.
The boats are rented out per hour so a good idea is to pack a picnic basket and stop somewhere along the way for coffee. If you are driving full throttle, one round will take about 50 minutes. This is a good way to start your visit to Lübeck and get a feel for where the various attractions are and finding places that you want to explore more!
2. Visit the European Hanseatic MuseumConsidering that Lubeck is an old Hanseatic city, a visit to the museum dedicated to the Hanseatic times is a must. All the information is in English and you can also get it in Swedish and other languages. The European Hanseatic Museum is a very modern and interactive museum with an incredible amount of information. It is easy to spend the whole day here and learn more about the old times. This is not just about Lubeck but about the Hanseatic cities in general and about all the countries involved in the trades during that period. Press buttons, watch movies, read signs, and learn about Lubeck’s heyday but also about Hansa’s fall. Lunch can be enjoyed in the museum’s restaurant Nord, which serves soups and salads that are fantastically good.
3. Photograph Holstentor – the city symbolHolstentor is the first thing that appears when you search for Lubeck on the internet. Holstentor is a city gate that has existed since the Middle Ages. In 1871, it was on the agenda that the city gate would be demolished. It is said that a vote was held where the locals were allowed to vote on the future of the gate. The building survived the demolishment due to a single vote. It is difficult to find out the truth of this, but in Lubeck, everyone agrees that this is how it went down. Today, Holstentor is the most photographed building in the city and it also houses a museum for those who want to know more about Lubeck’s history. Be sure to walk around the entire building to see how it has sunk down over the years, a process that has now been stopped.
4. Visit the churches and see remnants of World War IILubeck has five churches in the old town and all are worth a visit. If the time doesn’t allow to visit all the churches, St. Mary Church is the one that should be a priority. The churches belonged to the merchants and they were a gathering place where they, not only prayed but, also socialized and spent time with their friends. During Palm Sunday 1942, parts of the St. Mary church were destroyed during a bomb attack. The church bells collapsed and smashed to the ground. They are still there today – exactly as they landed when they fell. It is a powerful sight that meets the visitors. It’s guaranteed to leave an imprint and bring the mind to the war. In addition to the fallen church bells, there is a beautiful astronomical bell that makes one raise their eyebrows.
5. Indulge in MarzipanNiederegger is a place that must be on every list of “10 things to do in Lubeck”. The mecca of marzipan and a must-visit during your stay in Lubeck. It is not just a store that sells marzipan figurines where only the imagination sets the limits and the range is huge. It is not just a museum that houses the world’s largest marzipan artwork (which is made of 500 kilos of marzipan and took 3,500 hours to make). Niederegger is also a café serving its famous Marzipan Cake and Marzipan Cappuccino. A tip is to start the visit with a visit to the museum and then have coffee before it’s time to buy marzipan to take home. If you wait with coffee, there is a great risk that you will fill the entire motorhome with marzipan. In addition to marzipan, there is also nougat and chocolate for sale.
6. Eat in a sailor’s drinking spot
Schiffergesellschaft is a restaurant that promises rustic and heart-warming food in a fantastic environment. It was here that the sailors came after being out at sea. It was here that they ate, drank, and had fun until the wee hours. The tables were divided so that the sailors from the different countries sat at separate tables. Today, you are free to sit wherever you want.
However, reservations are recommended as this is one of Lubeck’s most popular restaurants and it quickly gets crowded. The environment is still on the theme of sailors, the menu is extensive. The portions are huge and you will get a lot of food on your plate. “Skippers Steakpot” is a really juicy stew that tastes very good. We ate so much food that we almost rolled out of the restaurant.
7. Get lost in the medieval courtyards
Lubeck was once an incredibly wealthy city. Unfortunately, not all the inhabitants of the city were rich. The merchants lived in really fancy, large houses, and these houses were taken care of by servants. The servants would make sure that everything was fine, but at the same time, they should not be visible. One solution to this was that the servants had to live in courtyards in very small apartments.
To enter the courtyard, you pass a hole in the wall or a very low and narrow corridor. Back then, these homes were for poor people. Today, the sought-after homes are in the middle of the city. It is impossible to get an apartment here without contacts. Previously, there were about 180 courtyards. Today there are about 80 left. Address: An der Undertrave 11 (here is the largest).
8. Visit a Nobel prize winnerThe author and artist Gunter Grass died a few years ago (2015) and he wrote the books “Cat and Mouse” and “Dog Years”. In 1999 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature and today there is a museum dedicated to him and his work. This place is suitable for the whole family and there is a lot for the children to do as well. It is a very informative museum where you get to learn a lot about the author and his life. Adjacent to the museum is also a place dedicated to the Social Democratic politician Willy Brandt. He managed to be both foreign minister and federal captain during his career. The highlight is the garden where part of the Berlin Wall can be seen. Gunter Grass house is a must to have on your 10 things to do in Lubeck list.
9. Try the best coffee in townA true little hidden gem inside a backyard but still in the middle of town. This super cozy café – Neue Rosterei serves fantastic coffee. It may well be that it is the best place for coffee in all of Lubeck. And except for coffee, there are both good sandwiches and pastries to eat. A big plus is that it is possible to buy coffee beans and brew your own coffee in the motorhome or when you are back home again. But, truth is to be told, the coffee should probably be enjoyed inside the café to taste the best. It is noticeable that this place takes its coffee very seriously. Large coffee bags hang like ornaments from the ceiling. Funny paintings with different messages adorn the walls. An example is: “The dinosaurs had no coffee and see how it went for them”.
10. Take an excursion to nearby TravemundeNumber 1o on our list of 10 things to do in Lubeck is a visit to Travemunde. It is just as easy to take the motorhome to Travemunde as it is to take the train there. The nice coastal town is about 20 minutes from Lubeck and here you are met by a completely different scene. The old magnificent buildings have been replaced by beach baskets and the asphalt has been turned into sand. Unfortunately, the water is not so warm considering that it is the Baltic Sea, but those who can swim in Sweden without freezing can do so in Travemunde as well. If the beach is not something that attracts, there is also something else to do here. An alternative is to visit Germany’s oldest lighthouse, which is furthest along the promenade. Walking in Godewindpark is also a nice way to spend a few hours. The whole city is very nice. We were here during their light festival and it was awesome!
We hope that you like our list of 10 things to do in Lubeck! Did we miss something? Please let us know!