Future travel inspiration: Rostock

Future travel inspiration: Rostock

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

On the northern coast of Germany by the Baltic Sea you’ll find Rostock. This city is the third-largest city on Baltic coast and home to one of the oldest universities in the world, the University of Rostock, which was founded in 1419. Though you can’t visit this fascinating city now, take a look at all the interesting attractions for when travel is allowed again. You’ve got more than enough time to plan enough trips for an entire year if you put your mind to it! However, let’s start with one trip to Rostock for the time being. 

When in Rostock you’re sure to find a myriad of Gothic architecture. For example, the Marienkirche is a brick Gothic church in the shape of a cross, which features much of the original architecture. Inside you’ll find an oak altar from around 1530, which was carved in Late Gothic style. There is also a bronze baptismal font from 1290 and an astronomical clock from 1472. 

Another amazing piece of architecture in Rostock is the Petrikirche. This is the oldest church in the city, dating back to 1252. It was rebuilt in the Gothic style in the 1350s and features a tower that is 384 feet tall. The tower was once a seamark for sailors, but now you can go up it in an elevator to an observation platform. 

If you want to spend some quality time outside in the summer, Warnemünde Beach is the place to be. It stretches for over 9 miles and is over 300 feet wide in certain places. This particular beach is great for children, as it has two spots that are monitored by lifeguards. The fine, sugar-white sand is perfect for lounging, or there are designated areas for water sports, beach sports and spots for barbecues and campfires.

While you’re in the area, be sure to check out the Warnemünde Lighthouse. Since 1898, this white-glazed brick structure has been directing ships into the harbor. At the foot of the building, you’ll find cafes and restaurants that offer beautiful views of the beach and sea.  

Once you’ve had your fill of the beach, hit the Alter Strom channel promenade. Here you’ll find delightful old fisherman’s houses that have been repurposed into shops, ice cream parlors and restaurants serving up only the freshest seafood. In the channel there are a plethora of colorful boats bobbing up and down; a few have even been converted into snack bars! 

If you want to visit Germany’s largest floating museum, Shipbuilding and Maritime Museum Rostock is the place to be. Here you can learn about seafaring and shipbuilding on board a ship with over 12,000 exhibits. The history on display ranges from the Slavic dugout to modern-day computer technology. Learn about the evolution of the maritime radio and inspect the four engines that power the ship.           

For an out of the ordinary experience, head to Stasi-Knast Rostock, a former prison. The State Security Service of the German Democratic Republic monitored and suppressed its own population and utilized this prison. The building dates back to the 1950s and features three floors that could hold 110 prisoners. Tour the cells, see a prison transport vehicle and secret surveillance equipment. 

If you have kids in tow, head to the Rostock Zoo. With over 4,000 animals, it is the largest zoo on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast. See cheetahs, reindeer, seals, Galapagos giant turtles, gorillas, pygmy hippos and more. Be sure to check out the Polarium, which opened in 2018. It houses polar bears and penguins and offers incredible insight into how the polar bears live with the decline of their habitat. 

Rostock has a variety of things to offer its visitors. Whether you relax on the beach, explore a ship or enjoy the Gothic architecture, there’s no wrong way to spend a few days here. Start planning your next outing now so that when the travel bans lift, you’re ready to roll.

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