Spend a long weekend on Germany’s northern shores

Hamburg | Photo by Robert Königshausen
Hamburg | Photo by Robert Königshausen

Spend a long weekend on Germany’s northern shores

by Robert Königshausen
Stripes Europe

Hamburg is famous for its musicals and nightlife but there’s a lot more to see in Northern Germany. Head toward the Baltic Sea and spend some time on its shores.

Tierpark Hagenbeck
Founded in 1907, Tierpark Hagenbeck is Germany’s only private zoo and unlike any other. Visit polar bears, walruses, penguins, tropical fish, crocodiles and snakes in an atmosphere they call home. You can even feed the elephants! Buy some salad and they’ll pick it up with their trunk, right out of your hand. You can even tip the elephants! Hand the money directly to the elephants and they will pass it on to one of the zookeepers next to them.

Stralsund | Photo by Robert Königshausen

If you like ocean life, visit the Hanseatic city of Stralsund, with its distinctive brick-style old town. Ozeaneum is Germany’s most visited aquarium. Watch mackerel, bonitos and tiger sharks splash around. There are also live feedings several days a week. Feeling hungry? Try “Bismarckhering,” pickled herring filets, invented in Stralsund.


Primeval Beech Forest in Rügen | Photo by Robert Königshausen

Cross the bridge from Stralsund to Germany’s biggest island, Rügen. There are beautiful beaches, tranquil waters and old flair. Don’t miss Nationalpark Jasmund. Walk through the Primeval Beech Forest and see the famous chalk cliffs captured by a well-known painter, Caspar David Friedrich. Want to stay at an old grand hotel? In the resort town of Sassnitz, they still look the same as they did 120-years ago.


If long walks along the shore are your favorite, make it to Eckernförde. Trees and small cliffs to one side, sea to the other, a small beach in front of you – and you can walk for miles. Or stroll through town, and discover lots of colorful old houses. Feeling hungry? Try “Kieler Sprotte”, the area’s famous smoked kipper. Germany’s northern shores offer a very different experience from the rest of the country. It’s an area you’ll want to add on your bucket list.

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