Tourist’s guide to Lubeck, Germany’s largest port on the Baltic Sea

Lübeck, Germany – a settlement located in the north of the country on the banks of the River Trave. This city is included in the list of the largest ports, is the second largest in the province. The village is located in the Baltic Sea, the distance to Hamburg is about 60 km. What distinguishes the city from other German settlements is its rich history, a large number of attractions, ancient architectural monuments in the typical brick Gothic style characteristic only of Lübeck.

View of Lubeck

Photos of Lubeck

Interesting fact! The city has about one hundred historical buildings.

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General information about the city of Lübeck

The appearance of Lübeck retained greatness, and numerous attractions remind of the influential Hanseatic League, since it was Lübeck who was the de facto leader of the trade association. Since 1987, the old districts of the city have been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and it is not surprising, because this small town keeps ancient interesting places and medieval corners.

Interesting fact! Lübeck is the only settlement in northern Germany that has a historical center that is not inferior in importance to Nuremberg.

The city inherited the name from the settlement of Lubec, where Slavic tribes who were expelled from here lived. They were replaced by the Germans, who founded the modern settlement. It is noteworthy that Lubeck never had a day of independence, leaders and no other attributes confirming independence, however, this city was the first in Germany to be given the right to mint coins.

Lubeck city view

Locals call their hometown a “Gothic red brick fairy tale”. The fact is that at a time when limestone was used for construction in Europe, brick was built in Lubeck. Thus, residents demonstrated their own financial well-being. Since then, the Lubeck brick gothic trend has appeared in architecture. The most popular object that has survived to this day is the City Hall.

Interesting fact! The Baltic Sea has a significant influence on the climate of Lübeck; accordingly, high humidity is observed throughout the year.

City history in dates:

Lubeck Map
  • 1143 – the city of Lubeck in Germany was founded;
  • 1226 – Lubeck received the status of a free imperial settlement;
  • 1361 – the Hanseatic League was founded, which was headed by Lübeck;
  • 1630 – the meeting of the founders and participants of the Hanseatic League was the last;
  • 1815 – Lübeck joined the German Union;
  • 1933 – Lubeck lost the privileges and advantages of the Hanseatic city;
  • 1937 – entered the Schleswig-Holstein province.

Sights of Lubeck in Germany

The most interesting part of the city in terms of tourism is the medieval Altstadt. It is from here that numerous excursions begin and travelers come here who want to get acquainted with the history of the city. We have made a selection of Lübeck attractions with photos and descriptions.

Old Town and Holstein Gate
Old city

The old town is located on an island that is surrounded by canals and the River Trave. The old city is not an open-air museum, however, its attractions are included in the list of objects protected by UNESCO. The historical center is a lively part of the city, where it is pleasant to walk along the old streets, admire the architecture.

Interesting fact! The northern part of the historical center, Koberg, is best preserved.

A characteristic feature of the old part of the city is the spiers of churches towering above Lubeck. Here is the spire of the city church, which began to be built on the orders of the Duke Heinrich Leo. Another attraction of historic Lübeck – St. Mary’s Church – is the third largest church in Germany and the tallest building in the city center.

In historical Lubeck you can see and visit:

  • Museums
  • Baroque and classicism houses;
  • The town hall;
  • state theater;
  • Highland-Geist Hospital.

The symbol of the central part of Lübeck, as well as the entire city is the Holsten Gate or the Holstein Gate, the construction of which began in 1466 and ended in 1478. The attraction is a symmetrical design with two towers. Gates are part of the city fortifications.

Holstein Gate

Good to know! Holstein Gate is the most famous in Germany after the Brandenburg Gate. It is a symbol not only of Lübeck, but also of the whole country and the Hanseatic League.

A landmark was built in Lübeck in 1477 and was a complex of four defensive structures, their central part was the Golshinsky Gate. By the way, the defensive systems of the city were quite impressive – towers, earthen ramparts, canals, caponiers, firepower – 30 cannons.

In the mid-19th century, in connection with the construction of the railway and new buildings, the authorities decided to dismantle part of the defensive structures. The gates were preserved, in 1871 they underwent a complete reconstruction, and in 1931 – the construction was strengthened.

Since the mid-20th century, the Holstentor Museum has been located in the gate building, here you can get acquainted with the history of the city and its traditions.

Practical information:

  • work schedule: from January to March – from 11-00 to 17-00 (closed on Monday), from April to December – from 10-00 to 18-00 (without days off);
  • ticket price: adult – 7 €, for privileged categories – 3.5 €, children from 6 to 18 years old – 2.5 €, for children under 6 years old admission is free;
  • guide services – 4 €;
  • Website: http://museum-holstentor.de/.
City Hall
City Hall

The building is notable for several facts:

  • considered one of the most beautiful in the city;
  • The design combines several architectural styles;
  • The oldest functioning Town Hall in Germany.

The attraction is located on the Market Square, near the Church of St. Mary.

The town hall was built in the 13th century, during its existence the building was rebuilt several times, as a result, different styles were mixed in architecture – Gothic, Renaissance and even modern.

At the beginning of the 14th century, the construction of the Town Hall in the Romanesque style was completed on the square, in the first half of the 15th century a wing in the Gothic style was attached to it, and in the 16th century the building was supplemented by an extension in the Renaissance style.

Good to know! Inside the Town Hall, wall murals have been preserved that tell about the life of the city.

Practical information:

  • You can visit the attraction only as part of the tour;
  • schedule of excursions: from Monday to Friday – 11-00, 12-00, 15-00, Saturday – 12-30;
  • guided tour – 4 €, for Lubeck card holders – 2 €.

European Hansa Museum
European Hansa Museum

The museum is located next to the Burgtor tower, which remained from the defenses. For construction, glazed brick was used. This attraction has survived to this day unchanged.

The exposition of the Hansa Museum tells about the history of the union of the Baltic and North European cities. The union lasted until 1669. Through interactive multimedia devices, museum guests travel to the past, in the years when salt was valued more than money. Here you can see the Hanseatic ships, clothing merchants.

Interesting fact! The history of many cities has had a huge impact on the Hansa. For Nizhny Novgorod, 1231 was a lean year and thanks to the help of the Hansa, the inhabitants were saved from hunger.

The central part of the exhibition is Lübeck, as the main city of the Hanseatic League. Also among the exhibits is a rich archaeological collection.

  • Address: An Der Untertrave 1-2.
  • Schedule: every day from 10-00 to 18-00.
  • Ticket price: adult – 13 €, preferential – 10 €, children – 7.50 €, family – 19-00 €.
  • Website: http://hansemuseum.eu/>>hansemuseum.eu.
Church of St. Mary
Church of St. Mary

The main temple of Lübeck is the tallest Gothic temple in the world. Located on the Market Square, next to the Town Hall. Construction has been ongoing since 1251 and has been ongoing for over a hundred years. The church was built to demonstrate the strength and power of the port city, as well as the Hanseatic League, which included more than two hundred cities. The height of the central nave is 38.5 m, the height of the bell tower is 125 m.

Interesting fact! As a result of the bombing in 1942, a fire occurred in the temple, the fire exposed a layer of older murals under a layer of plaster.

The destruction led to the collapse of the bells, which are still kept in the temple. The new bell of the church was presented by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer on the occasion of the seventieth anniversary. Restorers restored the former appearance of the church from photographs. Over the years, the building was supplemented with new structures, today the complex consists of ten chapels.

Practical information:

  • entrance fee – 2 €;
  • work schedule – from 10-00 to 16-00;
  • Website: https://st-marien-luebeck.de.
Temple of St. Peter
Temple of St. Peter

The five-nave church was built on the site of the church, which stood here from the 12th century, is decorated in the style of brick Gothic, typical of Northern Germany. In the war years, the attraction was severely damaged, restored only by 1987. Today the temple is inactive, services are not performed here, but the authorities use the premises to organize cultural events – exhibitions, fairs, concerts.

An observation deck at an altitude of 50 m is organized at the bell tower. You can go up here by elevator.

Practical information:

  • the cost of visiting the observation deck – 4 €;
  • credit cards are only accepted when purchasing tickets worth more than 10 €.

Where to stay

Administratively, the city is divided into 10 quarters, from a tourist point of view, only a few are interesting:

Travemünde District
Travemünde District
  • Innenstadt – the tourist area is the smallest and oldest in the city, most of the hotels are concentrated here;
  • St. Lorenz-Nord, as well as St. Lorenz-Sud – the districts are separated from the historic Lübeck by rail, industrial enterprises are concentrated here, and there are practically no park areas, you can choose a hotel room or inexpensive apartments near the station as housing;
  • Travemunde is not just the Lübeck district, but a separate small town with access to the sea, there is a large selection of shops, restaurants, you can take a boat trip.

Good to know! If you are more attracted to a seaside resort, feel free to choose the Travemünde area. There are not so many hotels here, but finding apartments is not difficult. Accommodation must be booked in advance. Two settlements are connected by rail, the road takes 30 minutes, and can also be reached by car.

Cost of living:

  • Hostel room – 25 €;
  • a room in a 2-star hotel – 60 €;
  • a room in a three-star hotel – 70 €;
  • a room in a 4-star hotel – 100 €;
  • room in a 5-star hotel – 140 €.

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Food in Lubeck

Cafe in Lubeck

Of course, most of the establishments where you can eat and eat tightly are concentrated in the center of Lübeck. There is no shortage in the choice of cuisine – there are an abundance of institutions with local cuisine, as well as restaurants with French, Italian, Mexican and Asian menus.

Good to know! Lubeck is famous for its high concentration of pubs and small cafes where you can try local beer or wine.

Prices in cafes and restaurants:

  • check for one person in an inexpensive cafe – from 9 € to 13 €;
  • check for two people in a restaurant – from 35 € to 45 € (three-course lunch);
  • lunch in a fast food restaurant – from 7 € to 9 €.

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How to get to Lubeck

Most tourists get to the city by train, ferry or car. The nearest airport is 66 km from Lübeck in Hamburg. There are several ways to get from the airport to the city:

Train, Lubeck
  • S-Bahn train (stop at the airport) to Hamburg, then by train to Lübeck, the journey takes 1 hour 25 minutes, the fare will cost 15 €;
  • by city bus to the train station in Hamburg, then by train to Lübeck, bus fare – 1.60 €.

In Germany, an extensive railway network, you can take a train to Lubeck from any city in the country. Detailed information on train timetables and ticket prices on the official website of the railways www.bahn.de.

From some large German cities, Lübeck can be reached by bus (Flixbus carrier). The fare is from 11 € to 39 €. Buses arrive at the train station in Lübeck.

Helsinki Lubeck ferry with car

20 km from the city is located Travemunde – a resort that has the status of a suburb of Lubeck. Ferries from Helsinki and St. Petersburg (freight only) arrive here.

From Helsinki, ferry services are organized by Finnlines. The fare will cost from 400 € to 600 €. The ticket price depends on several factors:

Helsinki Ferry
  • how early the ferry ticket is booked;
  • ferry crossing is planned with or without a car.

The journey takes 29 hours. Ferries depart from Helsinki seven times a week. Detailed information on the Helsinki-Lübeck ferry, timetable and ticket prices can be found at www.finnlines.com.

Until 2019, the St. Petersburg-Lubeck ferry operated, with a car this way of transportation was convenient and not troublesome. However, since February of this year, passenger ferry services have been discontinued, only freight remains. Thus, the only way to get from St. Petersburg to Lubeck is by car or ferry to Helsinki, and then by Helsinki-Lubeck ferry.

We have collected important information about Luebeck (Germany), which a tourist will need to travel. Of course, this small town deserves attention, the best way to feel the color and atmosphere of Lübeck is to walk around the historic center and visit ancient sights.

Video: ferry trip to Europe, stop in Lübeck and useful information about the city.



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