Tourist’s guide to Rugen island in Germany – the pearl of the Baltic Sea

Rugen Island is the largest island located in the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (northern part of the country). Being famous for its beautiful scenery, comfortable climate and clean beaches, it is one of the most popular resorts in Germany.

Rugen Island

General information

Rügen is one of the largest and most populated islands in Germany, with about 80 thousand inhabitants. Once it served as the home of the German tribe of rugs, in whose honor, in fact, this area was named. Then came the warlike West Slavic rudders, who made the island of Rugen a bastion of their culture. In subsequent years, it belonged either to the Swedes, then to the Danes, or to the French, until, finally, it became part of a united Germany.

The entire territory of the island is divided into 4 districts, which include 45 towns and cities. Of these, the largest are Harz, Bergen am Rügen, Putbus and Sassnitz. The main features of Rugen are long sandy beaches, elegant houses and a chalk plateau, subject to constant erosion.

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Chalk mountains

On the island there are a number of attractions, including 2 National Parks – Jasmund, opened on the site of the Cretaceous quarry, and the Front Pomeranian lagoons, which ranks third in the country. The Prorsky Colossus on the island of Rügen, a former seaside resort, which in 1937 won 2nd place at the World Exhibition in Paris, deserves no less attention. Initially, the total length of the sanatorium reached 4.5 km, but during the war and the subsequent decline, most of the buildings were destroyed. Restoring Prorah only recently. Now the resort has several hotels, restaurants, cafes and shops.

Interesting fact! Ancient flooded buildings discovered during recent studies indicate that in former times the island occupied a slightly larger territory.

Geography, nature and climate

Rugen in Germany is a whole archipelago consisting of 18 separate islands. The width of the southern coast, stretching along all of Western Pomerania, is 41 km. The length from north to south is 53 km. Area – 926 km2.

Pebble beach

Despite its northern location, Rügen is one of the sunniest regions of the country. The climate here is quite mild, but very changeable. In one day you can get into the fog, enjoy the hot sun and get wet in the rain. The average annual temperature is + 8 ° C. The warmest month is August (average temperature is about + 20 ° C), the coolest is January (+ 2 ° C). The air is characterized by high humidity, which holds all year round.

Thanks to the warm currents washing the coast from all sides, you can swim here throughout the summer period. The average water temperature in August reaches + 18 ° C, although on warm days the water off the coast can be warmer.

Interesting fact! Many researchers believe that it was Rugen Island that was described in “The Tale of Tsar Saltan,” written by A.S. Pushkin. True, there he is referred to as Buyan.

Why come to the island?

To come to the island of Rugen in Germany is not only for the sake of a beach holiday and sightseeing – there are many other attractions here. So, fans of active sports can go windsurfing, play tennis or golf, ride horses in the vicinity of Rügen or go sailing along a special coastline, which is 600 km long. Those who prefer to walk or ride a bicycle will surely enjoy the various trails laid along the most picturesque corners of the island.

Castle on the island

The cultural life of Rugen deserves no less attention. So, in the city of Putbus there are several museums, theaters, art galleries, cinemas, greenhouses and other cultural and entertainment facilities. In addition, festivals, fairs and festivities are regularly held on the island, as well as excursions to medieval castles, ancient mounds and authentic villages. Other popular attractions include a ride on the old Rasender Roland steam locomotive, which runs through all the resorts on the southeast coast.

Interesting fact! At one time, many famous personalities, including Einstein and Hitler, managed to visit Rugen Island.

Attractions and entertainment

The sights of the island of Rugen in Germany are represented by both natural and architectural objects that attract tourists from all over the world. Let’s consider only the main ones.

White cliffs
White cliffs

Snow-white cliffs located in the Jasmund National Park and stretching for 15 km can be safely called the hallmark of this region. Surrounded by turquoise waters and dense green forests, they create a stunning panorama and are present on all tourist photos of the island of Rugen. And in most cases we are talking about the famous Royal Throne, which rises above the sea surface by as much as 120 m. The observation platform, located on its top, was equipped about three centuries ago – it offers a beautiful view of the chalk cliffs. Just below the site you can see the corridor tomb, built in the Bronze Age, and at the foot – a multimedia tourist center that tells about the park in several languages.

The appearance of this important natural attraction is associated with the extraction of chalk, which the locals have been doing for many centuries. However, it was this industry that almost destroyed unique landscapes, so at the beginning of the 19th century it was completely closed, and the Kreidefelsen territory was proclaimed first as a reserve, and then as a National Park.

Interesting fact! The white cliffs of the island of Rügen are painted in the painting of the same name by K. Friedrich, a famous German artist.

Where is: Sassnitz, about. Rugen, Germany.

Border Hunting Castle
Border Hunting Castle

Borders hunting castle, considered one of the most important architectural attractions of the island, is located on the Temple Mount, the highest hill of Rügen. The Renaissance building, built in the middle of the 19th century, is visited annually by 500 thousand tourists. And few of them refuse to climb the main tower, decorated with a bronze white-tailed eagle and surrounded by 4 corner spiers.

In the days of the GDR, it was an observation post from which border guards controlled the movement of yachts and fishing boats. In this way, local authorities tried to stop the attempts of German athletes to flee abroad. Now in the central tower of the Jagdschloss Granitz is an observation deck, which leads to an openwork spiral staircase, resembling a serpentine ribbon. Curiously, it has no supporting structure – all 154 steps of the stairs grow directly from the castle walls, like flower petals. They say that the best view of the surroundings of Rügen opens from here, and in good weather you can easily see the neighboring Usedom.

Address of interest: Pf 1101, 18609 Ostseebad Binz, about. Rugen, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Germany.

Opening hours depend on the season:

  • January-March and November-December: from 10:00 to 16:00 (Tue – Sun);
  • April and October: from 10:00 to 17:00 (daily);
  • May-September: from 10:00 to 18:00 (daily).
Binz Beach
Binz Beach

An equally important attraction of the island of Rugen is the central beach of Binz, located in the bay of Prorer Wiek and stretching for almost 5.5 km. Wide, fine sand, clean, with weak surf, every year he receives the international Blue Flag award, founded by the International Beach Association.

Binzer Strand offers everything for a comfortable stay – on its territory there is a spa house, several mini-hotels, a camping site, a sailing school, rental points for bananas, water skis and surfboards. The beach is equipped with umbrellas, sunbeds and changing cabins, and a team of professional lifeguards is responsible for the safety of vacationers. And here every summer they organize various active events, concerts and even wedding ceremonies. Most of the latter takes place in the premises of the former rescue tower, built in 1981 and resembling an unidentified flying object.

Location: Strand, 18609 Ostseebad Binz, Fr. Rugen, Germany.

Seebruecke Pier
Seebruecke Pier

Seebrucke Binz pier, extending to the sea at 600 m, is located in the same resort town as the best beaches of the island. One of the most beautiful sights of Rugen was built in 1902 and over the long time of its existence managed to suffer several serious losses. At first, a significant part of the marina was destroyed by a powerful storm that hit the island shortly after its construction, and then – by air shelling conducted during the Second World War. Seebruecke got its present look today. After the reconstruction, its length was almost halved – now it is only 370 m.

Binz Pier is a favorite vacation spot for tourists and locals. This is facilitated not only by the beautiful panorama that opens from this place, but also by the annual sand sculpture festivals that bring together artists from all over the world. And so that the audience and participants do not have to observe the same sculptures from year to year, the organizers of the festival each time come up with a new theme for creativity.

Location: Ostseebad Binz, about. Rugen

Jasmund Königsstool National Park
Jasmund Königsstool National Park

The Jasmund Königsstool Nature Reserve, located on the island of the same name, is on the list of the most picturesque places of Rügen. Laid in 1990 on a relatively small area (about 3 thousand hectares), he managed to include a lot of beautiful objects. In addition to white cliffs covered with dense vegetation, and Mount Pickberg, which is the highest point of the island, here you can see centuries-old beech forests, swampy meadows and pristine lakes.

The entire Nationalpark Jasmund Konigsstuhl is lined with hiking and cycling paths that offer daily excursions. During such walks, you can enjoy beautiful landscapes, ride on the narrow gauge railway and watch the life of local residents. And there is something to see here, because the flora and fauna of the complex includes many birds, animals, plants and butterflies, which are on the verge of extinction.

In 2011, the Jasmund Königsstool National Park, one of the best sights of the Rügen island in the Baltic Sea, was included in the UNESCO heritage list. Nowadays this is a protected area, which can be accessed only as part of an excursion group.

Interesting fact! Jasmund Konigsstuhl is called Germany’s smallest national park.

View of Jasmund Königsstool National Park

Where is: Sassnitz, about. Rugen, Germany.

Opening hours:

  • Easter – 31.10: from 09:00 to 19:00;
  • 01.11 – Easter: from 10:00 to 17:00;
  • 12.24 – day off.

Cost of visit:

  • Adult – 9.50 €;
  • Children (6 – 14 years old) – 4,50 €;
  • Family (2 adults and children up to 14 years old) – 20 €;
  • Annual family card – 35 €;
  • Annual individual card – 20 €;
  • Children under 5 years old – free of charge.
Karls Theme Park
Strawberry jam

Karls Theme Park is a large entertainment complex imitating a traditional German village. Being one of the best places for families with children, the park offers entertainment for every taste. There are all kinds of slides, swings, labyrinths and carousels, restaurants, cafes, shops and playgrounds. In addition, visitors to the park will be able to shoot at the shooting range and ride a real tractor.

The symbol of the village is strawberries, which are present both in the design of thematic zones and in the menu of establishments. In addition, there is a modern factory on the territory of the farm, in the demonstration workshops of which you can see how to make strawberry jam, make strawberry soap, prepare strawberry and cream sweets, bake bread and rolls.

Karls Theme Park

Address: Binzer Str. 32, 18528, about. Rugen, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Germany.

Opening hours:

  • September – June: from 08:00 to 19:00 (Sun – Sat);
  • July – August: from 08:00 to 20:00 (Sun – Sat).

Free admission. The cost of attractions starts at 3 €, but among them there are many free offers. If you intend to visit all themed areas and ride all the attractions, buy an annual ticket, the cost of which is 33 €.

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How to get there

You can get to the island of Rugen in Germany in a variety of ways.

From hamburg
AirBerlin Airlines

Russian tourists can take advantage of direct AirBerlin flights via Hamburg. The flight takes about 3.5 hours. From the same German city, high-speed IC trains run to Binz. The road takes 4 hours. Ticket price – 44 €.

You can also get to Rügen from Stralsund, a large coastal city located on the same federal territory as the island itself. From there, electric trains run to the resorts of Binz and Sassinets, which will take you to your destination in about 60 minutes and 9 €. This method remains relevant for Putbus, but in this case you will have to make a transfer in Bergen to the regional RegioExpress train.

From other cities of Germany

As for the other cities of Rügen, you can get there only on Frantic Roland, an old train, released back in the mid-19th century. In addition, 2 automobile bridges lead to the island from mainland Germany at once: the old – Rügendamm and the new – Rügenbrueck, adjacent to Karl Marx Street in Stralsund.

Frantic Roland
Train Frantic Roland

It should also be noted that most ships owned by German and international carriers stop at Rügen. Thus, the shipping company Weisse Flotte organizes a ferry from Stralsund to Altefer, located in the south-west of the island. The road takes 15 minutes. Ticket price – 1.30 €. Ferries run only in the daytime with an interval of 1 hour.

From the Swedish town of Trelleborg to the port of Sassnitz-Mukran, which is 7 km from the resort of the same name, ships of the carrier Stenaline go. The company operates 50 flights a day during the high season and 5 flights the rest of the time.

  • Ticket for adults – 16 €, for children – 7 €, transportation of cars – 100 €.
  • 4 hours on the road.

The same company sends ferries from Sassnitz to Rönn from April to November.

  • The road will take at least 4 hours.
  • Ticket price: adult – 21 €, children – 10 €. Car transportation – 115 €.

Useful Tips

When deciding to visit Rugen Island in Germany, listen to these helpful tips:

    Beach and chalk cliffs
  1. Walking along the chalk cliffs, be extremely careful – due to constant erosion, quite serious collapses often occur here.
  2. There are several large spa hotels on the island offering really good service. If you travel by your own or rented transport, use the camping site.
  3. The best period to visit this place is April-October;
  4. The largest influx of tourists falls in July, August and December (Catholic Christmas).
  5. Maps of tourist routes are sold at information centers. You can find them in any city on the island.
  6. Beach lovers should opt for shallow bodden bays. The summer water temperature in them is much higher than on the rest of the coast of the island, so here you can safely bathe young children.

Resorts in Rugen Island:

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