10 best places to go in Germany, Schleswig-Holstein

Top 10 things to do in Schleswig-Holstein

A guide to the 10 best places to go in Schleswig-Holstein

Destination Northern Germany. There are a few things you need to know: You will need a car! You will need an umbrella! You will need a windbreaker jacket! AND you will need a big smile on your face to get through to the heart of the northern germans. Schleswig-Holstein is an incredibly beautiful part of the world with a lot of really cool history and amazing beaches. YES beaches! Most people think of Lederhosen, Oktoberfest, Berlin or Soccer when they think of Germany, but guys I tell you the north is completely different. The northern germans might seem a little distanced and cold when you first meet them, but once you’ve build a friendship to someone, they will be your friend forever. I was fortunate enough to grow up in this beautiful part of the world and I am one of these kinda reserved sceptical northern germans. With this blog post I want to share my top 10 best places to go to in northern Germany, things that you probably didn’t think of when you thought of Germany.

Sankt Peter Ording

The kitesurfing and windsurfing mecca of northern Germany. It is also known as  a seaside spa in the district of Nordfriesland, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. If you are an adventurous person definitely get a kitesurf or windsurf lesson. If that’s not your thing and you don’t like to get wet, hire a kite buggy and fly over the beach and cruise through the sand dunes. The kitebuggy school St.Peter-Ording offers crash courses to get your skills up. Both of these things will be an unforgettable experience. After an adventurous day on the beach find yourself a sauna and relax. Sankt Peter Ording has heaps of different spas and saunas to choose from. The most popular one is Zweite Heimat Sankt Peter Ording.

St. Peter Ording during Kitesurf World Cup 2015

Friedrichstadt

Also called little Amsterdam of northern Germany. This cute little town impresses with its canals across the inner part of the town and beautiful old buildings from the 15th century. Back then this part of Germany actually belonged to Denmark which is why you can find quite a few historical things in danish. To make the most of your visit you should hire a boat and cruise around the canals. You can also get a paddle boat or canoe if you want to be a little bit more active. I wouldn’t recommend to jump on one of the tour boats as their english is pretty limited. You are better of to read about the history yourself.

Helgoland

Germany's only deep-sea island. This small island has a quite interesting history actually. First it was in possession of the danish empire, then the british empire took it. The germans got it of the Brits in exchange of the colonial island Zanzibar in 1890. Apart from that the island itself is breathtaking with its fire red cliff coast and the amazing wildlife it has to offer. You can walk up close to little baby seals and watch very rare species of birds breeding and feeding on the coastal cliffs. The trip from ‘Büsum to Heligoland takes about 2,5 hours and 2,5 hours back and you only get 3,5 hours on the island. In my opinion it is worth it to pay a little extra and fly over or take the express ferry to spend more time on the island.

Gray seal on Heligoland

Hedeby

Regarded by my fiance one of the coolest spots here in the north (think Lagertha and Carf in Season 2 of Vikings). Hedeby is a former medieval city and was an important viking trading settlement near the southern end of the Jutland. The former village belongs to the World Cultural Heritage and in 1985 the popular viking museum Haithabu opened its doors. Within the museum you can discover how the vikings used to live, what jewelley they used to wear and what weapons they used to fight with. This place is especially great to check out with children as they offer courses like felting and archery which kids seem to enjoy a lot and sometimes the dads even more so…

Amrum

another but very different island compared to Helgoland. This island is known for having the widest beaches in all of germany. This makes the beach perfect for kite buggying or relaxing on the back of a horse whilst enjoying the scenery. As this island is also situated in the north sea you will have a lot of windy days and if you are into kitesurfing or windsurfing you definitely should check out this spot. The most constant wind you will get during spring and autumn. Whilst being on Amrum another top thing to do is hiking the mudflats. The so called wadden sea or in german Wattenmeer only exists in the north sea and stretches from the coastal part of Holland up to the north of germany. It is strongly recommended to hike the mudflats only with a guide, as tourists often underestimate the tides of the northern sea.

Famous Strandkorb on Amrum

Plön

Perfect town for a relaxing paddle on Schleswig-Holsteins biggest lake. The Great Plön Lake (großer Plöner See)  as well as several smaller lakes, touching the town on virtually all sides. It is also great to hire a stand-up paddle board and SUP around. But remember to bring mosquito spray as in summer it can get quite annoying with all these little bloodsuckers around.

Freilichtmuseum Molfsee

A very different kind of museum. This museum is situated in Molfsee and is an outdoor museum. It is a rebuilt of northern german houses reaching back to the 16th century. You should plan a whole day to go there as you are literally walking around a little village. It is a great way to get a feel for how it must have felt living in the 16th - 17th century as you immerse yourself amongst it all day. They rebuild old pharmacies and show you how they prepared medicine back in the day and they rebuild an old little fair for the kids.


Lübeck

A very romantic city with cute little coopler stone streets and an amazing old town. Lübecks history reaches back to the medieval century which is represented with old buildings all across the old town. Apart from soaking in all the history by wandering through the streets, go and check out the Lübecker Marzipan museum Niederegger. It is the mecca for marzipan lovers and even if you’re not buying, the shop’s elaborate seasonal displays are a feast for the eyes.


Lübecks beautiful architecture

Flensburg

A lively university town with great nightlife options. If you’ve just arrived in Germany you may have not heard about Flensburg yet, in that case look it up and make your way there. Flensburg is very famous for its delicious beer Flensburger. If you haven’t had the chance to drink it yet, go to the next kiosk (convenience store) and buy a Flensburger beer. It is a typical tart northern german beer with only 3 ingredients and brewed after the “deutsche Reinheitsgebot”: hope, malt and barley. The Flensburger brewery also offers tours which is great for the guys and girls.

Laboe

As we are both kitesurfers, our instinct pulls us towards water naturally. Laboe is another great spot on the baltic sea for kitesurfing with possibilities to surf 5 out of 7 days. A good spot to launch from and park your car is Surfers Paradise Laboe. If you are not into kitesurfing it is still worth checking out. Just wander around the beach and surrounding nature reserve, stop at the submarine boat from World War II and chill out in a famous Strandkorb. You will notice these things called Strandkorb all along the coast in northern Germany to protect you from the wind while you still want to go to the beach and soak up some sun.

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Sandbanks in the nature reserve Laboe