- Flight time from London: 1 hour 30 min
- Hamburg Airport: 66km from the city centre; transfer time about 1 hour 20 min
- Nearest railway station: Lübeck Hauptbahnhof
- Currency: Euro
Lübeck in Germany has an unparalleled architectural style. Its maze of red brick buildings in gothic style has made it one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites and therefore a truly unique city in Germany. Bordering the Baltic sea and at the Trave River, it served as one of the major ports in the country and one of the primary trading centres in Northern Europe up until the 16th century. Today, it is still important to sea trade and commerce. The city is full of fascinating sights and attractions enough to occupy even the most demanding tourist.
In 1987, Lübeck was the first Old Town in Germany to be officially designated a Cultural Heritage Site. The medieval atmosphere and historically important cultural sights shape the face of the city and testify to Lübeck's great past as a Hanseatic City. Surrounded by water, the historic Old Town is a significant symbol of brick stone architecture from the Gothic period.
Despite the damage it suffered during the Second World War, the basic structure of the old city remained unaltered. The seven church spires have dominated the city skyline ever since the Middle Ages. The Holsten Gate is known throughout the world and is now the symbol of the city. The most important buildings are listed as World Heritage Sites, such as the Town Hall, the 'Burgkloster' convent, the Koberg district, a completely preserved quarter of the late 13th century and the old salt warehouses on the left side of the River Trave.
Lübeck's most visited and famous attraction is what first greets you as you enter the city. The Holsten Gate was erected in 1464-78 and was constructed to ostentatiously show the power and prestige of the city. The towers themselves are covered with ornate decoration, windows and arcades, making them beautiful and powerful. The Gate is home to the Holstentor Museum which displays the local history of Lübeck.
Lübeck is host to many museums that are perfect for those wishing to enrich their understanding of the city. The St Annen Museum is located in the Gothic St Annen Monastery and is one of the most beautiful museums in Germany. It exhibits medieval religious artwork and the rooms and gardens are exquisite.
The Buddenbrook House is a tribute to Thomas Mann and his brother, The Museum for Nature and Environment contains interesting animal skeletons, and the Burgtor Monastery exhibits Lübeck's coin treasury, art and archaeological pieces.
Lübeck has extremely diverse dining opportunities. From international cuisine and local specialities to street vendors and cafes, there is something here for every taste and palate. The most famous restaurant is, without doubt, the award-winning Schiffergesellschaft. It is an atmospheric tavern with wooden tables and large ship models hanging from the ceiling, the perfect setting for the fish-focused menu, although the meat dishes are also excellent.
For those wishing to try Lübeck's specialities, Café Niederegger is highly recommended for its marzipan. Lübeck is also known for its local wine and beer and there are several pubs and wine bars where these can be sampled. For example, the wine cellar under the Heiligen-Geist-Hospital.
For a more international cuisine, there are many options available. Sushi can be eaten at the Seoul, while Ali Baba serves many Turkish specialities. Ristorante Padre Pio is slightly more difficult to find but offers exquisite and creative Italian dishes.
Lübeck's streets are lined with street vendors where cheap and fast food can be purchased, they sell the traditional German sausages and are popular with tourists and locals.
Shopping in Lübeck, set on the backdrop of gothic buildings, is a truly enjoyable experience. No more so is this prevalent than on Königstrasse, said to host Lübeck's finest classical houses. It also has a mixture of international fashion brands as well as smaller shops. Nearby Breite Strasse also has a delightful range of shops.
Particularly popular shopping districts are the streets of Fleischhauerstrasse and Hüxstrasse which specialise in local crafts, German wine and are host to numerous delicatessens.
Lübeck is renowned for its marzipan and this makes the perfect souvenir to help you remember a visit to the city. There are over 300 specialities to choose from, including special biscuits, pralines and nougat.
During the Christmas season, the city transforms with the Lübeck Christmas market taking place on the historic Heiligen-Geist-Hospital, whose festive atmosphere attracts locals and tourists alike.
Nightlife in Lübeck in focussed in the city centre and all in close proximity, making going out an easy and enjoyable experience. Body & Soul is perhaps the most traditional club in Lübeck and is situated on the Elbe-Lübeck canal; it plays a variety of music, depending on the day of the week and at weekend mainly Rock and Pop. Hüx is small but has a regular clientele and plays Rock, Soul and Funk. The more stylish crowd flock to The Red Zone which plays mainly house, while tourists tend to gravitate towards Travemünde's Nautic.
As well as clubs and discotheques, Lübeck also offers a more cultural experience for those preferring elegant entertainment. The City Theatre has a variety of performances not limited only to acting. Opera, operettas and musicals are also on the programme. Concerts are hosted in the Music and Congress Hall and the open-air stage in Wallanlagen holds concerts and operettas in the summer months. For a more informal music scene, the Dr Jazz Club Lubeck is a vibrant and buzzing alternative.
© Fred. Olsen Travel.
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