Lübeck, the German city of seven towers
Taking advantage of a trip to Hamburg to travel to other beautiful cities in Germany allows you to enjoy combined trips that enrich your getaway. Lübeck is one of the cities that we consider to be a good place to visit from Hamburg. This beautiful city is considered the Queen City of the Hanseatic League and was founded on the Baltic coast in 1143 as the first medieval city. We do not usually associate destinations linked to international trade as glamorous places, but Lübeck will surprise you because it is shrouded in a wonderful halo of monuments. At this destination, photography lovers will find thousands of spots to immortalise, beautiful salt warehouses on the banks of the river Trave, dozens of red brick buildings, the town hall, etc. And if you like adding a cultural touch to your schedule, make time during the day to visit the Thomas Mann Museum (or Buddenbrookhaus) where you can learn about the life of both the writer and his brother.
If you are travelling by public transport, you can travel by train from Hamburg to Lübeck in just 45 minutes. It is easy and there are frequent trains. If you are travelling through Germany by car, it is also easy, because the distance is about 68 kilometres if you follow the A1 road.
- Lübeck Old Town
- Sea port
- Travemünde, Lübeck’s beach
- Where to eat in Lübeck
- Where to stay near Lübeck
One of the most beautiful sights in Lübeck is its old town, surrounded by waterways and with the seven beautiful towers of its five churches pointing skywards. The range of colours of the houses also does its bit to make it look even more idyllic. A stroll through the historic centre of this city will immediately make you realise why it was declared a World Heritage Site: the buildings reflect the personality of the Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and Classicist styles. Each house is an architectural jewel which, together with the temples and fortresses, make this a place second to none.
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In Hamburg’s old town, you should pay special attention to the beautiful Marienkirche or St. Mary’s Church, the ensemble around the town hall – with the castle monastery, the Koberg and the neighbourhood between the Cathedral and St. Peter’s Church – and the Holstentor, which we will tell you about next.
This is perhaps Lübeck’s main sightseeing attraction and one of the most important in Germany. It is usually placed at the same level as the Brandenburg Gate or the Church of Our Lady of Munich. This interesting gate was built between 1464 and 1478 on the model of some Dutch constructions. The city’s inhabitants are proud of its aesthetics but even more of what it symbolises, as it shows Lübeck as a free city. Inside the gate is the Holstentor Museum, which tells the story of the city’s history. Above the arch of the gate is a gilded inscription that reads “Concordia domi foris pax” (harmony within, peace without). One of the aspects that often goes unnoticed is the uneven height of the towers, which was caused by the collapse of one of them due to the fact that they are built on marshy ground. Fortunately, this damaging movement was stopped around 1933 or 1934.
The city’s port is one of the must-visits in Lübeck, as this is a destination where water plays a major role. You only have to look at the map to see how the historic centre is practically surrounded by the water of a canal and the rivers Trave and Wakenitz. It is advisable to go slowly and observe the contrast between the large commercial ships that represent its present and future and the historic beauty of its old town, reminiscent of the past. Stroll along the quays and look at the beautiful sailing boats (some are historic).
To get to know the surroundings, there is also the possibility of sailing in and around the port or even extending the trip to the village of Travemünde.
Travemünde, Lübeck’s beach
One of the smaller outings from Lübeck is to the small town of Travemünde. Located at the mouth of the river Trave, some 13 kilometres from the former, it has a very wide beach, Kurstrand, which is ideal for sunbathing and a dip in the sea. You will love the typical striped canvas beach huts on the sand.
This village can be reached by boat from the port of Lübeck, so keep this in mind if you feel like a dip in the sea. Travemünde is not only a beach but also has other attractions such as a lighthouse from the 13th century, possibly the oldest on the German coast, the interesting church of St. Lorenz and the ship Passat from 1911.
Where to eat in Lübeck
If you plan to spend the whole day in Lübeck, you will need a restaurant where you can enjoy the delicacies of this land. In this town, you will find a good number of establishments that are very good and with prices to suit all budgets. Our first recommendation is the Schiffergesellschaft restaurant, which provides honest cuisine with seasonal products and well-presented dishes. It is a good place to try traditional recipes, typical of a fishing village, but also more modern ones. Brauberger zu Lübeck is another place we think is ideal, where it is a pleasure to order any of their dishes with good craft beer in a relaxed atmosphere. Another option is the Kartoffelspeicher, a pleasant place with a terrace and very tasty dishes such as jacket potatoes, which can be made into a main course. Moreover, the price is quite reasonable.
Where to stay near Lübeck
We recommend returning to Hamburg and staying overnight, as the city’s nightlife is spectacular and it would be a shame to miss it. A good hotel to stay at is the Barceló Hamburg, a four-star hotel with modern décor and exquisite customer service. The hotel has 193 B-rooms which are very comfortable and help you to recover from the hustle and bustle of the day’s sightseeing. Within the hotel you will also find the “1700 restaurant” and a complete wine bar. And if you like taking care of yourself when travelling, do not forget to bring clothes to work out in the gym or enjoy the spa.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Lübeck?
The city of Lübeck is located in northern Germany, in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein. An interesting fact is that the 67-kilometre-long Elbe-Lübeck canal connects the Baltic Sea with the river Elbe from this destination.
How do I get to Lübeck from Hamburg?
Lübeck can be reached quickly and easily from Hamburg. If you travel by public transport, you can go by train and the journey only takes about 45 minutes. If you prefer to drive your own car, you will have to drive about 68 kilometres on the A1 road.
Where can I eat in Lübeck?
In Lübeck there are good restaurants where you can try the local food and enjoy the town's atmosphere. Take note of these three fine establishments serving traditional dishes: Schiffergesellschaft restaurant, Brauberger zu Lübeck and Kartoffelspeicher. Remember to order marzipan for dessert, the best in Germany.