Port towns of Germany- Travemunde and Luebeck

Port town Luebeck

While in Hamburg, a visit to the Port towns of Germany-  Travemunde, and Luebeck, was planned in one single day. Therefore, we started early in the morning. It took us about one and a half hour, by direct train from Hamburg.

Travemunde is Germany’s largest ferry port in the Baltic Sea which connects to Sweden, Finland, Russia, Latvia, and Estonia. It is best reached by train rather than by car.

The train station was small with a bit of antique look. From this station, straight ahead is the seashore. This is a pedestrian zone. Before going there, we entered in a typical German cafe around the corner for breakfast. It was about 9 o’clock in the morning and nothing much was happening around. People were coming intermittently for their morning bread but overall it was all lazy atmosphere. We also slowed down our pace and enjoyed the breakfast.

Travemunde and Luebeck
Godewind park, Travemunde

Instead of going straight towards the sea, we decided to head towards the north to wander around. There was a large, beautiful public garden. Again here, we could seldom see people, so what? we had all the garden just for ourselves. There was small pond or lake in the garden and various paths winding around in different directions.

From this garden, in a short while, we reached the North coast of the town, on the Baltic Sea. The sky was grey and weather was cold. We had no plans to go in the water.

Travemunde and Luebeck
Travemunde beach

The seashore has nicely developed promenade. The first thing we saw was a children’s play area. One more tourist family was there. They were very friendly and we had a small chit-chat till our kids played together.

There are lots of sitting options available on the beach as well as along the promenade. As the name suggests, this is a mouth of Trave River where it enters in the vast Baltic sea. At the distance, we could see island Priwall. One can take a ferry to reach there.

Right now the coast was quiet and empty but on the summer weekends and on special festivals, lots of tourists come here and make the place colorful and happening. ‘Traevemunde week’ and ‘Sand festival’ are popular festivals among tourists. This coastline is studded with loads of upscale and beautiful resorts. In the peak season, one must book in advance.

Travemunde and Luebeck
Along the Seashore, Travemunde

Other tourist attractions include old town, Seaside Resort museum, and lighthouse. After spending about 2-3 hours, we caught a train to Luebeck.  In general, Traevemunde has a sleepy character with relaxed, laid-back experience.

Travemunde and Luebeck
Holsten Gate, Luebeck

We reached to Luebeck in about half an hour. The old town of Luebeck was destroyed during WWII. Today, it is restored and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Historically, Luebeck was an important harbor city for the commerce in the Baltic Sea. There were many warehouses of large merchants along the port of the old city. Today, these are converted into museums, shops or restaurants.

The old town of Luebeck is small and compact. It can be explored on foot or on a bicycle. The old town is surrounded by the River Trave and its canals. The first structure welcomes us in this old town is its gate – Holsten Gate.This is the 4th most famous German building. The structure looks massive and somewhat inclined. This gate was sinking in the ground due to historic non-advance construction procedure and its huge weight. Now, it is restored and is made stable.

The Holsten gate itself has lots of information displayed all over outside and inside. The Holsten gate museum is also worth the visit. From here, we entered the old town of Luebeck.

We took the road in front and reached the town hall square. On the way, St. Peter’s Church was on the right-hand side.

Travemunde and Luebeck
Willy Brandt House, Luebeck

The town hall building is beautiful. It is surrounded by numerous cafes and restaurants. We walked through the city and visited St Mary’s church, St. Jacob’s church, Burgkloster, the second gate of the old town – Burgtor, Seafarer’s Guild and the Willy Brandt House (Former Chancellor of Germany). These are all ancient Gothic and renaissance style architectures, built in red bricks. Most of the sights are associated with historic wealthy merchants and their trades in North Germany.

 One of the Luebeck’s local cuisine is smoked fish. We enjoyed the same for our lunch. It was super tasty and fresh.

Apart from the merchants’ warehouses and multi-story houses, Luebeck is also famous for cute, little medieval houses. To spot them, one needs to step out the popular paths and enter in the small alleys. The post-lunch program was to visit these alleys.

Travemunde and Luebeck
Houses decorated by fragrant roses, Luebeck

These are tiny houses, decorated with the flowering plants. These are also called as ‘Dollhouses’. At the time of our visit, there were rose blossoms everywhere – in the windows, in the courtyards, roadsides. The air was filled with the rose fragrance. it was a wonderful walk through these lanes.

We strolled along the Trave river for some time. There are some souvenir shops and cafes along the canals and river. This was also a nice location for a leisurely walk.

Luebeck was an important port city in the historic time. All the important constructions were to show off the wealth and to attract more trade. During that time, there were around 180 breweries in the city.Marzipan was also discovered here. Among the numerous sights, I especially enjoyed the walk through small alleys.

Some tips

  • Travemunde and Luebeck, both the towns are small enough to explore on foot or on a bicycle.
  • Travemunde is costlier than Luebeck. It is a resort city.
  • Before visiting, check the local events’ calendar. Local festivals are worth attending.
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