Everyone who have already read my blog posts about the North Germany travel, probably noticed, I am very impressed about this tourist destination. I think it has lot to do with the fact, I did not know much about it before traveling there. Luckily, and with the help of German National Tourist Board, I was finally able to explore the North-West Germany by myself as well.
My travel to Germany did last only for 5 days, but even though I managed to see more than even expected. If you are asking yourself, why I liked this part of Germany so much, let me tell you my TOP 11 reasons and things to do here.
My TOP 11 things to do or why I would recommend you to travel to North-West Germany:
1. Explore Hamburg – I have written a comprehensive blog post about Hamburg (read it here), but to make the story short, all I can say is, that Hamburg is an impressive city! My favorite things in Hamburg are the huge brick industrial buildings, which I can describe as one of the most recognizable sights in the city. But of course Hamburg is much more than this – you can find numerous things to do and places to visit, like parks, the Elba river, water canals, theaters, shops, museums, churches, red light district… No matter what your interests are, you will find your place in Hamburg for sure.
2. Stop in Bremerhaven – A bustling port city was as well described in separate blog post, which you can read here. Bremerhaven has so many things to do, that you just cannot leave it out from your North Germany travel. If you travel to Bremerhaven, you should definitely visit its harbor, Immigration Center, Klimahaus, German Shipping Museum, the Zoo Am Meer, Shop Window Fishery Harbor, first German shopping mall and observation deck at the top of the Atlantic Sail City Hotel. Bremerhaven is a city, which I will visit again for sure.
3. Attend a mud walk at the Wadden Sea – Your North Germany travel would not be perfect if you leave out the Wadden Sea. Take off your shoes and enjoy the mud walk, to get to know the nature here. Believe me, you will have a blast! More about the Wadden Sea here.
4. Rent a boat or do an organized boat tour in Friedrichstadt – Due to its many water canals, Friedrichstadt is truly a romantic city – after all it is known as the Venice of the North. Locals use water canals to enjoy boating on a nice and sunny days, so do the same. Walk around the charming streets and try to find the similarities with the Dutch architecture. If you like souvenirs, you will love the numerous local shops here as well.
5. Take a coffee and observe a sleepy holiday oriented town of Tonning – Tonning is perfect to walk around and see the influence of the neighborhood country, Holland. It has lots of weekend and holiday houses, where Germans come for their vacations. If you are traveling to Tonning with children, don’t forget to take them to the Multimar Wattforum, where they can enjoy the sea life in its many aquariums.
6. Buy some veggies at the local market in Husum – Get up early and walk to the center of Husum, where the main square is. Just in front of the Town hall, you will find a well stocked local market. Get to know the farmers, talk to them about daily life and buy a veggie or two. Don’t forget to visit the Husum castle, which once was a monastery. You can also visit the Shipping Museum and birth place of a well know German novelist Theodor Storm.
7. Enjoy the homemade pie at the Roter Haubarg homestead – When we were driving around the North-West Germany, we could notice some unique houses in the countryside. These houses are actually farmhouses from the 16th Century. The word Haubarg in German means a place where hay was stacked. All the Haubargs have tached roofs and once many of them could be found in this area. Nowadays, not many are left and only two of them are open for public; one as an apartment house and one as restaurant. To get a typical fill of these Haubarg houses, visit the Roter Haubarg near Witzwort and have a lunch or dinner there. They are most famous for its home breed pork, but don’t even forget on the delicious home-made pie. Yumm!
8. Have a shrimp-sandwich for a snack – When traveling around North-West Germany someone invites you to the »Krabenpullen« don’t ignore it and say YES! It can not get more local than this! Krabenpullen actually means you have a pile of cooked (1-2 minutes in boiling water) shrimps, which are cooled down. Get yourself a fresh white bread, pill the shrimps, cover them with mayonnaise and dig in. It is hard work to pill them all, but it is well worth it, as the shrimp-sandwich is delicious.
9. Try the herring – The raw, marinated fish herring is a well know specialty in Germany and also with all the other countries, where the North Sea is present. You can eat herring with salad, potato or you can boil it and marinate it again in vinegar. Some people like it, some don’t, but one thing is certain – you have to try it, before heading home.
10. Take a walk to the Westerhever lighthouse – I bet you have seen a white-blue lighthouse in a movie or seen it in a book. If you like them and think they are one of the most romantic things in the world, you will love this Westerhever lighthouse. It is actually the most famous lighthouse in Germany. When you see it, you will know why – absolutely charming!
11. Take your photo in the beach basket – The beach baskets were invented in 1882 and they are popular ever since then. No real travel to North Germany and the sea should be without a photo of you in it. They are still used on beaches and are perfect in providing comfort and protection from wind, rain and sun.
I must admit, I have never imagined, that this North-West part of Germany is so rich with things to see and do. I was exploring the area for 5 days only, so I am already thinking to drive there by my car, and explore the area more intensively. It is worth it, believe me!