6 minutes reading time Germany
The north of Germany is a beautiful part of the country that’s popular with German tourists but not as well-known by those from further away. Mecklenburg West Pomerania is a state in the north east of Germany that shares a border with Poland. It’s a remote area of the country, but Germany’s so-called “holiday state” has a huge range of visitor attractions throughout the year. One of the region’s highlights is the city of Stralsund.
Stralsund is a thriving city in north-east Germany. The city was founded in 1234 and has been an important port in the Baltic Sea throughout its history. The architecture is classic northern German and architecture from different time periods has been woven together seamlessly to create a friendly and inviting city.
Getting to Stralsund
The city has train connections to Hamburg and Berlin, both of which have big international airports. The trains aren’t usually too busy, but tickets can be expensive. Booking your train tickets in advance will help you avoid paying extortionate prices on the day.
Alternatively, you can drive to Stralsund and the city has a lot of accessible (and reasonably priced) parking.
Things to do in Stralsund
Stralsund is a port city and its harbour really is at its heart. It’s a bustling hub with a range of activities to suit all ages.
The Ozeaneum Museum
This modern aquarium is a fairly recent addition to the city. The Ozeaneum’s impressive, modern architecture stands out in contrast to the older brick buildings that line the city’s waterfront. It’s white, steel façade echoes the waves of the bay and invokes a feeling of tranquillity.
The Ozeaneum has a number of interesting displays, with an exclusive exhibition about the Baltic Sea. This exhibition is a great way to get to know the very water that the city lies on. Entry to the Ozeaneum is quite expensive (17 to 23€ per adult), but the exhibitions are fantastically curated and there’s enough there to fill the entire day.
The Gorch Fock I
This impressive ex-naval ship has been converted into a museum in the harbour. The Gorch Fock I was originally built as a navy training vessel. After almost 70 years of service, the ship was retired and returned to her home port of Stralsund in 2003. She’s since been restored and opened as a museum. The ship towers above the harbour and gives you an exclusive look into what she was like during her years in service. Entry is reasonably priced at 4€ per adult or 10€ for a family ticket and gives you first-hand access to this historic monument.
If you’re a true sea lover, then you can get your fill with a boat tour of the harbour and surrounding areas. There are a number of boat tour operators who offer different tour routes around the harbour.
The Weisse Flotte offers regular tours throughout the day. They have tours that leave Stralsund and take you to Altefähr, a town on the neighbouring island of Rügen. They also do tours around the harbour in Stralsund. These tours get you up close and personal with the impressive bridges that connect the city to Rügen. Definitely worth a trip if you want to see the city from a different angle.
Food and drink in Stralsund
Germany’s casual drinking culture means that there’s no pressure to order food at a café or bar. So, if you’re not hungry, you’re more than welcome to sit and relax with a drink in most places. Stralsund is no different and has a huge selection of places to eat, ranging from popular restaurant chains to chic indie coffee bars. There’s something for everyone, but a few of my favourites are:
Fischbrötchen in the harbour
As you walk along the harbour, you’ll see lots of boats moored which serve fresh Fischbrötchen. Fischbrötchen (literally small fish bread rolls) are a speciality in northern Germany. The fish is caught locally and there’s a huge selection of fish that you can have in your roll.
All of the boats in the harbour serve delicious, fresh Fischbrötchen, so take your pick. They’re best washed down with the local Störtebeker beer.
This modern and chic coffee bar is located in the city’s main square. It’s got a cosy interior and plenty of space to sit outside and enjoy views of the town hall. It transforms seamlessly from a cosy coffee bar during the day to a relaxed wine bar in the evening.
If you’re feeling peckish, it also offers a selection of freshly prepared snacks. This is one of my favourite cafe bars in the city as it’s in the perfect place for relaxing and people watching as you enjoy your drink.
Cafe Süd West
This cafe is also located near the town hall and serves simple, healthy food at a reasonable price. They source nearly all of their ingredients locally in Mecklenburg West Pomerania. The region has a huge amount of farmed land and it’s great that smaller cafes are embracing the amazing, local produce.
Cafe Süd West offers a range of breakfast dishes, so it’s perfect for a late breakfast or brunch during a busy day of tourist activities.
This restaurant is located on the sea front, next to the Ozeaneum Museum. It’s got a large outdoor seating area and spectacular views of the harbour. The restaurant has an excellent selection of meat and fish dishes but is limited when it comes to vegetarian options. It’s a great place to eat if you’re looking to try some of the local fish.
Stralsund is the perfect city destination; a harmonious blend of chic city living and casual coastal vibes. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy; whether you’re looking for some water-side activities or city-based tours. As you walk through the cobbled streets of the city, you’ll really get a feel for its vibrant history and lively atmosphere. Stralsund is thriving throughout the year, but I would really recommend visiting during the spring and summer months to really enjoy the city at its best in the warm, sunny weather.