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Best things to do in Lubeck

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Germany  /  Schleswig-Holstein  /  Lubeck

Top 15 things to do in Lubeck

1. Holstentor

Holstentor, a historical city gate, serves not only as an icon of Lübeck but also as a museum about the city's history. Originally built in the 15th century, it is one of the relics of Lübeck's medieval city fortifications. Spend time admiring the gate before entering the museum, and look for the Latin inscription, which translates to "Harmony within, peace without." Step inside to explore seven rooms that focus mainly on Lübeck's trade history. Squeamish visitors should skip the Holsten Gate exhibit, which contains medieval torture instruments.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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2. Lubeck Altstadt (Lubeck Oldtown)

Lubeck Altstadt (Lubeck Oldtown) represents one of the best-preserved maritime cities in Germany. Church steeples and a compact, medieval core dominate this UNESCO World Heritage site. You can explore the winding streets and old fortifications. At one point in the past, this was accessible only via imposing gates set within the walls. Admire the wide array of Gothic-style architecture and the mix of northern European fashions on display. The latter is a product of the city's 600-year position as the capital of the Hanseatic League. The giant Holstentor gate, a two-towered structure, is a symbol of Lubeck itself. Be sure to stop at a shop for marzipan treats, considered to be the local specialty.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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3. Marienkirche

Marienkirche, a large Lutheran church, is a superb example of the Brick Gothic style prevalent in northern Germany. It was constructed between 1250 and 1350, but on the night of Palm Sunday 1942, it was almost completely burnt down during an Allied air raid. You can see where the bells fell on that night--they have been left there as a memorial to the war. Though many of the old artworks were destroyed in the bombing, you can still admire the winged altar of Christian Swarte from around 1495, a wooden statue of St. John from around 1505, and a stone statue of St Antonius from around 1460. Head outside to the courtyard to see an unusual statue of the devil.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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4. Travemunde

Once the site of a fortress, Travemunde has been part of the free city of Lübeck since 1329. The neighborhood's location on the mouth of the Trave river in Lübeck Bay made it accessible from the Baltic Sea and to tourists from Scandinavian, Eastern Europe, and Russia. By the early 19th century, it had become a popular resort town immortalized in Thomas Mann's novel "Buddenbrooks." Apart from the expected charm of seaside restaurants and shops, you also can find a docked ship called Flying P-Liner Passat that acts as a museum. If you're visiting at just the right time, you can grab a spot at one of the restaurants with a view of the water to watch the Travemünder Woche, an annual sailing race on the Baltic.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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5. St. Petri zu Lubeck

Learn about an intriguing approach to religion at St. Petri zu Lubeck, a church that was rebuilt after World War II. The church combines Christian and Muslim customs, and the congregation meets here the first Saturday of every month instead of weekly on Sundays. While visiting, be sure to catch the view from the tower, where the best views come at sunset. Reach the observation deck via elevator. Check the schedule for the occasional art gallery shows, public readings, and concerts on site.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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6. Schwerin Castle (Schweriner Schloss), Schwerin

Set on an island in the lake Schweriner See, Schwerin Castle (Schweriner Schloss)has undergone many renovations over the centuries and is now the seat of the local government. It also hosts an art museum that features seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish paintings. The castle's roots date back to 1160, when Henry the Lion (Henry III) built a castle at this site. Later the dukes of Mecklenburgonce lived in the castle, which fell into disrepair when they moved out in 1765. A round of vast renovations kicked off in 1843. The German state took over the site in 1918. Later, fire damage set off another round of renovations. If you visit, keep an eye out for the Ghost of Petermännchen, said to be a very short man in 17th-century clothes.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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7. European Hansemuseum

The European Hansemuseum (German: Europäisches Hansemuseum) is a museum in Lübeck, Germany dedicated to the history of the Hanseatic League. Covering an area of in total 7,405 square metres (79,710 sq ft), is the largest museum in the world specifically dedicated to this subject. The museum was opened in May 2015.

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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8. Willy Brandt House, Lubeck

Willy Brandt House, Lubeck details the life of one of the 20th century’s most notable statesmen, Willy Brandt. The life and legacy of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate is spread chronologically across seven rooms, with official and personal documents, interviews, photos, and newsreels offering insights into his remarkable life. Discover his childhood in Lübeck, his resistance to the Nazis, exile, role as Mayor of West Berlin, time as the chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, and his push for German reunification. The museum also provides more general information on the topics close to Brandt’s heart: democracy, human rights, and peace.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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9. Outpost One, Dassow

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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10. Gange e Hofe

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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12. Sankt Jakobi Church

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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13. Maritimes Denkmal Passat

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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14. Buddenbrookhaus

Slip into the mind of writer Thomas Mann at Buddenbrookhaus, the home of the 1929 Nobel Prize for Literature recipient. Some of Mann's books include "The Buddenbrooks," "Der Tod in Venedig," and "Der Zauberberg". The house serves as a monument to these classics. Exhibits will enlighten you about the author and his family, including his brother, a fellow author.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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