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    What to see in Lübeck in one day

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    Martí Micolau

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    Lübeck, a German city not far from the shores of the Baltic Sea, is considered the Baltic Venice because of the canals of the river Trave that cross it and flow into the sea a few kilometers to the north.

    Its historic center, partly rebuilt after the bombings of the Second World War, it has been declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, thanks to the splendid examples of Baltic Gothic, and hosts, every Christmas, the famous markets.

    If you are in Northern Germany, do not miss the opportunity to visit this city, here it is: what to see in Lübeck in one day.


    1. One day itinerary in Lübeck: Morning
    2. One day itinerary in Lübeck: Afternoon
    3. One day itinerary in Lübeck: Evening
    4. User questions and comments

    One day itinerary in Lübeck: Morning

    1 - Bismarckdenkmal, Puppenbrucke, Holstentor, Salt warehouses

    If you arrive by train you can do breakfast at the Balzac Coffee pastry shop, right inside the station, which offers a wide choice of typical sweets and excellent German bread: for coffee and brioches you will pay around € 5,00

    Continuing on Fackerburger Allee you will find, on the right, the first monument: Bismarckdenkmal, dedicated to the great chancellor of the Prussian empire.

    Continuing towards the Altstadt (old town), you will immediately pass through one of the symbols of the city, the Puppenbrucke, the first bridge of the Hanseatic city, formerly built first in wood and then in stone, decorated with beautiful statues.

    Immediately after the bridge, you will meet the Holstentor, one of the ancient gates that give access to the old city.
    It is also possible to visit nearby the salt warehouses, an ancient and historic building along the river, well preserved and today used as shops. Here was stored the salt necessary for the conservation of the famous North Sea herring.

    2 - Marienkirche, Buddenbrookhaus

    Continuing inside the old town, connected to the mainland by bridges, turn left onto Schlüsselbuden and after a few meters you will find the most famous church in the city: Marienkirche.
    It is the third largest church in Germany and is also an example of northern architecture with its brick building.
    The church is open every day from 10:00 to 17:00 and requires a ticket of € 2,00 for the visit.

    Do not miss the statue of the nice little devil on one side of the building, linked to a legend according to which the devil himself helped during the construction of the church because he was convinced it was a tavern.

    Right outside the Marienkirche, overlooking Mengstraße, is the Buddenbrookhaus, a museum dedicated to the writer Thomas Mann, a must for lovers of literature. Hometown of the writer, and here he resided with his family. The museum is open from 10:00 to 18:00 every day, the entrance costs € 7,00, free for children under 6 years old.

    In summary:

    • Distance traveled: 1,5 km / 19 min
    • Places visited: Bismarckdenkmal (free), Puppenbrucke (free), Holstentor (free), salt warehouses (free), Marienkirche (€ 2,00), Buddenbrookhaus (€ 7,00)
    • Lübeck: Private Guided Tour of Local Architecture and Crafts
    • Where to have breakfast: Balzac Cafè, Get directions

    One day itinerary in Lübeck: Afternoon

    1 - Hospital of the Holy Spirit, Burgtor

    You can stop at lunch in a small restaurant, a few meters from the museum, at Nordsee Lübeck Breite Straße, where excellent sandwiches stuffed with North Sea fish and quick dishes are served. A great way to get to know the local cuisine at reasonable prices: a sandwich or salad costs around € 4,00 / € 5,00.

    Continuing the walk, you will be able to admire the facade of the Lübeck theater, and then head towards the Heiligen-Geist-Hospital, the hospital of the Holy Spirit, one of the oldest social institutions in Europe. It is in fact a hospice, a place of welcome for the poor and the sick dating back to 1200. It is possible to visit it in some wings, there are small bedrooms and wonderful frescoes, it is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00 and entry is free.

    Then you can head towards the Burgtor, in the direction of the river, and take a stroll through the historic streets and buildings of the city. The Burgtor is a city gate, a few meters from the banks of the river, very characteristic.

    2 - Walk along the riverside, European Museum of the Hanseatic League, cruise

    Near the Burgtor you can go to the left along the riverside and walk to the European Museum of the Hanseatic League, an ancient alliance between the cities overlooking the Baltic to better control their trade and navigation.
    The museum is really interesting and uses multimedia tools to reconstruct life at the time of medieval Lübeck. It is open until 18:00 and requires a ticket of € 8,00.

    Near the Drechbrucke, 450 meters from the museum, boats leave for a small cruise on the river. In full relaxation you have the opportunity to see the city from the river and head to the southern part of the old city, where you can spend the evening - book the cruise online, usually the ticket is around € 9,00.

    In summary:

    • Distance traveled: 1,1 km / 14 min
    • Places visited: Santo Spirito Hospital (free), Burgtor (free), riverfront (free), Museum of the Hanseatic League (€ 8,00), cruise (€ 9,00)
    • Lübeck: 1-Hour Cruise in German Lübeck: Classic Tour of the Hanseatic City
    • Where to have lunch: Nordsee Lübeck Breite Straße, Get Directions

    One day itinerary in Lübeck: Evening

    1 - Lübeck Cathedral, dinner

    After the cruise, if you can be al cathedral, a little before 18:00, you will still have the opportunity to visit it inside. It is located in the south of the island of the old town. It is really a beautiful building and, even from the outside, on the riverside, it makes a good figure, with the twin bell towers among the highest in Europe.

    After this visit you can think of yours price: as you know, kitchens in Germany close quite early. You could try a real German brewery, Paulaner am Dom, not far from the cathedral, where you can taste the original shank with potatoes. The bill is around € 30,00, including a pint of beer.

    2 - Sant'Anna district, Synagogue, Rathaus

    After dinner you can take a characteristic walk through the streets of this splendid Hanseatic city to end the day in style. From the riverside, through St-Annen-Straße, you will have the opportunity to see some beautiful buildings and also the synagogue. At about 700 meters, there is the central square where the Rathaus, the town hall of Lübeck.

    In summary:

    • Distance traveled: 1,8 km / 22 min
    • Places visited: south part of the old town (free), cathedral (free), Kaisertor (free), district of Sant'Anna (free), Synagogue (free), Rathaus (free)
    • Lübeck: private guided tour of courtyards and town houses
    • Where to dine: Paulaner am Dom, Get directions

    Before leaving: useful tips

    • Best time: the best months in terms of climate are summer or spring, although December is very popular for Christmas markets
    • Hamburg Airport is 90 km away. To reach Lübeck you first need to get to Hamburg station via metro S1 with a € 3,30 ticket. Trains leave from the station to Lübeck every 30 minutes. The train takes about 45 minutes and the cost of the ticket is € 15,00 each way. If you are driving, it will take you an hour from Hamburg via the A1.
    • Getting around: the city can be easily explored on foot. If you prefer the means, the bus line 1 is the most useful for getting around. The ticket for one ride costs € 1,65.

    What not to see: the attractions that are better to give up

    You certainly can't visit everything in one day, here is what is best to give up in the absence of time:

    1. St. Petri Kirche (as well as other churches)
    2. Gunter Grass Haus, home of the writer, which needs time for a thorough visit
    3. Lubeck Markt
    4. Museum Holstentor, in the absence of time, it is better to visit the tower only outside
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