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Travel Guide Europe Germany Schleswig-Holstein Lübeck

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Introduction

Situated in the north of Germany Lübeck is an old city with a strong medevial heritage. The city came into power as a member of the Hanseatic League or Hansa. The association is so strong that Lübeck is sometimes called "Queen of the Hansa". Lübeck is the setting for the novel "The Buddenbrooks or Decline of a Family" by Th. Mann, published 1901 and the novel which won him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1929. This novel is one of the great German contributions to World Literature and a must-read for visitors to Lübeck.

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Sights and Activities

Holstentor, Lubeck

Holstentor, Lubeck

© All Rights Reserved sawalrath

The main attraction is the medieval Altstadt (old city) located on an island surrounded by the Trave river and its various channels. Listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site, it offers an astonishing variety of different architectural styles. The streets of Lübeck are a delight for a connoisseur of architecture.

Bear in mind that Lübeck's Altstadt is not an open-air museum but a living city centre, so don't expect a complete medieval site. You'll find many beautiful old buildings intertwined with modern ones and a modern infrastructure. A particularly well-preserved 13th century part of the Altstadt is the Koberg area at the island's northern end. And don't miss the Gänge, small streets off the bigger roads, with small houses and a peculiar atmosphere.

The most famous icon of the city is the Holstentor (Holsten Gate), which was one of the four gates where the city could be entered. The old centre is dominated by seven church steeples. The oldest is are the Lübecker Dom (Lübecker Cathedral) which dates from the 13th Century.

There are two houses dedicated to Lübeck's two literature nobel prize laureates: The Buddenbrookhaus is dedicated to the brothers Thomas and Heinrich Mann, who spent their youth there, and contains many of their works. It's near Marienkirche, in Mengstraße. Then there is the Günter-Grass-Haus (of The Tin Drum fame) in Glockengießerstraße.

The Museumshafen (museum port) between Beckergrube and the Musik- und Kongreßhalle building features some old-fashioned ships, among them a rebuilt Hanseatic kraweel ("Lisa von Lübeck")—more so in winter, because many of these ships are still in use during summer.

The borough of Moisling has a special Jewish history. An old Jewish cemetery is still to be found there.

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Getting There

By Plane

Hamburg Airport (IATA: HAM) is just one hour away, and offers many international connections. From the airport you can take the S-Bahn to Hamburg main station with an hourly train connecting to Lübeck main station.

By Train

On working days, commuter trains from/to Hamburg go every 30 minutes (on weekends and on holidays every 60 minutes). Additionally, InterCity trains via Hamburg leave/arrive every 2 hours. A few trains continue to Berlin, München, Cologne or Frankfurt. Local trains to Lüneburg, Kiel, Schwerin and the beach resorts Travemünde and Timmendorfer Strand depart on an hourly basis. Other regular trains for Copenhagen, Szczecin and the Island of Fehmarn leave every 2 hours.

By Car

Lübeck is about 60 kilometres northeast of Hamburg and easily accessible by car through the Autobahn A1. With the opening of the new highway A20 (Baltic Sea highway) to Rostock the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pommerania is only a very short distance away. Note that the A1 is the backbone of the cargo transport from the Hamburg to the Travemünde port, there will be heavy (and rather slow) traffic on the right of the three lanes.

By Bus

The liberalisation of the national long distance bus market benefits Lübeck. Companies like FlixBus and Postbus offer routes to Berlin for as low as €15 four times a day. Several other companies and lines are in the planning process. Buses stop at or close to the ZOB, which is also the hub for local buses and just a few hundred meters from the main train station.

By Boat

are many ferry connections to and from Lübeck. Passengers ferries arrive and depart from Skandinavienkai, a quay in Lübeck's borough Travemünde Most of the ferries run 1 or 2 times every day. Current connections are:

  • Helsinki, Finland operated by Finnlines
  • Malmö, Sweden operated by Finnlines
  • Trelleborg, Sweden operated by TT-Lines

Skandinavienkai is served by buses 40, 30, and 31 (timetable), which travel between Travemünde Strandbahnhof and Lübeck ZOB. There is also a train station called "Travemünde Skandinavienkai"; it is about 1 km from the ferry terminal building. However, the only way between the ferry terminal and the train station is by those same buses. It is not possible to walk.

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Getting Around

As most of the attractions are within or close to the compact Altstadt, you can get everywhere quickly on foot. There is a local bus service hub at the Hauptbahnhof/ZOB (central rail station) with services to all parts of the town and nearby towns. For medium to long distances within the city cycling is also an option and becoming more and more popular with the locals. Taxis are available nearly everywhere.

Because local bus tickets are quite expensive in comparison to other German cities, a taxi is generally cheaper for a group of three and up if your destination is less than 10km away. You have to go by taxi at night anyway, because there is no nightly bus service.

Tourist information can be obtained in the city hall (Rathaus, Breite Straße) or at the "Welcome Centre", opposite Holstentor.

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Eat

There are several restaurants within the city centre which will satisfy most tastes. At the pinnacle is the Michelin starred Wullenwever. Other good options include Markgraf and Schabbelhaus while the most popular spot for tourists is the Schiffergesellschaft.

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Drink

There are many traditional bars in Lübeck, but if you're after a bit of international "big city" vibe, Cole Street - Bar Cafe Gallery - on Beckergrube 18, right next to the theatre, is a great find. Cool design, music and regularly changing contemporary art exhibitions.

If you're in for locally brewed beer, check out the slightly Bavarian-themed Brauberger in Alfstraße. Lübeck is well known for its high density of cafés and "Kneipen" (pubs), so peep into some of the smaller streets as well and see if you can find something that fits your taste.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Baltic HotelHansestraße 11Hotel89
Hotel Restaurant ElisabethElisabethstr. 4 Bad SchwartauHotel-
SleepIn YMCA LübeckGroße Petersgrube 11Hostel-
Hotel Stadt LubeckAm Bahnhof 21Hotel-
Hotel ArnimsruhWesloer Landstraße 11Hotel-
Jugendherberge Lübeck-Vor dem BurgtorAm Gertrudenkirchhof 4Hostel79
Baltic HotelHansestrae 11HOTEL-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes (rates €1.50 to €5 per hour) are starting to become less common due to widespread offers of free wifi by shops, restaurants or cafes. Sometimes it requires minimum consumption but usually it's free within the premises. Phone shops will often offer internet access, too. In general hotels offer internet access. In several cities, projects exist to provide free "community" hotspots for wireless networking. Passenger lounges at some airports and central railway stations also provide internet access to their customers.

Several pre-paid SIMs allow Internet access for a monthly flat fee, for example those available at Tchibo coffee stores (o2 network, €10/month limited to 500 MB, €20/month for 5 GB) or Aldi (E-Plus network). A regular O2 sim card, which can be used for calls and text messages, is €15 and another €15 buys 1GB of data valid for 1 month. Vodafone offers a prepaid sim card for €25 which includes €22.5 of credit, out of which you can get 300 MB of data for 2 days for €15 and be left with €7.5 of credit.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international call prefix in Germany is 00. To dial out of Germany, dial 00, followed by country code, area code, and the telephone number (for example 00 44 1234 567890). If you're using a mobile phone, simply add the plus sign "+" before the country code to call out of Germany (for example +44 1234 567890). The general emergency number is 112 and the additional number for less emergent issues for police is 110.

Mobile phone coverage on the four networks (T-Mobile, Vodafone, E-Plus and o2) is excellent across the whole country. UMTS (3G data and HSDPA) and EDGE is also available. UMTS is still somewhat limited to urban areas. All mobile providers use GSM technology on the 900 and 1800 MHz frequency ranges. If you stay for a longer period of time, consider buying a prepaid phone card from one of the mobile phone companies; you won't have trouble finding a T-Mobile (in a "T-Punkt"), Vodafone, E-Plus or O2 store in any major shopping area. In most supermarket chains (for example ALDI), there are prepaid SIM cards from their own virtual providers available. These are normally quite cheap to buy, but expensive for international calls (around €1–2/min), but incoming calls are always free and SMS cost around €0.09–0.19. They are available at: Aldi, Lidl, Penny, Netto, Tchibo, Rewe, toom. A registration via Internet or (expensive) phone call is necessary after buying to activate the SIM card.

The cheapest way to call abroad from Germany is to use the internet cafés run by immigrants. They sell special calling cards that give the best rate to certain countries as well as offer cheap international calls from phone booths. It is also the cheapest way to call landlines in Germany.

Post

Germany's postal system is very efficient, their logistics branch DHL is one of the best companies in this field world-wide, with domestic post or within a radius of 400 kilometres, send within a day. The website of Deutsche Post has an online calculator for postage fees as well as a post office finder. Stamps are available at post offices and sometimes at newsagents or shops selling postcards. Also stamp vending machines can be found at a lot of places around the cities. You can purchase every stamp you need from this machines. They are unique as they accept every coin from 1 cent to 2 euro but change is only given in stamps. It costs about €40 to send a small package to Australia and €1.70 to send an old-fashioned letter to any place in the world outside of Europe. Within Germany, sending postcards costs €0.45 and standard letters €0.55, within Europe it is €0.65 for a postcard, standard letters to places in Europe cost €0.75. Outside Europe, the prices for sending a postcard or standard letter are €1 and €1.70 respectively. Although you will find the old post offices (mainly in the city centre), most of the smaller neighbourhood post offices are part of a small tobacco shop or grocery store. For larger package, you might consider competitive private companies like UPS, DHL or TNT.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 53.869563
  • Longitude: 10.687579

Accommodation in Lübeck

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This is version 19. Last edited at 11:05 on Jul 3, 17 by Utrecht. 25 articles link to this page.

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