Lubeck Travel Guide
In the farthest reaches of northern Germany lies the small UNESCO World Heritage town of Lubeck. Situated right on the Baltic Sea, Lubeck has been the capital of the Hanseatic League of traders since the 13th century. Today, it is still an important center of commerce and a good base for exploring Scandinavia, just across the water.
Lubeck’s skyline is most notable for the seven splendid church steeples which give the town its unique and inspiring atmosphere. The wealth of the ancient Hanseatic merchants is evident in the opulent churches and high-gabled houses that characterize the town. Although this is a legacy of its past, the massive gates and high towers of these mansions still define its character.
Although heavily bombed during WWII, Lubeck’s Altstadt (Old Town) is remarkably preserved. Interlaced with canals, and surrounded by the Trave River, the Altstadt feels like an island and is perfect for exploring on foot. Chances are you’ll spend all your time in the Old Town, as this is where the best sights, eating, drinking and shopping can be found. But the harbor area is another great part of town where you can watch the endless stream of trading ships and ferries coming and going.
Holstentor (Holsten Gate): this original town entrance contains a wealth of architectural details, as well as the Museum Holstentor, which shows Lubeck in miniature as it looked in the 15th century.
Lubeck Harbor: a key component of Lubeck, this is the place to catch an excursion boat where you can get some amazing views of the skyline from your watery perspective.
Petersgrube: considered the finest street in Lubeck, it is completely lined with beautifully restored medieval houses, and part of the larger surrounding Marktplatz, where some 1,000 medieval buildings still stand.
Rathaus (Town Hall): with origins traced back to 1230, this remarkable building is one of the architectural highlights of Lubeck and it’s worth taking one of the daily tours to learn about its history.
Salt Lofts: during the 16th century, these six distinctly different Renaissance-gabled buildings stored the salt before it was shipped to Scandinavia; they offer one of the most picturesque views in Lubeck when viewed from the riverside.
St Mary’s Church: Lubeck’s most spectacular church is built on the highest point in the Altstadt and boasts stunning flying buttresses and massive towering windows that are considered among the finest in northern Germany.