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The Essential Guide to Schleswig-Holstein and the Baltic Coast

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Germany’s most northern state, Schleswig-Holstein is known for its historic Hanseatic cities, from the capital, Kiel, to Flensburg and Lübeck, whose Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The region also offers spectacular coastline on both the North Sea and Baltic sides, complete with sandy beaches, national parks, and popular holiday islands like Sylt, Föhr, Amrum, and, farther into the state of Mecklenberg Vorpommern, Rügen and Usedom.
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Gaadt 33, 25980 Sylt, Germany
This aquarium in Westerland is one of Sylt’s tourist highlights, especially on a windy or rainy day—which is often the case on the Baltic. Here, visitors will find more than 2,000 ocean creatures spread over 25 tanks. Coral World, the...
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Gaadt 4, 25980 Sylt, Germany
Regarded as one of the best restaurants on Sylt, Alte Friesenstube serves mainly regional fish and meat dishes, including a famous North Sea Pannfisch. Dating back to the mid-17th century, the building itself is wonderfully traditional, with a...
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Gaat 13, 25980 Sylt, Germany
This lovely boutique hotel, located in the charming village of Keitum on Sylt, is set inside a handsome mansion that’s been thoroughly renovated but maintains its traditional details like a redbrick exterior and thatched roof. The interior...
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Norderstraße 9, 24939 Flensburg, Germany
Widely regarded as the finest bakery in Flensburg, this small, charming spot serves wonderful Danish baked goods, as well as a large selection of flaky German pastries. It’s a simple but welcoming space, decorated with eclectic signs,...
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Schloßgebiet 9, 24306 Plön, Germany
Occupying some 753 square kilometers between Lübeck and Kiel, this park is the largest in the Schleswig-Holstein region. Characterized by undulating green hills, verdant fields, and pleasant meadows—many of which were formed during the...
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An der Untertrave 1, 23552 Lübeck, Germany
This impressive museum, opened in 2015 in central Lübeck, is the largest in the world dedicated to the extensive history of the Hanseatic League—a confederation of merchant guilds and market towns that came to dominate Baltic maritime...
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Beckergrube 71, 23552 Lübeck, Germany
Run by renowned chef Roy Petermann and his wife, Manuela, this gourmet restaurant is set in a 16th-century patrician house in the old part of Lübeck. The welcoming interior has an elegant, time-warp feel, with tall stucco ceilings and antique...
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Alfstraße 38, 23552 Lübeck, Germany
One of Lübeck’s most notable accommodations, Hotel Anno 1216 occupies a carefully restored town house on the banks of the Untertrave River. The building dates back to the early 13th century (hence the “1216”), but it’s...
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Prof.-Dr.-Vogel-Straße 6, 18209 Bad Doberan, Germany
Founded in 1793 and supported by Friedrich Franz I, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Germany’s first-ever seaside spa resort is now a fully contemporary retreat dedicated to rest and relaxation. Against a handsome backdrop of Baltic sea, beech...
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Stubbenkammer 2a, 18546 Sassnitz, Germany
It might be Germany’s smallest official nature preserve, but Jasmund National Park is nonetheless a Baltic coast highlight. Officially located in the region of Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania, the park is most famous for its soaring...