For many people, the city of Stralsund on the Baltic Sea, with a population of just under 60,000, is only a stopover on their journey to Rügen. Yet there is a lot to discover here and a stop here can easily last longer than a day. The cosy historical centre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. Numerous sights, which can be easily explored during a day trip, await visitors. In this article, we would like to introduce you to the most beautiful sides of the Hanseatic city and the most important Stralsund Germany sights and give you some practical tips.
These are the most important sights of Stralsund Germany
One thing in advance: the places presented in this article are only part of the beauty of the city. Stralsund Germany, with its almost unbroken historical development in the centre, is a total work of art. The best thing to do is to visit the places described here and then just let yourself drift through the city, because exciting discoveries await you at literally every corner. The location on the water is also something special: the Baltic Sea with the Strelasund in the east and large ponds in the west and south of the city provide a maritime flair.
St. Mary’s Church
You have to climb 366 steps to reach the west tower of St. Mary’s Church (Marienkirche). Sometimes you have to climb a stone spiral staircase, sometimes a rickety wooden ladder. But the effort is worth it, because from here you have a fabulous view. The view extends not only over the old town, but also over Rügen, Darß and Hiddensee, so it’s definitely a highlight of your visit to Stralsund Germany! The memorial in front of the church is also exciting: it commemorates the Soviet soldiers who died fighting for the city in the Second World War. There are also some gravestones here, an unusual place for the citizens of an atheist state like the Soviet Union. Thus, St Mary’s Church is definitely one of the most important Stralsund sights.
The heart of the city beats on the Old Market (Alter Markt), where farmers from the surrounding area offer you their goods. There are also nice cafés and restaurants that are perfect for a break. The buildings at the old market form a wonderful mix of styles from different eras. The town hall is particularly beautiful with its almost 40-metre-high façade and magnificent gables. The town hall also has a beautiful portico that forms a passageway and is a great photo motif, especially early in the morning!
St. Nicholas Church
Behind the Old Market Square rises the mighty Nikolaikirche. The Gothic church was built in the 14th century and reveals some beautiful altars and an astronomical clock inside. The two towers are also interesting: after a fire, only one of them was rebuilt in its old splendour; there was no money left for the other, so it was simply given a flat roof.
Port with Gorch Fock I
Stralsund’s long harbour no longer has the same economic importance as in the Middle Ages, but it is a nice place to go for a stroll. In addition to fishing boats, ferries to Rügen leave here, there are some beautiful brick buildings to discover and a legendary ship is anchored here: the Gorch Fock I. Built in 1933, she served as a sail training ship for a long time and was used by the Soviet Navy until 1990. Until then, she was usually anchored in the port of Kherson in today’s Ukraine. Today she is back at her original location and can be visited. In 2008, the Ozeaneum joined her at the harbour, the next port of call on our little tour of Stralsund.
The Ozeaneum is a marine museum that focuses on the habitat in the Baltic and North Seas. In 2010 it was even voted European Museum of the Year for its impressive realisation! Every year, more than half a million visitors flock to Stralsund’s most important attraction to learn about marine fauna in the interactive exhibition, which is also suitable for children, using display boards and models. Incidentally, many animals have a home here: penguins, fish, jellyfish and many other species are the stars of the museum, which thus masters the balancing act between exhibition and zoo. Information is also provided on aspects such as pollution of the oceans and overfishing, so you can easily spend two to three hours here.
On the outskirts of Stralsund the Störtebeker brewery is situated, which brews some of my absolute favourite beers and has become increasingly popular in Germany in recent years. There should be few supermarkets that don’t sell at least one or two varieties of Stralsund beer in the country. Beer was already brewed here in GDR times. Today there are countless varieties, including many organic beers that have won several international awards. The brewery’s distinctive feature is its beer glasses, which are shaped like sails. You can see the quality of the beers for yourself on a guided tour of the brewery and then sample a few beers in the brewery restaurant.
Practical tips for your visit to Stralsund
Which tours are worth a try?
- The tourist information office offers guided tours of the historic centre in English. You can learn everything about the city and its history in one and a half hours. More info can be found here.
- If you don’t want to walk, you can take a tour with the Hanse Bahn. With the mini-train or the bus you can explore the city in a relaxed way in about 45 minutes.
- The White Fleet (Weiße Flotte) shows its guests the beauties of the city and the harbour from the water. You set sail five times a day, the trip lasts about an hour and takes you around the island of Dänholm off the coast of Stralsund. On the way, you can also take a closer look at the impressive Rügen Bridge and the Rügen Dam.
Where to eat, drink and stay overnight?
- Störtebeker Brauereigasthaus, Greifswalder Chaussee 84. On the brewery premises, chef Marko Vooth and his crew have been conjuring up delicious regional dishes for over 25 years. As befits a brewery, the selection of beers is huge, and delicious beer cocktails are also conjured up here.
- Klabautermann, Am Querkanal 2. The traditional restaurant at the harbour serves delicious fish dishes, but also offers affordable accommodation. Various excursion packages can also be booked here, including a free harbour tour and tickets to the Ozeaneum.
- Scheelehof*, Fährstraße 23. The hotel with its characteristic gable is housed in a building from the 14th century, so you can stay here in true Hanseatic style. It also has a restaurant and its own coffee roastery. A romantic place, especially for couples.