Why should you visit Lübeck?
Situated around 70km north-east of Hamburg, Lübeck is a charming city that will surprise you with its rich historical heritage and a variety of experiences. The Old Town of Lübeck is classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987 along with its Brick Gothic gate, Holstentor, the emblem of the city as well as St. Mary’s Church. Lübeck’s Town Hall is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and largest town halls in Germany. Inside the Old Town, you can admire a series of gabled houses, similar ones that can be seen in Dresden’s Old Town. What is more, if you like marzipan, then Lübeck is the place to indulge in this delicious treat. The famous Niederegger marzipan factory is a more than 100-years-old tradition that manufactures 100% pure marzipan with no additives. If you are convinced to visit Lübeck now, then follow this 1-day walking tour itinerary to see the best landmarks the city has to offer.
Holstentor is the city west gate built in 1464 and a UNESCO World Heritage site, together with Altstadt (the Old Town). It is one of the two remaining gates, the other one being Burgtor, the Citadel Gate. The medieval city fortifications with Brick Gothic architecture demonstrate the city’s Hanseatic past. In the 14th century, Lübeck became the “Queen of the Hanseatic League”, being by far the largest and most powerful member of that medieval trade organization. Holstentor has been since transformed to a museum with an exhibition of historical ship models, suits of armour, weapons, legal instruments, and other artefacts from Hanseatic period.
Lübeck boat ride
A boat ride on the Trave River is a great way to see Lübeck from a different perspective. It provides interesting information about Lübeck’s history, buildings and surroundings during a 1-hour ride around the city. You can also opt for something unique: a Splashtour, a bus that transforms into a boat. I drop you a direct link below for more information and booking.
Lübeck Love Bridge
Like some of the cities with bridges, Lübeck has also its love bridge (German: Liebesbrücke). The bridge not only offers a pleasant sight of the colourful padlocks attached to its railings but also a beautiful view on the historical buildings “an der Obertrave”.
St. Peter’s Church view
There is hardly a better view of Lübeck than from the St. Peter’s church’s (German: St. Petri Kirche) lookout tower. Sweeping views across Lübeck and the surrounding area can be seen from the 50-metres-high viewing platform. The church itself dates from 1250.
St. Anne’s Museum
St. Anne’s Museum (German: St. Annen-Museum) is considered as one of Germany’s most beautiful museums. It is located in the former St. Anne’s Priory from 1502. It perfectly blends the late Gothic monastic architecture with a unique collection of sacred art from the 13th to the early 16th century. Apart from the most extensive collection of medieval carved altars, there is an exhibition of furniture, paintings, arts and crafts.
Salt storehouses (German: Salzspeicher) are six historic brick buildings on the Upper Traver River next to the Holstentor. Completed in 18th century, the houses stored salt that was mined near Lüneburg and brought to Lübeck over the Stecknitz Canal. The salt was then shipped to several ports in the Baltic region, where the commodity was scarce but was in high demand for food preservation. The salt trade from the late Middle Ages onward was a major reason for the power of Lübeck and the Hanseatic League.
Walk along the Trave River
An der Obertrave is a lovely walk alongside the Upper Trave River. You will walk among cute houses and observe locals doing activities. It is a peaceful and scenic walk that can be done on both sides of the river.
The Buddenbrook House is a literature museum dedicated to the writer of a World-famous novel, the “Buddenbrooks” by Thomas Mann, the Nobel Laureate. The building has an interesting architecture with white facade that dates from 1758.
The Lübeck Town Hall (German: Rathaus) is a remarkable town hall also considered one of the prettiest in Germany. From 1230, three gabled houses were constructed on the marketplace and extended over the next few centuries to ultimately create the Hansesaal (Hanseatic Hall) for meetings and the Danzelhus (Dance Hall) for social meetings.
Stop by the Café Niederegger for a coffee and cake break on your itinerary. Niederegger was founded in 1806 and produces the world-class marzipan to the present day. In the 200 years since its opening, Café Niederegger, situated in the heart of Lübeck, has become the secret landmark of this Hanseatic town. In the original Niederegger Arkadencafé overlooking the historic town hall, St. Mary’s Church and St. Peter’s Church, you will not only have a chance to taste the traditional Niederegger cake specialities such as the famous Niederegger Nusstorte (marzipan nut cake) but also to learn about the history of marzipan in their Marzipan Museum.
St. Mary’s Church
St. Mary’s Church (German: Marienkirche) was built between 1250 and 1350. It has always been a symbol of the power and prosperity of the old Hanseatic city. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as of old Hanseatic City of Lübeck. Notice the bronze statue of Devil sitting at the church’s entrance. According to the local legend it is believed that the devil helped build St. Mary’s church after being tricked into thinking it was going to be a wine bar 🙂