So, you’re going to see one of the big cities in Germany? Yeah, blah blah. I’m going to Heiligenhafen. Haven’t heard of it? Too bad, this port city in Schleswig-Holstein by the Baltic Sea is nothing short of super fantastic.
There is just about everything and anything you could ask for right here. There’s a fabulous festival, historical sites, and more outdoor activities than should be legal. ;-)
Since I mentioned the festival first, let’s start there. Every July there’s a week long Port Festival with large ships that come to port, a fish market for those who love seafood, and lots of parties (even for the kids).
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Speaking of seafood, if you’re an early riser (I mean like 7am-ish) come to Heiligenhafen’s port to watch the daily catch come ashore. Too early for you? How about watching the sun set? Yeah, truly romantic if I do say so myself.
Rather sail the seas than watch fish? You can do that, too. Lots of yachts and smaller vessels are available for rent, so you try fishing out in the Baltic on your own.
Sailing isn’t the only thing you can do out on the water. Try swimming or get yourself a catamaran.
You’ll find out who’s a land lubber. They’ll be bird watching at the Graswarder (usually March to May). From April to October there are guided tours you can take around this nature reserve.
If you’d rather be alone, that’s OK too. Plenty of walking trails will take you along the cliffs and sea. There’s even a lighthouse to be found.
I feel calmer already. Don’t you?
When you’re ready to join civilization again the beach has an event stage, BBQ areas, and a beach volleyball court.
Over at the cobble-stoned Marktplatz there’s Heiligenhafen’s historic Town Hall and the town’s obligatory Local History Museum with all sorts of fossils and art exhibitions. It’s open April to October from Tuesday to Friday. In the colder winter months the museum acts as a culture center as well.
If you’re willing to trek a bit, there are Bronze Age grave hills not too far from town.
Didn’t I tell you that Heiligenhafen has everything you could imagine all in one place? Keep another big city. I’ll take Heiligenhafen anytime.