As your train pulls in to Uelzen you may think you have arrived in a fairy tale. Take a moment to marvel at Hundertwasser Bahnhof, consistently rated one of Germany’s three most beautiful stations.
Have your photo taken beside its colorful pillars, photovoltaic gold domes, and vegetative roof-top terraces. Surrounding you is the architectural masterpiece of Viennese artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000), who abhorred straight lines.
When exploring Uelzen, look for traces of its history dating back to 1250. Though reconstructed many times, St. Mary’s Church contains remnants from the late Middles Ages.
You can also glimpse how Benedictine monks of that era lived in the Oldenstadt monastery. Or head southwest and experience the charm of 18th-century Castle Holdenstedt, with its elaborate stucco work and regal old trees. It has been the district’s historic headquarters and official museum since 1985.
If you tire of sightseeing, how about some shopping? Venerable old facades hide a diversity of treasures, from chic fashion and contemporary art to fine china, crafts, chocolates and souvenirs.
Then relax in the middle of the city at the BADUE bathing pavilion. Its 50-meter water slide, outdoor pool and diving towers will refresh you during summer. In cooler months, a spacious indoor pool, saunas and massage area are well worth a visit.
When hunger strikes, you will discover more than 30 restaurants ready to serve. Try the Holdenstedter Hof for its country-style cuisine, featuring Lüneburg Heath‘s fresh meat and fish specialties, served in a farmhouse parlor.
You can also get wild game and fresh produce at Meyer’s Gasthaus. Otherwise, turn to any brasserie, restaurant, or café for an inexpensive breakfast, daily changing lunch menus, homemade cakes, and light, fresh international cuisine.
You needn’t worry about finding a place to stay in Uelzen. Hotels, inns, guesthouses, and campsites are plentiful.
But for an unforgettable experience, stay the night in a Heu Hotel (Hay Hotel). For a small fee, local farmers offer straw bunks in their barns. It is not nearly as uncomfortable as it sounds, and you will have nearby access to horseback riding, swimming, and other delights of the heather-carpeted countryside.
The tourist office on Herzogenplatz can help you with your booking.