Heiligenhafen is a 250 year old village of about 9000 people on the northern coast of Germany. This small Baltic village of Schleswig-Holstein is a small centre for fishing with space for about 1000 boats. The area is composed of two headlands separated by an inner lake. It is a beautiful German fishing village that has a well preserved urban space. One of the headlands is a sanctuary for birds.
The easiest way to get there is by using Germany’s famous Autobahn highway network. Heiligenhafen lies on the northernmost endpoint of the Autobahn number A1. It is about an hour away from Hamburg by car.
Although it is still possible to travel to Heiligenhafen on public transport it is a little more difficult. The nearest regional train station is at Großenbrode station where hourly services are available to Lübeck. The nearest station where express trains stop is the Oldenburg (Holstein) station, daily ICE services are available to Hamburg and Copenhagen from here. Both stations are along the Vogelfluglinie that handles international traffic between Denmark and Germany. From both Großenbrode and Oldenburg (Holstein) stations, long distance bus services are available to take visitors to Heiligenhafen.
For international visitors, the closest major airport is Hamburg Airport. It serves over 100 international destinations. From Hamburg Airport, take the local S-Bahn to the main train station, and then connect to an express intercity train towards Oldenburg (Holstein).
For more information on trains to the area and the Vogelfluglinie (local railway line), please visit: www.bahn.de
Having a population of only around 9000 people, Heiligenhafen is very, very small. No kidding. With just 700 metres from the A1 highway in the south to the northern shore and less than 2000 metres from east to west; its urban centre is so small you could explore the entire perimetre of the village on foot in less than two hours.
The village is so small there are no scheduled bus services that only serve the urban area. Though there are regular bus services to nearby towns and train stations operated by Deutche Bahn’s Autokraft feeder bus and the state of Schleswig-Holstein’s regional transportation.
For more information on Autokraft, please visit www.bahn.de/autokraft/view/index.shtml and www.nah-sh.de for the state run bus services.
There’s really no need to drive inside the village so consider bringing or renting a bicycle. Bicycle rentals are available in the Ferienpark on the north western corner of the village by the shore. Here’s a tip: if you bring your own bike, you could cycle from Oldenburg (Holstein) station, it’s only a 30 minute ride! (10km).
Where to Stay
- Baltic Heiligenhafen is the place for sailors and seafaring enthusiasts. Rooms here start from around €49 per night. For more information, please visit: www.baltic-heiligenhafen.de
- Deutsches Haus , is a beautiful boutique hotel with a classic flair. Prices for their wide range of rooms are fair and start at €45 per person including breakfast. For more information, please visit: www.deutsches-haus-heiligenhafen.de
- Luises Sporthotel is an affordable choice for comfort. With SKY TV channels, free wireless Internet, an incredible sea view, breakfast included, and more options available at individual rates, this place is for families on a tight budget. Private rooms start from just €45 per night! For more information, please visit: www.luises-sporthotel.de
- Hotel Seestern , is located right by the fishing docks of Heiligenhafen. This fishing themed hotel even has a retired fishing boat outside! Prices for this unique hotel start from just €65 per night including breakfast. For more information, please visit: seestern-heiligenhafen.de/de/home/
- Hafenhotel Meereszeiten is a modern 4 star hotel with balconies facing the sea. Standard rooms for two start at around €87 including breakfast. But if you want to go big, 72 square metre apartments are also available starting at €167 for two. For more information, please visit: www.hafenhotel-meereszeiten.de
- Hotel Mira Mare is a full service hotel complete with free Internet, a restaurant and lounge, free parking, and a pet friendly policy. Prices start from around €70 for two including breakfast. For more information, please visit: www.hotel-mira-mare.de
- 1. Ferienpark is a very large local activity centre. It is catered towards families on a holiday and provides facilities and equipment for various sports. There is accommodation, a park, bike hires, and watersports available. For more information, please visit: www.ferienpark-heiligenhafen.com
- 2. Seebrucke is a zig zag bridge that juts out into the water offering visitors a beautiful panorama view of the Baltic Sea. It is a favourite among couples. For more information, please visit: neu.heiligenhafen-touristik.de/index.php/seebruecke.html
- 3. Heimat Museum is a museum about local village culture and the history of the Schleswig-Holstein state. The museum features tools, fishing instruments, and musical instruments as part of its exhibits. Admission here is cheap at only €2 for adults and €1 for children. For more information, please visit: www.museen-sh.de/museum/DE-MUS-153619
- 4. Kirchturm is a brick clock tower that is adjacent to the local church. There is a large square in front of the church where public events take place. For more information, please visit: www.kultournacht.de/seite/282751/kirchturm.html
- 5. Rathaus , the village town hall was built in the late 16th century on the market square. It still performs its important function as a civic building today. Be sure to photograph this building at night, as the exterior lighting is quite stunning. For more information, please visit: www.heiligenhafen.de/stadtverwaltung-politik/stadtverwaltung/rathaus.html
- 6. Graswarder is a street at the exterior coast of the village. About 300 metres long, there are many historical houses along this street facing the Baltic Sea. Most of them were built in the last century. For more information, please visit: www.graswarder.de
- 7. Leuchtturm is a lighthouse along the Baltic coast built in the early 20th century. Originally built to help maritime traffic navigate the seas, it still fulfills its function today. For more information, please visit: www.wsa-hl.wsv.de/wasserstrassen/bauwerke/leuchttuerme/lt_heiligenhafen/index.html
- 8. Leuchtfeuer is a newer lighthouse built during the GDR period in 1986. Having a commanding view of the sea sitting on top of a hill, this postmodernist concrete tower was typical of its period. For more information, please visit: www.deutsche-leuchtfeuer.de/ostsee/heiligenhafen-warnfeuer.html
- 9. Stadtkirche is the city church of Heiligenhafen. The church was established in the mid 13th century and still stands today. It received a new church bell as well as a new church organ during the early to mid 20th century. For more information, please visit: www.kirche-heiligenhafen.de
- 10. Adventure Golf is a beautiful garden style golf park perfect for planning family activities. There is even a new ice cream corner for kids! Go carts, bikes, electric bikes, and scooters can all be rented here on a daily or weekly basis. Ticket prices start from around €5 for adults, €4 for children, and €20 for families. For more information, please visit: www.adventuregolf-heiligenhafen.de
What to Eat
- Seeteufel is a seafood and steak restaurant that is five minutes away from the Baltic Sea. It is located in the Ferienpark sports and activities complex. Reservations are possible and a main dish costs about €20. For more information, please visit: www.seeteufel.eu/index2.html
- Restaurant Kamino is an Italian restaurant mainly serving pasta, pizzas, and salads. Located right in the centre of the village, this place is convenient and affordable with main dishes starting at around €10. For more information, please visit: www.kamino-heiligenhafen.de
- Treffpunkt Fischalle is the perfect place to have a taste of the sea in an idyllic little Baltic village. Most of their several dozen main dishes feature seafood. Main dishes in this meeting point for fish lovers cost around 9 to 15 euros. For more information, please visit: treffpunkt-fischhalle.de
- Hafenfest Tage is a ten day long annual festival in summer that attracts tourists from all over Germany. This year it is during July 14th – 23rd, 2017. There will be music and concert events all over the area in various genres. For more information, please visit: www.hafenfesttage.de
- Bar-racuda is a fish themed bar. It’s unique because it has an indoor aquarium on two of its walls! There are different drink related themes on different nights of the week. For more information, please visit: www.facebook.com/pages/Barracuda-Bar/165934276751082
- Sunset Strandbar is just that – a bar on the beach where patrons can watch a beautiful sunset on the waterline. It is a favourite among locals and open every single evening of the week. For more information, please visit: www.sunset-strandbar.de
Just 60 kilometres south west of Heiligenhafen, is a major Baltic port of Germany. Its extensively used brick architecture and well preserved buildings has earned its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The iconic Holstentor is featured as the emblem of the city.
Only 50 kilometres west of Kiel, is a major sailing centre of Germany. It hosts the annual Kiel Week where hundreds of competitors participate in the largest sailing event in the world. It has also hosted the Olympics sailing event twice in the 1936 Berlin games and the 1972 Munich games. The Kiel canal, the busiest man-made waterway in the world, has ferries to Russia, Norway, and Sweden.