Kühlungsborn is home to one of Germany’s finest beaches. It’s in the Rostock district of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Kühlungsborn sits on the Baltic coast, a region well known for the relaxing delights of its seaside spa towns.
In fact, Kühlungsborn is the crown jewel of what’s known as the German Riviera. It’s a stunning town full of gleaming white hotels, which are prime examples of traditional German spa architecture. The town is bordered by one long stretch of gorgeous sandy beach, and has both a marina and a promenade.
Kühlungsborn is a popular destination with tourists because of its beach, its family-friendly atmosphere, and its unbeatable charm. The town is home to around 7,500 permanent residents, but the constant flow of guests keeps the energy effervescent.
The pride of Kühlungsborn is its beach!
Wade into the notoriously brisk Baltic Sea, or simply lounge on the sand. The landscape is dotted with Strandkörbe – distinct covered wicker chairs that seat two. These protect against wind and rain, so the beach can be enjoyed whatever the weather and were invented in the region. Hire one for the day and join in with a real German seaside tradition.
Once you’ve had your fill of relaxing on the shore, the beach still offers plenty to explore! Take a stroll along the 240 metre-long wooden pier, or take the cycle path which sprawls 4 kilometres west of the new marina.
Other active beach-side pursuits include every imaginable water sport. In particular, the water is known for being excellent for surfing beginners, thanks to its beach break waves and soft sandy bottom. Why not try something new while you’re here?
The German Riviera is very proud of Molli, a traditional steam train that provides a scenic ride between Kühlungsborn and the nearby town of Bad Doberan. The journey takes you along the beach, through a linden-tree lined avenue, then through the streets of Bad Doberan itself. The train is comfortable and the views really are spectacular. It’s also perfect for kids, who’ll love being waved at by the locals as the train passes by! The Kühlungsborn West station houses the Molli museum, which covers the history of this fascinating train line.
The nearby Doberan Cathedral is perfect for architecture and history buffs. It’s an impressive building that is a brilliant example of north German brick architecture. Incredibly, it’s also the Cistercian abbey with the most original interior still intact, as it survived the Second World War relatively unscathed.
Once the sightseeing is done, why not visit a spa? The Germans have been enjoying the healing nature of the Baltic ocean for centuries, and Kühlungsborn is perfect for a relaxing retreat. Indulge in one of the countless spa treatments on offer, and let yourself unwind.
When To Visit
Most travellers visit in July or August. It’s a great time when the atmosphere is buzzing and there are many fantastic events running. The weather is at its best in Summer, with temperature highs in the early twenties.
For a quieter stay, off-season September is a great compromise between whether and crowds. The temperature highs generally sit at around 17 degrees Celsius, but the steady stream of tourists will have slowed enough you’ll often have the beach to yourself, which is a luxury enough to make up for the occasionally brisk temperatures.
What To Eat
With a location right on the Baltic coast, one of the town’s best offerings is undeniably its fresh fish. Few places can offer such great quality seafood, so be sure to take advantage of its abundance here.
Other regional specialities include baked eel, black bread pudding, and a stew made from string beans, pear, and ham known as Grööner Hein. For fresh local cuisine, try Restaurant Veranda in the hotel Am Weststrand, or pop into Cafe Röntgen, which serves French confectionary alongside German specialities made from local ingredients.
Between meals, indulge in the fine German habit of Kaffee und Kuchen – coffee and cake. The local speciality cake is Sanddorn, made from the buckthorn berries which grow in the area. The same berries are also used to make Sanddorn wine, another local speciality that is worth a taste.
Where To Stay
Kühlungsborn is adept at catering to tourists and as such offers accommodation to suit every need and preference. Whether you want to be pampered and have easy access to a spa, or just be lying back looking at the stars, there’s something here for everybody.
For luxury accommodation, you’ll often be looking at around £200 a night. One option is the Morada Strandhotel, a four star hotel situated right on the beach which houses not one but two luxury spas. Prices are around £200 a night in peak travel times, but sit closer to £160 a night in the off season.
Cheaper options vary wildly in price depending on location. One fantastic budget option is the Gutshof Bastorf guest house. It provides cosy traditional accommodation and has a shop which sells local treats such as jams and sweets. Prices are around £75 a night.
For the more adventurous traveller, the campsite known as Campingplatz Kühlungsborn offers incredible value for money. This 12 hectare camping site offers a lengthy list of amenities, and is very family-friendly with beautifully-themed kids’ facilities. Prices are around £30 a night.
While Kühlungsborn does have public transport available, by far the most convenient way to travel is to cycle or walk. There are dozens of cycle paths, good provisions for pedestrians, and you’re never far from a stunning view.
The Molli stream train offers a leisurely transport through the city. The line has three stations in Kühlungsbad – West, Mitte, and Ost – before it goes on to Bad Doberan.
Kühlungsborn is a small seaside town, and as such does not have the best provisions for a shopping spree. That said,the new marina has some interesting stores nearby, such as the clothing store Bacio Fashion.
For a more comprehensive shopping experience, take a day trip to the nearby city of Rostock.
Generally speaking, Kühlungsborn is more orientated towards a pleasant evening than a vibrant club night. There are many restaurants with panoramic views of the Baltic that are perfect for a glass of wine as the sun sets. These sedated moments of where the charm of the town really shines.
If you do fancy dancing the night away, there are a few events throughout the year that are truly unique experiences. Try the Sea&Sand festival in August or the summer spectacular in July for a genuine beach club atmosphere.
Out of the Ordinary
Kühlungsborn has a few unique offerings for those who want to sample something a little unusual. Take a Segway tour of the town, or check out the open air cinema Ostseekino Kühlungsborn, which allows you to watch movies right on the sand. Both are an incredible way to take in the friendly spirit of Kühlungsborn.