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Stralsund – A Gothic Seaside Town

Stralsund
© Manuel Schönfeld / Fotolia

Stralsund is a peaceful little town of just under 60,000 people lying on the shore of northern Germany. It is opposite Rügen Island in the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state. Stralsund was designated as the local district’s capital only very recently in 2011. Together with Wismar, Stralsund was honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002 for its Gothic town centre and colourful houses. Due to this designation, this beautiful old town preserves a lot of its historical architecture.

Getting There

Stralsund is a small town, so for international travellers flying into Germany, the nearest major airport is in Berlin, where visitors could either choose to reach Stralsund by train, or by a connecting flight to Rostock, then by train. Stralsund does not have a major commercial airport of its own.

Getting into Stralsund by train is easy, the Stralsund main station serves a regional line directly to Berlin every two hours and an hourly service to Rostock. The trip to Berlin takes between 2 to 3 hours while it takes just under an hour to get to Rostock. Keep on the lookout for state tickets and other regional offers that may drastically reduce the cost of group travel.

For more information, please visit: www.bahn.de

Driving into Stralsund is another easy option. The Autobahn number A20 and national highway B105 both reach Stralsund. Driving to Stralsund takes about the same time as a regional train would take to get from nearby major towns and cities.

Stralsund aerial view
© BildPix.de / Fotolia
Stralsund Old Town
© Andrea Seemann / Fotolia

Public Transportation

Stralsund is well connected with an extensive bus system that covers more than a hundred fare zones in the region. It is operated by the state operator VVR of the Vorpommern-Rügen district and facilitates cross-harbour trips to the island of Rügen as well.

Fare zones can be quite complicated to understand here due to their many zones and very flexible pricing system. But single tickets for the Stralsund urban area cost around €2, with 6 trip tickets offering a discounted price of just under €10. A weekly ticket for the city starts from just €13 and group discounts are available to single tickets only. Children and the elderly may also benefit from reduced prices where applicable.

For more information, please visit: www.vvr-bus.de/vvr/

Although most of the town is within a reasonable walking distance, you may also choose to cycle for greater speed and comfort. Cycling in Stralsund is relatively safe with its low traffic density and many public spaces. If you get tired, you can even bring your bicycle on a bus for an extra charge when space is available!

Where to Stay

Budget:

Younior Hotel , is an affordable youth hostel for a bed to stay in located right in the old town centre. Prices start at €16 per night on low seasons with extra charges available for breakfast service. For more information, please visit: www.younior-hotel.de
Hostel Stralsund , at under ten years old is one of the newer hostels in town. Prices start from just €16 during winter. Single beds are also available starting at €35. For more information, please visit: www.hostel-stralsund.com
Jugend Herberge , is located right on the beautiful Baltic coast. Starting at a slightly higher price of €24, it’s well worth the cost to live right by the sea. For more information, please visit: www.jugendherberge.de/en/youth-hostels/stralsund185/shortportraet
Comfort:
Haus Wullfcrona , is a heritage baroque period building with a modern interior. Rooms start from €65 per night and suites are available from €105 per night. For more information, please visit: www.haus-wullfcrona.de
Scheelehof , has a sauna, a private spa, a restaurant and pictures of Merkel and Hollande. Their prices start from just €130 from their website or €150 through partner sites. For more information, please visit: www.scheelehof.de
Wyndham Stralsund HanseDom , is an upscale business hotel with a spectacular view. Located just outside of Stralsund, their rooms with breakfast included start from around €60-70. For more information, please visit: https://www.wyndhamstralsund.com

Top Attractions

1. St. Mary’s Church, was built in the mid 17th century in gothic style. It is one of the largest buildings in the town and houses two organs, one small and one large. The church tower also has a human hamster wheel to help lift the bells into the tower manually. For more information, please visit: www.st-mariengemeinde-stralsund.de/home.html

St. Marys Church Stralsund
© Uwe Kantz / Fotolia

2. Stralsund Rathaus, is the town hall of Stralsund. It was first built in the late 13th century and contains a market decorated with wood inside the building. For more information, please visit: www.hansestadt-stralsund.de/de/sehenswertes/rathaus
3. Meeres Museum, is a museum about marine and aquatic life. Lying right on the shore of the Baltic sea, Stralsund is the perfect place to know more about the mysterious waters. Tickets start from €10 for adults with different discount levels for children of different ages. For more information, please visit: www.meeresmuseum.de
4. UNESCO World Heritage Exhibition, being a UNESCO world heritage site, it is only fitting for the city to have a centre dedicated to exploring why the architecture and unique history of this town are so important to the world. For more information, please visit: www.stralsund.de/en/guests/museums_in_stralsund/world_heritage_exhibition/
5. Stralsund Museum, is not one, but 7 different locations across Stralsund. It is well worth the effort to visit all 7 of them if you can afford the time. Prices vary from museum to museum. For more information, please visit: www.stralsund-museum.de/en/
6. Nikolaikirche, the St. Nicholas Church has beautiful reliefs from the life of Jesus inside the walls of the church. Built in 1234, it is the oldest parish church in Stralsund. For more information, please visit: www.nikolai-stralsund.de

Stralsund St. Nikolai-Kirche
© Mikhail Markovskiy / Fotolia

7. Rügenbrücke, is the main bridge that connects Stralsund with the island of Rügen, the largest island in Germany. Officially opened only just ten years ago, this modern structure is a wonder to behold. For more information, please visit: www.bernd-nebel.de/bruecken/index.html?/bruecken/3_bedeutend/stralsund/stralsund.html

Rugenbrucke
© spga / Fotolia

8. Gorch Fock, is a retired sailboat that is now a ship museum docked off the coast of Stralsund. For just about €5, you can learn all about the lives of seafarers and their exciting journeys abroad. For more information, please visit: www.gorchfock1.de

Gorch Fock
Gorch Fock © iz / Fotolia

9. Stralsund Zoo, Stralsund doesn’t just have an impressive aquarium, it also has a zoo! For just €7 for adults and €4 for children, you can learn all about the animal kingdom and even get the chance to touch some of the animals. For more information, please visit: zoo.stralsund.de/en/
10. Stortebecker Braumanufaktur, is a brewery producing the local variety of beers. They provide beers to restaurants all over coastal German cities and even sponsors historic ship rides and musical events. For more information, please visit: www.stoertebeker.com

Nightlife

Störtebeker , is a famous local brewery serving over a dozen varieties of their house brewed beer. They also have finely crafted foods to go with each of their creations. For more information, please visit: www.stoertebeker.com
Fritz Braugasthaus , brews their own beer that is made available on tap. They boast quality beef and pork products at three different coastal locations across the northern German shore. For more information, please visit: www.fritz-braugasthaus.de
Insanity Music , features disco music every night of the week except Sunday when it is closed. For more information, please visit: www.insanitymusic.de

Where to Buy

Quartier 17 , is an area in downtown Stralsund that is home to several big name stores ranging from clothing to health care shops. For more information, please visit: www.hansestadt-stralsund.de/de/einkaufen/im_quartier17
Astrein , sells fine household items and handcrafted toys. Located right next to the oceanic museum, you can check it out on your way to visit the town’s fish. For more information, please visit: www.hansestadt-stralsund.de/de/einkaufen/kunsthandwerk_blumen/astrein
Strela Park , is a large mall and department store just west of the main town centre of Stralsund. With over three dozen stores, several restaurants, and kids stores, families can stay in here for hours if the weather suddenly turns bad! For more information, please visit: www.strelapark.de

What to Eat

Milchbar Stralsund , serves casual Italian cuisine and has spectacular ice cream creations for dessert. The perfect place to go for families with young children. For more information, please visit: www.milchbar-stralsund.de
Speicher 8 , serves a wide variety of international food. They have anything from grilled meats to Japanese sushi. Menu prices start from around €40 and reservations are possible. For more information, please visit: www.speicher8.de
Braugasthaus , serves gourmet meats, fish, and salad dishes. Centrally located in Stralsund, this one is a favourite among tourists. Main dishes start from around €12. For more information, please visit: www.stoertebeker-brauquartier.com/braugasthaus

Around Stralsund

Rostock
At just under one hour away by regional trains, Rostock is another charming Baltic town that used to be a fisherman’s paradise. It is now a bustling harbour juxtaposed with its peaceful historical town walls.

Rügen Island
Is right off the coast of Stralsund, it is so close you can see it just by looking out from shore. It is Germany’s largest island and is known for its striking white chalk cliffs. Europeans have been holidaying there for over two centuries so join in the tradition!

Related Videos

German channel NDR documentary:

Independent guide to Stralsund: