10 Best Things to Do Outside of Hamburg


Germany has proudly introduced its Deutschland ticket, a new nationwide transport ticket that allows you to go anywhere in the country using all types of local and regional public transport. With the Deutschlandticket KLU students have now the opportunity to go pretty much anywhere in Germany on a budget and with that in mind, we want you to start by discovering the amazing options that the surroundings of Hamburg have to offer. Beyond the well-known cities of the area (Lübeck, Lüneburg, Bremen, Hannover, etc. Please visit them all!) there are many other excellent leisure choices that you can very easily convert into an excursion for a day or two. So, tighten your sneakers and get the backpack ready, because we are going on a ride!

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1. We have beaches, we do!

Certainly, Germany is not a country known for its “sun and beach” bundles, but good for you, being all the way north, you can actually enjoy going to the beach on an easy day trip. And you can even choose the sea! One of our favorites is Travemünde Strand, by the Baltic Sea. The train ride is about 1.5 hrs., and it really gets you out of the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnects you with nature. If you are more of the active type, you can hike along the cliffs of Brodtner Ufer to Timmendorf passing a small fisher town (Niendorf Habor) with a picturesque harbor. Enjoy a good Fischbrötchen! If you prefer to visit the North Sea, nothing like going to Cuxhaven and enjoying the view of the mouth of the Elbe River. Other great destinations by this sea are Sylt, Helgoland, or St Peter-Ording, but it’s quite a ride without a car.

2. Bite the apple!

One of the most fun and tasty activities in nature for the late summer and early fall is riding to Altes Land, a cute rural area in Lower Saxony, and engaging in some apple picking, fresh from the field during harvest. There are tons of farms where you can pick kilos and kilos of different kinds of delicious apples. Of course, you can also buy some other products made from apples in the local shops (apple cider, apple pies, you name it) and just enjoy the countryside and the nature around you.

3. It's nicer on two wheels

Whether on a StadtRad (city bike) or on your own bicycle, riding from Hamburg to its outskirts gives you the chance to discover amazing landscapes and see how the buildings slowly disappear and nature takes over. From KLU we can recommend you bike towards the Dove Elbe (about a 60 min. ride) and enjoy the view of the river from a very different perspective than the harbor. If you have a bit more of a Lance Armstrong spirit, you can check websites like bikemap or komoot and discover other great options to explore in and out of the city.

4. Golf for dummies

You don’t need to be Tiger Woods to be able to enjoy some swings with your friends. Golf amateurs, and the general public who have no idea what a “tee” is and are just interested in enjoying a fun activity, will find the right spot by playing Swingolf. This type of entertainment is a simplified version of golf, with holes from 50m to 300m of distance, and requires just a small briefing to understand the concept of the game. Swing away! But don’t forget to look behind you when you do! ;)

5. Feeling like royalty

You may have seen some postcards of amazing “Beauty and the Beast”-like castles in Germany, and are wondering where to take your Instagram picture as prince charming. We got you: go visit the Castle of Schwerin. This wonderful palace sitting in the middle of a lake makes for the perfect picture to send to your family and convince them to visit you in Germany (especially at sunset!). It is just astonishingly beautiful! It’s very easy to get to Schwerin by regional train, and on top of the castle, you can discover a city full of history, that was also part of the Soviet side of Germany during the German division. You still can see reminiscences of that time.

6. In memoriam

On the deeper side of the spectrum of the cultural visit, you can also pay your respects to the victims of the Holocaust by taking a short ride to theconcentration camp of Neuengamme. From 1938 to 1945 about 80,000 people were held prisoners in this concentration camp, and more than half of them (about 42,000) were killed by the Nazi regime. It’s a part of history that Germany does not want to forget, and nowadays you can visit this camp free of charge (with an audio guide) or book one of the many tours they offer in more than a dozen of different languages. We can highly recommend gathering a small group of friends and booking one of the guided tours.

7. Up and down the rollercoaster

A great way to de-stress after the exam period (or maybe even during the exam period?) is to spike up your adrenaline with a good day of roller coasters, fun attractions, and striking shows to fill all your senses. Escape from zombies, enjoy watching acrobats, and make a hundred loops in the rides of the amusement parkHeide Park. And if a day is not enough for you, no problem! They even have a resort with themed rooms where you can spend the night. Surely a very different experience than your dorm!

8. Surrounded by green

A bit of exercise, a bunch of fresh air, and a whole lot of fun. This is the offer of the different“Kletterpark” (climbing parks) that you can encounter in the surroundings of Hamburg, for example, this one in the Sachsenwald. Securely protected with a helmet, harness, and ropes, you’ll be able to climb from tree to tree in an actual forest, overcoming some man-made obstacles that make the experience challenging and joyful. It is a good way to connect with nature and release a bit of your inner monkey, and it also makes for a very original team-building activity. Bring your group assignment peers and brainstorm about the study case from a greener perspective!

9. Taming the waves

As we told you in this article, Hamburg is an amazing place to enjoy the water and start your journey into sailing. However, if you want to really feel the power of the waves right on your chest, kitesurfing in Fehmarn  is the thing for you. It requires a bit more of budget but it is one of those experiences that will make your student time memorable. Note, though, that if you are one of the clumsy ones in your group of friends, maybe you are better off just tagging along, and enjoying a beach day chewing on some juicy watermelon while seeing your pals flying off into the water over and over. Another type of entertainment for sure ;)

10. A century-old fest, still at the top

Last but definitely not least, for big party lovers, a “must” to visit when in Hamburg in summer. In a bit more than an hour on the train you get yourself to Kiel, one of the most relevant cities in Northern Germany. Since 1882 Kiel organizes the Kieler Woche  (Week of Kiel), a huge folk fest that welcomes the summer, and hosts what is considered the world’s largest sailing event. Together with the regattas, Kiel brings out to the streets and cultural spaces of the city an immense offer of activities, street food, and top-notch performances, and gathers major rock, indie, and pop musicians. No matter what are your hobbies or your interests, we are sure that the Kieler Woche has something for you. Oh! And if you are a big fan of Eurovision, know that Conchita Wurst is becoming a regular there!

Rest assured that Hamburg and its surroundings have much more to offer. You can find some more day trips on this site, and also check our article about some of the coolest things to do in the city. Now you have a starting point, but we’d love to know your favorite experience to feature it in a future blog post. Do you want to tell us?

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